**Scroll to the bottom for a quick how-to video!**
Here’s the deal with the whole activated almond trend, in a nutshell (ha!).
Raw nuts, although very good for you, contain anti-nutrients such as phytic acid which can limit the body’s ability to absorb important nutrients such as calcium, iron and zinc. By soaking nuts before eating them, this imitates their natural sprouting process (‘activates’), and decreases these anti-nutrients.
Activated nuts are then often dehydrated in order to a) make them taste delicious and b) increase their shelf life. Nuts that are soaked without being dehydrated are perfectly fine and very healthy to eat, but will be quite soft and will turn rancid fairly quickly.
Activated nuts can be used in all the same ways as raw nuts – snacking, baking, nut butters, making into flours/meals, homemade almond milk, etc. They have a delicious flavour and you’ll find that they’re very gentle on your digestive system… and that can only be good news ;-)
Making your own activated almonds is super easy! The very best way is by using a food dehydrator, which are very affordable and readily available - they don't have to be fancy to get the job done! Plus there's lots more you could use it for - fruits, vegetables, even meats can all be dehydrated into delicious snacks/chips/jerkys with a great shelf life. Make sure you read the safety instructions carefully before diving in.
You could also use your oven on a very low heat to dehydrate the nuts, but frankly, I’m not comfortable leaving my oven running for 12 hours!
- Nuts of your choosing. I like almonds, walnuts and brazil nuts. You can use as much or as little nuts as you wish.
- Good quality salt
- Filtered water
Dissolve the salt in the filtered water (approx. 1 tsp to every 3 cups). Place nuts in a large bowl and cover with the salted water. Allow to soak overnight. Spread the nuts onto your dehydrator trays and follow your machine's instructions to dehydrate them for 12 hours.
Technically, different nuts have different ‘ideal’ soaking and dehydrating times (i.e. almonds will need longer than cashews), but I don’t get too caught up with this – if I’m activating a bunch of nuts, I just soak the whole lot together overnight, and throw them all in the dehydrator at the same time.
Although activating your own nuts is easy, it's also quite time consuming. Buy yourself a nice big bag of raw organic nuts like these, then activate them over one weekend so you have lots of yummy activated nuts readily available for weeks (although mine rarely make it a week before they've all been eaten!).
Give it a go – I guarantee regular raw nuts won’t taste nearly as good once you’ve tasted activated ones!