Fats are one of the unsung heroes in the world of nutrition. Nuts rank at the top of the chart when it comes to healthy fats
health benefits of nuts
Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the last five years you know nuts are good for you. Although they each have a slightly different nutrient profile they have a few common denominators. First of all, they are packed with unsaturated fats (this is v good).
full of fiber
We love fiber. Nuts are a great source of insoluble fiber which will help move food through the digestive tract and acts as a bulking agent in your stool. Aka: it will help you have nicely formed poops.
These are the good fats. Nuts are full of monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats which lower LDL (low-density lipoproteins). Unsaturated fats = lowers cholesterol.
This mineral is in high quantities in most nuts. Manganese does a great deal for the body such as helping the body form connective tissue (this stuff holds you together), bone formation, blood clotting factors, and helps to generate sex hormones. See, it’s important. Manganese also helps in carbohydrate metabolism, blood sugar regulation, and calcium absorption.
L-arginine is an amino acid that is used in the biosynthesis of proteins. It also plays an important role in reducing arterial plaque buildup, platelet clumping, and increasing blood flow through your arteries. You can see why it’s an important factor for our immune system and wound healing.
vitamin E 37%
vitamin E 21%
vitamin K 19%
vitamin B6 18%
nuts and phytic acid
WHAT IS PHYTIC ACID?
SOAKING AND ACTIVATING NUTS
ROASTING NUTS FOR NUT BUTTERS
buying and storing nuts
GUIDE TO BUYING NUT MILK:
I know it’s difficult to make nut milk look appetizing on store shelves. The liquid separates and the color is lackluster. Thickening agents are added to make the texture like that of regular milk (hello carrageenan) and sugar is the only way to make quinoa taste sweet in your cereal. If you’re looking for a dairy milk alternative I always advocate making your own nut milk at home, but if you’re in a pinch these are three rules I live by when picking up a vegan milk alternative.
• Avoid carrageenan on the ingredient list
• Less than ___ grams of sugar per serving
• Pick the product with the fewest ingredients
GUIDE TO BUYING NUT BUTTER:
Always flip straight to the ingredient list when buying nut butter. (Are you starting to sense some redundancy in my shopping tips?) Generally, there should only be one ingredient on that list, the nut itself. Sometimes companies add a little salt which I can tolerate since I do it when I make my own nut butter, but make sure the salt is not excessive. Each serving of nut butter should not exceed ___ grams of salt. If the nut butter has any added oils or sweeteners it’s a hard pass on that product.
• Nuts should be the only ingredient
• If there is salt < ___ grams per serving
• Avoid additives such as oils and sweeteners
GUIDE TO BUYING WHOLE NUTS:
When buying nuts its very simple. Just buy the nut. Forget the packaged products that offer a hint of honey or lightly roasted and salted snacks. Often times the front of product packaging is quite deceiving. There can be a lot of extra additives lurking in the ingredient list. Always turn to the back of the package and look at the list. Buying raw nuts allows you to have a blank canvas for all of your nut recipe needs. Making nut milk from roasted salted almonds isn’t going to cut it, trust me I’ve tried.
• Raw or unroasted varieties
• No added sweeteners or flavoring agents
how to make nut milk
Nuts contain enzyme inhibitors and phytonutrients that keep them from germinating or molding before they are ready to sprout and grow into plants. It’s basically natures way of protecting the nuts.
Unfortunately, these same enzyme inhibitors prevent us from properly absorbing and assimilating all the nutrients found in nuts. This is precisely why it’s recommended to soak and sprout nuts before consuming them. Soaking nuts starts the sprouting process and when you rinse the water you can slightly reduce the phytonutrients.
Basically soaking and sprouting nuts helps our bodies to absorb more nutrients.
Instructions: soak 2 cups of nuts 6-8 hours with the exception of cashews which only need a few hours of soak time otherwise they will become slimy.
Along with enzyme inhibitors and phytonutrients, there is likely dirt sitting in your soaking water.
Drain the water the nuts were soaking in and rinse them off in a strainer.
Make sure you don’t use this water for blending as it will alter the taste of your nut milk.
There are always ingredients that make up my nut milk recipes:
- nuts 2 cups
- water 3 cups
- sweetener 1 T maple syrup or 2 dates
- fat 1 T coconut oil
- sea salt a pinch
The nuts and water for obvious reasons, along with a teaspoon or two of maple syrup (or a couple dates), a tablespoon of coconut oil, and a pinch of sea salt.
how to make nut butter