Thursday, May 3, 2012

nutritional boost for almonds

raw almonds | photo: Sanjay Acharya
I am a big fan of raw nuts because they are a versatile way to add some nutrients into your diet.  Almonds are one of my favorites.  High in magnesium, manganese and vitamin E, they are a great source of heart healthy monounsaturated fats.  They are also good for helping to stabilize blood sugar and have been shown to lower the glycemic index of your meal when eaten as part of that meal.

As healthy as they are, as much as they are an amazing nutrient dense food, almonds can be made even healthier by the simple means of soaking.

When you soak almonds you break down the enzymes in the coating which can interfere with the bioavailability of some of the nutrients.  When those enzymes are removed the nutrients are more easily absorbed by your system.

Just as with beans and seeds, you can also sprout almonds which further increases their nutrition.  The act of sprouting helps to break down the indigestible sugars (those are what cause many of us to have gas when eating beans or nuts).  Sprouting also increases the nutritional content as the bean, seed, nut, prepares to grow.  And sprouts are more alkalizing which is good for our body.

So how do you soak almonds?  It's quite simple.

2 cups almonds
Place in a jar and cover with 4 cups of water
Let sit on the counter overnight
In the morning drain them well

At this point you can pat them dry and then store them in the refrigerator or you can dry them lightly.  I prefer to use my dehydrator, if I'm making a lot of nuts, or dry them in an oven set to 180F.  Then I can dry them in my pantry.

It doesn't really get any easier that that.


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