soaked + spiced nut mix
Why soak nuts in water overnight? Much like nut milk this is always a strange concept to people that are new to traditional nutrition methods but definitely a technique that is worth adopting. I could ramble on from here feigning to know more than I actually do but instead I’ll let Sally Fallon take over for a bit to elaborate on why it is so important for our digestion to soak and dehydrate nuts before we eat them.
“Nuts are an extremely nutritious food if properly prepared. Once again, the habits of traditional peoples should serve as a guide. They understood instinctively that nuts are best soaked or partially sprouted before eaten. This is because nuts contain numerous enzyme inhibitors that can put a real strain on the digestive mechanism if consumed in excess. Nuts are easier to digest, and their nutrients more readily available, if they are first soaked in salt water overnight, then dried in a warm oven. (You may also use a dehydrator.) This method imitates the Aztec practice of soaking pumpkin or squash seeds in brine then letting them dry in the sun before eating them whole or grinding them into meal. Salt in soaking water activates enzymes that neutralize enzyme inhibitors.”-Sally Fallon, Nourishing Traditions, page 512
One of my favorite things about “crispy nuts” as Sally calls them is that they are simply soaked in a salty water and during that soak time they take on a salty taste. It occurred to me that if I were to add in some spices to the soaking water then the nuts could take on even more flavor without having to coat the nuts in oil so the spices and salt would bind.
After one trial run I was hooked as were my friends and family. I can’t tell you how many times someone would grab a handful thinking they were getting just an innocent roasted nut but instead were taken aback by the perfect flavor and delightfully crispy texture.
- 1 cup raw organic almonds
- 1 cup raw cashews
- 2 tsp sea salt
- 1 tsp cumin
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- ½ tsp paprika
- 1 tsp chili powder
- filtered water
optional but recommended:
- ¼ cup flaked or shredded coconut
- ½ cup raisins
1. Put the almonds in a large bowl and cover with filtered water. Stir in all of your spices and salt. Cover with a dish towel and allow to soak for at least 7 hours but ideally overnight.
2. 2-4 hours before the almonds are done soaking stir the cashews into the soaking almonds bowl and allow to soak for 2-4 hours but no more than 6 hours.
3. Once your nuts are finished soaking preheat the oven to 150F (any higher and the heat will kill the enzymes in the nuts). Give the nuts a good rinse then spread out on a baking sheet in a single layer. Allow to dehydrate for 12-24 hours or until nuts are crisp and dry.
4. Once nuts are dry and crispy you can optionally stir the raisins and coconut into the nut mix to create more of a trail mix then store in an airtight mason jar.
*If something comes up and I don’t have a schedule that will allow me to be around for the nuts for the next 12-24 hours then I roast them at 325 F until dry and crisp.