I rarely meet anyone who doesn’t love nuts. They’re crunchy, fatty, nutritious, and convenient. They’re also widely recommended to eat for their nutritional content, thus more and more people are eating them regularly. Good thing, right? Not necessarily!
Have you ever eaten nuts or nut butter and felt like you just swallowed a brick? If so, there is a good reason why. Not only are nuts highly dense foods (why you should only eat a small amount), they are also full of enzyme inhibitors which make them extremely hard-to-digest. The enzyme inhibitors irritate your intestines and block specific nutrient absorption. Regularly eating raw nuts and seeds or even worse, roasted nuts and seeds that have not been soaked is not a healthy habit to cultivate. They can easily wreck your digestive system and cause a host of health issues over time. Check out the hazards of eating raw nuts & seeds.
This doesn’t mean you cannot enjoy nuts and seeds, rather you’ll just need to add a few steps before you indulge. My secret weapon to enjoying these fabulous foods on a regular basis, while showing my digestive system a little tender-love-and-care, is to soak and dehydrate them!
Soaking & Dehydrating is My Favorite Way to Eat Nuts & Seeds
Once you have a taste of soaked, dehydrated nuts and seeds, you’ll never want to eat them raw again! The texture and flavor cannot be matched, especially for walnuts. However, taste and texture is only the tip-of-the-iceberg when it comes to soaking and dehydrating your nuts and seeds. Soaking deactivates enzyme inhibitors and lectins that wreck your digestive system and block nutrient absorption. It also activates vital enzymes and nutrients such as iron, potassium, magnesium, manganese, selenium, zinc, vitamin E, vitamin C, that are otherwise unavailable when eaten raw.See Soaking Grains, Beans, Nuts & Seeds to learn more.
Once you’ve soaked your nuts and seeds, they’re ready to eat. However, I’m not a super-fan of eating wet nuts–I prefer to dehydrated mine. This pulls the moisture out leaving the nuts or seeds crunchy and amazingly delicious. Dehydrating also extends the shelf life. Soaked nuts should be stored in the fridge for no more than a few days to prevent mold, while dehydrated ones can stay for weeks and weeks in the fridge.
*Note for those without a dehydrator. You can gently heat your nuts and seeds in the oven at 115°. I do not recommend any higher, because the heat will damage the delicate fatty-acids. If your oven doesn’t have a setting for this low of a temp, a toaster oven works. You can also dry in the sun, covering them with a screen or cheese cloth.
Soak nuts or seeds in a salt brine for 12-18 hours. Add 1 tsp. sea salt for every cup of water. For detailed instructions see Soaking Grains, Beans, Nuts and Seeds 101. Specific soaking time vary among certain nuts & seeds. Make sure to get a high quality Sea Salt. No table salt!
Once soak time is up, drain the soak water.
Spread the nuts or seeds evenly on the dehydrator trays.
Set the temp to 115° and dehydrate for about 24 hours, until crispy with a hint of moistness in the middle.
Times will vary among different nuts and seeds. Altitude plays a part too. I recommend turning the nuts or seeds after 12 hours, then giving a little taste test after 15 hours. Some nuts will be ready after 15. The larger, more dense nuts will need more time.
The best time to begin the dehydrating process is at night before you go to bed. This way when you wake up in the morning you can check to see the process.
Once finished, store in an air-tight container in the fridge. May keep for several weeks.
My favorite way to enjoy dehydrated walnuts!! Salads are not the same!
Soaking and dehydrating is by far, the best way to eat your nuts and seeds. If you have not yet purchased a dehydrator, put it on your Christmas or Birthday wishlist! It’s one of the handiest tools to have around.
If you found this post to be helpful, please share on FB or tweet it! Also, if you have any favorite recipes for dehydrating nuts and seeds I’d love to hear about it. Please share in in the comment section below.
Hiya! Glad you landed here. My name is Kim, and I am a yogi with a smoldering passion for nutrition and healthy living. This passion is so hot, that it’s literally the only thing I want to do, besides yoga, that is. I spend most of my days in spandex, and when I’m not on my mat or soaking up vitamin D at the beach, I’m either in the kitchen, behind my computer, or on the phone with clients—all so I can change lives one bite (or coffee enema) at a time.
My mission is to inspire as many people as I can to expand their awareness and broaden their horizons by giving a voice to the healthiest choices that create abundant, radiant health.