Tasty superfoods: Health benefits of activated almonds (recipes included)
09/04/2021 / By Rose Lidell / Comments
Tasty superfoods: Health benefits of activated almonds (recipes included)

Raw almonds are a handy snack. But did you know that soaking almonds turns them into activated almonds? Read on to find out the difference between regular almonds and activated almonds.

Almonds contain plenty of nutrients, such as healthy fats, fiber and protein. By taking one extra step, you can make almonds even healthier by “activating” them.

What are activated almonds?

Simply put, activated almonds are soaked and dehydrated almonds. As almonds develop, they store energy in the form of phytic acid, a phytochemical and enzyme inhibitor.

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Phytic acid remains in the nut after harvesting and stops the sprouting process of almonds. The phytochemical also binds with the calcium, magnesium and zinc in almonds, making it difficult for your body to absorb these nutrients.

Studies suggest that soaking or germination decreases the quantity of phytic acid in almonds, which makes it easier to absorb the minerals in almonds.

Soaking the almonds helps promote the germination process, which then helps break down stored proteins, starches and oils in almonds into energy. Doing this helps the nuts grow, and dehydrating them after soaking helps retain their crunch and natural flavor.

Benefits of activated almonds

Since you can eat almonds raw, you may be wondering why you should bother making activated almonds. Here are seven benefits that you can enjoy from eating activated almonds:

  1. Activating almonds can help extend their shelf life, which is important if you’re stocking up on almonds for future use and consumption.
  2. Activated almonds can help lower your risk of diabetes, heart disease and high cholesterol. Eating activated almonds and following a healthy diet can also help promote healthy weight management.
  3. Activating almonds helps stimulate the sprouting and germination process since it promotes the breakdown of enzyme inhibitors that prevent nuts from sprouting.
  4. Phytic acid binds to minerals like calcium, chromium, iron, magnesium, manganese and zinc. If you eat foods with phytic acid, they can interfere with how your body absorbs essential minerals and cause mineral deficiencies.
  5. Your body lacks an enzyme called phytase, which breaks up phytic acid. You can increase your intake of phytase by making activated almonds or soaking, sprouting or fermenting nuts.
  6. Consuming raw almonds can hamper your digestion and absorption of the minerals they contain. If you feel heavy after consuming raw almonds, you may be experiencing indigestion. Activating almonds can make them easier to digest.
  7. If you have digestive problems and are following a healing diet like paleo, you can benefit from eating activated almonds.

How to make activated almonds

To make activated almonds, wash them in water and leave them in a bowl of water for several hours or overnight. Adding an activating agent like kefir or a salty brine is optional.

Activated almonds should be soaked for at least seven hours or up to 24 hours. Once the almonds have been soaked, dehydrate or roast them at low temperatures to eliminate the anti-nutrients.

Activated almond recipes

Instead of buying activated almonds, make them at home to save a bit of money.

Basic activated almond recipe

Ingredients:

  • Raw almonds
  • Kefir (milk or water kefir), kombucha, live whey, sauerkraut juice or unpasteurized apple cider vinegar with the mother
  • Salt

Preparation:

  1. Put the raw almonds in a bowl and rinse them in water several times. Washing removes the tannins in almond skin which interferes with the minerals in the nuts.
  2. Cover the almonds with water. Add kefir, kombucha, live whey, sauerkraut juice or unpasteurized apple cider vinegar with the mother.
  3. Add salt to activate the enzymes that will help deactivate the enzyme inhibitors.

Drying activated almonds

Follow the steps below to dry almonds properly.

  1. Dehydrate the activated almonds on low heat in a dehydrator or an oven. If you are using an oven, set it to the lowest temperature.
  2. Dehydrating almonds using an oven requires 12 to 24 hours if the temperature is set between 105 to 150 F. Once done, the almonds will be dry and crispy. If you’re using a dehydrator, it may take at least five to six hours.

Activated almond milk

Eat activated almonds as is or use them to make fresh activated almond milk.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup activated almonds.
  • 4-5 cups of filtered water (use less or more, depending on the thickness you desire)
  • A pinch of sea salt (optional)
  • 1-2 Medjool dates or a tablespoon honey (to sweeten the milk, optional)
  • A splash of Vanilla essence (or 1/4 tsp vanilla powder, optional)

Preparation:

  1. Place the almonds, water, salt, dates and vanilla essence in a high-speed blender. Process for one to two minutes. Stop when the milk is smooth. Use less water if you want a thicker milk.
  2. Place a cheesecloth or nut milk bag over a glass jar, then pour the milk in. Use your hands to squeeze out as much liquid as possible.
  3. Drink the milk plain or use it to make overnight oats.

Overnight oats with chia seeds and activated almonds

Try this recipe for overnight oats if you want a simple, healthy breakfast or a quick, tasty snack.

Ingredients for 2-3 servings:

  • 2 cups activated almond milk
  • 1 cup rolled oats
  • 2 tablespoons chia seeds
  • 1 1/2 tablespoon honey
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon

Preparation:

  1. Pour the oats, chia seeds and cinnamon in a large container.
  2. Add the honey and most of the almond milk.
  3. Top up with the rest of the milk if needed to cover all the oats.
  4. Place the mixture in the fridge overnight. This will soften the oats and allow them to soak up the milk.
  5. Serve the oats with chopped activated almonds and other toppings like coconut flakes, fresh berries or hemp seeds.

Consume the overnight oats within three to four days.

Take the extra step and make activated almonds to make it easier to absorb their nutrient content.

Sources:

FoodsForBetterHealth.com

GrowWhole.com

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