Soak your Nuts, Seeds and Grains

2018-03BettinaMarch

When entering ‘plant based’ or ‘free from’ as in ‘allergen-free heaven’ there is a whole new jungle of information on how to do things. One of those methods you will stumble across is soaking (activating) nuts, seeds and grains and pulses. The soaking process makes nuts more digestible and removes bitter flavours without requiring roasting.

This process also removes enzyme inhibitors that exist in the skin of the nuts. Enzyme inhibitors are what allow nuts to stay dormant until they are soaked, sprouted, and ready to grow. It's nature's way of preserving the life force so they can reproduce in the future.

Not all nuts have enzyme inhibitors: brazil, macadamia, hazelnuts and pistachios are nuts that don't need to be soaked for activating reasons. But doing so will make them easier to work with.

Cashews are particularly susceptible to sliminess and should not be soaked for longer than six hours. The harder the nut, such as almonds, hazelnuts, and pistachios, the longer you will need to soak them.

Nuts with more oils such as brazil nuts, pecans, and walnuts, become saturated more easily.

Keep in mind, the longer nuts soak the more waterlogged they become and you may require less water in your recipe.

Often, one or two nuts will rise to the top. It's a good idea to discard these floaters as it usually means they have gone rancid.

This is a good starting point to soaking. Once you get into a habit this will come naturally!

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HOW LONG?

Almonds 12-14 hours
Cashews 3-6 hours
Hazelnuts 7-12 hours
Macadamias 7-12 hours Peanuts 7-12 hours
Pecans 7-12 hours
Walnuts 7-12 hours
Pine nuts 7-12 hours
Sunflower seeds 7-12 hours

Homemade Almond Milk

Ingredients

One part pre-soaked almonds

Two parts water (I like my almond milk milky, you can use more water if you like to equal three parts)

1 tsp. of agave

1 pinch of salt (Himalayan)

1 tsp. of coconut oil

Half a vanilla pod (the leftover stalk I put in a jar of porridge oats or anything that can benefit from the delicious smell of vanilla).

Method

Blend nuts and water together in a blender until you start getting a milky texture. Use a sieve to separate the pulp from the milk.

Put milk back in a blender and add agave, salt, vanilla and coconut oil and give it another whizz.

I like using a glass jar or bottle to store the milk – it’s more eco-friendly than plastic and keeps better in the fridge.

What do you do with the pulp? I dehydrate mine to make almond flour, use in a cake or make little chocolate balls covered in sesame seeds.

You can make many different milks, so don’t limit yourself to almonds.

There is hazelnut, sunflower and brazil nut to name a few of my favourites.

Basil Mayo

Ingredients

1 cup (120 grams) of cashews (pre-soaked for at least 4-6 hours)
1/2 cup (120 grams) of water or as much needed to get the mix going
Handful of basil
1 tsp of nutritional yeast
1 tsp of apple cider vinegar
1/2 clove of garlic
Pinch of salt (Himalayan)
Pinch of black pepper

Method

Put all your ingredients in a blender and mix until creamy smooth.

If mixture is a bit slow add small amounts of water until it blends easily.

Store in a glass jar in the fridge.

 
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