Thursday, March 5, 2009

Crispy Walnuts and Pecans

I had known for some time that nuts are notoriously hard to digest. My love forthem, however, made me blind to this shortcoming. So it was with a great rising of my heart that I learned something could be done to make them more digestible. I had no idea that this same process would also make them ten times tastier.
I learned in Sally Fallon's Nourishing Traditions that nuts contain certain enzyme inhibitors that interfere somehow with digestion. By soaking nuts in salt water and subsequently drying them out these inhibitors are destroyed, making the nuts easier to digest. That's all well and good and my stomach is happier for it. The real treat, however, is the flavor and texture the nuts take on as a result of the process. They become very crispy, almost dissolving on your tongue, and at the same time buttery. Their saline bath gives them a saltiness that is not at all unwelcome and may even serve to enhance their nuttiness. If this soaking and drying process did nothing at all for the digestibility of the nuts, I would still do it just for the flavor.

Crispy Pecans and Walnuts

for 4 cups

  • 4 cups organic, raw walnuts or pecans
  • filtered water to cover
  • 2 tsp. sea salt
  • Put nuts in a large bowl and cover with filtered water.Stir in sea salt. Place bowl in a warm place for at least 7 hours or overnight. Drain and place nuts on cookie sheets or the shelves of a dehydrator and allow to dry out at 150°F for about 12 hours. When the nuts are crispy and dry all the way through they are done. Store in airtight containers. Pecans do not need to be refrigerated, but walnuts, which tend toward rancidity, should be.

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