Seeds and nuts are valued for their complex, earthy tastes and their nutritional density. Vitamin E, essential fatty acids, trace minerals, amino acids, and carbohydrates complement one-another in these sweet, sometimes-salty super-foods. However, seeds and nuts can also be heavy and difficult to digest. Fortunately, they can easily be prepared to enhance their digestibility. Their dense nutrients can become more absorbable.
All seeds and nuts contains enzyme inhibitors that bind with enzymes and hinder digestion. When seeds and nuts are soaked overnight in plain or salted water these anti-nutrients can be minimized; and the nutrition of the nut is easier to absorb into the body. Leaving the soaking water unsalted initiates the sprouting process. As sprouting begins the fats and proteins take on a more digestible form. When sea salt is included in soaking water it activates enzymes and neutralizes the enzyme inhibitors. After soaking, nuts and seeds are ready to be used as an ingredient in another dish, dehydrated (at slightly less than 150 degrees F), or roasted (at 200-250 degrees F).
According to Traditional Chinese Medicine sprouted and dehydrated, raw nuts and seeds are more cooling (or yin), while lightly salted and roasted nuts are more warming (or yang). Even in the preparation of seemingly everyday foods we can observe seasonality and personal needs for cooling or warmth.
Today I am sharing recipes for my favorite seeds and nuts. The basic technique for preparing all of the seeds and nuts is similar, but each requires slightly unique approach. Detailed recipes follow this post.
This was shared on Real Food Wednesday.
 Paul Pitchford, Healing with Whole Foods (Berkley: North Atlantic, 2002), 531.
 Pitchford, 531.