Crispy or sprouted nuts are gentler on the digestive system, making them easier to digest, especially for individuals with sensitive guts. Today I’ll share why crispy nuts matter and how to make crispy nuts for the GAPS Diet with various nuts and seeds. Crispy nuts can satisfy your cravings for crunchy foods, and they also amplify the nutritional benefits of nuts and seeds.
Why Crispy (or Sprouted) Nuts Matter
When following the GAPS diet, the focus is on healing the gut lining and promoting the growth of beneficial gut bacteria. Crispy or sprouted nuts offer a crucial advantage due to their enhanced nutritional profile and improved digestibility.
Here’s why they’re always eaten this way:
- Nutrient Amplification: Soaking or sprouting nuts activates enzymes, which allow the minerals, vitamins, fats, and proteins to be more readily absorbed. This process amplifies the nutrient content, ensuring you get the most out of every bite.
- Digestive Ease: Soaking or sprouting nuts and seeds breaks down enzyme inhibitors and phytic acid, which can interfere with nutrient absorption and digestion. When you soak seeds, it activates an internal process to break down most of the phytic acid. Phytic acid is a substance that nuts and seeds use to protect their phosphorous, which they need to preserve for when they’re planted and begin to sprout. When nuts or seeds are eaten, the phytic acid binds to other minerals to create phytates. Humans don’t have enzymes to break down phytates, like some animals do. For us humas, un-soaked seeds are considered to have “anti-nutrients” because these phytates block our absorption of calcium, chromium, iron, magnesium, manganese, and zinc – including those minerals from other foods you’re eating at the same time!
- Enhanced Flavor and Texture: Crispy nuts have a delightful crunch and a buttery nutty flavor. The bitterness you’ve tasted in a raw walnut, for example, is removed. Incorporating a few nuts or seeds into your Full GAPS meals adds an interesting contrast in textures.
How to Make Crispy Nuts for the GAPS Diet
- Raw nuts or seeds of your choice (such as almonds, cashews, walnuts, or pumpkin seeds)
- Filtered water
- Sea salt, large grain
- Place the raw nuts or seeds in a bowl and cover them with filtered water, making sure there’s space for them to expand as some water is absorbed.
- Add the appropriate amount of sea salt and let them soak for the specified time.
- Place a kitchen towel over the bowl if you’re concerned about critters getting in to them.
|Nut or Seed||Salt per 4 cups of nuts/seeds||Soaking Time|
|Almonds||1 tablespoon||7 hours or overnight|
|Brazil nuts||1 tablespoon||7 hours or overnight|
|Cashews||1 tablespoon||6 hours maximum|
|Hazelnuts||1 tablespoon||7 hours or overnight|
|Macadamia||1 tablespoon||7 hours or overnight|
|Peanuts||1 tablespoon||7 hours or overnight|
|Pecans||2 teaspoons||7 hours or overnight|
|Pumpkin seeds (pepitas)||2 tablespoons||7 hours or overnight|
|Sunflower seeds||2 tablespoons||7 hours or overnight|
|Walnuts||2 teaspoons||7 hours or overnight|
- After your nuts or seeds have soaked, drain them in a colander and rinse them with a bit of filtered water.
- If you’re using a dehydrator, set it to 115 degrees. Spread the nuts on the trays with a little space so they aren’t touching, for even drying.
- If you’re using your oven, set it to the lowest heat, no more than 150 degrees, and spread the nuts on a cookie sheet with a little space, so they aren’t touching, for even drying.
- Check them after 12 hours by taking a larger nut out and letting it cool, then eating it.
- They are done when they taste completely dry and crispy, not chewy or soft inside.
- The drying time varies based on the ambient temperature and humidity, so I can’t give you a specific “done time” for these.
- Store them in glass jars to keep them super-fresh. Brazil nuts must be stored in the freezer.
Easy Flavored Crispy Nuts Varieties
Adding salt, herbs or other toppings before dehydrating allows you to easily make flavored crispy nuts. Experiment with various nuts, seeds, and flavor combinations to create your favorites. Here are a few combinations to get you started:
- Crispy Almonds with Cinnamon and Honey: Add a sprinkle of cinnamon and a drizzle of honey before dehydrating for a sweet and spicy treat.
- Savory Herb Cashews: Toss cashews in a blend of your favorite dried herbs and a pinch of garlic powder before dehydrating for a savory snack.
- Pumpkin Seeds with Sea Salt: Simply sprinkle soaked pumpkin seeds with sea salt before dehydrating for a classic and nutritious snack or salad topper.
Incorporating crispy or sprouted nuts into your GAPS diet is gentler on digestion, and as a bonus, they also become more delicious in the process. If you’ve read this far and learned how to make crispy nuts for the GAPS Diet, but you’re not sold on doing it yourself, check out Blue Mountain Organics for sprouted nuts and seeds that you can purchase.