I’m often asked what are “activated” nuts and why do we need to “activate” nuts?
SHORT ANSWER: Activation has become an industry term that means proper preparation through soaking and long slow dehydrating to reduce phytates and other anti nutrients naturally found in all nuts and seeds that lead to digestive havoc. Activation makes nuts more digestible and nutritious (not to mention more delicious!)
🌰 The phytates and other anti nutrients found in raw nuts and seeds do three pesky things:
- They trap nutrients inside the nuts. Nuts and seeds are one of the most nutrient dense foods on the planet but if the nutrients are not bio available then you’re not availing yourself of all that goodness! Activating nuts liberates or activates the nutrients in the nuts, making activated nuts the third most nutrient-dense food on the planet (according to the Mat Lalonde scale of nutrient density).
- They destroy enzymes needed for digestion. That’s why gas and bloating are often the result of eating raw - unactivated - nuts as your body is having a really hard time digesting those raw nuts without digestive enzymes.
- They irritate the lining of the gut making it leaky. A leaky gut is something we want to avoid at all expense as it means large foreign particles can now directly enter the blood stream instead of being kept in the gastro intestinal tract. This can potentially invoke a powerful immune response where the body tries to attack those foreign particles but mistakenly starts attacking its own tissues (hence the term “auto”-immunity). Auto-immunity is not a life sentence and can be put into ‘remission’ by following a strict protocol of healing and sealing the tight junctions of the gut (for more information contact me for a private health coaching session where I can give you the auto immune protocol meal plan that I put together for all my AIP clients and I can refer you to my trusted intergrative practitioners for robust testing).
🌰All traditional societies, the world over, soaked in rain water and sun dried their nuts to improve the bio availability and digestibility of them. They knew to do this from trial and error over Millenia. We honour the wisdom of our ancestors by following these ancestral practices in the preparation of our nuts and seeds.
🌰Activated nuts are not only more digestible and nutritious than raw nuts, they are much more delicious! Once you’ve tried activated nuts, there’s no going back!
🌰 I have been activating nuts since 2006 to crispy perfection to provide the most moorish organic activated nuts with the largest range in Australia. We have strict requirements for soaking times and what must be added to the filtered water that the nuts are soaking in to enhance phytate reduction. We also have strict requirements as to the dehydrating temperature so that it does not exceed 55 degrees Celsius because above that temperature heat-sensitive enzymes are destroyed. Hence why activating nuts can takes days and days in the dehydrator ovens to yield super crispy nuts. If making activated nuts at home, you don’t technically need to dehydrate them so long as you soak, strain and rinse them in filtered water (though you’ll be eating soggy nuts so please refrigerate them to avoid them going mouldy knowing that their fridge shelf life will be greatly reduced compared to dehydrated nuts which have a long shelf life of 6-12 months).
🌰 Dehydrating is NOT the same as roasting, as roasting heats the nuts to well over 55 degrees thus destroying the heat sensitive enzymes. Roasted nuts are also not soaked so I avoid them.
🌰 You can extend the shelf life and crispness of activated nuts and seeds by storing them in the fridge.
🌰 Our range of activated nuts includes almonds, brazils, cashews, hazels, macadamias, pepitas, pecans, walnuts, savoury buckwheat, cinnamon dusted buckwheat, mixed nuts, snack mix and muesli (all gluten free).
🌰 Each variety of nuts and seeds contains a slightly different balance of macro and micro nutrients to the next variety so that’s why ideally we should be mixing it up and eating a variety of different activated nuts (short of an allergy/food intolerance), just like vegetables. For example, walnuts are high in brain loving omega 3, brazils are high in selenium, macadamias and hazels are relatively low in the pro-inflammatory omega 6 etc etc. I’m often asked “which activated nut variety is the best?” That’s like asking me “which vegetable is the best?” One of the greatest things you can do for your health is eat a VARIETY of foods. Mix things up!
🌰 Eat a handful of nuts a day, throw on yogurt, salads, cooked veggies, or grind up into a nut butter or grind up to use as a gluten free flour substitute for baked cakes. Grind up our savoury buckwheat for a gluten-free flour substitute for crumbing meat to make schnitzels, and grind up our cinnamon buckwheat as a gluten free flour substitute for baked cakes and buckwheat pancakes.