Diet Hack You Must Know About!
If you love to eat nuts such as pecans, walnuts, almonds, brazil nuts, cashews etc, then you know how versatile they are in the diet. Vegetarians and carnivores alike can often agree that nuts are an ancient superfood. Chock full of vitamins and minerals such as Vitamin E, folate, iron, zinc, potassium and magnesium; nuts are also a good source of fiber, and many are an excellent protein source. Regardless of the variety of nut, they make a great healthy snack.
Did you know that properly preparing nuts can maximize nutrients and optimize their health benefits, as well as render them easier to digest?
From my favorite cookbook, "Nourishing Traditions":
....the habits of traditional peoples should serve as a guide. They understood instinctively that nuts are best soaked or partially sprouted before eaten. This is because nuts contain numerous enzyme inhibitors that can put a real strain on the digestive mechanism if consumed in excess...
Nuts should be soaked in salt water over night and then slowly dried on a low heat setting in an oven or a dehydrator.
As you can see in this photo I also treat my seeds the same way. Drying with the walnuts and pecans in the oven are pre-soaked sunflower and pumpkin seeds.
...This method imitates the Aztec practice of soaking pumpkin or squash seeds in brine and then letting them dry in the sun before eating them whole or grinding them into meal.
Almost anyone can eat several nuts without feeling any effect. But it is common knowledge that nuts are "heavy on the stomach' if consumed in substantial quantity. The enzyme inhibitors in seeds explain the mystery, but they were not identified until 1944.
I use a heat setting of about 150 degrees F/65C to dry them. With a dehydrator this temperature is easy to obtain. In an oven that doesn't go that low, you can set it at it's lowest setting and keep the door cracked open to release excess heat. They typically take between 4 to 6 hours. Alternatively if you live in a hot dry region, drying the seeds and nuts in the sun would be lovely.
Once your nuts and seeds are dry you can store them for several months in airtight containers (walnuts best in the fridge)
And you can also make lots of amazing recipes with them such as carob chews,
a nutritious energy bar:
1 cup nuts of your choice (finely chopped)
1 cup sunflower or pumpkin seeds (ground and chopped to bits, almost into a meal)
1/2 cup carob powder
1/ 2 cup raw honey
3 tsp. vanilla extract
1 tsp. sea salt
1 cup dried unsweetened coconut meat
Mix the finely chopped nuts and the seed meal together
Mix carob, honey, vanilla and sea salt together
Add honey mixture and coconut to the nut/seed mixture
Spread and press into a parchment lined baking dish or cookie sheet
Refrigerate a few hours
Chop into bars and enjoy!