So, I’m reading an article, and get stuck on “activated cashews”. WTF are activated cashews? I already know that yes, cashews are good for you, in moderation, like many things. I also knew I was going to be very sorry for clicking on the cashew link. Yep, definitely sorry. It’s certainly easy to take money from people who have an excess of it, and apparently, one hell of a deficit in the sense department. What are activated cashews? A serious excess of empty buzzwords, signifying nothing, and a small bag of very overpriced nuts. Here’s the buzzy blurb:
Our enzyme-rich, activated, and dehydrated cashews are a mineral-dense protein. Pure, alkaline water awakens the nuts’ dormant properties, increasing digestibility and micronutrient, vitamin, and enzyme count. These raw, activated, bio-available nuts are a low-glycemic, anti-inflammatory source of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids that nourish skin, bones, and heart.
Perfect for high functioning snacking and activated nut milks, topping yogurts, puddings, and cereals, and for creating treats like granolas, cookies, crackers, and your magical creations we haven’t discovered yet.
INGREDIENTS: Raw, organic, activated cashews
Gluten-free and non-GMO
As to why you need to activate nuts, or pay outrageous amounts of money for them? If you guessed this is a traditional method among certain cultures…bingo! I didn’t go into it enough to see just which particular tradition and culture is being co-opted here, but it all seems to trace back to one particular person, and a bunch of gullible idiots glommed onto it. Here’s a bit of it:
They seem like a great choice of snack – high in protein and essential fats, and riddled with fibre, antioxidants and minerals. This we know to be true, but they also contain natural chemicals that could interfere with your digestive system and prevent you from absorbing all of that wonderful nutrition.
Similar to how grains and legumes contain phytic acid, nuts contain enzyme inhibitors. Enzyme inhibitors act by binding to enzymes and decrease and/or block their actions. The enzyme inhibitors are beneficial to nuts, as they prevent the nuts from prematurely sprouting, however they also act on our digestive enzymes, preventing their proper digestion and absorption.
Nuts and seeds also contain small amount of phytic acid, which our digestive system is also unable to break down. Eating large amounts of raw nuts could then lead to symptoms such as feeling ‘heavy’, feelings of uncomfortable fullness, even nausea. Not only this, but it puts a massive strain on our our digestive system, compromising already fragile digestive tracts.
Activating nuts is an ancient and traditional practice that required the soaking of nuts and seeds in brine and letting them dry in the hot sun. Nowadays, we have a much faster and more sanitary method of drying, but the objective remains the same.
The soaking times of nuts vary according to what text you read. My personal method of activating nuts is inspired by Sally Fallon, as described in her book, “Nourishing Traditions”.
How to activate your nuts…
- Dissolve salt in enough water to cover the amount of nuts/seeds you are activating.
- In a large bowl place your nut or seed of choice.
- Cover with the salt water solution.
- Soak for the required number of hours.
- Strain and rinse the nuts.
- Spread over a dehydrator rack, or baking tray.
- Dry in the dehydrator for around 12-24 hours.
- If drying in the oven, set the oven at the lowest temperature possible, preferably no more than 65C. Stir or turn them occasionally, for the required drying time.
- And the result? A crunchy, delicious, totally bio-available and stress-free, nut!
It is important to ensure that your nuts really are dry and crispy before removing them from the dehydrator or oven, otherwise there is a risk that your beautiful and expensive nuts will become riddled with mould.
But mould is natural! Probably fuckin’ traditional somewhere in the world too, if you just look hard enough. Sweet Zombie Jesus, there are a lot of idiots in the world. It’s certainly easy enough to see why some people just decide to start picking pockets on a large scale, you can just make shit up wholesale, plaster buzziness all over it, and before you know it, you have a mattress full of money.