I love nuts. Every kind; almonds, walnuts, and pecans are among my favorites, though. Every time I buy nuts I soak them before I eat them. My husband thinks it’s hilarious when I do this – that I soak something only to then dry it out again. I know, I know. It sounds silly but there’s a method to the madness. Just wait.
According to Sally Fallon, in her book, Nourishing Traditions, “Nuts are an extremely nutritious food if properly prepared.” How do you do that and why?
She goes on to say, “Nuts contain numerous enzyme inhibitors that can put a real strain on the digestive mechanism if consumed in excess. Nuts are easier to digest, and their nutrients more readily available, if they are first soaked in salt water overnight, then dried in a warm oven.”
Nuts sometimes get a bad rap, but they’re a great, healthy snack. Take the pecans and walnuts here. The pecans, for instance, may contain about 70 percent fat, but it’s monounsaturated. Monounsaturated fats are better than saturated fats and can help lower cholesterol levels and are full of vitamins and even some trace minerals! In pecans these include, calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, selenium, manganese, B complex vitamins, carotenoids, and even a small amount of vitamin C! All in that tiny little nut.
Did you know a 1-oz. serving of walnuts provides a day’s worth of omega-3 fatty acids? They also contain B vitamins, vitamins K, C, and E, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, iron, copper, zinc, manganese, and selenium. Phew! Suffice it to say, they’re good for you. I like them because they taste good!
I like them plain out of the jar, on top my oatmeal or yogurt, in salads, mixed into cookies – pretty much any old way – and so I’m glad I’ve learned what I have about them and now always soak them. Ever eat a handful of pecans and get a weird feeling in your mouth? I had but never gave it much thought, but it’s those enzyme inhibitors!
This might seem like a lot of work, but it’s not. I filled my jars last night, left them out all night, then this morning drained and rinsed them, put them in the oven, and more or less forgot about them. All I had to do was give them a light toss every once in a while, and I don’t really worry about and only do it if I happen to think of it. Then I put them in jars and they’re done! Just a note, the pecans can be stored at room temperature, but it’s best to refrigerate the walnuts; it’s because of lionlenic acid apparently that makes them more susceptible to go rancid. It’s not a bad idea to store all your nuts in the fridge; they’ll last longer – if yours stay around that long; mine usually don’t!
Crispy Walnuts and Pecans
Makes 4 cups
4 cups pecan halves
2 teaspoons sea salt
Mix nuts with salt in large jar and cover with filtered water. Leave in a warm place for at least 7 hours or overnight. Drain in a colander. Spread on a baking pan and place in a warm oven (no more than 150 degrees) for 12 to 24 hours, turning occasionally, until completely dry and crisp. Store in an airtight container.
This method can be used with different nuts. Mine usually don’t take more than 12 hours. I don’t time it though. This batch I put in the oven while the morning coffee was brewing and took out of the oven as I was finishing up a few day’s chores before bed. They only took a few minutes to cool and put in the jars and they were done.
Hope this helps you. I found it so interesting when I first learned it and have been meaning to share it with you for a while. So, stay nutty! They’re good for you!
Nourishing Traditions, by Sally Fallon with Mary G. Enig, Ph.D.; 1999, 2001 New Trends Publishing, Inc.; ISBN 0-9670897-3-5/978-0-9670897-3-7; pgs. 512-513