You just spent good money on a big bag of bulk almonds. And they are potentially so good for you. That bag of nuts is filled with good fats, nutrients, minerals and antioxidants. Ask any health food guru and they will tell you to go ahead and enjoy a handful for your snack. Or sliver some for your salad. Maybe add some to your oatmeal or your cookies.
Before you do any of those things, consider this … Nuts are so good for you. But just like legumes, to unlock that goodness, we need to neutralize the enzyme inhibitors and activate the enzymes that make nuts easier on our digestive systems.
Two ways to do that? Sprouting or Soaking.
I was originally hesitant to start this process because I kept reading that in order to dry the nuts I would have to put them in a 150 degree oven. (The lowest temperature setting on our oven is 170 degrees. And the one time I tried to dehydrate in our oven I ended up with a whole batch of burnt and useless sour cherries. It was a wasted harvest and totally bummed me out.) I thought I might need to buy a dehydrator. And the truth is, we have a small kitchen. I just didn’t think we needed to add another counter top appliance.
But then I decided to try my yogurt-technique. When I make yogurt, I turn the oven on “warm” and wait for it to hit 200 degrees. Then I turn off the oven, turn on the light, and let the yogurt rest in the warm oven overnight. Anytime I’ve checked the temperature overnight it’s ended up being between 110-120 degrees Fahrenheit.
And I figured that ancient people were soaking and sprouting nuts long before digital thermometers and indoor ovens or thermometers.
So I was really excited that my figuring worked out.
And now we soak our nuts!
Here’s how we do it:
3 cups raw almonds
1 tablespoon sea salt
Put the nuts in a glass quart jar with the salt. Cover by an inch with filtered water. Put the top on and shake it up until the salt dissolves. Let it rest in a warm spot in your kitchen overnight.
8-12 hours later, rinse the nuts in a colander. Preheat the oven to its lowest setting (ours is 170) and let it come to the temperature. Line a baking tray with parchment paper and spread the nuts in a single layer. When the oven hits 170, turn it off, turn the oven light on and put the nuts in the oven. It takes about 12-18 hours for nuts to dry in this scenario. It may be quicker or slower for you depending on how warm it stays in your oven.
Once they are dry, pour them back into your mason jar and store for use in all your favorite treats!
Go ahead … Soak your nuts. Your digestive tract will love you for it!
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