Nuts are a great source of healthy fats and many vitamins and minerals. However, the preparation of nuts and seeds is important. Conventional roasting methods often cause the healthy fats in nuts to become oxidized which actually makes the nuts more harmful for your body. Additionally, roasted nuts often have a high salt content. On the other hand, raw nuts contain a number of enzyme inhibitors made by the plant that are in place to protect the nut or seed from being broken down thoroughly and can therefore cause certain nuts and seeds to be almost indigestible for some people.
This recipe roasts the nuts at a lower temperature, for a longer period of time. It takes a little planning and some extra time, but the method breaks down some of the plant's enzyme inhibitors while roasting at a low enough temperature to keep the healthy fats healthy. This method applies to all raw nuts.
- Raw nuts (as little or as much as you would like, I use enough to fill a large baking sheet, they store well)
- 1 tablespoon salt for every 2 cups of nuts
- Optional spices for flavoring as listed at the end of the recipe
- Place the nuts in a glass jar and cover with filtered water; add the salt and stir or shake. Allow the nuts to soak for at least 8-12 hours; cashews should only be soaked for about 4 hours.
- Drain and rinse the nuts and shake dry in a colander.
- Toss the nuts with any spices or seasonings you would like or leave plain (see list below for suggestions).
- Place nuts in a single layer on a cookie sheet.
- Put in the oven on the lowest setting (usually listed as warm). This will cook the nuts at a temperature of less than 200 degrees.
- Leave the nuts in the oven for about 8 hours or until crisp (I usually do this overnight) at the warm setting.
- Remove nuts from the oven when crisp and allow to cool.
- Store them in an airtight container.
Seasoning Suggestions: The roasted nuts should be salty already, but add salt if desired.
- Black pepper and lemon or lime juice
- Cinnamon, nutmeg and a tablespoon of maple syrup per 1 cup of nuts
- Curry powder, cayenne, and cumin
- Chili powder, cumin, and lime juice
- Vanilla extract (1 tsp per cup of nuts) and honey (1 tblsp per cup of nuts)