For reasons I don't understand, nuts prepared this way taste better. They are light and crisp and make a great snack which researchers speculate improve your health by displacing other less healthy choices. (Click here for a link that will make you want to run out and buy walnuts.) I discovered this preparation in Sally Fallon's Nourishing Traditions.
According to Sally Fallon, soaked and dehydrated nuts are better for you since nuts contain enzyme inhibitors that make them hard to digest. Soaking the nuts in salt water overnight helps to neutralize these, making them easier to digest. She adds that the Aztecs used to soak pumpkin and squash seeds in a brine and sun dry them before eating them, presumably for this reason.
I've seen nuts prepared this way sold at farmers markets, but of course you pay extra for the work that goes into them. This is a good time of year to buy lots of walnuts and prepare them yourself. Walnuts happen to go rancid very easily, so any walnuts, soaked and dehydrated or not, should be refrigerated.
4 cups shelled walnut pieces
2 teaspoons salt
Put the walnuts in a bowl and sprinkle with the salt. Cover them with a generous amount of filtered water. They will swell some as they soak, just like dried beans do.
After allowing them to soak overnight or for a minimum of seven hours, strain them and spread them out either on dehydrator trays or baking sheets. Dry them for 12 to 24 hours at 150 degrees. Store them in an airtight container.
I love trying new foods, cooking, and gardening. I hope to share these experiences on this site. Thanks for taking a look!