Type of dish: Snack
Equipment: Baking Sheet
Oven Temp: 120-150°F/50-65°C/Gas – ; 170°F/77°C/Gas
Servings: Makes Approximately 12 Servings
- 4 cups pecans, almonds, walnuts (you can use macadamias, pine nuts, and cashews, too, and these need less soaking…only 6 hours or overnight)
- 1 TB sea salt
- Soak the 4 cups of nuts and the 1 TB sea salt, covered with water, overnight, for at least 8 hours (and up to 24 hours with a change of water halfway through).
- Drain well, and it is important to dry them thoroughly if not using immediately. They will develop mold when stored if they retain moisture.
- Spread on a baking sheet in a single layer and bake at your oven’s lowest temperature for 12 to 24 hours, depending on how crispy you like them. Stir and turn them occasionally as they dry. If your oven only goes down to 170°F, bake them at this higher temperature for less time. If you have a dehydrator, that is ideal to use after soaking nuts.
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Can you sprout seeds that already have been soaked and dehydrated?
I wonder whether nut butters–which are inherently easier to digest than nuts–are correspondinly high in phytic acid? I’m mostly eating nut butters rather than nuts because of easier digestibility–just wondering. Thanks!
How long do you suggest heatig them if my oven only goes down to 170 degrees?
Time depends on the nut or seed because of size. I’d start at 10 mins for almonds, then stir them up on your baking sheet to help them heat evenly, then check them every 5 mins. You’ll know when you’ve roasted them long enough when they smell and taste pleasingly toasty. There shouldn’t be any bitterness; also, they shouldn’t be browned more than a light golden.
I find that if I place a wooden spoon in the oven door to prop it open during the drying process, the nuts dry much better because moisture is allowed to escape. My oven’s lowest setting is 170 degrees.
WHat about seeds?
Can seeds (pumpkin, sunflower, sesame…) be treated/prepared in this way together with nuts and would the same benefite be derived if they were?
I’ve made crispy sunflower and sesame seeds using the soak/dehydrator method. The only nut I roast in the oven are peanuts because raw peanuts don’t taste so good. Plus, the skins come off easily this way.
This method isn’t my favorite way to make crispy seeds. The seeds require a lot less soaking time – I’d guess 2-4 hours at most – but the dehydrator fan tends to blow these little seeds around making for a messier clean-up. If you roast these, watch them closely because they can burn fast.
I buy my pumpkin seeds already crisped. The Go Raw brand tastes the best to me.
Wilderness Family Naturals offers crispy nuts for sale. There’s been a shortage because of the drought in nut-growing areas. Blue Mountain also sells them. These are more expensive but, if you don’t eat a lot of seeds/nuts, maybe it would work for you.
I do not gain any financial benefit for mentioning either of these companies. I pay full-retail like everyone else.
Another thought is I read somewhere – but I haven’t seen any research on this – that nuts and seeds such as cashews, hulled sesame seeds, and macadamias – that don’t have any papery coverings – have a lot less phytic acid than nuts/seeds that do, such as pecans and that it’s not so necessary to soak/sprout them unless you are very sensitive.
Can anyone heard this and have proof?
I would just like to know if seeds must be soaked as well to remove anti-nutrients or if only nuts must be treated in this way.
If the seeds do not need to be soaked, I could just roast them slowly in the frying pan to crisp them up and then mix them in with the treated nuts.
Soaking and then toasting/dehydrating the nuts at low temperature helps to remove folic acid from the nuts, which is a toxin and is not good for us in large amounts. That is why it is important to soak and then toast the nuts. Simply toasting them wouldn’t remove the toxins. Chris explains it in his book Personal Paleo Code and has an article about it on his website.
Chris, thanks for the great recipe for sprouting nuts.
Question for you on coconut milk (I just read the your old article):
Have you ever tried making it from the organic raw frozen coconut that they sell in the freezer sectiont at Whole Foods?
It’s not cheap (about $10 per bag) but the bag would make a lot of coconut milk. I’m just wondering if it would work and if you would need to add any water. Thawed and out of the bag it is soft, moist and rubbery-ish. So I’m kinda thinking that you could process it in the Vitamix with just enough water to get it moving. I make my own almond milk and would prefer to make my own coconut milk. And I’m thinking that there have to be ways to make it from whole frozen (or fresh) coconut vs. dried.
Thanks for any input you have on this.
Susan, yes you can use frozen coconut meat. You can play with the amount of water to use. I’ve used anywhere from 3-4 c of water to 1 c dried coconut shreds. The point would be start with less water and add more until you get closer to what you want. Then, pour the Vitamix contents into a nut milk bag strainer lined w/cheesecloth. Squeeze the nut milk bag/twist edges of cheesecloth and squeeze with your hands into a clean container large enough to catch the milk.
I’ve never used frozen coconut meat, but I wonder if you could reuse it using less water the second time.
Post your results please.
I make almond milk all the time using your same coconut :water ratio and method. But I’ve never even used, much less made my own, coconut milk before, but I’m itching to try it. I’ve just had such an aversion to using the stuff out of the can, and if it’s anything like almond milk, homemade is so far superior to anything you can buy. So I’m not even familiar with what the consistency is supposed to be like. But I get the sense that out of the can it’s thicker (probably due to the guar gum and settlement) and homemade it’s thinner like almond milk’s consistency (but still rich tasting). I saw that Nom Nom Paleo did a taste test with different frozen coconut brands and that the Hawaiian brand unanimously came out on top, and they were eating it straight. Now to find it (although I think she’s in the Bay Area, like me, so maybe I can).
