I have to hand it to the wonderful Pete Evans for bringing attention to “activated nuts”. Whilst the media decided to make a mockery out of Pete and his activated nuts, I want to point out that he is actually correct. And whilst I’m talking about Pete Evans, I’m personally fed up of the media giving him such a hard time. What is it with Australians and the tall poppy syndrome? I’m a vegetarian but Pete Evans has actually done an incredible service in bringing good health and nutrition to the public. I use the principles of Paleo in my own family despite being a vegetarian because it is actually is based on science. And that is why I love what Pete does in the Paleo world because he uses his celebrity to promote Paleo without the overconsumption of animal products and is a huge advocate of vegetables and raw food. So come on, let’s stop making “Pete-bashing” a national hobby. At least he has got people talking about health.
It is important to activate your nuts and seeds by soaking them and then drying them. All nuts and seeds contain phytic acid in the outer layer or bran. You need to remove the phytic acid as it can combine with calcium, magnesium, copper, iron and especially zinc in the intestinal tract and block their absorption. This means that you miss out on many of the wonderful nutritional benefits of nuts and seeds and for many people, you also end up with an upset tummy. Soaking also removes the tannins and neutralizes the enzyme inhibitors which then encourages the production of beneficial enzymes and also allows the body to absorb the protein from the nuts and seeds.
To activate your nuts and seeds, soak them in warm filtered salty water. You can also use apple cider vinegar or lemon but I generally just use salt. All nuts and seeds take different amounts of soaking time with almonds and brazil nuts needing at least 12 hours but I would suggest that you soak cashews only for 2 hours. Another upside of activating your own nuts is not just the nutritional value, but the economical value. I get my organic almonds for $A14/kg but to buy them activated costs $A72/kg. So this way, you save your health and your pocket! I use my trusty Sedonna dehydrator to dry my nuts and seeds and when you do the Math on the cost of buying activated nuts, the Sedonna dehydrator pays for itself very quickly. Drying times depend upon so many variables such as the brand of dehydrator, the humidity levels in your home and your own personal preferences to whether you like them super-crunchy or just dried. I like mine super-crunchy so nuts such as almonds take 18 hours to dry and cashews take 10 hours. I use my dehydrator almost every day to make foods such as activated nuts and seeds, vegetable crisps (you should try my Super Cheesy Kelp Chips as they are to die for), raw crackers, raw breads, raw cakes and cookies as well as yoghurt. The carnivores in you, can also make jerky. In the past when we were meat eaters, I would dry whole dinners such as spaghetti bolognaise so that when we went camping, the food was easy to transport and didn’t require refrigeration and literally could be put into a snap-lock bag and immersed into a pot of boiling water. You can buy the Sedonna dehydrator and the silicone non-stick sheets and teflex non-stick sheets.
I have just put a variety of different nuts and seeds to soak and will them dehydrate them later and leave them to dry overnight. They can also be flavoured – eg tamari almonds are delicious and nutritious! ! I am also sprouting some seeds and legumes for salads over the weekend as well as to make a sprouted gluten-free raw bread. I will use some of these nuts and seeds to make some delicious but as always nutritious raw crackers. I will also use some of the soaked almonds to make the most amazing gooey raw chocolate fudge cookies full of ingredients that are packed with health benefits.
A little bit of preparation and that’s my lunches and snacks sorted for next week. Have a great day everybody! If you would like to schedule a free complimentary health consultation, please sign up here. It is an obligation-free 30 minute consultation done over the phone or Skype.
In health and wellness,
My Kitchen Heals