How and Why You Should Activate Nuts and Seeds

Image source.
Image source.

Ever heard of activating nuts or seeds and thought "what the.., how can they be active?" Well, simply put, activating is soaking the grains, nuts or seeds in water with a bit of salt for the recommended length of time (it varies for each different variety). Basically, by soaking them the enzymes and other things that are naturally in nuts and seeds break down, resulting in a more absorbable and more easily digested nut or seed. And personally I think they taste better too, they get a lovely crunch once they have been activated!

How to Activate Nuts and Seeds: Soak nuts/seeds in filtered water with a pinch of salt for the recommended time (see below), drain water and remove. Dry out the nuts by either using a dehydrator, oven set on the lowest possible temperature (you don't want to cook them!) or lay out in a sunny spot on the bench and let sunlight do its magic.

Almonds- salted water overnight Cashews- salted water, 3-6 hours, be sure they don't go slimy Walnuts, Pecans, Pine nuts, Hazelnuts-salted water, overnight or about 8 hours Pepitas and sunflower seeds- salted water, overnight


Soaking Legumes and Grains: As for legumes and grains, they are not 'activated' as such, but it is recommended that you soak them before cooking or consumption to break down the phytic acids and enzyme inhibitors. For grains, soak them for at least 7 hours and legumes at least 12, in warm water with an acid, such as vinegar or lemon juice, which aids the soaking process. Then drain and enjoy.

For more detailed info on soaking nuts, grains and legumes, see this Food Matters post:

Do you soak your nuts, seeds, grains and legumes?

Keep healthy, Erica xx