Useful guides

How to activate almonds (and other nuts)

Last week I had a break from my regular Feast Wisely posts. I wanted to find some space for a creative project that’s been on my to-do list for a while – a mood board for the interior of my new apartment that’s due to be finished in early 2017. The apartment is located in Manly, a beachside suburb of Sydney, and I’d describe it as small but perfectly formed – with two bedrooms, two bathrooms and a huge balcony. I’m starting to get excited now that it’s finally rising from foundations after a delayed start to construction

Anyway after a few hours browsing through ‘Homes & Gardens’ style magazines I decided that interior design, for me at least, isn’t half as exciting as my time spent in the kitchen. And so this week I’ve parked the mood board for now and I’m back sharing with you how to activate nuts.

How to activate almonds (and other nuts)Nuts are my favourite snack food. Most days I nibble on a handful of almonds, walnuts, macadamias or pecans. They’re packed with healthy fats and lots of other good stuff. And with the rise of paleo, gluten free and vegan diets nuts are appearing in all kinds of recipes.

If, like me, you have a daily nut habit then it’s a good idea to invest a little time into activating them. ‘Activating nuts aids their digestion by deactivating enzyme inhibitors. It also reduces the phytic acid found in nuts – an acid that can raise the risk of iron and zinc deficiencies’. Well this is what the health experts online say about the benefits of nut activation……

Not convinced? I wasn’t either until I tasted activated nuts. It was then I realised that the extra effort is worth it – not because of the health credentials but rather because activated nuts taste so much better.

So what’s involved in activation? It’s really simple. Activated almonds have received a lot of publicity here in Australia but all varieties of nuts can be activated with the same method. In a ‘nutshell’ it’s just a matter of soaking nuts in filtered water and then drying them out. My latest batch was the walnuts you see here.

How to activate almonds (and other nuts)Method

  1. Fill a bowl with filtered water and dissolve a reasonable amount of sea salt or Himalayan salt into the water. Then add the nuts.
  2. Allow to soak for 2 to 12 hours depending on the type of nut (see below for a guide to soaking times).
  3. Drain the nuts and rinse with more filtered water. Then pat dry with paper towels.
  4. Evenly place the nuts on a baking tray ready for drying. It’s optional at this stage to sprinkle them with your chosen spice mix.
  5. Nuts typically take 12-14 hours to dry. You can do this in the oven on the lowest setting (around 50C) or if you’re lucky enough to have one use a dehydrator.

The nuts are ready to eat when they feel completely dry and taste crisp and crunchy. This can take as long as 24 hours. Once dry store them in an airtight container in a cool dark spot.

Tip – another way you can dry the nuts (if you have a warm sunny day) is to place them on a side table in a sunny spot where they will soak in the heat.

Soaking times (from Going Paleo by Pete Evans)

  • Almonds, brazil nuts & hazelnuts – 12 hours
  • Macadamia nuts – 7 to 12 hours
  • Walnuts – 4 to 8 hours
  • Pecans and pistachios – 4 to 6 hours
  • Cashew nuts – 2 to 4 hours

Of course you can’t have a party without some nuts to nibble on – so I’m sharing this post at Fiesta Friday #133 – this week’s party is brought to you by the lovely Angie.

Laura (Feast Wisely)

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12 thoughts on “How to activate almonds (and other nuts)

  1. Laura- great post! I will try this, I’m curious about the flavor after being activated. I am a nut lover so this is great!

  2. Interesting Laura! Didn’t know about ‘activating’ nuts….do you really put them in the oven for all that time? Or can you dry them overnight on the kitchen counter? 🙂

    • Hi Linda – I have actually been drying mine in my warming drawer or in direct sunlight. It would depend on your room temperature and humidity whether they would dry on the kitchen counter – it would take a lot longer….

  3. Laura, I had no idea about activating nuts. Though my mom always soaked our almonds and we ate then next day morning. She did not roast them so we got used to eating overnight soaked and then peeled almonds.

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