I recently discovered the term “activated nuts” after picking up a copy of The Moon Juice Cookbook. I like several things about this book. 1) The author is not touting an all or nothing approach because let’s face it, that never works 2) It is recognized that as humans we will fuck up often so throw away the guilt; we are not put on this planet for deprivation 3) most of the recipes were fairly approachable. There are some components that I struggle with such as investing hundreds of dollars in their special products; BUT the beauty of buying a book like this is that I can simply remove those options and still have a lot of great take a ways. I picked this up while waltzing through Books-A-Million because I have been thinking a lot about my skin lately. During the holidays and even after; my skin had a series of melt downs. Outside of the general gross acne stuff, it was unusually dry and dull looking–a result of consuming way too much sugar and processed food. If you want glow, eating Chinese food on a Monday followed by 10 pieces of candy on a Tuesday is not the way to get it. I am a firm believer that what we consume determines entirely how we feel. Energy does not come from chemicals; it comes from whole foods that empower your body to prosper. I also think that since our skin is the bodies largest organ, we must provide our body with the tools to help it look well. Aside from consumption, that also goes for the products we use. I try and use organic skin care products whenever possible. In fact, I recently made a switch back to chemical based skin care products and my face imploded on itself. Anyways, the nuts.
Essentially, activated nuts are just nuts that have soaked in water and salt for a period of time, which starts off the germination or sprouting process, then dehydrated at a low temperature. According to the great internet, soaking increases the nutrient value of the nuts along with breaking down the problematic compounds that help enhance their digestibility. Interesting right??? I don’t eat a lot of raw buts but if you do, they can lead to digestion problems. Activating them is supposed to remove that weight and allow your body to absorb the nutrient dense properties they offer.
I encourage everyone to make your own almond milk. Next time you are at the store, take a look at what is in the ingredient list on a random bottle. Most of the nut milks on the market contain an absurd amount of sugar. Yes, you can buy unsweetened nut milks but there are usually additives in there. Also, they are insanely expensive. 1 cup of almonds yields 4-5 cups of nut milk. The taste is pure and believe me, it is so easy. Here are a few of my favorite “activated nut” based recipes.
Soak 1 cup of almonds with 1 teaspoon of salt (just enough water to cover the almonds) for 8-12 hours.
Rinse almonds, throw them in a blender with 4 cups of water. Pulse until smooth. Strain through a nut bag.
Save all that lovely fiber for lovely pastries (more on that later).
CHOCOLATE COVERED STRAWBERRY SMOOTHIE
In a blender pulse 1.5 cups of housemade almond milk, a heaping handful of frozen strawberries and 2 tablespoons of raw cocoa (rich in iron and magnesium). This is a fantastic dessert for post dinner late night cravings.
GREEN GLOW SMOOTHIE
In a blender pulse 1.5 cups of almond milk, 5 pieces of kale, a handful of frozen strawberries, 1 beet and a banana. This will keep you full all morning and is an energy packed way to start your day. (also very good for your gut)
JENNY’S FAMOUS KIND MILK (makes 4 cups)
In a blender pulse 4 cups of almond milk, 4 dates, 1 teaspoon cinnamon, 1 teaspoon raw vanilla, 2 heaping tablespoons raw cocoa and 2 tablespoons raw honey. Distribute into glass containers if you have them to take all week to work. This makes a great afternoon pick me up or when you are having a craving for something sweet.
P.S. Nut bags are really cheap on Amazon, they range from $4-$6. A great investment. If you are fully committed to nut milks and make them on a regular basis, I really recommend the Soyabella. It will set you back about a $100 but for the amount of but milk I consume, it was worth it. Takes two seconds, mills the almonds into a perfect consistency for milk and allows separation of the fiber in an almost seamless fashion. Clean up is a breeze. It also can make soy milk, cashew milk and a bunch of other milks. There is a heating option as well for pasteurization if you are into that kind of thing. (I’m not)