Maximizing the nutrient value of nuts, grains and beans

Although nuts, seeds, grains and beans are not considered nutrient-dense foods, careful preparation can improve their digestibility and nutrient availability. Historically, people worldwide took careful steps to prepare these difficult-to-digest foods as they all contain anti-nutrients and enzyme inhibitors.

Soaking grains and beans in acidulated water overnight–that is water with yogurt, kefir, vinegar or lemon juice–will prepare them for easier digestion. As an example, if you are serving oatmeal to your family in the morning, the night before, slightly warm the water required for the recipe in a pan and stir in some yogurt and the dry oatmeal and cover. Place the pan on top of your refrigerator. The next morning cook as usual. Make sure you add lots of butter or cream when serving as this will also greatly enhance the nutrient value. If you are preparing beans, cover them with warm water and stir in some yogurt or vinegar and let them soak for at least 12 hours, drain and cover again with water and cook as usual. Always serve beans with a meat and a fat so that your meal is nutrient-dense.

For nuts, you will want to make sure you start with “raw.” Unfortunately, except for pecans and walnuts, it is difficult to find truly raw nuts in the health food store. For peanuts and almonds, you will have to look online. Here’s a website that offers high quality organically grown raw nuts.

To prepare 1 pound of nuts, simply cover them with water and add 1 tablespoon of Celtic Sea salt and let them soak for about 8 hours. Drain and dehydrate in a dehydrator or place them on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper on the lowest setting in your oven for about 12 hours or until crispy.

Taking the time to prepare nuts, grains and beans will make them a wonderful addition to a nutrient-dense diet.

For more information on building health and healing with nutrient-dense, traditional foods, see

Best in health,

Kathryne Pirtle

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