Wednesday, April 29, 2009

A More Nutritious Almond

While over for dinner one evening, our friend Lis recommended a way to prepare almonds to snack on and they were exceptionally good. I already love almonds, raw, roasted, salted... whatever. But these came out different; crispy, tasty and believe it or not, even better for you than a regular almond.

Why is it better? Well, when nuts are soaked overnight in a salt water brine then dried in a warm oven or dehydrator they are easier to digest, and their nutrients more readily available. When the temperature is kept low for drying the nuts, the enzymes that are activated through the soaking stay in tact providing more nutrients than if they were roasted in a hot oven.

  • 1 lb raw almonds
  • 1 tbl sea salt
  • filtered water, enough to cover almonds


  1. Mix almonds with salt and filtered water and leave in a warm place for at least 7 hours or overnight.
  2. Drain in a colander.
  3. Spread on a stainless steel baking pan, or dehydrator tray.
  4. Place in a warm oven (no more than 150 degrees Fahrenheit) for 12 to 24 hours, stirring occasionally, until completely dry and crisp. (If using a dehydrator use the setting for nuts/seeds or just make sure it’s less than 150 degrees Fahrenheit.)
  5. Store in an airtight container
I did one batch for longer (48 hours) and the almonds got really crispy and slightly brown on the inside. They were REALLY good! You can use either skinned or skinless almonds, I have not tried skinless but some people prefer it.

I found raw almonds at Whole Foods for about $9/lb (ouch!). I found them at the Alemany Farmer's Market in San Francisco for about $4/lb (much better.) The almonds you get at the farmer's market are going to be local, better quality and true "raw" almonds. Mass produced and packaged raw almonds are often pasturized and often include old, imported and inferior nuts. So support your local grower and buy from the farmer's market!

You can order California Almonds online at: D&S Ranches


amy shelf said...

Have you read "Nourishing Traditions" by Sally Fallon? Soaking is how she deals with nuts and grains. She follows the research of Weston A. Price - I cant get down with all of it, but much of it is doable and makes a lot of sense to me.

Stephanie Lee said...

You are the second person to bring up that book to me. I think I should get a copy of it. I am drinking raw milk these days too which I think she is a fan of too. Thanks!