October 17, 2011

Activated, spiced nuts


"Patience is a virtue", "Patience is a virtue" - I think I should be meditating to this mantra. Truth be told, most of the time I enjoy nuts and seeds unsoaked, unactivated, on their own. I just don't have the patience to soak, roast, activate. After making these spiced nuts a few times now, I am starting to realise why I should be activating nuts every time - not only they taste better (they really do), but they are also easier for my digestion and therefore better for me, right? 

Activating nuts is a long process, but the good thing is you don't really have to do much - just wait. I've tried soaking these nuts for 8 hours, then almost 24 hours, and it certainly seems that the longer you soak, the better they'll taste. I swear by the healing properties of spices, and so I've used a mix of spices (I believe) are good for me and also taste great. 

After soaking comes the tricky bit. You are supposed to roast these little babies, in a very low heat, over a period of 24 hours. Now, I believe that it's the soaking bit that actually activates the enzymes (please correct me if I'm wrong), so I've only roasted these for a couple of hours (I obviously still need to work on that patience bit). They taste amazing - so light, but crunchy and warm with spices. Want more crunch? Chuck them in the freezer and snack straight from there. They are tasty either way.


Activated, spiced nuts
(makes 2 cups)

1 cup (170g) almonds
1 cup (130g) walnuts

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon ground turmeric
1/4 teaspoon chilli flakes (or to taste)
pinch of sea salt
freshly ground black pepper

1. Soak the nuts in plenty of water for 12-24 hours. See my note above, soaking them for longer gives you a better result, so be patient!

2. Turn the oven on for the lowest setting (below 100C). Drain the nuts and toss in the spices. 

3. Spread the nuts on a baking tray (no paper, no oil). Roast in the oven for up to 24 hours on the lowest possible heat.

4. Store in an air-tight container. You can also store these in the freezer.

28 comments:

  1. Just irresistible and so healhy!

    Cheers,

    Rosa

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  2. you always come up with interesting recipes ! these spiced nuts are look delicious :D the walnuts look like ginger at a glance ;-)

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  3. I'm always a little apprehensive when I roast nuts at high temperatures because I know it can be bad for the oils in them so I'm super curious about that. And I've wanted to try soaking my nuts like that too, but haven't yet. I think I have a problem with the patience part of it too :D I'm super curious to try doing those two things though. The spices on yours sound so interesting, I'm curious to try, maybe just a small batch :)

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  4. I've found that soaking/activating nuts means they don't last as long, do you know if the slow roasting helps this at all? Because like you, I get too impatient to do the soaking and think I'd prefer them to last longer for me to snack on when I feel like it...

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  5. I usually dry-air my soaked almonds but have been considering buying a dehydrator to avoid having the oven on for such a long time. Do you own or have you tried a dehydrator?

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  6. You have used great flavors and this is a healthy snack!

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  7. Panu and I had the most amazing spiced nuts at Spuntino in London and I've been thinking about them since! I will have to give spicing a go. Not sure about activating yet.. dont tell me about lack of patience!!! I am the worst!!!

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  8. Oh cool, I had never thought to soak then roast. I think soaking (much like soaking beans) helps make them more digestible and some of the nutrients more readily available (I read this in a medical journal, so I'm guessing it's legit). The low and slow roasting probably just helps make them tasty without killing off too many nutrients. Wish these were commercially available...I flat so couldn't really keep my oven running for a whole day just for nuts :(

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  9. Kirsty: You can stash these in the freezer and they'll keep longer. You can snack them straight from the freezer, they shouldn't actually be completely frozen.

    Lateraleating: I have thought about getting a dehydrator, but have heard that some of them can still take more than 8 hours to dehydrate. Indecisive to have another gadget in the kitchen too ;-)

    Zo: Yes, soaking should indeed release the enzymes that make them easier to digest. The good news for you is that these actually are commercially available! You can find them at most health food stores.

    Cheers,

    Maria
    x

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  10. Interesting technique! I've never heard of it, but come to think of it, Middle Easterners often soak our pine nuts and almonds before sprinkling them on dessert dishes.

    Love your new header, too.

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  11. That's good look and its very healthy food.

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  12. oh wow this is the first time I've read about activated nuts and it sure does sound interesting!

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  13. Oh i would stash these babies away and save them all for myself! I love that you soaked them for 8-24 hours. Wow- I don;t know if I could have waited that long to eat them. Love Love the spices you added to the mix. Delish

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  14. I love the idea of activating the nuts! What a healthy and delicious snack!

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  15. I love that I always learn something new here!
    I had no idea nuts needed to be 'activated'.. but what a wonderful idea! I will do this with my big batch of walnuts (I ADORE walnuts!) and spice them with warming Autumnal flavours like cinnamon, cardamom and perhaps some ginger too.. Enough to whisk any sniffles away!

    Kram
    Charlotta

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  16. These look so very tasty!!

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  17. These look exquisitely good, virtuous even! Can't wait to try - oh, there I go missing the whole point! Thanks very much for the recipe.

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  18. Yum - love activated nuts! Totally understand avoiding another kitchen appliance but dehydrators are a brilliant addition to the kitchen cavalry, especially if, like you, there's a leaning towards the healthier options of things like cookies, chips, nuts, crackers etc. It opened up a whole new way of 'uncooking' for me, enzymes and all. Convinced yet?! C x

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  19. Totally! ;-) Thanks Cherie, please let me know if you can recommend a brand/type! Thanks, M

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  20. Simply beautiful, Maria! These are exactly the kind of snacks I need in my life. Healthy without sacrificing flavour. Love the process and the pictures.

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  21. This I simply have to post!

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  22. I think I might have an issue with the patience bit - this seems like a long wait to get to the good bit!

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  23. Oh I have just seen your post - I have just posted something similar - how crazy - great minds must think alike.

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  24. They do look delicious and I love the photos

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  25. Interesting, I have never heard of this process before. I guess the old adage good things come to those who wait is true in this case :)

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  26. I love soaked nuts, but I never roasted them aswel. So I just HAD to try this, and I have to say I absolutly love them. The spices are really good.
    Thanks for another great recipe!

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  27. Can you roast them for just a couple of hours?

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  28. Hi Petra!

    Well, you can, but the more you roast the better they will get :-)

    Thanks!

    Maria
    x

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