At our Natural Medicine Clinic in Palm Beach Gardens, we often recommend to patients that before eating raw nuts, they soak them in water overnight. One reason to soak nuts, especially walnuts and almonds, is to enhance the flavor and texture. Just after an hour in the refrigerator, you may notice the water is brown and cloudy. The change in color of the water is actually the residue, dust, yeast, and tannins released from the skins of the nuts.
By the next day, you will notice how almonds have soaked up the some of the water and have a swollen appearance. Looking at the picture below, can you tell which are the soaked almonds? Crunching into one of those, is surprisingly good! I often add soaked almonds to my smoothie instead of almond milk from the carton. Actually, the taste of fresh almond milk is out of this world and quite easy to make. Perhaps I’ll save that for another day.
I absolutely love walnuts with all their health benefits like omega-3’s, copper and magnesium to name a few. But, I do admit they have a bite to them. Soaking walnuts helps to release the tannins which give the nut its heavy, bitter flavor. In turn you are left with a creamy, smoother and more palatable taste.
Soaking Brazil nuts is one of the good Dr.’s favorite choices. These Amazon beauties are packed with protein, fiber and the minerals magnesium, copper, zinc, and manganese. They are also, by far, the highest food source of the anti-oxidant, selenium. That alone should make you want to add them to your diet.
Other reasons to soak nuts, is that it increases the enzyme activity, absorption is greater, and they are much easier to digest. You may have heard that soaking nuts and seeds starts the sprouting process, which increases the nutrient levels considerably.
If a recipe calls for soaked nuts, and you don’t have any on hand, you can rinse them well and soak for as long as you can (even 15 minutes is better than nothing). We usually have soaked nuts on hand for that spur of the moment raw recipe. When soaking nuts please use a glass jar as the byproducts (endocrine disrupters) of plastic can leach into the water and nuts.
Always rinse nuts and seeds first a few times. Remove bad nuts from the scene of the good ones, so they don’t taint the good nuts. Hmmmm…. maybe some parenting advice in this blog post, too. Fill the jar 3/4 of the way with nuts and cover completely with filtered water, placing them in the refrigerator. Check your water later and if the water is cloudy, empty and refill with fresh water. We suggest they will stay fresh up to a week in the refrigerator, just change the water every day or two. It’s that simple!
You can make my Creamy dressing and dip with walnuts that are soaked instead of cashews the recipe calls for. I had someone tell me she used walnuts and the dressing was too bitter. Walnuts emerge from the soaking completely different in taste, and you will be sure to love them!
Soaked nuts work great to make any raw recipe creamy, or you can just eat a handful for those healthy, anti-aging benefits! So be brave and get soaking!!!
I hope you get your Spoonful of Healthy Nuts today,
P.S. Next week I will share an easy, no bake cookie recipe to use some of those lovely soaked nuts!