Preparing Nuts and Seeds
Nuts are a nutritious and healthy part of any diet. They are a good source of minerals like calcium, iron, zinc, magnesium, manganese, selenium, potassium and copper. Yes, our bodies need small amounts of copper, especially the adrenal glands. Nuts are also a great source of fiber and certain B vitamins. When you buy nuts, try to avoid those coated with sugar, honey or anything else except perhaps salt. Try to buy organic, raw nuts. But if you do, it is important that you take steps to make them more digestible. Nuts can be hard to digest if eaten raw. Certain enzyme inhibitors found in nuts and some seeds make them more difficult to digest, especially when eaten in large amounts. That’s why most nuts and seeds sold in the store are roasted. If you can’t buy raw nuts and prepare them in the right way, your next best option is to buy roasted nuts.
But if you buy raw nuts and prepare them yourself, they taste better and you get the satisfaction of doing the job. It is a process because some nuts have to soak for a long time. See the chart below. Then they have to go into a dehydrator or dried in a very low temperature oven. But it is totally worth it!
Soaking nuts in warm, purified water with celtic/pink salt added overnight (or on average at least for 7 hours) neutralizes these enzyme inhibitors.
For four cups of nuts or seeds, use one-tablespoon salt in warm, purified water to cover nuts or seeds by an inch. After draining water, place in a dehydrator at 120°F or in a warm oven under 150°F for 12 to 24 hours, depending upon crispness.
Please note that “raw” cashews are not truly raw. They have been heated in an oven at 350 degrees Fahrenheit while in their shell in order to neutralize a toxic oil called cardol. Soaking at this point will not enhance the enzymes but will still make them more digestible. Soaking longer than 6 hours will make them soggy. Bake at 200-250°F for 12-24 hours stirring 2-3 times during the process.
If you are dehydrating in an oven, please turn nuts several times during the dehydrating process.
To learn more, I suggest you check out a copy of the “Wise Traditions Cookbook” by Sally Fallon.
Finally, nuts are high in fat and calories. The high fat content is one of the appealing factors, in my opinion, but at the same time, the high calories can cause weight gain. Especially if you are still eating a lot of starches. An ounce of nuts, on average, has 165 calories so pay attention to how many you eat. But do eat them! I encourage you to get some raw nuts, prepare them accordingly and enjoy!
Raw Nuts or Seeds Soaking time in hours
Brazil Nuts 4-6
Filberts (hazelnuts) 7-8
Flax Seeds 7-8
Macadamia Nuts 6-7
Pine Nuts 7
Pumpkin Seeds 7-8
Sesame Seeds 7-8
Sunflower Seeds 4