Nuts and Shooting the Kitchen

by Susan on April 2, 2011

When I get questions that come up frequently, it’s time for a post! Dehydration is always the top topic of confusion but a close second is nuts. When do I soak, how do I soak, do I have to soak, and on and on. Hopefully today’s post will clarily your questions on nuts and help you understand the ins and outs of using them in raw food recipes.

Shooting the Kitchen

But first, I have a little announcement to make. It is about a new blog that I have started relating to Susan Powers Photography, my photography business. It is called Shooting the Kitchen and I am having the time of my life with it! Before I hear the gasps, it is not about raw food, vegan food or even vegetarian food. What it is about is giving you a behind the scene peek into the lives of culinary masters, and capturing them in their surroundings. I take you on a photographic tour of the places you don’t get to see. It is an insiders view, so to speak, and a wonderful way to share my photography.

I have had the opportunity to shoot quite a few chefs in their kitchens and I usually fall in love with the photos. People’s responses are always great when they see these shots. I wanted to create a place that I could showcase the shots, the people and their food. That is how Shooting the Kitchen came about. I enlisted the help of a friend, Stephanie Meyer to make the recipes. Personally, I don’t cook anything that isn’t at a minimum, vegetarian. That is where Stephanie comes in. She has a wonderful blog, FreshTart.net where she makes and photographs “traditional” recipes. Her skills have been put to good use on the new blog as she will venture into realms that I will not. I am all about the photography. Shooting the Kitchen was a hit instantly and will continue to grow as we shoot chefs, culinary writers, and food artisans, across the country and hopefully internationally! Don’t worry, I am not turning my back on raw food, just developing my love for photography.

If you want to see what it is all about, you can click here: Shooting the Kitchen

 

Nuts

Questions about nuts come up all the time. Here are a few quick reminders. You can read more about nuts here: Know Your Nuts, and here: Soaking Nuts

1. We soak nuts for two reasons. The first is to release enzymes that interfere with our digestion. The second is for consistency in a recipe.

2. Not all nuts need to be soaked for digestibility.

3. If a recipe calls for nuts that have been soaked, drained and rinsed, use them exactly that way. Do not dry. They may be soaked for enzymes, or consistency but either way, you need to use them wet.

4. Unless you live in an extremely dry climate, I would not recommend drying nuts on the counter. I always use my dehydrator. My concern is that they might develop mould.

5. I almost always soak and dry my nuts as soon as I get them. The only time I would re-soak them is if they needed to be wet for consistency for a recipe. Example: if you need 1 cup almonds to make almond milk and you have already soaked and dehydrated your nuts, you do not need to re-soak them. But if you are making a cracker recipe, and the nuts need to be soaked to add liquid, you will have to re-soak. Also if you are using cashews, for example, and need a really creamy texture, you will have to re-soak.

I hope all of this makes sense!

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{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

Joanna April 2, 2011 at 6:42 pm

Wow, you are a busy lady. I love how you jump in and follow your passions. Changing the world one recipe, one photo at a time :D

diane April 3, 2011 at 10:04 am

I’ve started making almond milk again, and saving up the pulp in the freezer for an eventual cake, cracker or bread. I usually just soak what I need for one batch, overnight, and then make the milk the next day. Would you recommend storing it like that – wet pulp in ziploc bags in the freezer, or should I dehydrate first and then store at room temp (or fridge/freezer)? I just got the dehydrator a few weeks ago, so I haven’t tried making anything other than kale chips yet, but I saw a lemon poppy seed cake recipe that looks pretty good and I think the pulp is supposed to be wet. I do wonder if I’m going to end up with a bit of freezer burn, though, by the time I save up 8 or 10 cups of pulp.

Chris April 3, 2011 at 7:19 pm

I need raw food to be as simple as possible…

I used to soak and dehydrate trying to be the perfect little raw foodist…lol…

I found that I am less stressed if I just “grab from the bag” and eat raw, organic nuts. For me it was a stress factor. The more steps I had to take to stay “perfectly” raw, the more stressed I became. Being stressed kind of defeats the point of being raw, huh? Ü

So now, I only soak my nuts if the recipe calls for it….like “cream cheese” frosting for carrot cake.

Otherwise, I eat my raw, organic nuts right out of the bag!

p.s. My soaked and dehydrated nuts always had a weird taste and smell anyways.

Eugenia June 18, 2011 at 11:44 pm

Hello Susan!

Should I soak all the nuts (macadamia, hazelnut, pecan, etc) and seeds as well, like Millet, Barley, Rye, Amaranth and Flaxseeds, Sesame, Sunflower, Pumpkin and Hemp Seeds. etc??????

I thought Only the almonds must to be soak!!

I’m trying a new menu which include a lot of seeds and nuts but I was soaking only almonds!… Am I doing it wrong?
One more question… Can I soak them all together (mixing nuts and seeds)?

Thanks so much in advance.
Eugenia

Susan June 19, 2011 at 2:41 am

No, not all nuts and seeds need to be soaked. Personally I don’t soak my seeds unless I am doing it for a recipe. Macadamia nuts do not need to be soaked. It depends on the enzyme inhibitors in the nuts.

Denise Aucoin September 23, 2012 at 12:53 pm

Hi Susan,

I am really new to raw food prep. BTW, I have lost 60lbs. so far and have that much or more to go, EXCITED!!!. You have truly inspired me and opened my horizons to raw food eating, THANK YOU!!! I have soaked some cashews for the Heirloom tomato, corn and avocado salad that turned out incredible. However, I like Chris above, need raw food to be as simple as possible. So without thinking, I soaked more cashews then needed for the recipe with the thought that I would have some for a future dish. Now, that I have these soaked nuts, I don’t know how to store them or what to do with them until I am ready for them again. And, I don’t have a dehydrator yet. Questions: Can I over soak/soak too long my cashew nuts or any nuts? Can I store them in air tight container in the refrigerator already soaked, and if so for how long? You say to throw away the water they were soaked in, why couldn’t I use that water for the water needed in the “mayo”/”dressing” recipe? Can I freeze them after they’ve been soaked? Can I freeze them raw just as I get them?

Thank you so much,
Denise

Susan September 24, 2012 at 10:36 pm

I wouldn’t store them in the refrigerator very long after they have been soaked. They are usually good for a couple of days, if you change the water. You don’t want to use the soak water. Cheers!

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