How to activate nuts and oilseeds through soaking, the benefits and how to do it most effectively
Fruits and nuts and oil seeds these are two categories of foods rich in properties that we have advised you to put on the table several times. But do you know that, to enjoy all their benefits, it would be better to soak them first? We explain why.
Especially vegetarians and vegans should eat seeds and nuts every day, foods that contribute to a correct protein intake as part of a balanced plant-based diet. Rich in vitamins, minerals and good fats, walnuts, hazelnuts, almonds, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, etc. however, they are foods that also contain some anti-nutrients which can limit our body's absorption of useful substances.
What are the benefits of soaking nuts and oil seeds?
It is above all the external part of nuts and seeds, or the peel or skin, that is rich in a substance known as phytic acid. This is considered an antinutrient as it tends to limit the absorption of important mineral salts such as calcium, magnesium, iron, copper and zinc but also vitamins. Undoubtedly one of the most important reasons why it would be better to eat seeds and nuts after soaking them for a few hours is precisely the reduction of the quantity of phytates. In fact, soaking manages to neutralize (partially or completely) this substance, thus guaranteeing a greater supply of useful substances to our body every time we eat these precious and tasty foods.
The soaking also allows seeds and nuts to germination this allows him to also increase the bioavailability of some vitamins (in particular C and those of group B) but also of carotenes and other beneficial substances for our body.
Germination causes the amount of starch and fiber present in oil seeds and dried fruit to decrease, while the amount of proteins, minerals and vitamins increases. This is why it increases the bioavailability of nutrients and food is more easily digested.
This simple practice also allows you to neutralize some enzymes, which are also responsible for inhibiting correct absorption of certain nutrients and instead favor the production of enzymes useful for digestion.
In summary, soaking is useful for:
• Reduce the presence of phytic acid
• Improve the bioavailability of proteins, minerals and vitamins
• Neutralize enzymes that inhibit the absorption of some nutrients
• Promote the appearance of enzymes useful for digestion
• Make foods more digestible
Seeds, nuts and dried fruit after being shelled they must be soaked in water for at least 20 minutes but better for a few hours (even better for a whole night). It is recommended to soak, especially if it is long, inside a glass container (avoid plastic if you can as it could release unwanted substances). There are those who recommend doing it at room temperature and those who, especially in the hot season, suggest placing the food to soak in the refrigerator.
Depending on the type of dried fruit you can proceed with a longer or shorter soak, some types are in fact harder and more resistant than others. Cashews tend to need shorter soaking times (about 2 hours) while almonds need more time (about 8 hours). those of sesame are recommended 2 hours. Mostly if the soak is long, it is recommended (if possible) to change the water every 2-3 hours.
After the soaking time, you will notice an increase in volume due to the germination of nuts and seeds, at this point foods must be drained (the water you can use to water the plants) and rinse thoroughly to remove all residues left. Finally, there remains only that proceed with drying which can be done in the sun, or using a dryer or even in the oven at low temperatures (even less than 100 degrees, the time it takes depends on the type of seeds or dried fruit used).
Once completely dry fruit and seeds can be stored in a closed glass jar in a cool place.
Soaking is recommended to take advantage of all seeds and types of dried fruit.
Among the dried fruit remember:
• Cashew nuts
• Brazilian nuts
• Pine nuts
the seeds instead:
• Chia seeds (they will form a gel rich in mucilage)
• Flax seeds (like chia seeds, mucilages are activated)
• Sesame seeds
• Pumpkin seeds
• Sunflower seeds
• Hemp seeds
We have already told you about another similar and equally very healthy practice. This is the so-called "Activation" of seeds and nuts which is done by soaking these foods in brine and then drying them in the sun. You can read all the details : NUTS, DRIED FRUITS AND SEEDS: MORE RICH IN NUTRIENTS AND DIGESTIBLE IF "ACTIVATED"
The taste of dried fruit and seeds soaked it does not change much and if anything is exalted by this very healthy practice. If you are used to using many legumes, it will not cost you too much effort to dedicate part of your time to soaking seeds and dried fruit, if you then consider the many advantages it offers, the time spent will pay off in health!
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