I promised a Crispy Nuts blog four days ago. What is my problem? Too busy. Baby meat chickens are work, friend. I can’t wait to get those pesky birds outside into their chicken tractor. Actually, I can’t really blame my busyness on the poor poultry, there have been a myriad of events vying for my attention and all of them good: dinner at my friend Julie’s (best steak I’ve ever eaten), helping out a friend just learning to milk her own goats, making chevre (that’s goat milk cheese), checking Music Man’s Pre-Algebra answers (he just did 5 weeks of math in 1 week), making my first dairy/sugar free ice cream (this is important stuff people), play date with some very important friends, picking up our 1/3 of a cow meat from Sandy, Oregon, and making a big batch of Crispy Almonds. See. B-u-s-y.
Okay, onto the promised blog.
You’ve probably noticed a few of my recipes call for Crispy Almonds or Crispy Walnuts. What are these? These, my friend, are pure delicousness. Okay. Not a word, I realize, but I’m making it one here today.
In my Nourishing Traditions cookbook, I read about how raw nuts have what I’m going to call Enzyme Inhibitors. Yes, I’m big on making up my own words today. Just go with it. It will be fun. Anyway, nuts have these bad boys in them. Both nuts and seeds have these enzymes in them naturally because it prevents them from prematurely sprouting. Isn’t God cool? It isn’t until the seed has been soaked in rain water that the seed can finally sprout and make a new nut or seed tree/plant. And why can it suddenly sprout? Because it no longer contains the Enzyme Inhibitors.
I know. You’re wondering, ‘So what?’. Well, just hold your pants on. I’m going to tell you. Enzyme Inhibitors, when consumed by a humans, can put a real strain on the digestive system, as well as, stop your body from absorbing all the good vitamins stored up in your precious nut. When a nut/seed is soaked for awhile, it then is ready for sprouting, which means no more Inhibitors. And then without the Inhibitors, the nut/seed is then able to produce a different kind of enzyme which releases all the awesome vitamins locked up inside this tiny storehouse of nutrition. Whew! That was a mouthful. Take a deep breath.
Okay, if you skipped the last paragraph (I know you did, Mom), it’s okay. All you need to know is the nut is better for you if you soak it first. And quite a bit tastier, I might add. By the way, the Aztecs apparently used to soak their pumpkin seeds and then dry them in the sun. Hmmm. It always amazes me what ancient societies did without knowing the science behind it. Or did they?
So, soak your nuts, people. (Quit laughing, Mom). You’ll be happier. You’re tummy will thank you. Honest.
4 Cups Raw Almonds
2 TBS sea salt (sea salt has more minerals than regular table salt)
Place nuts and salt in a deep bowl. Cover with filtered water (warm water works better, but I never have time for that).
Let soak for 7 or more hours. Spread out the almonds on your dehydrator sheet (or cookie sheet if using the oven). Dehydrate 12-24 hours on 150 degrees. Or if you can, set your oven to 150 degrees and dry them in there. I’ve done it that way and it worked great. I just didn’t really like having my oven on all day and felt uncomfortable with it being on all night. But I’m a little weird that way.
Soaked Walnuts or Pecans
4 cups of nuts
2 teaspoons sea salt
Same directions for almonds.
Now you can go make some Apple Cinnamon Granola. Go granola-ify your life. Sorry. I just needed one more made up word.