One of our favorite snacks are ‘Crispy Almonds’ with Dried Fruit. Soaking the almonds in salt water, then dehydrating them in a low temperature oven causes them to be so crispy, that they pop in your mouth when you bite them. They become fun to eat. But, of course there is a reason other than texture that I soak the nuts. Phytic Acid. Phytic acid in grains, nuts, seeds and beans represents a serious problem in our diets. Phytic acid chelates or binds with other minerals, such as calcium, magnesium, iron and zinc, making them unavailable. This study’s recommendation states: This“should be best interpreted in such a way as to prevent the consumption of excessive amounts of phytate, particularly for those whose mineral needs are great.” I don’t know anyone whose mineral needs are NOT great. This problem exists because we have lost touch with our ancestral heritage of food preparation. Instead we listen to those that promote the consumption of raw and unprocessed “whole foods.” But raw is definitely not nature’s way for grains, nuts, seeds and beans. I know what you’re thinking…Really!? Nuts have to be prepared? We have to understand that we have moved away from our traditional diets and practices, which were passed down from generation to generation. With that our health and happiness have suffered greatly. Because we didn’t understand why great great great great Grandma did what she did we’ve stopped doing it. I am not even sure she knew why she was doing it. There was an intuitive Spirit that taught our ancestors how to prepare their food. Convenient, instant gratification, microwave oven, drive-thru food is our way of life, now. The good news is, we do have a choice. Let’s make good food a priority, slow down and breathe, consider meal preparation a joy, and make every single bite you serve yourself and family a powerful influence on your lives. When nuts are properly prepared they become a very nutritious snack. Soaked almonds have much higher protein content than the raw almonds and so does the water in which they are soaked. When nuts are soaked, the germination process begins, allowing the enzyme inhibitors to be deactivated and increasing the nutrition of the nut significantly, as well as making them much easier to digest. Traditional people instinctively knew that nuts are best soaked or partially sprouted before eaten. The Indians of the east made hickory nut milk by pounding the nuts, shell and all, into a paste and then adding water and boiling. Some would grill the nuts after soaking them for a few hours, to get a good flavor from the smoke. The Indians of California consumed acorn meal. Converting the acorn from an inedible nut to the soup, mush, or bread required a lengthy process involving a diverse array of tools. The nuts were pounded into flour or meal using a mortar and pestle. Repeated flushing with either hot or cold water in a shallow, sandy basin or in a basket filter, then cooking. The Aztec soaked pumpkin and squash seeds in brine and then let them dry in the sun. (excerpt from “Nourishing Traditions” pg 512) The Aboriginal people made the Moreton Bay Chestnut seeds edible by cracking them and soaking in running water for long periods, after which they were dried and roasted. The seeds of this plant are poisonous when raw.. While doing the research for this section of the blog, I became more aware of just how far a culture can stray from their traditional ancestors. To the point of poverty and starvation. My heart grieves for the people of Central America, God does provide and His people will perish for lack of knowledge. This next paragraph and quotes is proof we need to ‘Think on These Things” and learn about traditional diets to maintain sustainability and health. In Central America the Maya Nut was the staple food for prehispanic cultures throughout the neotropics, who probably ate it boiled and protected it as a source of food. The marble-sized seed can be prepared to taste like mashed potatoes, chocolate or coffee. To those who stumble upon the nuts on the ground, they’re free for the taking.
“People are living right there, in extreme poverty, not even eating more than one meal a day and there’s Maya nut lying all around,” Vohman said. “They don’t eat it because they don’t know.” It is truly a “lifesaving” tree. Today, however, the food value of the Maya Nut is largely forgotten. Having watched impoverished Guatemalan communities clear rain forests to plant food, it struck Vohman that the key for uplifting Central American communities was to help them return to their roots.The Maya Nut Institute
Finally, the recipe from “Nourishing Traditions” 4 cups *raw almonds 1 Tbls sea salt filtered water enough to cover 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 (I use stoneware) and place in a warm oven (no more than 150) for 12 to 24 hours, stirring occasionally, until completely dry and crisp. Store in an airtight container. *Unfortunately, truly raw almonds are no longer available commercially in the U.S. Since 2007, all U.S. almonds must be “pasteurized.” While there are four main methods of pasteurizing almonds, steam processing, high heat treatment (roasting), blanching and highly toxic fumigation treatment with propylene oxide (PPO), two of them are the primary methods that are used most often.. These two are steam processing and PPO fumigation.To get truly raw almonds with all their enzymes and vitamins intact, you must live in California, get them imported from Spain, or order them online. Katie over at Kitchen Stewardship emailed Meijer and Country Life Naturals. These just happen to be the two places I get almonds, and both use the steam method of pasteurizing. No chemicals. I can’t help myself. For the Dr. Oz fans, he is now promoting soaked nuts. It must be true 😉