We all know about nuts being great sources of protein, healthy fats, fiber, vitamins, and minerals. But did you know that there is a process that makes it even easier for the body to absorb the nutrients from these nuts? Sprouting, also called soaking, is the process of immersing nuts, seeds, grains, or legumes in water for a certain period of time. This allows them to germinate further, promoting the growth of vital digestive enzymes that is beneficial to the body.
Nuts naturally contain phytic acid, which reduces the absorption of zinc, calcium, and other vitamins. This antinutrient is useful to protect the plants from pests and insects, but prevents humans from digesting the said vitamins and minerals. Sprouting breaks down these enzyme inhibitors, making it easier for humans to absorb the nutrients better.
Sprouted Nut Mix Trivia
- Some nuts are already pasteurized and irradiated and therefore, will not ‘sprout.’ But letting them go through the soaking process can still break down the antinutrients.
- There are different soaking and sprouting times for each type of nut. Cashews can be soaked in fast as 2-4 hours while almonds must be soaked for 8 to 12 hours.
- Sprouted nuts are best recommended for kids as they have a hard time chewing and digesting hard foods such as nuts.
- Pure water and high-quality salt, such as Celtic sea salt (and not table salt), must be used in soaking to best activate the enzymes.
- After the soaking process, makers put the soaked/sprouted nuts through a drying process – some through dehydrators and some go natural drying these out in the sun. This process is important in making them crisp and crunchy.
- The temperature during the drying or dehydrating process is very important so the activated enzymes stay active. The nuts must be completely dry before being stored, to keep them from developing molds.
Sprouted Nut Mix Buying Guide
With the movement for organic and high-quality food and snacks, there are already several makers of sprouted nuts, along with sprouted seeds and grains. These are readily available in organic supermarkets and some food retail stores. Some brands even sell raw nuts, which buyers can use to make their homemade sprouted nuts.
Sprouted Nut Mix Production & Farming in Texas
There are several kinds of nuts and varieties that can be grown locally in Texas, and there are some who serve as suppliers who source other kinds of nuts from producers in other regions or countries. The easy access and availability of these raw nuts, both organic and not, make it easier for sprouted nuts makers to source their ingredients. This also makes it easier for locals to buy the needed ingredients for their versions of these sprouted goodies.
Preservative, Additives and Chemicals
As sprouted nuts are developed as snacks for the health-conscious and those who are eating organic, most of these brands maintain that their products and the ingredients that they use are all non-GMO, organic and contain no preservatives and additives. The only controversy that these nuts encounter is if they are indeed as raw as they promise. Some states such as California, who supply about 80% of the world’s almond supply, legally require their almonds to go through a pasteurization process. So, despite them being labeled as “raw,” they might have already gone through some process along the way. Some nuts who have gone through these processes might not sprout, but will still be activated through soaking.
Sprouted nuts are sold in resealable plastics and packages to keep them away from moisture and the elements.
Enjoying Sprouted Nut Mixes
You can eat sprouted nuts right out of the bag, or mix them with recipes or desserts. Think pies with sprouted nut fillings, sprouted candied nuts, sprouted nut and seed loaf, sprouted almond butter – the possibilities are endless!
Freshly soaked or sprouted nuts must be used right away or they must be stored in the refrigerator. This can be kept for 1 week to get their maximum freshness. Keep them any longer and they start to lose their nutrients and can even grow molds.
You may also check the “Best By” date on the bags of the crispy and dry sprouted nuts that you purchased from makers. This is the date that they can guarantee the freshness of your purchase when stored in an airtight container and at room temperature. Some brands say that the shelf-life of these sprouted nuts can be extended up to about 12 months if refrigerated or put in the freezer.
Want to try your hand in making your own batch of sprouted nuts? It is not an easy process, but the nutritional benefits will make everything worth it! The Vegetarian Times guides us through the process:
- Place the raw nuts in a large glass bowl or mason jar.
- Cover it in warm, filtered water (about a 2:1 ratio) and about a ½ teaspoon of Celtic sea salt.
- Cover with a light cloth and let soak for the recommended time. There are specific soaking/sprouting times for each type of nut.
- Rinse thoroughly and drain.
- Use immediately these activated and sprouted nuts for your desired recipe or purpose, or store them in the refrigerator. You may also dehydrate or dry them to bring them to a crisp.