by Lauren Feder, M.D.
Snacks are a way of life in our world these days. In my aim of trying to provide whole foods for my children which our ancestors consumed, a healthy snack would be nuts (for those who are not sensitive). The Aztecs soaked seeds in brine and dried them in the sun before preparing them to eat whole or ground into meal.
According to author of Nourishing Traditions Sally Fallon, nuts contain numerous enzyme inhibitors which can strain the digestive tract. Preparing the nuts by soaking overnight in salted water followed by low heat in an oven (or dehydrator) helps to pre-digest it for the body because it activates helpful enzymes and makes the nutrients in nuts more readily available in the body.
Crispy Almonds (Recipe from Nourishing Traditions)
Makes 4 cups
4 cups almonds (insecticide free is best)
1 tablespoon sea salt
Mix almonds with salt and cover with filtered water. Leave in a warm place for at least 7 hours or overnight. Drain in a colander. Spread on a stainless steel baking pan and place in a warm oven for around 24 hours (no more than 150 degrees Farenheit or 65 degrees Celcius as this will kill the enzymes) . Stir occasionally, until completely dry and crisp. Store in an airtight container.
Skinless almonds will still sprout, indicating that the process of removing their skins has not destroyed the enzymes. Skinless almonds are easier to digest and more satisfactory in many recipes. However, you may also use almonds with skins on. You can use slivered almond pieces for this recipe.
You can also crisp peanuts, pine nuts, hazelnuts, macadamia nuts, cashews (as the enzymes in cashews are destroyed when they are processed it is best to roast quickly and soak for no more than 6 hours.)