Thursday, February 17, 2011

Make Your Own Activated Almonds - At Home


Activated almonds. I've started seeing them everywhere in the natural foods store ... they seem to hang out with the raw, dark chocolate or all-natural granola bars. (A place I like to hang out, too ... ) Sometimes they're flavoured and in bags all on their own.

What makes activated nuts so special? Well, usually nuts are full of enzyme inhibitors that prevent them from sprouting in dry conditions. So if you soak them, you fool the nut into starting to sprout - which is good because the sprouted form has nutrients that are more easily absorbed. (Those enzyme inhibitors can make digestion more difficult for us.)

Which means more of the good stuff in the nut is used by our bodies!

And you don't have to spend a gazillion dollars to buy activated nuts - they're really easy to make yourself. I'll tell you how.



***********
Activated Almonds
makes ~3c* (or however much you want)

The time
12-24 hrs soaking + up to 24 hrs drying

The ingredients
2 cups raw almonds* (not roasted or salted)
enough water to cover the almonds in a dish
sea salt or garlic salt or dehydrated onion powder or tamari or curry powder (optional)

*You can use other nuts, too! Try brazil nuts, cashews, macadamias, hazelnuts, pistachios ...

** As always, use organic ingredients when you can.

The process
1. Soak the almonds in the water for 12 hrs. If you're using other hard nuts (like hazelnuts or brazil nuts) 12 hrs will also work. If you're using soft nuts, like cashews or pistachios - shorten soaking to 4-6 hrs.

NOTE: After soaking, the nuts will look nice and puffy and may even start to show signs of sprouting. (You can see this in the picture above.)

2. Rinse the nuts under running water, and if you want to add flavour - now is the time to do it. Just shake a couple of tsp of whichever flavour you want over the wet (rinsed) almonds, and stir to combine well.

NOTE: If you want, you can use and eat the activated almonds as they are, without roasting them.

3. Now, we want to 'roast' the almonds, without damaging all those nutrients we've activated. So we have to dry out the nuts on low heat - either in a dehydrator or on the lowest temperature your oven will do (mine is 60C, or 140F). This will take anywhere from 6-24 hrs, depending on the temperature you're using. The nuts will be done when they feel (and taste) dry.

You may have to sample several to figure this out ... lucky you!

4. Use your activated-dried almonds as you normally would use roasted almonds. They last really well in an airtight container. And they can be ground into almond meal, too!

The cost
I can make pesticide-free activated almonds for about $14 per kilo - quite a bit less than paying for a little packet of them!


Now I wonder if a good soak will activate me, too?
Off to find out.
Amanda xx

31 comments:

Erika said... [Reply to comment]

Ha Ha! A good soak usually de-activates me :)
Thanks for the tip about the nuts; good to know!

TheMarmaladeMonster said... [Reply to comment]

I love almonds, and I'm pretty sure I've got a bag of raw ones in my cupboard... or at least I hope :o

Anonymous said... [Reply to comment]

Now that is EASY PEASY - thank you for making it so clear...

Savannah said... [Reply to comment]

I soaked my almonds in water, dried them in the oven for 6 hours, and then roasted them. Does actually roasting them after they are dry ruin any of the benefits?

Amanda @ Easy Peasy Organic said... [Reply to comment]

@Savannah Hey Savannah - good question. My understanding is that as long as you roast on a low temperature, the enzymes will be ok. And that would go for baking, too. But once you get above 60-80C (120-160F) the enzymes will (sadly) get destroyed. So it might take you longer to make a cake with activated almonds, but I think you could do it without damaging the good stuff.

My Pink Door said... [Reply to comment]

Hi Amanda - I had never heard of activated almonds before, but I like the idea and think I'll give it a go! Can you tell me where you buy your pesticide free almonds? Thanks

Amanda @ Easy Peasy Organic said... [Reply to comment]

@My Pink Door Hi Jenny - in Brisbane I get mine at Flannery's - the store in Taringa has had them on special for several $$ off regular price lately ... so try there. I try to stock up when they're on sale and keep the extras in my freezer in Qld summertime.

