Nuts are an amazing snack as they are a fantastic source of protein and fibre, essential fatty acids, antioxidants, vitamins and minerals. However many nuts also contain toxic substances and also nutritional inhibiters which are created by nature to ensure that the plant grows in the right conditions and does not grow prematurely. These toxic substances are enzyme inhibiters, phytates (phytic acid), tannins and goitrogens.
If the nuts are not properly prepared for human consumption by neutralising these natural protectants it can be very damaging for your gut.
Enzyme inhibiters prevent digestive enzymes from breaking down food and phytic acid blocks the absorption of many beneficial minerals in the intestinal track among other issues caused by the toxic substances.
By soaking and activating nuts, you are able to remove or significantly reduce the levels of these natural protectants from the nut making them much easier to digest.
‘Activated’ nuts can be very expensive to buy, however it is very simple to do this at home.
To activate, pour the nuts into a large bowl then completely cover with filtered water and add a pinch of salt. The nuts have different soaking and drying times and as a general guide I have listed these below. After they have soaked for the required time, drain and rinse with water then dry them out either on baking paper on a very low heat in the oven or in a dehydrator.
If you do decide to dry them out in the oven, make sure you turn them every 2 hours to ensure they dry evenly. If the nuts are not dried out correctly they can grow mould.
A great tip is to do the nuts in bulk, activate them and then store them in sealed quality jars in the freezer and they will last for months.
|Nut /Seed||Soaking Time||Dehydrating Time Oven||Dehydrating Time Dehydrator|
|Almonds||12 Hours||6-7 Hours||12-24 hours|
|Cashews||2-3 Hours||3-4 Hours||12-24 hours|
|Hazelnuts||7 Hours||4 Hours||12-24 hours|
|Pecans||4 Hours||4 Hours||12-24 hours|
|Pepitas/Sunflower Seeds||2-4 Hours||3-4 Hours||12-24 hours|
|Pinenuts||7 Hours||4 Hours||12-24 hours|
|Walnuts||4 Hours||3 Hours||12-24 hours|
|Brazil Nuts||3 Hours||5 hours||12-24 hours|