If you like eating raw nuts, you may have heard about the health trend called activating, or soaking, your nuts. Activating nuts reduces their phytates and makes them easier to digest than if you eat or cook with them raw. It also makes their nutrients more available for your body to absorb. The process of activating nuts sounds fancy, but all you have to do is mix salt and water, soak your nuts, and roast them in the oven.
Part 1 of 2:Soaking the Nuts
1Mix 2 cups (470 mL) of water with 2 teaspoons (6 grams) of sea salt. Use a spoon to mix your water and your salt together in a large bowl or tupperware container. Normal salt is okay to use for your mixture, but sea salt is best because it is more coarse. You can use slightly lukewarm water to make the salt dissolve quicker.
Tip: Filter your water beforehand to rid it of pollutants before you create your mixture.
2Place 2 cups (3 oz) of nuts in a large glass bowl. Put your nuts in a large bowl that will be able to hold both the nuts and the water mixture. Only activate 2 cups (3 oz) of nuts at a time so that your mixture doesn't spill out over the bowl. If you have more nuts, you can put them in separate bowls with separate mixtures.
Using a glass bowl is the best for soaking your nuts, because glass doesn't soak up any food particles like plastic does.
3Cover your nuts with the salt water mixture. Carefully pour the water and salt mixture into the bowl with your nuts. Make sure that the water covers the nuts completely. You might have excess salt and water left over, which you can save for more activation or pour down the drain.
Your salt water mixture won't hurt or clog your pipes, so you can pour it straight down the kitchen sink.
4Soak the nuts for at least 10 hours at room temperature. Try letting your nuts sit overnight, or leave them in your kitchen when you go to work in the morning.
You don't need to cover your nuts as they soak unless you think they might get dust or debris in them. If you are worried, you can place plastic wrap over your bowl or container as they sit.
Part 2 of 2:Drying Them Out
1Pour your nuts into a sieve or strainer over a sink. Use a strainer or a sieve to drain your nuts and then rinse them in the sink with cool water. Mix your nuts around as you rinse them so that all of them get rinsed off, and not just the ones on top.
Make sure your strainer or sieve has small enough holes where your nuts won't fall through as your rinse them.
2Line a baking tray with parchment paper. Use parchment paper on your baking tray so that your nuts don't stick to it. You don't need to secure the parchment paper to the tray, it should stick on its own.
3Spread your nuts on the baking tray in one single layer. Make sure your nuts are spread over the baking tray in a single layer with as little overlap as possible. That way, they will dry out quickly and evenly.
4Roast your nuts in the oven for at least 6 hours at 150 °F (66 °C). You want your nuts to dry out slowly at a low temperature so that their nutrients get activated. You can tell your nuts are dry when they are a few shades darker than when they started out.
Tip: You can also use a food dehydrator for 12 to 14 hours at 135 °F (57 °C) for the same results.
5Store your nuts in an airtight container and eat them within 48 hours. Activating your nuts leaves them more prone to mold, so you should eat then within 2 days of drying them out. You can store them in an airtight container in a cool, dry place until you eat them.
You can eat your activated nuts on their own or put them into recipes, like peanut butter or almond butter.