Preparing Your Nuts & Seeds For Better Digestion

It’s pretty rare to see me snacking or eating any nuts or seeds, mostly because: 1) I kind of never crave them 2) eating too much fat makes me instantly tired and brings back my dizziness and 3) I don’t have the patience to soak nuts for when the craving ever do hit me! 
So eventually I came up with this awesome idea to just do a large batch of soaked and then hydrated seeds to make adding them easy and guilt-free!

But you would’ve thought that with a huge jar with pre-prepared seeds would make me more prone to use them in salads?
Unfortunately, no. But I thought I would share this non-original brilliant idea anyway!
Also, I'm going to get a hair-analysis in the near future, and thought that if I was missing something like zink, I know where to turn.

Want to know why soaking is important? Keep reading…
I trust Isabel enough to ignore the science part: just jump to the Salad Seed Mix Recipe!
Why Is Soaking Nuts, Seeds, Grains and Legumes Important?
Our clever Nature has set up an intelligent defense mechanism for the nut/seed/grain which is made up of nutritional inhibitors and toxic substances to ensure its survival until proper growing conditions are formed. This stops it from germinate prematurely or for predators to consume to the point where no seed is left, which equals no future plants.
These nutritional inhibitors and toxic substances are enzyme inhibitors like phytic acid, tannins and goitrogens. Fortunately, they can be minimized or removed by some good old soaking. Naturally a nut/seed/grain would fall to the ground, rain would pour and it would get wet which would then germinate to produce a plant. By soaking our nuts and seeds we’re mimicking nature.

Phytic Acid is one of the biggest enzyme inhibitors that’s on the outer layers of the bran. Every nut & seed has different levels of it and, if eaten raw, their phytic acid may prevent our body from digesting important minerals like calcium, iron and zinc potentially leading to severe mineral deficiency and bones diseases such as osteoporosis. - We don’t want this.

So now that we know the importance of soaking, we can reap several benefits from this simple action:

  • Soaking encourage the production of beneficial enzymes
  • Increases the amounts of vitamins 
  • Improve vitamin and mineral uptake
  • Breaks down gluten and easifies digestion
  • Makes proteins more readily available for absorption
  • Helps neutralize toxins in the colon and keep the colon clean
By soaking we boost the production of beneficial enzymes like lactobacilli and other helpful organisms to break down and neutralize a big portion of the enzyme inhibitors and toxins in grains. So we also get some good bacterias while we’re at it!

How Long and in What?
A minimum of seven hours in warm/room temperature water will neutralize the seeds natural defense.
You can enjoy your soaked batch wet, or store it in the refrigerator. Usually, to prolong their lifespan, anything soaked should be dried in a dehydrator or oven on the lowest possible setting 40-50°C to remove all moisture. 

Here’s a list on the most common nuts and seeds and their recommended soaking time:

Salad Seed Mix Recipe

Okay, so I just did this on a whim and don't know exacly how much seeds I used. Except I know for sure I used 200g organic pumkin seeds. The rest was done using eye-measurements. I did the pumkin seeds first and in an after thought I made the sunflower and sesame seed mix.

1-2 Days
1 1L Jar
1 Bowl
Dehydrater/Oven/Sunny & Dry Weather
A few bags of preferred nuts & seeds

1. Add your nuts or seeds in a bowl and cover them with enough warm/room tempraure water (Optional: with some sea salt ). Soak them over night for about 8 hours or time required.
2. When done soaking, drain and rinse the nuts and seeds.
Either refrigerate the soaked nuts and seeds and consume within 24 hours or dry them in a dehydrator/oven on the lowest setting.
There’s a lot information saying you should dry the nuts and seeds for about 12-24 hours. But I’m unsure, it probably depends on your oven. I have a convection oven which means it blows heated air instead of heating radiators from top to bottom. This makes the food dry faster. The pumpkin seeds and the sunflower/sesame seed mixture I had in the oven for about 3-6 hours with open door until they were completely dry. I also went once an hour to stir the seeds up for even dryness. After six hours they were moisture-free.
I then took them out, letting them cool before putting them in the jar. 

3. Finish off by storing in an airtight container.
NOTE: It’s very important that they are completely dry before going into a container, just the tiniest bit of moisture can set up mold to grow. Remember also that bigger nuts like almonds can take longer to dry if you don’t hack them up nicely.
So tell me, what's your favorite nut or seed?
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