We use alkaline forming, raw nuts and seeds (almonds, walnuts, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds, hemp seeds, chia seeds, and flax seeds) in the recipes.
Always purchase high quality nuts and seeds from a reputable supplier with a high turnover as they are highly susceptible to rancidity.
To support better digestion, we recommend purchasing “activated” or “sprouted” nuts and seeds, or soaking and dehydrating them at home.
If you do not use activated nuts and seeds you may experience stomach aches, nausea, gas, and bloating.
Our motto: “Be a soaker or a toaster, not a bloater!”
WHY ACTIVATE NUTS AND SEEDS?
Nuts and seeds contain natural protective toxins (phytic acid) in their bran and hulls that act like armor, protecting the foods from germination until the conditions are perfect to sprout into healthy plants. This brilliant natural mechanism also prevents these foods from sprouting in your pantry.
However, when nuts and seeds are ingested, their phytic acid (armor) interferes with enzyme function in your body, and compromises your digestion. Phytic acid can also inhibit your absorption of calcium, iron, magnesium, and zinc.
Soaking nuts and seeds in warm acidulated and salted water simulates the ideal moist germinating conditions these foods wait for in nature, essentially tricking the food into “sprouting”, which neutralizes enzyme inhibitors, and activates the full nutrient potential of the food. The potency of vitamins like A, C, and B get a boost, proteins become more available, and the enzymes that aid in their digestion are released. Soaking also softens nuts and seeds, making them easier to blend for creamier textures in smoothies, sauces, and dressings.
Foods require different soak times for full germination. As a general rule: The harder the nut, the longer the soak. For specific soak times, refer to the Soaking & Sprouting sheet. Note: Chia, hemp, and flax seeds do not require soaking.
The easiest way to practice soaking for long-soak foods is in the evening right before bed. Then, upon rising, rinse, drain, and dry. Alternatively, soak in the morning to use at night.
STEP ONE: In a glass or ceramic container: Place your food, and fully cover it with a solution of warm filtered water, natural salt, and apple cider vinegar or lemon juice. Use two parts water to one part food by volume; per quart or liter of water. Add 1/4 teaspoon (2g) of sea salt and 1/2 teaspoon (2.5ml) of lemon juice or apple cider vinegar. (The addition of acid can help activate phytase, which breaks down phytic acid.) So, to soak 1 cup (160g) of almonds: Add 1/8 teaspoon (1g) salt and 1/4 teaspoon (1ml) acid to 2 cups (480ml) of filtered water, and immerse the food in the mixture.
STEP TWO: Cover the bowl with a breathable dish towel, and let stand at room temperature for the directed period. (See specific soak times on the Soaking & Sprouting sheet in the Food Guide.) During soaking, it’s normal to see a few nuts or seeds floating on the surface. These are possibly rancid. Discard them. It’s not uncommon to have a lot of floaters. In this case, keep the nuts or seeds. It’s the nature of the food. You will also see food particles, a murky film on the surface of the water, and sediment on the bottom of the container. This is absolutely normal. These are the anti-nutrients that the soaking process has drawn out.
STEP THREE: Empty the contents of the bowl into a colander or fine-mesh strainer, rinse the bowl, and then place the food back in. Refill the bowl with clean water, fully submerging the food, then swish the contents around, strain, and rinse again. Repeat this process again (if needed) so that the water is completely clear.
STEP FOUR: Use the soaked food to make milk, smoothies, sauces, or other dishes, or dehydrate or oven dry per the instructions below.
Freshly soaked and drained nuts and seeds (that are still wet) need to be used immediately. When you use long-soaked nuts and seeds while they are wet it does shorten the shelf life of raw recipes as the wet food is semi-fermented. So, recipes such as nut milks, sauces, and dressings will only last 2 to 3 days.
Use the Soaking & Sprouting cheat sheet for specific soak times for nuts and seeds.
We soak and dehydrate all nuts and seeds (except chia, hemp, and flax that do not need to be soaked and dehydrated) as soon as we purchase them. Then, we either use them activated and dry (for a crunchy element for salads and toppings) OR quick-soak them (pour boiled water over them for 10 minutes) just to soften them for the best texture for sauces, dressings, and smoothies.
When you use soaked and dehydrated (activated) nuts and seeds and then quick-soak them right before you need to use them in a recipe, your dish will last longer, typically 5 to 7 days in the fridge.
If you haven’t prepared ahead of time or are making recipes in a hurry, you can soften nuts and seeds for better textures.
TO QUICK-SOAK: Place the food in a glass or ceramic container, cover with boiling water, soak for 10 minutes, then drain and rinse. Note: Quick-soaking in hot water has no nutritional benefit. Anti-nutrients are not neutralized, and the heat kills the enzymes present in the raw food.