The benefits of Activating your Nuts & Seeds
Raw nuts are a fantastic and healthy snack, packed with nutrients, loaded with protein, essential fats, dietary fibre, antioxidants and important minerals like calcium, zinc and magnesium. But it is possible to get even more nutritional goodness from your snack! Read more to find out how.
What is Activating?
It’s simply the process of soaking nuts in water, which kicks off the germination or sprouting process, followed by dehydrating the soaked nuts at low temperatures. Raw nuts, seeds and even grains can be activated (provided they have not been heated, treated or irradiated in any way – another good reason to buy organic). This process awakens the nut and increases the nutritional availability, the digestibility and provides a crunchy, sweet and totally bio-available nut! How can this be?
The benefits of Activating Nuts and Seeds
Nature is clever. All seeds, which includes some nuts and grains, contain natural chemicals that provide protection to ensure they only sprout when conditions will support the growth of young plants. Enzyme inhibitors, phytic acid and tannins are all beneficial to the seed for storing energy for growth, however, they prevent the human body from accessing and absorbing the full extent of the nutrients and are also hard to digest. They block enzyme activity and nutrient absorption, both interfering with a smooth operating digestive system. Good news for us, these natural compounds can be minimized or eliminated just by soaking the nuts and seeds.
What about roasted nuts?
If you prefer roasted nuts, it’s still beneficial to activate and dry the nuts prior to roasting. As this adds extra time, it’s a good idea to do a large batch and store them in an air tight container.
Yes, this also applies to oats, which is why swiss bircher muesli is traditionally soaked overnight. (Have you tried this award winning Swiss Bircher?) The simple practice of soaking your rolled oats overnight will increase the nutritional value and digestibility of your breakfast. Try this easy recipe.
How to Activate
Activating at home is easy. Simply put 2 cups of nuts in a bowl and cover with filtered water and a small pinch of salt. Leave to soak for 7-12 hours, depending on the type of nut. Drain and rinse the nuts, then dry the nuts at a low temperature for 12-24 hours to regain their crunchiness. This is preferably done in a dehydrator, however can also be done in the oven at its lowest setting. Be sure all moisture has been removed. You can eat the nuts wet, keep in mind, once soaked they need to stay in the refrigerator and used within a few days.