September 9, 2013

Soaking and Drying Nuts

Did you know that nuts, oats and beans
This is a relatively new concept to me.

I first wrote on some of the changes I'd made in my 
kitchen back in my early days of blogging ~ 
It includes many links to the *whys* and *hows* behind soaking.
That post may be found by clicking here.

At the time I didn't know about the benefits of soaking and drying nuts ~
just goes to show we are always learning something new, doesn't it?
I certainly do not have it all together in this area,
and I have been known to completely change my mind on some 
things after further research.
It's a good thing to be flexible ~ another thing I've been learning.  :)

Soaking may seem like such a lot of extra work, but, it really isn't.
It just requires a little advance planning,
and the end product is so much better for you.

I cannot help but take notice of the references to soaking beans
in the "Little House" books when I consider what we do as cooks today.
There seemed to be a general knowledge about these things passed
down from one generation to the next back in those days.
We often are hurried and harried in this day and age ~
sometimes food preparation suffers in the process of day to day living.

Soaking and drying nuts is my most recent kitchen upgrade.

I buy pecans and almonds raw.
Then, I soak in salted filtered water for about twelve hours ~
I use 1/2 Tbsp sea salt to 1 lb nuts in about six cups water.

For a specific guideline on how long to soak 
for the type of nut you are working with ~ Click Here.
Sea salt is added to the bottom of a large glass bowl ~
then one variety of nut is added and covered with plenty of fresh water.
Soak only one type of nut per bowl of water.  Stir to dissolve the salt.
Set a lid or large plate over the bowl to cover it ~
some people use a tea towel so it can *breathe*.

After about twelve hours, the water will be brown and murky ~
 pour it off and rinse the nuts well with fresh water.
I use my dehydrator to dry the nuts.
This could also be done in the oven if it will allow you to set it
for a low enough temperature ~ it needs to be about 115-120 degrees F.

Whichever method you choose to use,

it's beneficial to spread the nuts onto parchment paper
for the drying time ~ I do this even in the dehydrator.
If you are using your oven a parchment lined cookie sheet works well.
It's best to try to evenly distribute the nuts in a single layer.

This next step takes a good 24 hours for pecans,
and closer to 36 hours for almonds.
The nuts need to be kept in the oven or dehydrator for the 
appropriate length of time and turned every so often.
Keep checking them for *doneness* ~ this is the fun part!
The goal is to remove all that water and get them
toasty and crunchy ~ They are kinder on your tummy,
and, in my opinion, actually taste better than when they were *raw*.

Once you have a batch of nuts ready to go,

put them into a freezer container and keep them
frozen until needed ~ they will be kept fresher that way.

What about you?  
Do you prepare raw nuts in this way?
Oh, and if you don't and aren't ever planning to,
know that there are seasons for everything ~
It's okay if you never ever do this!  *Smile*

Happy snacking!  :)


**Update ~ I have found that my pecans have turned out too salty

in recent days and have modified the instructions to reflect this.
Make sure you use lots of soaking water and 
rinse very well prior to the dehydration process.  


Nadine said...

Interesting, I will have to give it a try!
I do soak my beans overnight before cooking them and have been making overnight oatmeal in small mason jars. It absorbs the milk and yogurt overnight...very yummy, especially with cocoa and bananas added! :)

Love & Blessings,

Dianna said...

This is a totally new concept to me, Camille. I find it rather interesting and will make that a project next month. Thanks so much for sharing!

Angela said...

I've soaked beans overnight but never heard about soaking nuts. It's the drying time that throws me off though. Don't have a dehydrator and my oven can't go that low. Oh well.
Thanks for the information though.

Heather@Cultivated Lives said...

Soaking grains is on my list of things to figure out and I'll now add soaking nuts too.

Camille said...

Nadine ~ Mmmm....your breakfast sounds yummy nummy. :)

Dianna ~ I like to wait to use the nuts I buy until they've been soaked and dried. I really like them so much better! I hope you do, too. :)

Angela ~ If your oven can be set at 150 degrees you could do it on that temperature...they just won't be *raw* anymore. :)

Heather ~ Ooohhh...soaking and drying nuts is easy-peasy! :)


Michelle said...

I'm so glad you posted this. I have soaked my oats for granola in the past and soak my beans as well. I've been reading about soaking nuts and wasn't sure about the process. It does seem easy...just a bit longer than I would want! I don't have a dehydrator yet and think my oven would need to be put to use during that time!

Everything I've read says it makes digestion easier. We are on a road to more whole foods. There is just so much to learn!

Cheesemakin' Mamma said...

I've been doing this for awhile now and I find that my tongue doesn't get as sore when I eat walnuts or pecans because the acid is neutralized when soaked. So glad to hear I'm not the only "nut" doing this :)

Camille said...

Dear Michelle ~ Don't allow yourself to get overwhelmed...just take baby steps in...they will get you far ahead in no time! I find them easier on my tummy this way...and, they taste better, too. :)

Dear Jackie ~ It's good to be in the same boat as you my friend. :)

Many Blessings,