Firstly, before I go into are you soaking your nuts. I do need to point out the importance of buying organic nuts. Why? because the toxins that are sprayed on non-organic nuts are stored in the fat of the nuts. So please be careful when making your purchase.
Almonds contain enzyme inhibitors in their skin and need soaking before eating. Soaking, draining and rinsing makes them more digestible and removes the bitter taste they have before soaking. If you wish to dry them out after this, then place in the dehydrator for 10-12 hours. You can then create activated ground almond meal. No, you do not need to remove the skin when following these guideline.
The other thing that happens when you soak almonds is that once they are soaked, they are ready for sprouting. Sprouted nuts have more nutrients.
Soaked almond contain vitamin E, high in calcium, dietary fibres, omega 3 fatty acids and high in proteins. Some say that almonds are a super-food because of their nutrient content. With their high protein profile they keep you full for longer and they’re rich in manganese. Manganese help in the strengthening of bones. Almonds regulate blood sugar and regulates blood pressure. Helpful too for muscle and nerve function, so good for the heart, good for the brain, boosts energy, a great nut to consume for weight loss and prevents constipation…..also useful in the fight against cancer. Soaked almonds also contain Vitamin B17. Not to mention they are great for your skin – Anti-aging.
For the pregnant mum, soaked almonds contain folic acid which reduces birth defects according to my research.
Soaking time for nuts like almonds is about 8-12 hours, This neutralises the enzyme inhibitors. Same for hazelnuts and pistachios because they are also hard nuts. Usually my method is to soak overnight in a glass container.
Softer nuts, such as cashews, macadamias and pine nuts, can be soaked for less of a time 2-4 hours. I sometimes soak the cashews overnight, but do not really need to do this – the benefits is a much softer nut to make creamier milks and creams. When making a cheese using these nuts, I only soak for 1-2 hours tops.
If soaking the softer nuts overnight, some of the nuts due to the expansion of the nuts might rise to the top – these nuts need to be discarded as they may have gone rancid – you can usually tell by the way the nut changes colour.
Cashew need to be stored in the refrigerator too. Heat will also make them go rancid. When buying cashew, make sure they smell fresh and look whitish – if they look too yellow and have a strong smell they will be rancid.
Medium nuts that are not so hard such as Brazil, pecans and walnuts only need to be soaked for 2-4 hours.
One thing that I have noticed during the years I have been coaching is that many people tell me they cannot eat almonds. When I ask them to try them after they have been soaked, to their surprise they can now eat them. This is because of the enzyme inhibitors prior to socking.
RAW ORANGE CAKE
2 cups almonds – previously soaked and paper towel dried
1/2 cup pecan nuts
1 cup raisins and/or currants – soak for 10 minutes – then drain
2 large whole oranges
1 cup coconut flour
11/2 cups desiccated coconut
3 soft dates
1/2 cup raw blue agave or birch xylitol
• Cut the oranges into 4 – take out seeds and pith – keep skins on – wash well.
• Put into a dish and place in your oven/dehydrator 43 degrees Celsius for a couple of hours, alternatively if you own a Thermomix place the oranges in bowl and blend with heat up to 50 degrees Celsius for a couple of minutes, then blend a further 2 minutes on 37 degrees – remove and set aside.
• Ground nuts and place in food processor or mixer
• Add all other ingredients and mix thoroughly
• Spoon all ingredients into a spring form tin pressing tightly down on the mixture and place in refrigerator whilst making icing.
11/2 cups previously soaked cashews – then soak for min 2 hours
1 cup water
2-3 pitted soft dates
2tbls coconut oil
1tsp pure vanilla powder
• Process all ingredients in food processor until well blended
Final stage – Take cake out of container and place on serving plate and top with icing
Storage: Store in refrigerator in a cake storage container.
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