Have you ever seen activated nuts, you know the ones in expensive packs, at health food stores and want to know how to make your own activated nuts at home?
Or maybe you’ve just been hearing the term activated nuts and you are not really sure what it means and why it matters so much?
So… let me start there first.
I mean, is this really a good idea or just plain nuts?
Well, activating nuts is the process of soaking nuts and seeds (and I don’t mean your husband’s-isms) to soften them and make them more digestible. The process of soaking nuts takes off the phytic acid as well as other toxins and digestive inhibitors (hence “activating” them). Blablabla…there is more to it, but that’s enough for now.
So now that you know the ‘why’, let’s get into the ‘how’.
Yes! You can do it at home and it’s super easy.
All you need is a small amount of good, clean, filtered water and some nuts. Place the number of nuts you need in a bowl. I like to soak around 300g of assorted nuts in a lot of water. I work with 300g of nuts to 500ml water and leave them to soak overnight.
Then….oh yes people…and then if I want those salted, roasted nuts, I add salt to my water. I start with a tablespoon at a time and taste the water as I stir the salt into the mix of water and nuts, and when it’s salty, I am done. I leave them to soak overnight.
The next day I drain them, pop them in a dehydrator (I found my first dehydrator on the side of the road on tip day. No shit, it worked well! – The things we do eh??). If you don’t have one, you can put them in the oven at the lowest temperature it goes (like 50 Degrees C) and leave the door open if you need to. Anyways, dehydrate for a good 16 hours and then let them cool down and BOOM, you made yourselves some salty crunchy nuts. Like a proper roasted feeling without the roast!
Oh, and if you live in a warm climate as I do in Bali, Indonesia, soak them in the fridge. In cooler climates or in winter, you can just soak them on a counter. Oh and also in the morning, you’ll see that the water is murky, brownish, and off-colour. Soaking nuts takes off the phytic acid and other toxins and digestive inhibitors. #justsayin….
Now, if you are not going to dehydrate them ’cause you can’t find a dehydrator on the side of the road that month, activated nuts will not keep for so long. That’s why it’s best to only soak what you need them until some rich housewife tosses her fancy used-once dehydrator out on tip day, and BOOM we are on baby…ON we are!!!
But don’t worry, if you’ve soaked more nuts than you need right away, you can store them for up to five days in the fridge. Mix them with some dried fruit and you have the perfect snack at work. Mmmmmm yum!! Just make sure you use a covered glass container to keep them from absorbing any odours from the fridge.
Oh and here’s a thought I nearly forgot to share with ya. I have another reason for activating nuts before using them. It changes the texture. And for me as a Chef texture is super important. If you want really creamy, silky, nut milks, sweet creams, sour cream or icings for cakes, then trust me, you gotta soak your nuts first!
So now you know how to activate nuts at home, and I recommend you take the time to do it and then feel the difference in your digestion and in the texture of your recipes.
And if you can’t be fucked doing what I have explained above, do what I do at times and go down to some wonderful farmer’s market where there are some super keen young entrepreneurs with their hippy branding on recycled brown paper bags filled with salted activated nuts. Support the young ones I say. Let them have the moment.
Actually, Active Earth Food are a couple that is dedicated to this soaking activated thing. Check them out online. They are advanced hippies, they sell in stores and online…and yep they deliver.
And, I tell ya, they are the best nuts on the planet!
Love Chef xx
Chef Cynthia Louise is an Internationally acclaimed MasterChef, speaker, author, restaurant consultant, teacher and television presenter in wholefood, dairy-free cooking. She also has the worlds first online cooking classes focused on dairy-free plant-based whole foods with recipes that people are raving about and changing people's health, one delicious bite at a time. Chef Cynthia loves nothing more than educating people about the simplicity and vitality of a plant-based, whole foods lifestyle. Each dish is like art on a plate and her flavour combinations nourish the soul and get everyone talking.