There are lots of questions that arise when we start talking about sprouting nuts and seeds. Below we try to answer some of those questions for you.
You'll notice we have many sprouted items available. We sprout to remove enzyme inhibitors and phytates, which results in better taste and texture, easier digestion and increased nutrition.
Nuts and seeds naturally contain enzyme inhibitors in order to prevent them from growing into a tree until conditions are just right.
When we recreate the right conditions for growth (by soaking in water) we deactivate the inhibitors, which allows the enzymes to activate, and the nut or seed to grow. While we don't actually allow the nuts and seeds to sprout a new green shoot or root, we do wake it up in order to make its nutrients more available to us.
Sprouting makes it easier for your body to assimilate the nutrients in the nut or seed, which makes for easier digestion and better health. A happy side effect of sprouting is that nuts and seeds taste better, any trace of bitterness is removed, the texture is improved and the natural sweetness of the nut is more pronounced.
At the NutHut our sprouted nuts and seeds have been soaked for anywhere from 1-12 hours , then dehydrated at a temperature of 145F in order to comply with the BC Centre for Disease Control. This soaking and dehydrating process makes the nuts crisp and delicious. All of our nuts and seeds have been tested by a food lab for moisture content.
There is some confusion around the terminology for soaked and dehydrated nuts and seeds. The terms “activated”, "germinated", "soaked" or “crispy nuts” are often used to describe the process of soaking and dehydrating. While none of these terms are incorrect, we have chosen along with many others, to refer to nuts and seeds which have been soaked and dehydrated as “sprouted”.
At the NutHut we do not soak to grow an actual sprout or root, we soak to deactivate naturally occurring enzyme inhibitors and increase digestibility and nutrition.
Before they are soaked, nuts or seeds contain enzyme inhibitors which prevent them from growing into a plant or tree until conditions are optimal. Soaking activates these enzymes, essentially allowing the nut or seed to “wake up”. Many nuts and seeds, such as almonds, pumpkins and shelled sunflower seeds rarely produce a root or sprout, but proper soaking does a similar thing as sprouting, it ends the period of dormancy by inactivating enzyme inhibitors. These rootless sprouts could more accurately be termed “soaked”, but we feel that this might create added confusion, so for now we will continue to call our soaked and dehydrated nuts and seeds, “sprouted”. If you like the idea of getting your nuts and seeds already sprouted, we have them available, click here.
If you are curious and want to learn HOW to sprout your own nuts and seeds we have created a chart to simplify things for you.
When soaking any of your nuts or seeds we recommend that you add sea salt to the water, about one teaspoon per cup of nuts. We live in a place with pretty great water, if you don't, you might want to consider using filtered water. Soak for the recommended time in the refrigerator and then rinse your nuts well. After rinsing, you can dehydrate your nuts in a dehydrator until they are crisp which is usually to a minimum of 24 hours to ensure you have removed all moisture, they will stay fresh and tasty longer this way. Always store your nuts in the fridge.