All of the content that follows is from Nourishing Traditions pages 512 – 516:
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 and 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.
Nuts are rich sources of natural oils, ranging in total fat content from 60% to 80% of calories. Almonds, pecans, cashews, macadamia nuts and peanuts have a high content of stable oleic acid. Thus, they do not go rancid easily and once prepared by soaking and dehydrating may be stored for many months at room temperature in an airtight container. Walnuts, on the other hand, contain large amounts of triple unsaturated linolenic acid and are much more susceptible to rancidity. They should always be stored in the refrigerator.
Recipe makes 4 cups.
- 4 cups [organic, raw] almonds, preferably skinless
- 1 tablespoon sea salt
- filtered water
- Skinless almonds will still sprout, indicating that the process of removing their skins has not destroyed the enzymes. (The skins are probably removed by a machine process.) Skinless almonds are easier to digest and more satisfactory in many recipes. However, you may also use almonds with the skins on. You can also use 4 cups of slivered almonds instead of whole almonds.
- Mix almonds with salt and filtered water and leave in a warm place for at least 7 hours or overnight.
- Drain in a colander.
- Spread on a stainless steel baking pan and place in a warm oven [or dehydrator] (no more than 150 degrees) for 12 to 24 hours, stirring occasionally, until completely dry and crisp.
- Store in an airtight container.
Variation: Crispy Peanuts
4 cups of raw [organic] peanuts, preferably skinless, in place of almonds.
Variation: Crispy Pinenuts
Use 4 cups [organic] pine nuts instead of the other nuts listed above.
Variation: Crispy Hazelnuts
Use 4 cups skinless [organic] hazelnuts in place of other nuts listed above. To peel hazelnuts, place on a cookie sheet and bake at 300 degrees until skins turn dark and begin to crack. Place hazelnuts in a kitchen towel and wrap up tightly. Hold towel-wrapped nuts in your hands and rub and squeeze for several minutes. Open up towel—most of the skins should have come off.
Variation: Crispy Cashews
See the recipe for crispy cashews featured on it’s own because of the amount of background information included!
Variation: Crispy Macadamia Nuts
See the recipe for crispy macadamia nuts featured on it’s own because of the amount of background information included!
Variation: Crispy Pecans and Holiday Pecans
See the recipe for crispy pecans featured on it’s own because of the amount of background information included!