Activating Nuts and Seeds

In many of our superfood recipes we will refer to ‘activated nuts.’ Here is some information on nuts and how to activate them so that we will not have to explain activating nuts and seeds every time we use them in a recipe.

I have tried many different ways of eating. One thing that I have never been able to do is “grab a handful of nuts” which I hear being recommended all the time especially for those on special diets or for the likes of myself when I was training or teaching aerobics. I always found nuts never agreed with me, they made me feel uncomfortable, gave me a tummy ache and never made me feel sustained or recharged. Now that I know about activating nuts, I understand what was really going on inside my poor digestive system.

Nuts are high in protein and essential fats, they are charged with antioxidants, minerals and fibre. However, they also contain natural chemicals that can interfere with your digestive system and prevent you from absorbing this wonderful nutrition. Nuts contain phytic acid which our digestive systems can’t break down so eating large amounts of raw nuts could lead to symptoms such as feeling heavy, full and even nauseas. Nuts also contain enzyme inhibitors which bind to good enzymes and block their important functions preventing proper digestion and absorption.

Soaking nuts and seeds deactivates the enzyme inhibitors as well as removes any phytic acid present allowing these nuts to be digested and their nutrients to be absorbed comfortably. Because the enzyme inhibitors are deactivated don’t be surprised if some nuts and seeds show signs of sprouting after soaking because it is these same enzyme inhibitors that also stop the nuts from sprouting. Just take it as a sign that the food has become ‘alive’ again.


Dissolve salt in enough water to cover the amount of nuts/seeds you are activating. In a large bowl place your nuts or seeds of choice, cover with the salt water solution, soak for the required number of hours. Strain and rinse the nuts then dry spread over a baking tray and set oven at lowest temperature possible, preferably no more than 65C. Or dry in dehydrator for around 12-24 hours. Make sure your nuts are completely dry before storing otherwise they will become mouldy. Store in airtight containers in the fridge or freezer, storing at low temperatures preserves their nutrition and prevents rancidity of their natural oils.

Almonds 1 tsp. 12-14hrs 12-24hrs  
Cashews * 1 tsp. 3-6hrs * 12-24hrs  
Hazelnuts ** 1 tsp. 7-12hrs 12-24hrs  
Macadamias 1 tsp. 7-12hrs 12-24hrs  
Peanuts 1 tsp. 7-12hrs 12-24hrs  
Pecans 1/2 tsp. 7-12hrs 12-24hrs  
Walnuts 1/2 tsp. 7-12hrs 12-24hrs  
Pinenuts 1 tsp. 7-10hrs 12-24hrs  
pumpkin Seeds 2 tsp. 7-10hrs 12 hrs.  
Sunflower Seeds 2 tsp. 7-10hrs 12 hrs.  

*Cashews are susceptible to going slimy and tasting awful . So be careful not to soak for longer than 6 hrs. and dry rapidly probably best to turn oven heat up to 90-120C.

**Skinless hazelnuts are preferable.