To soak or not to soak? That is the question. Most people know that including nuts and seeds in their diet is extremely beneficial. They provide a great source of plant based protein, are rich in vitamin E and contain omega 3 fatty acids. Though almonds contain a plethora of nutrients, the skins contain enzyme inhibitors, which stop the body from properly absorbing key nutrients.
By soaking almonds, the inhibitor is removed and this allows nutrients to be absorbed by the body. The process of removing the skin is also much easier on digestion as the gut does not have to work as hard to break these down.
Additionally by adding salt you're helping break phytic acid down further (in addition to soaking), as phytic acid binds to minerals like magnesium, zinc, iron and chomium in the digestive tract. Phytic acid is the natural storage of phosphorus in every nut, seed or legume. But by soaking and adding salt, this process greatly reduces strain on the digestive system. And my main focus is always to support this in whatever way possible. By following the below steps, you're able to do a little bit of the digesting outside the body.
Benefits of soaking almonds:
- Assist with digestion by providing digestive enzymes - in particular lipase - a pancreatic enzyme that accelerates the breakdown of fats by converting them into fatty acids.
- Provide Omega 3 fatty acids, magnesium, copper and potassium.
- Are heart healthy as they contain monounsaturated fat.
- Assist with controlling blood sugar.
- High in vitamin E, an antioxidant, which blocks free radicals.
- 1 cup almonds
- enough water to submerge them in
- 1 tsp salt (optional)
Place almonds in a bowl and submerge completely in water. Optional to add salt. Let sit overnight (minimum of 8-9 hours) and drain. At this point the almond peel will be soft and very easy to remove. Let drain on a towel and pat dry. You may use a dehydrator to dehydrate them completely, or roast them in the oven at the lowest setting until crisp - this may take up to two hours but your gut and taste buds will thank you. If you prefer the creamy texture, you can eat them right away or store in the refrigerator for 5-7 days.