Going nuts understanding raw nuts!
Going nuts understanding raw nuts!
So I’m obviously new to raw foods, I have been getting really into it lately as I feel strongly about the health benefits. I’ve been incorporating more and more raw meals into my week. I bought Ani Phyo’s cookbook, which has great recipes in it and is how I first heard about the live food lifestyle. She says in her book to soak all nuts and seeds, which I am doing, but after reading posts on here and other websites, I doubt that I am doing it right. I’ve been buying bulk nuts from Whole Foods that say they are raw and organic. But I’ve read that these nuts are not actually raw. Is this so? It kind of makes sense that maybe they are not, as they just sit in those bulk bins and are not refrigerated or anything. So when I soak these nuts am I just wasting time? Also what is the difference between soaking and sprouting and which is better? Why do one over the other? Can you buy nuts already soaked and dehydrated? I don’t have a dehydrator yet so I have just been drying nuts outside, is this ok?
I am very confused!! Any advice is greatly appreciated, or maybe a recommendation of a book I can pick up to explain all this stuff?
I’m going nuts, too!
I found this depressing (but informative) page yesterday:
I think that soaking starts the germination process if a nut or seed is viable. In that case, the nutritional profile is altered. I think I’ve read that fats start turning into proteins and enzyme levels increase. If the seed is not viable, soaking may still be desirable from a texture and flavor standpoint. You’d have to try it and see if you like it better. I think dehydration after soaking or sprouting is yet another texture tweak.
In Alissa Cohen’s “Living On Live Food” book there is a table on sprouting. For each type of seed/nut/grain/bean (they’re all seeds, really), she suggests a soaking time, which is followed by some number of days in which you rinse and drain the seeds. Another handy
If you draw any conclusions in your reading, I’d be interested to learn about them.
Good questions Emlee… about Whole Food’s nuts. I didn’t check out the forums people talked about… but I did notice the packaged nuts in Whole Foods say “raw cashews”, “raw sunflower seeds”, “raw almonds”, raw etc… Interestingly, after the Sept 2007 ‘mandatory’ pasteurization of almonds, the almonds no longer said “raw almonds”, just “almonds” while all the other nuts continue to be labelled “raw …”. So, this makes me think they are really raw, un-heated. But, it’s best to just all them and ask.
Soaking is different from sprouting, but sprouting requires soaking.
Soaking (better known as germinating) removes the enzyme inhibitors. Your body can digest them better. For sprouting, check out sproutpeople.com. Basically, you take them out of water and the seeds tarts to grow a tail (and maybe greens). Typically, you germinate (soak) only nuts/seeds like almonds, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, etc. And, you sprout seeds like alfalfa, snow peas, sunflower seeds, etc.
Yes, you can buy nuts already germinated and dehydrated. But, they are usually packaged in other raw foods. :o)
Drying the nuts out if they don’t grow mold, make you sick, or smell even after you try to rinse the smell out, is not a good thing. When you germinate nuts/seeds for up to 48/24 hours, respectively… you can store them in the water in the fridge… but you have to change the water every day or 2 (everyday is recommended). They can kepp for just less than a week (approx.)
i soaked a bunch of almonds overnight recently and then dehydrated them (although I may not have allowed them to get completely dry … being raw is taking way more patience than I have!!)
They ended up getting moldy! Yuck! any suggestions to keep that from happening?
Here’s our Dead Food List This tells you which nuts are raw and which are not and why.
Generally, you’re safe with sunflower seeds, walnuts, non American almonds, pine nuts and hazelnuts.
I soak every nut apart from pine nuts which just disintegrate coz their hull has been removed. I find them easier to digest and better tasting, because that is their natural state so it makes sense. When they’re dried they aren’t a whole food coz the water has been removed.
Anyway, don’t be too hard on yourself, do what you can and enjoy your food ;)
so i soaked some cashews for about 2 or 3 hours yesterday afternoon, put them outside on a tray to dry, brought them in once it started to get dark and put them in the fridge. This morning I noticed they were not dried out all the way and still kind of soggy. Are they going to make me sick now if I eat them? How long can you keep nuts like this or should I not be doing this at all? I have a sensitive immune system and it worries me!
thanks for all your advice everyone!!
i soak most nuts/seeds if they are going into recipes. occasionally i will eat walnuts without soaking them with no ill effects.
as far as the whole raw that are not raw thing, yeah it sucks. but you will get the hang of it. we get almonds at trader joes (they are from spain) to make almond milk.
emlee—cashews are hardly ever raw at the store. i know most of the recipes have them in them from the “raw gurus” but you have to order special cashews that are raw. why don’t you tell us the purpose of your wanting nuts? just to eat plain or in recipes. I don’t usually do the soak/dry method. I just soak and use in recipes.
Most almonds are not raw anymore.
