Yes yes, have a laugh at the title, but this is something that we pay special attention too...read on to find out why you should soak your nuts and why they should be stored in the freezer :)
Why would you soak your nuts?
Nuts contain phytic acid. Phytic acid is a natural substance that is found in some plant foods. When you consume nuts the phytic acid can bind to minerals in the GI tract impairing their absorption and may promote mineral deficiencies.
The good news is you can reduce the amount of phytic acid in the nuts you are consuming through soaking them. By soaking, you are breaking down the phytic acid so they can be absorbed properly.
Nuts also have high amounts of enzymes inhibitors. This is another reason why un-soaked nuts are hard to digest. Soaking nuts neutralizes the enzymes allowing for proper digestion.
There are two parts to soaking nuts and seeds: warm water and salt.
The warm water will neutralize many of the enzyme inhibitors and increase the bio availability of many nutrients, especially b-vitamins. The salt helps activate enzymes that deactivate the enzyme inhibitors present in nuts. Within 7 hours, many of the enzyme inhibitors are broken down. At this point, a dehydrating process beings to return the nuts to a crisp texture.
What You Need:
- 2 cups of raw, organic nuts or seeds (it is better to soak one kind at a time)
- 3-4 cups of warm filtered water (to cover nuts)
- 1 tablespoon of salt
What to Do:
- Place the warm water and salt in a medium bowl or jar.
- Add the nuts or seeds, making sure they are completely submerged in the water.
- Leave uncovered on the counter or other warm place (not the refrigerator) for at least 7 hours.
- Rinse in a colander and spread on a baking sheet or dehydrator sheet. Bake in the oven at the lowest temperature (60 C) or dehydrate until completely dry. This step is important, as any remaining moisture in the nuts or seeds can cause them to mold. This should take between 12-24 hours.
Storing your nuts
Because nuts are high in those fragile unsaturated fatty acids, they can easily go rancid from light and heat exposure.
Therefore it is best to store nuts in glass, air-tight containers in the fridge or freezer. The cool temperatures prevents rancidity while the dark space further protects them from light damage. They don't contain a lot of water, so nuts can be frozen for quite some time without damaging their structure.
We love storing our nuts in Click Clacks Cook+ products. They are made from glass but can be put in the freezer. We also use Cook+ for our leftovers - there is nothing more satisfying than taking your leftovers out of the freezer and without transferring into another container, can put your meal straight into the oven :)
NOTE: Roasted nuts.
Commercially roasted nuts, while delicious are often exposed to very high temperatures in the roasting process. This denatures the fragile unsaturated fatty acids in the nuts increasing the amount of free radicals. This can cause oxidative damage in the body so it is best to avoid roasted nuts.
Thanks for reading! From Team Feel Fresh Nutrition