Whether you are eating a raw food diet, or simply incorporating more raw foods into your diet, most likely you are eating more nuts and seeds. In raw food cooking, nuts and seeds are a versatile food source. They can be used to make substitutions for many dairy products such as milk, sour cream, cream cheese, and cheese. Nuts can be made into healthy, tasty sauces and added to recipes for texture and flavor. If you eliminate animal products, nuts can provide protein and omega 3’s, the “good” fats. They are also a great source of fiber, antioxidents, photonutrients, and plant sterols. Eating 1.5 ounces of nuts daily can help reduce heart disease.
As we move into the cold weather months, heartier food may be desired. Nuts and seeds help fulfill this need. Nuts and seeds can be a great addition to your diet but there are a few things that you should keep in mind when using them to get the most possible nutrients for your body.
One of the questions that often comes up is whether you should soak or not. Personally, I soak my nuts. It takes a little extra work but the benefits are great.
As soon as I buy a bag of nuts or seeds, I drop them in a glass bowl with enough water to cover them by an inch (some nuts will require more water) and let them sit overnight. In the summer, I put them in the fridge. In the winter, my house is as cold so I cover them and leave them on the counter out of Skyler’s reach. After 12 hours, I give them a good rinse and they go in the dehydrator at a low temp to dry. I store them in glass containers in the refrigerator. Why do I do this?
Nuts and seeds have enzyme inhibitors such as phytic acid, that can put a strain on your digestive system. The reason these enzyme inhibitors are there in the first place is to make sure the nuts and seeds don’t prematurely sprout. Makes sense. They need to be in the right environment for their life giving properties to be activated. The plus for you? Soaking not only releases the enzyme inhibitors, it starts the germination process which releases the good enzymes and nutrients! If you soak your nuts, they are much easier to digest and their nutrients are easier to assimilate. With a little advanced effort, you can unlock the all of the wonderful gifts nuts an seeds have to offer.