Seeds, grains and nuts are soaked, sprouted, fermented or naturally leavened in order to neutralize naturally occurring antinutrients in these foods, such as phytic acid, enzyme inhibitors, tannins and complex carbohydrates. Nuts are easier to digest, and their nutrients more readily available, if they are first soaked in salt water overnight, and then dried in a warm oven or dehydrator. Salt in the soaking water activates enzymes that neutralize enzyme inhibitors.
4 cups raw almonds
1 tablespoon sea salt
Mix almonds with salt and enough water to cover. Leave in a warm place for at least 7 hours or overnight. Drain in a colander. Spread on a baking sheet and place in a warm oven (no more than 150 degrees) for 12 to 24 hours, stirring occasionally, until completely dry and crisp. Or you may use a dehydrator. Store in airtight container.
Crispy Walnuts or Pecans
4 cups raw pecan or walnut halves
2 teaspoons sea salt
Follow the same instructions above.
Note: Almonds need a lot longer in the dehydrator - closer to 24 hours. Walnuts and pecans usually take between 16-20 hours.
Crispy Pumpkin Seeds
4 cups raw, hulled pumpkin seeds (pepitas)
2 tablespoons sea salt
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional)
Dissolve salt in water and add pumpkin seeds and optional cayenne. Leave in a warm place for at least seven hours or overnight. Drain in a colander and spread on a stainless steel baking sheet or a non-stick dryer tray if using a dehydrator. Place in a warm oven (no more than 150 degrees) for about 12 hours or overnight turning occasionally, until thoroughly dry and crisp. If using a dehydrator, you do not need to turn them. Dehydrate for 12 hours or until crispy. Store in an airtight container.
These recipes are from Nourishing Traditions by Sally Fallon with Mary G. Enig, Ph.D.
Note: If you want to keep the nuts “raw” do not bake above 118 degrees. You may need to leave them a bit longer in the oven or dehydrator. Sally Fallon recommends not going higher than 150 degrees and while they are no longer considered “raw” they are still full of nutrients!
For more information on the 2007 law mandating raw almond pasteurization visit the Organic Consumer Association.