Tools for Cultivating a Healthy Gut!
Nuts and Seeds
Monica Corrado, Simply Being Well
Saturday, September 8, 2018
Every nut, every seed, every bean, every grain is a SEED.
That means they do not want to be digested. They all have protective elements, aka “anti- nutrients”.
Nuts and seeds present a challenge to any digestive system, due to the anti-nutrients that make them hard to digest AND fiber, that is hard on the digestive system.
1. enzyme inhibitors
2. phytic acid
3. complex molecules
Enzyme inhibitors inhibit the enzymes in our own digestive tract, making it nearly impossible to fully digest our food.
The phytic acid can combine with important minerals calcium, magnesium, copper, iron and zinc in the intestinal tract and block their absorption. Therefore, a diet high in nuts/seeds that have phytic acid can lead to serious mineral deficiencies and bone loss.
Complex molecules must be broken down to simple molecules in order to be used by the body. A damaged small intestine cannot digest the molecules to access the nutrients. Therefore it is very important to pre-digest the nuts/seeds prior to eating
Traditional cooking techniques: soaking, sprouting, or fermenting, will help to pre-digest the nuts and “neutralize” the anti-nutrients.
Soak: Soaking Nuts or Seeds
Measure out one pound (approximately 4 cups) nuts or seeds, cover by two inches with warm water, add 1 tablespoon sea salt, and stir. Cover and leave in a warm place for minimum of 7 hours, maximum 24 hours. Rinse well and drain. (Exception: cashews, soak maximum 6 hours)
Sprout: Sprouting Nuts or Seeds (or beans or grains)
1. Fill a glass jar with about an inch of nuts or seeds. (Wide mouth works best.)
2. Place a square of mesh or cheese cloth over the jar and secure with ring from lid or a rubber band.
4. Cover with filtered water and let sit 12 hours or overnight.
5. Drain and rinse with fresh water.
6. Invert the jar at a diagonal and place in a bowl. This will encourage drainage and discourage mold.
7. Put on windowsill.
8. Rinse 2-3 times each day with fresh water until you see sprouts. Nut and seed sprouts will be very small. Usually they will sprout within 2 days. (Note, if sunflower seeds turn black, throw them out.)
Ferment: Fermenting Nuts or Seeds
To ferment nut flour: measure out the nut flour and cover with ½ cup whey or more if needed. Cover and let stand in a warm spot for 24 hours, loosely covered.
To ferment nuts or seeds: measure out the nuts required and cover with warm water and ½ cup whey. Cover and let stand in a warm spot for 24 hours.
In general, “nuts” are more difficult to digest than “seeds”, so if you know you have a challenged digestive system, you may wish to start with seeds. Whichever you choose, it is important to purchase organic nuts/seeds. All nuts/seeds should be predigested before they are added to the GAPS diet.
If you can’t tolerate nuts and then can’t tolerate seeds, you may wish to try flour made from fermented white Navy beans. Soak beans for 12-24 hours in warm water. Drain and rinse well. Then ferment: cover soaked beans with water and ½ cup whey or kefir per quart of water.
Leave to ferment 4-7 days in a warm place. Rinse and cook. Then grind into flour and use in recipes.
Nuts and Seeds: RECIPES
Basic Bread or Muffin Recipe
makes 1 loaf or one 8-9 inch round or one dozen muffins!
2.5 cups nut flour (more or LESS, depending on consistency. See below.) FERMENTED NUT FLOUR BEST—see below
¼ cup butter, melted (pastured, grass-fed) or coconut oil, duck fat, goose fat, lard, crème fraiche, yogurt (YOGURT BEST)
• Preheat oven to 350 F. Grease parchment paper with a healthy fat and line the loaf pan. (Alternatively, line a muffin tin with cupcake liners or a cake pan.)
• Beat eggs in a medium bowl. Add fat or dairy and almond flour, taking care to add almond flour slowly. You are looking for a “porridge” consistency in the batter, so the amount of nuts you will need will depend on which nuts you use (almond flour, or grind your own, fermented or not). If it turns out you use all the nut flour and it is still not “porridge-like”, then you need more wet. Add an additional egg.
• Bake in the center of the oven for 45-60 minutes. The length of time is dependent on the consistency of your batter, the size of your pan, and the heat of your oven. I suggest testing at 45 minutes to start. Insert a clean, dry knife in the center of the loaf. When the knife comes out dry, the loaf/cake/muffin is done. Note: muffins will cook much faster; check at 15 minutes.
Variations on the Basic Recipe
Be creative with the basic recipe, both in terms of ingredients and baking as a cake or muffins. You may wish to add any of the following:
celtic salt, dried herbs, tomato paste or puree
1-1 ½ cup of the following per recipe, once they are tolerated:
nuts, seeds, dried fruit: dates, raisins, apricots, figs, fresh or frozen berries (if frozen, thaw and drain first), chunks of apple, grated carrot, chunks of peeled, seeded pumpkin, 2 ripe bananas, well mashed or 1 avocado, well mashed
Fermented Nut Flour—best for baking!
2.5 cups nut flour (you purchase or grind yourself)
¼-1/2 cup whey (from yogurt or kefir) OR yogurt or kefir
• Mix well.
• Let sit at room temperature (68-72 degrees F) for 24 hours.
For more information about nuts and seeds, see my book:
Cooking Techniques for the Gut and Psychology Syndrome, Part IV: Seeds (aka Nuts, Seeds, Beans, Grains) from Selene River Press as an ebook, a print edition, and a pdf download, due in Winter 2018. www.seleneriverpress.com
See also: Gut and Psychology Syndrome, Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride, Nourishing Traditions, Sally Fallon and Mary Enig, With Love from Grandmother’s Kitchen: Traditional Cooking Techniques for Well-Being, Monica Corrado
©2018 Monica Corrado Simply Well Being, LLC All rights reserved.
Author: Elliot Rhodes
Elliot Rhodes is the Communications & Marketing Director for OGS. A graduate of Appalachian State University with a Bachelor’s in Social Work, she coordinated High Country CSA in Boone, NC for three years while working in database administration, web development and on various small farms. In Asheville she completed the Tech Talent South Code Bootcamp and worked as web developer & I.T. generalist for Sow True Seed, immersed in programming as well as organic food production & seed saving, before joining OGS. Elliot is passionate about the power of technology to facilitate resiliency and increase access to sustainable solutions.