Why Soaking Nuts and Seeds Makes Sense

Has eating nuts and seeds ever upset your stomach?  

Have you ever felt gassy, bloated or constipated when you eat too many nuts or seeds?  


Nuts and seeds can be really hard on your digestive system!  

But there's an easy way to increase the health benefits of nuts and seeds and make them easier to digest.


I admit it, I wasn't soaking my seeds and nuts. It looked like a lot of work and I couldn't imagine that they would taste good after they were soaked and got all swollen and soggy. I know nuts and especially seeds are high in phytic and oxalic acid which can block calcium assimilation and can lead to kidney stones.This is especially important during pregnancy as the body requires additional nutrients and deficiencies can be harmful to mom and baby.

When you soak nuts and seeds they: 

  • Have more vitamins especially B vitamins. 
  • The protein is easier to absorb.
  • It prevent mineral deficiencies and bone loss
  • Helps to neutralize toxins in the colon and keep the colon clean. 

I was surprised! Not only do they taste so much better when they are soaked and dehydrated, it was really simple to do!!

 

A limiting factor might be that you don't have a dehydrator but it may be something that you have been meaning to purchase, or like me, you didn't even realize that your oven had a dehydrating feature. ( It's worth checking the oven manual just in case) Other than that, it couldn't be simpler. Basically. I soak the nuts and seeds at night, get up and rinse them and put them in the oven/dehydrator and by the time I come home from work they're done and ready for a quick handful to keep the "hangries" away while I prepare dinner. For more detailed instructions, check out the recipe below as well as a recipe for the home made granola I keep as a staple at home.

 

Sadly, most nuts we buy in stores are roasted in oil, salted with refined salt and other additives or sugar.

Many people have trouble digesting nuts because of their high fat content which is even worse after roasting them in oil.

Eating raw nuts is better for us and soaking and dehydrating them is even better.


 
 

It's not what you eat but what you absorb that determines your health.

 

Pregnancy & Fertility Benefits of Nuts & Seeds

  • High in fat and calories so you only need a small handful for a healthy snack. 
  • Nuts are the meat of the plant world and a good source of protein. Although they are somewhat low in amino acids tryptophan and methionine, they are more balanced as protein when you consume grain foods in your diet.
  • They are high in essential fatty acids which are important for healthy implantation, fetal development and prevention of miscarriage.
  • They contain lots of minerals, particularly calcium, magnesium, iron, potassium, zinc, and other trace minerals which the body requires more of during pregnancy.
  • Terrific source of vitamin E which is necessary for conception and fetal development.
  • Almonds, Brazil Nuts and Pecans also have selenium which is important for your thyroid hormones to assist in fertility and for breast milk production.
  • They have a good cross section of B vitamins which help the body deal with stress and fatigue.
  • Good source of fibre to assist with constipation.  Click here for more information on the importance of fibre and constipation.

Recipe

Soaking and Dehydrating Nuts and Seeds

When you soak and dehydrate organic raw nuts and seeds they taste like roasted nuts but without the added vegetable oils and high temperature roasting that can damage the nutrients and enzymes. Although, I would not use this method for flax and chia seeds as they gel when soaked and would be difficult to work with.

  • 2 cups of raw, organic nuts or seeds (best to soak one kind at a time)
  • Enough warm filtered water to cover the nuts
  • 1 TBSP of Celtic Sea Salt or Himalayan Pink Salt

1. Put some warm filtered water in a bowl and dissolve the salt in the water.

2. Place the nuts or seeds in the bowl and top off with more warm water so the nuts or seeds are covered. Stir once more to make sure salt is evenly distributed.

3. Leave uncovered on the counter or other warm place for at least 7 hours or overnight.

4. Rinse in a colander until water runs clear and spread on a baking sheet or dehydrator sheet. Bake at the lowest temperature in the oven or dehydrator at the lowest temperature ( 150 degrees in optimal). Make sure to leave them in until they are completely dry as otherwise the remaining moisture may cause mold. Dehydrating time can range from 12 to 24 hours.

 

Ultimate Granola Clusters

By Angela Liddon

Angela’s cookbook, oh she glows, is one of my favourites and this recipe is by far my most favorite granola. I know the title says clusters but I eat a few as clusters but mostly use it as granola on breakfast parfaits with kefir or yogurt and fruit or just by the handful for a quick snack. I use soaked and dehydrated nuts and seeds but if you don’t have the time raw,and organic is fine. It’s best to store this in a glass container as it keeps it crispier for a longer period of time.( 2 to 3 weeks )

  • 1 cups of raw, organic almonds
  • ½ cup raw walnut halves or peices
  • ¾ cup gluten free rolled oats
  • ½ cup raw buckwheat groats or gluten free oats
  • ⅔ cup mixed dried fruit
  • ½ cup raw pumpkin seeds
  • ¼ cup sunflower seeds
  • ⅓ cup shredded unsweetened coconut
  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp fine-grain sea salt
  • ¼ cup plus 2 TBSP pure maple syrup ( I use ¼ cup)
  • ¼ coconut oil, melted
  • 2 tsp pure vanilla extract

1. Preheat oven to 275 degrees F. Line a large rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.

2. Place ½ cup of the almonds into the food processor and process for about 10 seconds until a fine meal forms.(similar to the texture of sand.) Transfer the almond meal to a large bowl.

3. In the food processor combine the remaining ½ cup almonds and all of the walnuts and process for about 5 seconds, until finely chopped. You will be left with some larger pieces and some powdery meal which is left with some larger pieces and some powdery meal which is what you want. Add the mixture to the bowl with the almond meal

4. Add the oats, buckwheat groats, dried fruit, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, coconut, cinnamon, and salt to the large mixing bowl and stir to combine.

5. Add the maple syrup, melted coconut oil, and vanilla to the bowl with the dry ingredients and stir until well combined.

6. With a spatula, spread the granola into a ½” layer (1cm) on the prepared baking sheet and gently press down to compact it slightly. Bake for 20 minutes, then rotate the pan and bake for 18 to 25 minutes more, or until granola is lightly browned on the bottom and firm to the touch.

7. Cool the granola on the pan for at least an hour before breaking it apart into clusters.

8. Store the granola in a glass jar in the fridge for 2 to 3 weeks or the freezer for 4 to 5 weeks.

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