We’ve already told you that nuts and seeds play a major role in a vegetarian diet. A handful of almonds is a rich source of vitamin E and provides us with magnesium, and walnuts are high in vitamin E and omega 3 fatty acids. But, that nutrition can be multiplied exponentially if we take a few extra steps before popping them in our mouths.
Soaking Awakens Enzymes
Nuts and seeds naturally contain enzyme inhibitors that prevent proper digestion. This means that snacking on raw organic nuts may not be as healthy as you think. However, soaking nuts and seeds in clean water before eating helps awaken those enzymes.
Nuts and seeds naturally contain enzyme inhibitors. And by soaking them, you not only release the toxic enzyme inhibitors, but also increase the life and vitality contained within them! The purpose of these enzyme inhibitors is to protect the nut and/or seed until it has what it needs for growing (ex. sunlight, water, soil, etc.). Since the soak water will contain the enzyme inhibitors, and is very acidic to the body, please be sure to rinse your nuts and seeds well after soaking.
PROCEDURE: Typically, we buy a couple of pounds of nuts at a time (raw almonds, walnuts, pecans, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, etc.), soak them overnight in glass jars or large bowls (I like to soak them for a minimum of 12 hours), then rinse them well in the morning. When it comes time to dry them, every tray of my 9-tray Excalibur dehydrator usually ends up full! We generally leave our dehydrator set at 105 degrees Fahrenheit, then I simply set the timer for 18 to 24 hours, checking the nuts near the end to be sure that they are dry and crunchy. Then I store the dried nuts and seeds in jars with lids (you could also use containers) in my refrigerator or cupboard, and they are ready to use in any recipe! For me, it’s all about keeping it simple, and saving TIME!
If you are unable to dry your nuts or seeds, only soak an amount that you can be sure to use within two or three days. For convenience, I like to soak nuts and seeds in mason jars, rinse them after 12 hours, and then if I don’t have a chance to dry them, I store them in my refrigerator without a lid so that air can get to it. But it is vitally important to rinse them at least once (preferably twice) a day with fresh water, draining the water each time. Be sure to use these nuts within a few days, because as with any live food, mold tends to set in within days if you’re not careful.
Sprouting May Be the Best thing You Can Do for Your Seeds
Seeds like pumpkin and sunflower can be sprouted after soaking. Sprouts are tails that grow from the seeds after they’ve been soaked, rinsed every 8-12 hours, and set to grow in a glass jar at about 70 degrees. Seeds are the healthiest when the sprout and seed are equal in size. It takes about 2 days to sprout pumpkin seeds, but your climate does play a role.
Seeds contain the concentrated energy and nutrition of the plant, and sprouting them also increases the mass of the food. You really can’t get any better than that!
Gina Laverde is a Chicago-based writer and researcher whose expertise in natural health stems from her experiences with Body Ecology Diet, Blood Type Diet and homeopathic remedies. Gina believes that we’re in the midst of a serious world health crisis, and that the key to survival lies within our guts.