Begining with the 2007 harvest all commercially distributed almonds are required by the USDA to be pasteurized – but still allowed to use a raw label. Pasteurization is a heat treatment to kill bacteria but is likely to dammage the seed as well. Unpateurized, truely raw almonds can only be legally purchased directly from a farmer (like a road side stand).
Members of gone raw can reserve unpasteurized 2008 crop (truely raw and truely fresh) for $7.00 per pound directly from my orchard – see www.almondsalive.com The harvest will begin in early August.
I have just added a recipe for almond sprouts (soak), but I like debbietook’s article more.
Here’s a link to truly raw cashews. Click here
I ordered them in bulk through my food coop, but you could just order them from the website.
Zoe’s dead food list is an excellent resource. Perhaps take it easy at first, transition slowly if you like – eating more raw each month, until your body feels great and you’d like to try eating all raw food for a few months (or longer!) to reap the benefits. That’s what worked for me. Enjoy raw meals, it’s very exciting that you have a great cookbook.
Thank you so much for all your advice, you are all so helpful! debbietook your article is so clear, it helped me out! I am trying to relax and take it slow, but there is so much to learn, it’s exciting. So, am I understanding this right; a lot of nuts are not actually raw, so not to worry about soaking, just eat them as they are? Doesn’t this mean I am not getting the nutritional benefits from them though?
I wanted the cashews for a recipe, but I don’t think I’m going to use them as they are still sitting in the fridge soggy. I don’t know enough about the safety of eating them if I didn’t fully dehydrate them. (They are not in water; after I put them outside to dry after I soaked them, then I wrapped them up in plastic wrap and put them in the fridge. What would have been the proper way to do this? I need a dehydrator don’t I!?)
I have an un-common autoimmune disease (a white blood cell disorder) and cannot tolerate most foods and all preservatives, so my diet is already very clean and close to raw. I have been traveling around the country meeting doctors and trying all sorts of treatment but cannot find anything that has helped me. It’s very discouraging. So I already eat lots of fruits, veggies, some nuts(but I wasn’t eating them raw), and I was eating chicken and fish as well.
The impression I’m getting from you guys is nuts don’t make up a large amount of your diet? From my cookbook and the stuff I’ve been researching online, it seems most recipes main ingredient are nuts so I assumed this was the main protein resource and therefore you ate a lot of nuts. Is this wrong? Sorry if I seem naive, I am trying to learn as much as possible because I really want to do this the right way! I am hoping that on a live food diet it may help improve my illness, or better yet, cure it!
So what are your main food sources? Should I be eating nuts sparingly? It seems people have opposing opinions on this topic as some say nuts are very high in fat and some say that doesn’t matter because it’s good fat.
To make this easy:
-Should I skip eating nuts if they are not raw? Or just not worry about soaking?
-Once the nuts are soaked, how long can you keep them? Should they be stored room temp. or in fridge? Are semi-dehydrated nuts safe to eat?
-Are nuts a staple in the raw diet or am I on the wrong track? Can anyone tell me what a typical day of meals is like for a raw-fooder?
Ok enough questions!!
Thanks everyone your help means a lot :-)
-If you want to eat raw foods, skip eating nuts if they are not raw. Foods that are not raw trigger the autoimmune response – this is true for non-raw nuts. They are a cooked food.
-Semi dehydrated nuts, like those cashews you used, are totally safe to use! Make a delicious salad dressing out of them if you want. Nuts that are soaked DO NOT need to be dehydrated – just pop em in the fridge and use em within a week.
-Nuts are not necessarily a staple in the raw diet. I hear that a lot of folks eat between 2 Tbsp to 1/2 cup of nuts a day (some folks have 3/4 cup or 1 cup) – and often, no nuts in a day. A typical day of eats for me might be:
breakfast green smoothie (banana, greens)
lunch: 4 cups fruit and 4 cups salad with 2 Tbsp cold pressed unfiltered olive oil
snack: 1 cup fruit
dinner: 4 bowls curry (blended almond milk and curry paste) see recipe here
snack: 1 ounce flax crackers
*some days i have no nuts, some days 1 cup, some days 1/2 cup seeds, etc – whatever i crave. but i always eat truly raw nuts.
The most important is to eat whatever you crave in whatever amount, as long as it’s raw! Intuitive eating is the best idea – don’t get hung up on calories, percentages, styles of raw eating, advice from folks. Do what is best for your body. Hopefully raw food will help you with your medical condition too! Good luck!
Emlee, the answer to your question about storing them is in my last post. Do you need more details?
Typically, two handful of nuts a meal is the limit. But, I heard that from ‘typical’ non-raw, food-combining vegans. Usually, when you germinate, the fat-to-protein ratio changes!
In general… 2 handfuls a meal.
wow zoe, you have some ridiculously good looking skin.
you do like botox whatever. or you use chemicals.
i remember you saying a post, your off the nuts / seeds, and hittin' the avocados up.