People with Celiac Disease or those with Gluten Sensitivities adhering to a gluten or grain free lifestyle usually incorporate a substantial amount of nuts into their diet. Nuts are a wonderful source of Protein, Vitamin E, Folate, Omega 3 and 6 fatty acids, Calcium, Iron, Potassium and Magnesium; however, the downside is that nuts can be difficult to digest. Nuts contain Phytic Acid, also known as phytates which are not digestable for humans or non-ruminants. This is because we do not produce the digestive enzyme, phytase. When chelated, nuts can act as an enzyme inhibitor, binding with the minerals (mentioned above) and preventing them from being absorbed by our bodies. This is very important for those with Celiac Disease who may already be suffering from depleted stores of vitamins and minerals. Phytic Acid is also one of the reasons people get tummy aches or intestinal distress after consuming nuts.
To remove Phytic Acid, nuts should be prepared by soaking in an acid medium (sea salt) and sprouting. This technique is frequently referred to as “Crispy Nuts”. The following recipe is for almonds, a staple in our home, but other nuts can also be crisped.
Almond Crispy Nuts
3 cups of organic almonds with or without skins (we prefer without skins)
1 tablespoon sea salt
Filtered water (enough to cover the nuts)
Mix almonds and sea salt in a glass bowl and cover with filtered water. Leave in a warm place for at least 7 hours or overnight. Pour out the water by draining the nuts in a colander. Spread nuts on a stainless steel baking pan (I use my jelly roll pan) and place in a warm oven for around 24 hours (no more than 150 degrees Farenheit). Stir occasionally, until completely dry and crisp. Store in an airtight container, or freeze for later use in an airtight container.
NOTE: My oven only goes down to 170 degrees Farenheit. In this case the phytic acid is broken down, but any of the beneficial enzymes will be cooked off. If you own a dehydrator that can be used to dry the nuts, and will not tie up your oven for 24 hours. Worse case scenario you can skip the step of drying in the oven/dehydrator, soaked nuts are still better for you than un-soaked nuts, and you are removing the Phytic Acid.