All aboard the Activation Train

Like a face-lift for nuts...

Like a face-lift for nuts…

I’ve hopped on too. How embarrassing. Poor Pete Evans copped a lot of flack in 2012 for activating his almonds, but now it seems to be the latest food trend, one that until recently I thought was a load of nonsense. It’s that word! Activated. It makes them sound like little ticking almond bombs. Maybe if we used a different one? Awakened? No, now they sound like born-again almonds. For the purposes of this post, let’s use invigorated! Very enthusiastic.

Chefs, nutritionists and naturopaths seem to be fighting amongst themselves as to whether there is any value in invigorating nuts. The idea is that soaking nuts and seeds breaks down the enzyme inhibitors, making it easier for our digestive systems to access and absorb the goodness. This is supposed to imitate Mother Nature, when rain starts the sprouting process. It’s similar to the accepted practice of soaking dried beans and legumes overnight before cooking them. We can just cook them straight away – but soaking the beans and legumes makes them easier to digest (less gassy!).

I basically got to the point where I realised that nuts and seeds comprised such a significant part of my diet, there really wasn’t any harm in invigorating them. I also prefer the texture of the nuts and seeds when they have been invigorated.

Walnuts 2

Does anyone else think that walnuts look a bit like creepy spiders?

We were given a dehydrator, which made the process much easier and realistic. I don’t want trays of nuts clogging up my oven for hours on end. Now I can just stick the dehydrator in the laundry and be on my way.


How to invigorate (activate!) nuts

  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Print
  • Soak the nuts in salted water overnight.
  • Drain the nuts and rinse – see below for a link to recommended soaking and drying times for different types of nuts.
  • Layer the nuts in trays in a dehydrator and ‘roast’ them on the lowest setting for 12-24 hours until they are completely dry (I find I need the full 24 hours, but check them often)
  • If you don’t have a dehydrator, spread in a single layer on baking tray(s) and roast in the oven on the lowest setting for the same amount of time. The reason we do it Low and Slow is to prevent the heat from destroying the nutrients in the nuts.
  • Store the nuts in ziplock bags or containers in the fridge or freezer. This will prevent them going bitter.

Click here for a very useful table with recommended soaking and drying times for different types of nuts, from Move Nourish Believe.

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