Why soak nuts, grains and seeds? (information courtesy of http://foodmatters.tv/articles-1/the-benefits-of-soaking-nuts-and-seeds)The easiest way to sprout your nuts or seeds is to soak them overnight. Make sure you use filtered water to ensure that you are not simply replacing one toxin with another!
- 1. To remove or reduce phytic acid.
- 2. To remove or reduce tannins.
- 3. To neutralize the enzyme inhibitors.
- 4. To encourage the production of beneficial enzymes.
- 5. To increase the amounts of vitamins, especially B vitamins.
- 6. To break down gluten and make digestion easier.
- 7. To make the proteins more readily available for absorption.
- 8. To prevent mineral deficiencies and bone loss.
- 9. To help neutralize toxins in the colon and keep the colon clean.
- 10. To prevent many health diseases and conditions.
For making the nut butter, after sprouting I dehydrate the nuts again to remove the moisture, then gently roast and then they are ready for 'butterising' (my new word invented to describe making butter!!!). If you have a dehydrator this is the easiest way to get the nuts dry as you can just throw them in the dehydrator and leave them to do their thing. If you don't have one you can use the oven on the lowest setting. You may find this method takes a little longer, but it will achieve the same results.
A basic dehydrator is no hugely expensive but is a great investment for you kitchen. I use it to make kale chips, turn old bananas or apples into chips, and of course for dehydrating soaked nuts and seeds. I think I even got my one from Flybuys or one of those reward systems - yay for 'free' stuff!!
So, to sum it up, the process I use is as follows:
- Soak nuts overnight (or for about 8 hours) in fresh filtered water. Use enough water to cover the nuts with about 5-10cm of water above the top of the nuts. They will absorb some water, so you need a little extra on top so the top ones don't end up poking out of the water.
- In the morning, drain the water and give the nuts a good rinse under fresh water. I find the easiest way to do this is to pop them in a sieve or colander and run them for a couple of minutes under water, but we have a filtered water tap in the kitchen. If you are using bottled water, pour the water into a large bowl and swish the nuts around in it for a few minutes. You may need to change the water a couple of times. Basically, you are aiming to clean them until the water runs clear.
- After rinsing, I place the nuts in a clean dry tea towel and give them a good dry to get any excess water off.
- Once dried, place on a lined baking tray and place in a minimal oven (about 80-100C) for around 8-12 hours. If you have a dehydrator, place the nuts in the dehydrator for about 6-8 hours until dry. The best way to test if they're dry is to eat one!
- If you are using the nuts to make nut butter, I don't worry as much about them being 100% dried, as you will be roasting them and blending them so it's not as crucial.