Friday, October 2, 2009

soaking and dehydrating almonds

On our GAPS diet we are not supposed to eat any starches or grains. This is part of the reason I picked this diet. I have always seemed to have a hard time digesting grains. I've been tested for Celiac's disease (gluten intolerance) but I do not have it. The doctors have often questioned if Grayson might have it and the OT questioned if Tyler might as well. So, this diet is a good way to eliminate that from our diet and see if symptoms improve.

But what do we do without grains?

Almonds. There are many recipes made from almond butter and almond flour. The first step is to soak the almonds to make them easier to digest.

Why soak almonds?

Almonds are usually difficult for most people to digest because of an enzyme-inhibiting substance in their brown coating. Soaking or sprouting removes this inhibitor so that the enzymes secreted during digestion can do their job. It is easier to digest, absorb and assimilate the nutrition in the nut. Also the nuts become softer, making them easier to chew. This adds to the effect. Always chew nuts thoroughly, whether soaked or not. Big chunks of unchewed nuts can be hard on the digestive tract.

What do you do with soaked almonds?

Almond Milk: Use an ounce of ground, blanched almonds and a quart of water (you can also simply add ground blanched almonds and some sugar to water until you achieve the preferred consistency) This shares many characteristics of cow milk and makes a delicious refreshing beverage.

Almonds can also be used to relieve heartburn. Dosage is six to eight soaked, blanched almonds.

Almond butter is made by grinding the soaked, blanched almonds and is far healthier than peanut butter. This is a nutritional and delicious alternative for adults and children alike.

Almond flour is made by dehydrating the soaked, blanched almonds then grinding them into a flour like substance. Almond flour is used in many GAPS recipes.

Snacks: soak, blanch, then dry almonds and store in the refrigerator for a snack anytime. They combine best with fermented foods, non-starchy land vegetables (especially dark green leafy ones) and ocean vegetables. They also combine with other protein/fat foods like milk kefir and avocado.

They're great to toss into a green, leafy salad.

What are the best almonds to get?

If possible almonds should be purchased in their shell. This helps to ensure that your almonds are fresh and not rancid. Almonds should be raw and organic.

How do you soak?

  1. Soak 4 cups of raw, organic almonds in cool filtered water and drain the soaked water after 20-40 minutes. (optional step)
  2. Dissolve 1 Tbsp of sea salt in filtered water and pour over almonds (I use a mason jar).
  3. soak for another 8-12 hours. If you want to continue and sprout them you can (they make one of the best sprouts) though it is not essential.
  4. Drain and refridgerate
One website I looked at encouraged to buy skinless almonds. "If almonds are not skinless and given that the almond skin is potentially irritating to the lining of the stomach and intestines the almonds should be blanched" (I assume following the soaking). Some people say the skins easily peel off after soaking. If not easy for you do the following:

To blanch almonds:

1. Place the soaked almonds in a saucepan of boiling water.
2. Time seven (7) seconds.
3. Immediately remove from heat.
4. Drain and cover almonds with cold water to cool.
5. Press each almond between thumb and forefinger to slip off skin.
6. Dry almonds on paper towels.
You can also try blanching them in warm water (15-30 seconds in hot water from faucet.)

My nutrionalist friend reminded me that the fiber from almonds is in the skin. We are needing fiber right now so we are not blanching.

To Further protect the almonds from the effect of rancidity and enhance digestion lightly toast the almonds in an oven.

Here's how you toast almonds:

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
  2. In a low sided pan, evenly spread nuts.
  3. Bake, stirring occasionally, for 5 to 10 minutes or until lightly browned.
  4. Oven toasted nuts are done when you can smell them.
  5. All nuts should be cooled on paper towels.

Some people would say that the high heat will loose some of the nutrients and you should use a dehydrator of low heat of oven.

To Dry Almonds:

  • drain in a colander and spread on a stainless steel pan .
  • Place in a warm oven (no warmer than 150 degrees) for 12-24 hours, turning occasionally, until thoroughly dry and crisp.
To Make Almond Butter:
  • mix almonds in food processor or blender.
  • It will take approximately 10 minutes to release the oils from the almonds to make a paste
  • Keep scraping the sides of the bowl
To Make Almond Flour:
  • I am grinding in my magic bullet right now because that's all I have. I think it would work better in a mill.


  1. I just bought some almonds and am looking forward to soaking them. Thanks for the info and by the way I love your blog title. Sometimes I feel the same way!

  2. Great info. I am thinking about grinding my own almond flour (gluten free baking)If I buy sliced amonds, do I still have to soak it in water and do the whole process of drying it. Just seems like a whole lot of work. Maybe I should just buy the almond flour LOL