Today, I want to show you the sprouting process for nuts and seeds. I do this for all of the nuts/seeds we use before I dry them in the oven or dehydrator. Sally Fallon writes in NourishingTraditions: "Nuts are easier to digest, and their nutrients more readily available, if they are first soaked in salt water overnight, then dried in a warm oven (No more than 150). This method imitates the Aztec practice of soaking pumpkin or squash seeds in brine then letting them dry in the sun before eating them...Salt in soaking water activates enzymes that neutralize enzyme inhibitors."
In this case, we eat like the Ancients not the Caveman...you can actually see the sprout at the end of all the seeds, the almond one is the little nib of white you see and the sunflower and pumpkin ones are a little more obvious. For pecans and walnuts you won't see a sprout but the nuts will expand. I soaked all the seeds overnight in a glass container with salt water--about a teaspoon or less dissolved first. Drain and rinse the next day and spread out in a single layer on a cookie sheet. Don't pile them on top of one another, they won't dry properly. I put the sunflower seeds and pecans in the oven for 8 hours, the pumpkin seeds and walnuts went for 10 and the almonds will go for about 20-24 hours. They taste amazing and it's really hard to go back to "raw" nuts/seeds again. It is crucial that you actually get RAW nuts/seeds from a source at the Farmer's Market--preferably organic--and be sure to check to see if they have been irradiated at all. You cannot get truly raw almonds in the supermarket in California, all retailers have to irradiate them in some way by law. A great source for different nuts is www.nutsonline.com.