In autumn, the harvest of Moldova, in addition to fruits and vegetables, offer us a wide variety of nuts and cereals. The local seeds and nuts are a real treasure for health. In Moldova, besides walnuts, we can find almonds, hazelnuts or pine nuts, which are consumed more often due to their beneficial properties. The consumption of seeds grown in Moldova, such as sunflower, pumpkin, flax, sesame, buckwheat, oats or hemp seeds, is also gaining momentum.
Seeds and nuts are important sources of essential fatty acids, vitamins A, B, C and E, magnesium, calcium, zinc, iron, potassium, protein, fiber and many other nutrients. They help us maintain healthy our heart and brain. However, if we consume them raw or dried, we do not get the maximum benefits and numerous studies show that soaking nuts and seeds gives added value to the nutritional properties of these products.
Why should we soak nuts and seeds
There are a number of enzyme inhibitors in nuts and seeds that can be neutralized by soaking. This process not only helps to neutralize them, but also leads to the formation of new enzymes, which, in turn, stimulate the formation of vitamins, especially those belonging to group B. Also, with soaked seeds and nuts, nutrients are more effectively absorbed by the body.
In addition, by soaking we remove phytic acid, which is considered an “anti-nutrient”. It interacts with minerals in the intestinal tract (calcium, magnesium, iron, copper and, especially, zinc) and can block the absorption of a number of micro and macro elements. Soaking of nuts and seeds also helps reduce gluten levels, prevents mineral deficiencies and neutralizes toxins.
Another reason for soaking nuts and seeds is a significant improvement in their taste (nuts become light, nutritious, and even acquire a slightly sweet taste), and also, after several hours in the water, tannins, residues and dust are removed. Therefore, the water in which the nuts and seeds were soaking becomes darker and cloudier.
How to soak seeds and nuts
The soaking period of nuts and seeds ranges from 2-3 hours to 12-24 hours. If we want to consume them immediately after soaking, they must be dried in a humidifier or an oven to prevent mold. However, they can also be stored in the vessel in which they were soaked (it is important not to store them in a plastic container and to use a glass jar) or in the refrigerator. In this case, water should be changed regularly to avoid the formation of mold. In the water in which we soak the nuts and seeds, we can add a little salt, because it activates enzymes. If we don’t have the opportunity to dry them after soaking, it is recommended to soak a small amount that we would during 2-3 days.
Soaking duration for the main types of nuts and seeds:
Walnuts: 8 hours;
Almonds: 12 hours;
Hazelnuts: 8 hours;
Pumpkin, sunflower seeds: 7 hours;
Flax Seeds: 6 hours;
Alfalfa Seeds: 12 hours;
Pine Seeds: 8 hours;
Chickpea Beans: 12-48 hours;
Pecans: 8 hours;
Macadamia: 4 hours;
Caju nuts: 6 hours.