Soaking or Sprouting Nuts and Seeds
Nuts and seeds are beautiful, nutrient-rich foods yet, unless they are carefully prepared they can be difficult to digest, especially when they are roasted or baked. Nuts and seeds that are soaked and sprouted are much easier to digest, even, to some degree, if they are still cooked afterwards. All nuts are essentially seeds, (that is, they can germinate into a plant), so we will refer to them as seeds for this discussion.
When seeds are soaked, the germination process that initiates life is begun. Some plants, whose seeds make ‘yummy’ eating for animals, have evolved with a digestion-inhibiting coating that is designed to increase their chances of survival into a plant. However, once the seed comes in contact with water, the digestion-inhibiting coating is deactivated. The process of life and growth has begun. The proteins and starches begin the transformation into a living plant and thus have become more digestible.
Only raw, unpasteurized seeds and nuts will sprout when soaked. Because of changing mass-production industry standards, almonds, more than most nuts, have become difficult to find in a truly raw form. They are being pasteurized and or irradiated before shipping. The good news is that there are specialty raw food retailers who can insure you access to truly raw, sproutable almonds. Following are a few simple steps to successfully sprouting your raw nuts and seeds.
2-Soak in a glass or stainless steel bowl. (from 4 to 8 hours depending on the size of seed)
3-Drain and rinse
4-Cover. Leave bowl at room temperature and rinse twice a day.
5- The minimum growth you’re looking for is the ‘tail’ just peeking out from the end of the seed and the maximum growth is a ‘tail’ that is up to a ¼ as long as the seed.
5-Rinse and refrigerate for up to five days. They will grow a bit more once in fridge but will slow down a lot.) To maintain freshness, continue rinsing once a day.
Raw food websites offer charts to help you learn the ideal times for various nuts and seeds.
In their sprouted form, they are great in salads, pestos, spreads, dressings and smoothies or living muesli. Some people like to season them and dehydrate them till they are crispy, sometimes even in the form of granola bars or crackers! They make great snacks and salad toppings too!