Super-charge your almond snack with this traditional – but EASY – method of preparing nuts & seeds! My simple method, based on recommendations from Sally Fallon Morell’s Nourishing Traditions involves soaking raw almonds then dehydrating them so they will be shelf-stable.
Why bother with this traditional preparation method? Nuts, seeds, grains and legumes contain anti-nutrients that are nature’s way of preserving the seed for another season. Handy-dandy concept … but think about it: These anti-nutrients are the seeds’ self-preservation method so they survive – oh, shall we say – our digestive tract? Well, yes. Those anti-nutrients are tough on our digestive systems and, in fact, the phytic acid, enzyme inhibitors, and lectins can also inhibit our absorption of nutrients. But with some simple equipment and ingredients, we can help to neutralize those anti-nutrients and access the unique vitamins and minerals bound up in nuts & seeds.
To make Super-Charged Almonds, you will need:
- a large glass or ceramic bowl
- raw (preferably organic and un-pasteurized) almonds
- unrefined sea salt such as Celtic Sea Salt or Redmond Real Salt
- filtered water
- an oven or dehydrator
Step 1: Removing the brown hull that coats each almond will go a long way toward reducing phytic acid. This is easily done by briefly blanching the almonds in very warm water then “pinching” the hulls off of each nut. This task can be time-consuming but treat it as a meditative time. <wink>
Step 2: The almonds are now ready to be soaked in salt water. For this batch, I soaked 2 pounds of organic raw almonds with 2 heaping tablespoons of Celtic sea salt and filtered water to cover. A tea towel rested over the bowl while the almonds soaked, out of direct sunlight, for 12 hours. (The preferred soaking time, is 8 -12 hours.) I then drained and rinsed the almonds. At this point, they are slightly salty and ready for consumption. You can use them to make almond milk, almond butter, or consume immediately.
Step 3: I typically dehydrate the almonds to preserve them. This can be done with a basic dehydrator – 150 degrees or lower will maintain helpful enzymes – or the lowest setting on your oven. Time will vary depending on the freshness of the almonds and the exact temperature of the oven/dehydrator so watch carefully.
The resulting crunchy/salty almonds are stored in tightly-sealed mason jars and provide a delicious treat when we need a quick snack. Take care to avoid overconsumption of nuts and seeds, especially if you are on a gut-healing protocol such as GAPS or SCD. More information on this topic is available from Chris Kresser.
Note: Sprouting is another technique that is used by traditional cultures to further neutralize anti-nutrients present in grains, legumes, nuts & seeds. Unfortunately, all raw almonds sold in the U. S. are pasteurized and will not sprout. If you can find raw, un-pasteurized almonds from abroad (such as these), then you should be able to sprout them after the initial step of soaking.
So, take the “plunge” and soak/dehydrate your almonds for a tasty treat that is convenient and nourishing!
For more information on proper preparation of nuts & seeds, see The Weston A. Price Foundation.
Shared at Real Food Forager, Tasty Alternative, Glutenfree Homemaker, Kelly the Kitchen Kop, Frugally Sustainable, Whole New Mom, Thank Your Body, The Nourishing Gourmet, Natural Family Today, Whole Lifestyle Nutrition, Holistic Squid and Girl Meets Nourishment.