Almonds are an amazing lil' gem of a pit. Yup, they are the PITs of the drupe fruit. Their nutritional profile & appearance are so similar to nuts, shall we call them a nut? (I think it is good to know the truth though).
I enjoy the glories almonds very frequently for snacking and baking. I go for the best and buy organic, raw and unpasteurized almonds to process myself. Not a small investment at around $9.00/pound. They are naturally loaded with all sorts of valuable nourishment such as monounsaturated fat, manganese, vitamin E, a load of calcium, magnesium, selenium, more fiber than any other nut, potassium and of course a nice amount of protein. This fine combination of vitamins and minerals is worth every penny of the pound.
I take my almond experience, as referred to in the former passage, one step further and soak them. Soaking & sprouting nuts is a whole topic for another time or to explore your self. For some initial exposure I will fill you in on almonds. This protocol is a process that involves soaking the almonds and dehydrating them for snacking pleasure. The skins of almonds contains small amounts phytic acid which can be irritating to the gut lining and stifle nutrient absorption. The skins also contain enzyme inhibitors that keep the seed from sprouting. So the initial soaking of the almond neutralizes enzyme inhibitors (and phytic acid) and makes this gem more accessible by releasing dormant enzymes that maximize the absorption of all the beneficial nutrients inside the almond. Consequently the soaking and dehydrating process increases both the nutritional accessibility, flavor and texture of the almond. Soaking also makes it easier to remove the skins, if so desired.
Here is what you will need:
4 cups of raw almonds (1#)
6 cups of water
1 T salt
1 quart jar or large bowl
oven or dehydrator
~Both the soaking & dehydrating can be done over night or while you are at work to keep that oven available for other projects when you are home or awake~
*Dissolve salt into the water & pour over the almonds in a quart jar/large bowl
*Soak for 8 hours or over night
*Preheat the oven to WARM after the soak
*Strain & rinse the almonds, then spread them out on a baking sheet and pop them in the oven (or dehydrator) for 12-24 hours. The finale will be a nice crunchy texture. If they are soft or chewy at all they will need more time in the low heat.