Anonymous said... [Reply to comment]

Hi Amanda

That was very informative

I was wandering where you are buying pesticide free nuts from?

$14 is very cheap, and i can only find organic nuts for around 3 times the price- i must be looking in the wrong places!
Any clues?
Much love for great site.
Leah

Bianca said... [Reply to comment]

Hi there,
This is perfect. I'm only new the 'soaking almonds' world and was ready to take it up a notch with trying to activate them (which are very expensive to buy).
I have found an online store (http://www.goodness.com.au/store/Nuts/c1/index.html?page=2) that seem to have almonds insecticide free for a great price. I'm going to find a bunch of local friends and buy in bulk!

Anonymous said... [Reply to comment]

Hi Amanda, great post thank you! Just wondering if you know if all nuts are better when activated or only certain ones? Seeds too? Thanks :)

Meg said... [Reply to comment]

What about drying them in the sun instead of having the oven running all day?

Amanda @ Easy Peasy Organic said... [Reply to comment]

Hi anon - I do think most nuts and seeds are better when 'activated' ... and in fact most grains are best soaked, too! If you have the time :)

Meg - I think drying in the sun would be great, but it might take awhile ... not sure how long, but you could give it a go. I do put things in the back window of my car when it's warm to dry them out. Fewer insects go after them there!

slowdownslowly said... [Reply to comment]

So excited to try this! I bought a dehydrator yesterday with some birthday vouchers!
I would like to make my own nut milk too, in the nut bag I bought 3 years ago that is still in it's packet...lol.

Amanda @ Easy Peasy Organic said... [Reply to comment]

@slowdownslowly LUCKY!!!! (and happy birthday?!) You definitely have to try the almonds + rosemary + sea salt combo, too. It's my fave.

Anonymous said... [Reply to comment]

I love almonds soaked so much that i just eat them straight out of the water. I put them on my breakfast cereal or with yoghurt ... yum

Anonymous said... [Reply to comment]

Hi. I've treated almonds, pepitas, sunflowers this way. Have you done macadamias? Somehow I had the idea it wouldn't work, and am now inspired. Your blog is so nice on the eyes, now I'll have to explore. ;-) Thx from Nthn NSW.

Anonymous said... [Reply to comment]

@Amanda @ Easy Peasy Organic

Thanks for post on activating nuts. I might give it a go.
Don't dry food in the car. The plastics give off a vapour, that's what builds up to make your windscreen smeary.

Pete Evans said... [Reply to comment]

I just love my activated nuts...

Frank Torcasio said... [Reply to comment]

Hi, do you need to roast them? Id rather not, but wonder whether this will affect how long they keep for....can you advise?

ana lee said... [Reply to comment]

Organic is the way to go. Those organic nuts will be good for a pudding stuffing on my roast chicken recipes that is from free-range chicken.

Dustin said... [Reply to comment]

What about walnuts, same length as almonds?

Anonymous said... [Reply to comment]

have you noticed any benefits?

Anonymous said... [Reply to comment]

Hi
How much salt do you use?

Anonymous said... [Reply to comment]

@Amanda @ Easy Peasy Organic

thanks for the salt info.

Anonymous said... [Reply to comment]

thanks for sharing

Anonymous said... [Reply to comment]

Hi, what does the C stand for? What is it in metric (grams/kilo)?
Thanks!

Amanda @ Easy Peasy Organic said... [Reply to comment]

Hi - 'c' is for 'cups' ... which Dr Google says is ~140grams. :)

Anonymous said... [Reply to comment]

Where do you buy organic raw almonds for 14 dollars per kg?

Amanda Niehaus said... [Reply to comment]

Hi, I stock up when they're on special at my local wholefoods store, which is Flannery's (Brisbane). Hope this helps :)

Anonymous said... [Reply to comment]

Thanks for the tip (and the humour ;) ) You're another one of those 'good eggs' ;)

Anonymous said... [Reply to comment]

It was a really useful article andnow i am going to feed my son activatd almonds sounds great

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Thanks for commenting! Amandaxx

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