Nuts contain phytic acid and enzyme inhibitors that prevent them from being digested well and that can be detrimental to your health.
The answer to this problem is simple: soak your nuts and seeds
After a couple hours, much of the dust, residue and tannins from the skins are released into the water and the nut emerges with a smoother, more palatable flavor.
Benefits of Soaking
- increased enzyme activity
- greater absorption of the food’s nutrients by the body
- increased digestibility
How to Soak Nuts
Soak your nuts and seeds anywhere from 20 minutes, to 2 to 3 hours, even overnight in the refrigerator. In general, harder nuts will take longer to soften. If your recipe calls for soaked nuts or seeds and you are low on time, try to squeeze in 20 minutes minimum, or just do a really good job rinsing them.
A god guide is to soak nuts according to the density of the type of nut. The harder a nut is, the longer it will need to soak. Soak almonds for 8 to 12 hours. Soak cashews for 2 to 3 hours. Soak flax seeds for 6 hours. Soak garbanzo beans for 12 to 48 hours. Soak walnuts for 4 hours.
Quick Tip #1 The soak water from nuts and seeds should always be discarded and never used as water in a recipe.
Quick tip #2 : Soaking nuts in plastic is generally not recommended as plastic can leach into the water and into your food.
Fermented foods have a lot of health benefits. They are rich in enzymes, which help speed up digestion and absorption in our system. They are also rich in good bacteria, specifically lactobacillus acidophilus, which is an extremely beneficial flora found in the gut.
A study published in the International Journal of Obesity even found that some types of probiotics promoted weight loss.
NOTE – Most fermented foods you can buy in supermarket jars or cans have been pasteurized and cooked at high heat, killing any friendly bacteria. You’ll have to make your own pickles or sauerkraut to retain those products’ bacterial benefits. (If you take basic precautions in fermenting your own, there’s little risk.)