How to Activate Nuts and Seeds and What the Bleep is Phytic Acid?

why we should activate nuts

To be 100% completely honest with you all… activating nuts and seeds is a complete pain in the butt! All the soaking and drying gets pretty annoying BUT like anything, once you keep doing something it simply becomes habit.

Just quickly before we get onto the whole ‘How to Activate Nuts and Seeds’ business let’s remember the WHY. Yeah! Why the heck do we need to activate nuts and seeds?

We need to activate nuts and seeds to remove the phytic acid.

And let’s just remember why phytic acid is so NOT our friend! We sourced the below from the MDA website and translated in to merrymaker speak.

When we eat phytic acid, it binds to minerals like zinc, iron, magnesium, calcium, chromium, and manganese. Bound minerals usually can’t be absorbed in the intestine, so too many bound minerals lead to mineral deficiencies, which lead to many health issues.

Basically: phytic acid stops our bodies from taking in the good stuff aka the super star minerals.

what is phytic acid

This is where we got confused (yes… confused again!). We don’t eat grains and legumes because of the phytic acids. So if nuts have phytic acid… why are they paleo ok? Yep #confused!

Don’t worry, we have an answer. It’s because we generally don’t eat as many nuts compared to the amount of grains we would eat in one sitting (except when you accidentally get addicted to nuts). 

If we still ate grains we’d most likely be having 1-2 servings at every meal, this means the daily phytic acid consumption would add up fast!

Where as nuts are perfect in granola (once a week, not every day) and enjoyed in a paleo sweet treat (again with the once a week thing), or just as they are in a small hand full.

Ok! Now we know why we should go through the annoying process of activating seeds and nuts… but how the heck do we do it?! Well, it’s actually quite easy! (See below infographic for amount of salt, soaking and drying time!).

How to activate nuts and seeds…

  1. In a bowl/jug dissolve salt in enough filtered water to cover the amount of nuts/seeds you are activating.
  2. Place your nut or seed of choice in a large bowl.
  3. Cover with the salt water.
  4. Soak for required number of hours.
  5. Strain and rinse the nuts.
  6. Spread on to a dehydrator rack, or baking tray. If drying in the oven, set the oven at the lowest temperature possible, no more than 65°C (150°F). Stir or turn them occasionally, for the required drying time.
  7. Test by eating. Are they dry and crunchy and delicious? If yes… then they are ready!
  8. Store your nuts in the fridge. We know, totally weird right? This will make sure they don’t get mouldy!

That’s enough brain work on activating nuts for today. Thanks to Move, Nourish, Believe for the below cheat sheet on how much salt, soaking time and drying time is required for each nut and seed!

How many nuts? How much water? How long?

How-to-activate-nutsBuckwheat got forgotten on the cheat sheet (poor buckwheat!). To activate buckwheat simply soak for 30 minutes and dry until crunchy. You can also buy already activated buckwheat aka ‘Buckinis’ from your health food store (we LOVE buckinis at the moment!).

Always merrymaking,

Emma + Carla

This is our Salted Caramel Buckini Porridge. Buckinis = activated buckwheat! So delicious, check out the recipe here.

Gluten Free Grain Free Salted Caramel Porridge Recipe.

Featured image and cute pacman image from Australian Macadamias.


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