28 Day Real Food Challange: Day 19 - Preparing Nuts and Seeds
Posted Feb 20 2010 12:00am
Here's an easy challenge that you can do: soaking nuts. They are high in beneficial fats but their fats are also fragile so I always keep mine in the fridge. And that also reminds me that I need to use those nuts before they become rancid due to long storage.
We've wrapped up our section on naturally fermented foods which covered symbiotic colonies of bacteria and yeasts (SCOBYs), fermented vegetables, yogurts and cheeses, and before we begin Week #4 of the Real Food Challenge which will cover animal foods, vegetables and giving back to the community, we'll cover the value of nuts and seeds.
Nuts and seeds are nutrient-dense, valuable foods that can add variety and interest to your dinner table. Indeed, nuts and seeds frequently appear as one of the most nutrient-dense plant foods available (learn more about which plant and animal foods offer the greatest nutritional punch.) They offer a good source of vitamin E, thiamin, vitamin B6 and folate.
Nuts and seeds, much like grains, need to be soaked or treated first in order to improve your body's ability to fully digest them. Unlike grains, nuts and seeds are not particularly rich sources of phytic acid (the antinutrient found in grains that binds up minerals preventing your body from fully absorbing them); rather, they are a source of enzyme inhibitors - which bind to enzymes, decreasing your body's ability to fully digest your food.
Enzyme inhibtors are found in the papery skins that surround nuts, and can be effectively mitigate in three ways:
removing the papery skin
soaking the nuts in a slightly saline solution
Today's assignment is to make the commitment to include properly prepared nuts and seeds into your diet, if you tolerate them and do not suffer from allergies.
Day #19 Check List:
Properly prepare nuts and seeds:
Prepare a dish with blanched almond flour (almond flour does not need soaking as the almonds' papery skins hae already been removed).
Submerge nuts or seeds under warm water in which you've dissolved 1 tablespoon or so of unrefined sea salt overnight, then prepare as you normally would or dehydrate until thoroughly dry and crispy.
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F, spread nuts over a baking sheet and sprinkle with unrefined sea salt. Roast for approximately 8 to 10 minutes, stirring halfway through. Remove from the oven, cool and serve.