I’m excited about activated nuts because of the taste, I’ll tell you a bit about the health side in a minute, but activated nuts truly have a depth of flavour I’m not sure any other roasted nut can deliver. This will be my first recipe I’ve ever written for nuts. I’m not even sure this qualifies as a recipe – more of a method – for super yummy tasting nuts.
Basically, activated nuts become ‘activated’ after being soaked in water for 12 – 24 hours, then drained and slow dried in a low oven. Sounds time consuming right? If you’re desperate for some nuts you wouldn’t want to wait that long! But, if you plan ahead and get them on when you’re spending some time at home, you’ll be ecstatic with the results. And of course this method works for all types of nuts – cashews, hazelnuts, almonds, macadamias. The drying times may differ, you’ll just have to experiment.
Put simply, soaking the nuts increases the nutrient content and breaks down the enzymes that inhibit the bodies potential to absorb the good stuff from the nuts. These same enzymes also build up and can make digestion sluggish – no body needs that…
After the soaking and slow drying the nuts are ‘activated’. The body can draw more nutrients from them and digest them easier too – sounds good to me. Some sites still claim this to be speculation, others support it.
So, you need to plan ahead. Get your nuts soaking for 12 – 24 hours, and then be home on a day where they can slowly dry out on the lowest heat your oven can muster (about 65C) for 6 – 8 hours. That’s it! Work done! They’re worth the wait.
Don’t do what I did and put them in the oven at 10pm at night and find yourself getting up at 4.30am cause you just know they must be ready! Definitely dry them in the day so you can check on them after 6 hours.
I decided to mix my activated pecan and walnuts with some sultanas. If you do decide to do this, only mix a portion of them. Keep the rest in an airtight container to keep the moisture from the nuts so they stay crisp. If you can afford it, buy organic nuts too. These will be pesticide free so better for you.
Now, if you’re the type of person to who likes to give gifts of food, or pack things into jars with hand crafted tags, then some activated nuts would make a very nice gift indeed. I’m more inclined to take a bowl of them around to someones house to munch, or keep a stash in the pantry to encourage healthy snacking.
Activated pecans and walnuts
300g organic walnuts
300g organic pecans
2 tsp salt
Water to cover
Optional – 1 cup organic sultanas or organic raisins – to serve
Place walnuts in a large bowl, cover with water, add 1 tsp of salt and stir till dissolved. Repeat the same process with the pecans, soak them in a large separate bowl with the remaining salt. Set both bowls aside on the kitchen bench and soak for 12 – 24 hours ( I soaked mine for 12 hours, but have also been told, up to 24 hours is better for releasing more nutrients).
Once soaking is done, set oven to the lowest setting – 65C. Drain nuts well. Line two trays with baking paper and spread nuts onto separate trays, dry for 6 – 8 hours (mine dried for 6.5 hours and were perfect). Remove from oven and set aside to cool completely before storing in air tight containers. Optional – take 1 cup of cooled walnuts, 1 cup of cooled pecans and mix with 1 cup of organic raisins or sultanas.