Soaking Nuts & Grains
Nuts, seeds, and grains are nutritional powerhouses. But in order to capitalize on their nutritional profile and protect ourselves from natural toxins that protect them but harm us, they need to be soaked and dehydrated or sprouted.
Nuts, grains and seeds are one of the ultimate gifts from the gods. So the gods made sure the natural order protected them. To ensure survival of the species, nuts, grains and seeds contain inherent toxic inhibitors that protect the plant from germination until the ideal conditions are present. It is not until they get wet and there is sufficient moisture that they germinate.
WHY SOAKING IS BENEFICIAL TO OUR HEALTH:
- it removes anti-nutrients like phytates, tannins and goitrogens
- it helps to neutralise enzyme inhibitors
- it increases the potency of nutrients such as Vitamin B
- it makes proteins more readily available
- it eradicate toxins contained in the colon and encourages the growth of beneficial bacteria like lactobacilli which we know is vital for intestinal and colon health
- it promotes the growth of healthy enzymes vital for healthy digestion
Soaking raw nuts and seeds increases the nutritional content of Vitamins such as Vitamin A, C and, in particular B Vitamins. Soaking nuts and seeds in warm salted water activates the beneficial enzymes that then neutralizes the enzyme inhibitors making them more digestible and easily utilised. Soaking grains in an acidic warm water solution (I use lemon juice or apple cider vinegar diluted in water) also encourages the production of these friendly enzymes, and beneficial bacteria, which, in turn, neutralizes the phytic acid in the grains that put such a strain on the digestive system.
By lacto-fermenting foods we are boosting their nutritional profile which enhances the digestive process and the growth of friendly bacteria. Nuts, seeds and whole grains are no different. They are much easier to digest, and their nutrients are more potent readily available, and they taste a lot bitter if they are first soaked in warm water for varying degrees of time.
If you are saving the nuts and seeds for later use you will need to dehydrate or sprout and dry them. However, if you are using them in smoothies or soups you can just soak and rinse. I do it all the time. If I am preparing milk for smoothies or soups, I just soak, rinse, blend and chow. With grains, I really only eat millet, quinoa, amaranth and brown rice these days. I always soak, rinse, cook and serve.
A tip that might encourage you to take the extra time to soak grains: soaking whole grains really softens them up and makes them a lot more light and fluffy. A lot of people who have told me they don’t like the gritty taste and texture of brown rice are amazed with the difference soaking makes to this grain. Brown rice more closely resembles white fluffy rice once soaked for 24-48 hours! Give it a go, You will be pleasantly surprised.
"FLOATERS ARE BLOATERS"
Throw out any nuts that float to the top as they are generally rancid.
How TO SOAK
USE RAW ORGANIC NUTS AND SEEDS WHEREVER POSSIBLE.
- Place the desired nuts or seeds in a glass bowl and cover them with warm distilled, purified or filtered water with a teaspoon of Celtic Sea Salt dissolved in it. You will want to use a ratio of at least 2:1. Two parts water to 1 part nuts or seeds.
- Keep the bowl at room temperature and cover with a flour sac cloth or thin tea towel that breathes. Soak the food for the recommended amount of time (in the char below) to make them as digestible as possible.
- The soaking water will contain all of the toxic enzyme inhibitors which we are trying to remove. So proper rinsing is really important. Drain the food and rinse thoroughly until the water comes out clear in the final rinse. Some people recommend doing a final rinse with a diluted solution of apple cider vinegar in order to remove any remaining bacteria.
The harder the nut, the longer you need to soak. Long soak nuts such as almonds, pistachios and hazelnuts are best soaked for about 12 hours. Common medium soak nuts are walnuts, brazil nuts and pecans. They require less soaking time as they swell more quickly as they are oilier. Short soak nuts are cashews, macadamias and pine nuts. They require the least amount of soaking as they do not contain inner skins, and therefore not as many enzyme inhibitors.
Remember that the longer nuts, seeds and grains are soaked the more they swell and become water logged. If you are following quantities in recipes, particularly from sources that don’t soak their nuts, you might want to hold back some of the water recommended in the recipes in order to achieve the desired consistency. It is also really important to rinse and drain several cycles to ensure you remove all of the enzyme inhibitors.
You can soak the quick way in order to soften foods so that they liquefy better. This is helpful for all blenders. But particularly important for conventional blenders.
To soak nuts, seeds, and grains the fast way: place the food in a glass bowl, cover with boiling water and let soak for 10 minutes or more. Drain thoroughly, discard the soaking liquid, and rinse. Soaking the fast way has no nutritional benefit and destroys live enzymes.