Soaking and sprounting nuts, seeds and grains begins the germination process in the dormant nut or seed, making it easier to digest and converting the carbohydrates to protein.
When it rains the nut, grain or seed gets wet and can then germinate to produce a plant. So we are mimicking nature when we soak our nuts, grains and seeds. Soaking brings out natural enzymes, making them more nutritious and more easily digestible.
One terrific reason to soak nuts is that many nuts, especially walnuts and almonds, have a much more appealing taste after they are soaked and rinsed. As you will see if you try it yourself, after as little as 20 minutes the soak water is brown. After a couple hours, much of the dust, residue and tannins from the skins are released into the water and the nut emerges with a smoother, more palatable flavor. You’ll notice that soaked walnuts do not have that astringent, mouth-puckering taste to them. This is because when soaking walnuts, the tannins are rinsed away, leaving behind a softer, more buttery nut. The soak water from nuts and seeds should always be discarded and never used as water in a recipe.
Why soak nuts, grains and seeds?
- 1. To remove or reduce phytic acid.
- 2. To remove or reduce tannins.
- 3. To neutralize the enzyme inhibitors.
- 4. To encourage the production of beneficial enzymes.
- 5. To increase the amounts of vitamins, especially B vitamins.
- 6. To break down gluten and make digestion easier.
- 7. To make the proteins more readily available for absorption.
- 8. To prevent mineral deficiencies and bone loss.
- 9. To help neutralize toxins in the colon and keep the colon clean.
- 10. To prevent many health diseases and conditions