Ice cream, cheese, milk, soups, crackers, smoothies and pie crust - did you ever imagine that you can do so many amazing things with these wee little nuts and seeds? I sure didn't. But after reading over 100 raw food educational books, recipes and other materials, I am still amazed at the many things we can make with these amazing nutrient packed foods. I can truly say that I would never miss eating ice cream after tasting a truly raw ice cream and I love my ice cream. Okay, okay maybe if I was in Italy eating Gelato I might forget about the raw version and indulge in my favorite Nocciola (hazelton) ice cream.
Raw nuts and seeds are quite versatile and used in a variety of ways among the raw and living foods devotees. The favorite among the 'super duper' raw food chefs are the following:
Favorite nuts are brazil, hazelnuts (a.k.a. filberts), macadamia nuts, pecans, pine nuts, pistachios, walnuts, almonds and cashews (although hard to find truly raw ones)
Favorite seeds are pumpkin, sunflower, flax, hemp. sesame and chia.
Raw nuts and seeds should be soaked and rinsed before being eaten or used. And keep in mind that only some seeds will sprout. You might be asking why should I soak nuts? They taste fine just the way they are. Yes this is true however, soaking them releases enzyme inhibitors, the compound that keeps seeds in a dormant state. During the soaking step the enzymes inhibitors are lifted off and during the sprouting process, the macronutrients such as fat, protein and carbohydrates are broken down into their simplest form which means better digestion, and assimilation of nutrients. The nutrient value of the food as a result multiples. Keep in mind, that depending on the nuts and seeds some need longer soaking time than others.
If you can restrain yourself from over eating them, raw nuts and seeds can definitely be part of a healthy diet. Including raw nuts and seeds daily into your diet provides you with a good source of protein, phytonutrients, antioxidants and omega 3 and 6 (which lowers your cholesterol). Raw nuts and seeds are a perfect snack and can be added to your salad or cereal. Raw nut butters are also great for spreads and dips.
Raw nuts and seeds also contain fibre. Particularly recommended are flax seed, also a complete protein (kaur, Dharam Sat, 2005). Just remember to grind your flax seeds to get the most out of the nutrients before tossing them over your cereals and salads. Chia seed are the new kids on the block and you will want to give them a try as you may be deliciously surprised
According to Dr. Sat Sharam Kaur, ND we should be consuming 2 tbsp of freshly ground flaxseeds daily and 2-4 tbsp of nuts and seeds daily. So now you don't have to feel guilty about eating some fat. Go nuts!
© 009 Mary Luciano