Soaking, Sprouting, Drying Nuts, Seeds, Beans and Legumes

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Beans, Nuts, Seeds and Legumes should be a part of healthy diet. However, these wonderful food contain phytochemicals such as Phytic acids, Lectin, Phytoestrogen, and many others, which may not be so conducive to your health. These plant chemicals act as “Anti-nutrient” and it does so by inhibiting nutrient absorption during digestion. Some Anti-nutrient plant chemicals such as Lectin has been a subject of research for it’s damaging effect to the intestinal wall and some researchers suggest it is one of the culprit of auto-immune diseases.

Nature does not do anything without purpose and this is true even to the plant kingdom. Unlike animal which can move about to avoid predator, plants cannot. In order to protect themselves from being over consumed by their ‘predators’, animals and humans, these plants protect their ‘babies’ which what essentially nuts, seeds, beans and legumes are, by concentrating anti-nutrient substance in them.

These anti-nutrients which sometimes called Plants Secondary Metabolites, act as “poison” to their predators. Animals (or humans) which over-consume them will become sick and less robust in their health. As result the animal will become less healthy and produces less offsprings, thus the net result is less plants is consumed in the subsequent years. This is how nature balance itself between animals and plants.

Humans of antiquities have devise an ingenious way to “neutralize” these anti-nutrient which turn these nuts, seeds, beans and legumes safely edible. They do this by the method of soaking and/or sprouting. This way we are able to ‘trick’ the seeds into thinking they have safely sprouted in the ground thus no longer need protection from anti-nutrient chemicals therefore the chemicals are being re-purposed for the plant growth instead.

This guide will give you some tips on how to soak, sprout and drying nuts/seeds/beans/legumes without the use of oven or expensive food dehydrator.

Soaking

Soaking is quite straight forward just soak the nuts/seeds/beans/legumes in a bowl of water and leave it overnight approximately 8 hours. These seeds will double sometimes triple in size as they absorb the water so take into account the size increase by using enough water and large enough bowl. Drain the seeds well after 8 hours of soaking.

Note: Avoid soaking the nuts/seeds/beans/legumes too long. Doing so will rot the seeds, once the seeds are fully hydrated, they require oxygen to breath and sprout.

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Soaking Almond
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Soaking Chickpeas

Sprouting

The next step is sprouting. Nuts and seeds do not need to be sprouted, soaking is sufficient just skip forward to the drying section.

However, beans and legumes needs to be sprouted. To do so, ensure the beans and legumes are well-drained. Rinse the beans and legumes in water every 8 hours, about twice a day and leave them in semi-shaded area such as near windows at room temperature. The trick is, to keep the beans and legumes constantly moist, but not soaked, and not fully dry either. Avoid placing the beans and legumes in air conditioned room or the fridge.

Ensure the beans and legumes are well drained at all time, water accumulation at the bottom of container will rot the bottom beans or legumes. The best way to ensure this is by placing the beans and legumes in a net bag, which you get when you buy a bag of orange, onion, lemon, etc and hang it or place the beans or legumes in a strainer. Alternatively you may use glass container covered with net bag on top, creating an improvised sprouting jar for no cost.

Note: Do not re-dry sprouted beans and legumes, they need to be cooked soon after sprouting.

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Sprouting beans and legumes
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Makeshift sprouting jar

Drying

Nuts and seeds should be re-dried after soaking before consumption. Most people would buy expensive food dehydrator or use the oven to do this. There is an easier, effective and free way to do this by Sun drying your soaked nuts and seeds.

Place the nuts and seeds inside a net bag, which you get when you buy orange, onion, lemon, etc. Either hang the bag or spread it flat on a cloth drying rack, as you would dry your cloths.

You can also place the nuts and seeds on a baking tray, but please cover the tray with a net bag or cheese cloth. Otherwise the birds will help themselves with your nuts and seeds.

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Use cloth drying rack
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Use cloth drying wire hanger

 

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