You’re welcome Susan.
There aren’t any rules here; it’s an experiment. Try using the same solid/water ratio as what you use for almond milk and see what you get.
I use Native Forest brand coconut milk, which does have fillers, because it’s easy and convenient to have on hand. The solids rise to the top; chilled the solids are very thick and creamy. Shaken up then the texture is thicker as you’d expect. Very pourable.
I’m new to following Nom Nom Paleo, and don’t remember seeing her posting on frozen coconut meat. She is in the SF area. I live in South FL where some lucky dwellers have coconut palm trees (the ones in my front yard don’t have them, alas…) Still, canned is easier, although I have used Tropical Traditions coconut shreds.
Enjoy your adventures in the kitchen and come back and post your results!
Gopika, wow, you’re in coconut land down there. How great that you can probably get them fresh from neighbors or farmers markets. I met a Thai/Chinese/French woman at Whole Foods last night while shopping for spices and asked her about coconut milk because she said that she and her mother have always cooked with it. When she uses fresh she uses very little water, and she suggested using young Thai coconuts. That’s also what they had in the freezer case, and she said it would work very well. I think I’ll thaw it, make a big batch of rich coconut milk and then freeze some of it in ice cube trays and later transfer the cubes to zip locs. I do that with lemon and lime juice from my trees and also with my chicken stock and bone marrow stock. I love being able to reach into the freezer and take just enough cubes for whatever I need them for. I’m hoping that the rich coconut milk will freeze OK and not lose its creaminess. I mainly plan to cook, bake and make ice cream with it.
I’ll let you know how it goes. Thanks again.
Actually, most of the palm trees I see these days don’t grow coconuts. We have to buy them like everyone else.
I think the Thai coconuts are sprayed to prevent them from turning brown. I don’t know if it’s something safe that’s used, or one more thing where you look at the benefits vs. the risks. Heck, maybe even coconuts used in canned coconut are, too!
Thx for reminding me about freezing liquids in ice cube trays. I’m definitely going to start doing that.
You have lemon and lime trees? I am jealous!!!
Canned coconut does separate when frozen then defrosted, but stirring it will fix that. I do it all of the time. It’s still creamy. I hope you try it using your fresh coconut meat and post those results, too.
Thanks for that. The brand that I got at Whole Foods is “Exotic Superfoods” 100% Raw, Young Thai Coconut, and the ingredients say 100% organic. It is certified organic by a Thai organization, but I’ve read (both here and on other websites) mixed things about Thai certifications. However I believe that most of the canned organic brands are from Thailand too. So I guess either we’re all safe or doomed. But in terms of the “young” Thai coconuts, it was my understanding that they are green because they are young, not because they are sprayed. But is this wrong?
Yes, we’re lucky in northern CA that we’re able to grow lemons and limes pretty much all year. I grow Meyer lemons and both Key limes and Bearrs limes and use them extensively in my diet.
The brand that I got at Whole Foods is “Exotic Superfoods” 100% Raw, Young Thai Coconut, and the ingredients say 100% organic. It is certified organic by a Thai organization, but I’ve read (both here and on other websites) mixed things about Thai certifications. However I believe that most of the canned organic brands are from Thailand too. So I guess either we’re all safe or doomed. But in terms of the “young” Thai coconuts, it was my understanding that they are green because they are young, not because they are sprayed. But is this wrong?
My local Whole Foods is too small to carry frozen, fresh coconut meat. I’ve looked at Asian markets, too, without success.
Key limes? Yowza!!! We don’t have them here even though Key West is due south. I’ve never heard of Bearr limes. How do they taste compared to Key and conventional ones?
I don’t know what color the skin is for Thai coconuts. I was referring to their being dipped/sprayed with something to prevent the skinned coconuts from turning brown. I may be wrong on this.
I just read a recipe for strawberry milk using shredded coconut. The blogger said the used coconut can be turned into coconut flour. There’s always something to learn.
There’s always something to come out and bite us, but we’re doing our best staying ahead.
Hi Chris. Thanks for the tutorial. Can you clarify something for me? When you say change the water halfway through the soaking time, should I re-salt the fresh water or just add it plain? Thanks for your help!
Is thermal processing have benefit (other than changing the taste of nuts)?
Why not to eat them raw?
See my response to Nancy above.
What is the purpose of soaking?
Nuts contain anti-nutrients that decrease the absorption of the minerals they contain. Soaking and dehydrating/roasting mitigates this to some extent. For more, see: http://chriskresser.com/another-reason-you-shouldnt-go-nuts-on-nuts
I’ve also heard that it can affect the macros, like increasing protein slightly while decreaing carbohydrates. Are you aware of anything confirming that?
Do you soak the nuts at room temp or in refrigerator?
Do you need to start with raw nuts? Would it be bad to use roasted nuts?
I usually roast nuts and seeds in a large frying pan.
Would this produce the same benefit as the water soak and bake method?
No, your method generates too much heat which has damaging effects to the food. A nice slow roast is the way to go. Don’t be fooled by the slow heat…very yummy!