One of the many benefits of paying attention to the food you put into your body is of course, better health. One of the downsides to doing a lot of research and reading about health, food allergies, and disease is that all of that information can be extremely overwhelming. Soon, you feel like there’s nothing you can eat that won’t upset your body in one way or another. Well, now you can add raw nuts and seeds to that ever-growing list.
I’ve known for a while that there was negative information “out there” about eating raw nuts and seeds and how they are very hard on our digestive systems. They were created to survive in harsh conditions and then be able to sprout when the sun and rain makes an appearance. When we eat them raw, the phytic acid that is beneficial for their survival is not beneficial to us. It binds to minerals in the gastrointestinal tract, causing irritation and doesn’t allow for nutrient absorption. When your stomach and intestines are continually being irritated by foods your body cannot digest or foods you are sensitive or allergic to, your immune system suffers greatly. And when your immune system suffers, your entire body is affected.
You may be thinking, but I feel fine when I eat raw nuts and seeds! But here’s the issue. Our guts are in a battle. They’re in trouble. Your gut is the center of your immune system and ours are a mess which is proven by the astronomical amount of humans with auto immune diseases, cancer, hormone imbalances, IBS, Fibromyalgia, mental disorders, stress disorders, and all kinds of other issues. It’s a domino effect. The more we ignore our guts and continue to put things in them they can’t tolerate, the more out of balance we become. We may not have that immediate reaction of “Oh! What I just ate made me really ill.” But little by little your body becomes overwhelmed and soon you feel “off” or “wonky” or “achy” or “fluish” more than you think you should, or you get sick a lot with colds and other things like migraines, strep throat, seasonal allergies, sinus infections, swollen glands… That’s your body telling you something is wrong. By really paying attention to what you feed it and how you treat it, you can go a long, long, way to feeling better.
Help your immune system, help you. And for crying out loud, don’t believe everything you hear in the mainstream media. For years we’ve been reading about how fantastic raw nuts and seeds are for our health. “Eat a handful of almonds a day! Add nuts and seeds to your salads! Add them to your morning smoothie! Use nut flours to bake with! Use nut butters, they’re excellent for your body! Get your protein from nuts and seeds!” All of these statements have truth. But only if you’re able to digest the nuts and seeds properly and actually benefit from their nutrients. Otherwise they’re actually harming you, not helping you.
Soaking nuts and seeds and then dehydrating them is simple. SO simple. I bought this dehydrator on Amazon. It was $73.79 (free shipping with Prime) and is very versatile. You can use it to dehydrate nuts and fruits, make fruit leather, make meat jerky, dry herbs…all kinds of things. And it’s incredibly simple to use, clean, and store.
It’s BPA free and even has temperature settings already sorted out for you on the lid. The heating element is in the lid and covered so there’s no messy clean up like the old dehydrators with the exposed heating element on the bottom.
It’s relatively quiet. Sounds like a low fan. I’ve run it all night for two nights in a row now with zero noise irritation or issues. It has 5 shelves and you don’t have to rotate them for even drying.
You can Google how to soak raw nuts and seeds or use this resource like I did. Super simple and straight forward.
I soaked raw cashews and raw sunflower seeds because that is what I had on hand. Last night I also soaked and dehydrated raw pumpkin seeds. The resource link above will give you an easy timeline guide. I try to time my soaking so that I can dehydrate over night.
The cashews needed 18 hours of dehydration, while the sunflower seeds and pumpkin seeds only needed about 6-8 hours.
The beginning stage of dehydration after soaking for 2 hours.
After an 18 hour dehydration.
They have a nice crisp, snap to them when broken in two.
Crunchy and delicious after only 6 hours.
Once the nuts and seeds have been dehydrated you can use them for nut and seed butters, grind them for flours, use them in smoothies, make your own nut milk, snack on them, and bake with them. Just allow them to cool completely before storing in an airtight container.
Activated Nut & Seed Trail Mix
1 Cup of Activated Organic Raw Cashews
1/2 Cup of Activated Organic Raw Sunflower Seeds
About 1/2 Cup of Dried Cherries
About 1/2 Cup of Dried Blueberries
About 1/4 Cup Organic Raisins
About 1/2 Cup of Organic Unsweetened Coconut Flakes
1/2 teaspoon of Organic Ground Cinnamon
About 6 grinds of Pink Himalayan Salt
Toss to combine and store in an airtight container.