December 14, 2022
What Are Activated Almonds?
Are you looking for a new and interesting ingredient to add to your recipes? Almonds are one of the most delicious nuts with a satisfying crunch and a good supply of minerals and vitamins. Some even consider them a superfood. If you want to add a little something special to your culinary dishes, almonds are a flexible ingredient that can be applied to numerous culinary dishes. You can roast them, turn them into almond milk or butter for baked goods, or chop them and add them to salads. The recipes for these sweet and savory treats are endless, and you probably know many of them.
But do you Know anything about Activated Almonds?
The health world gets consumed by a new trend every day, and activated nuts such as almonds are among the latest popular ideas. However, the concept of activation is nothing new and has been around for hundreds of years. Only now, the scientific and culinary communities are paying attention to their benefits and better taste. So what are activated almonds? How are they better than raw almonds?
What Is Activation?
Activation is an ancient method for preparing food that many Aztec communities used to preserve seeds, grains, legumes, and nuts. It’s a simple process of soaking the food in salt water for a certain period.
Activated almonds are prepared by soaking the raw nuts in the solution for 7 to 24 hours. Afterward, the almonds are dried at low temperatures. Ancient cultures used to perform this dehydration under the sun. However, the process is much simpler now with dehydrators that maintain the nuts’ crunch and nutrients.
This soaking and dehydrating process is nothing groundbreaking, but it breaks down the phytic acid in almonds to activate them. Almonds in an activated state offer numerous benefits that regular almonds don’t.
Activate Almonds Yourself
You can activate almonds and use them in a variety of recipes, antipasto, or charcuterie boards in your kitchen. You will need a dehydrator and 24 hours of your time to do it properly. Below are the steps you must take.
- Warm water
- 2 tablespoons of salt
- 3 cups of raw almonds
- Place your almonds in a large bowl.
- Dissolve salt in enough warm water to cover your almonds.
- Pour the warm salt water over your nuts and soak them for 24 hours.
- Drain the salt water and rinse the almonds under running water. They should look nice and puffy at this point.
- Pat the almonds dry and line them on a dehydrator rack or a baking tray.
- Dry the almonds in the dehydrator for 12 to 24 hours.
- You can also dry the nuts in the oven. Set the oven to the lowest temperature and stir the almonds occasionally until they are ready.
- Your activated almonds are ready when they are dry and crunchy.
- You can place the activated nuts in clean glass jars or paper bags. Store them in the fridge or freezer to add a crunchy touch to your recipes.
- Ensure the almonds are completely dry before you store them to make them less susceptible to mold.
- You can add extra flavor to your almonds by sprinkling them with your favorite herbs and spices before putting them in the oven or dehydrator.
- Almonds are not the only nuts you can activate. You can repeat this process with any other nut you like. However, remember that other nuts will need different soaking and drying times.
While you can activate almonds in your kitchen, the process is time-consuming and prone to errors. You will have to watch out for mold growth, keep an eye on the almonds as they dry so they won’t burn, and dedicate a whole day to the process.
Instead of doing it yourself, you can buy activated almonds from online organic health food stores for a more convenient option and a better quality result.
What Are the Benefits of Activated Almonds?
Raw almonds are very nutritious. An ounce of these tasty nuts contains 6 grams of protein and 14 grams of healthy fats, plus a plethora of vitamins and minerals such as vitamin E and calcium. They are great for the eyes, heart, blood pressure, and more. So why activate them?
Well, adding activated almonds to your recipes will not only make your chef resume shine but offer numerous advantages to your customers. Let’s look at some of these advantages.
Better Absorption of Nutrients
Raw almonds have a natural chemical called phytic acid that protects them as they grow on trees. Once they mature, this compound turns into phytate, which attaches to the nut’s minerals and hinders their absorption by your body. The activation process breaks down the phytate enzymes and allows your body to absorb more nutrients.
Phytates also make raw almonds harder to digest. Therefore, eating a handful of raw almonds can cause digestive issues such as nausea and bloating and make you feel uncomfortable. As activation breaks down these compounds, it makes them easier to digest, allowing you to enjoy more of the activated almonds.
Raw almonds have toxic tannins on their skins that can leave a bitter taste in the mouth and create a chalk-like feeling. These tannins are removed during the activation process, leaving almonds with their naturally sweet flavor and extra crunchy texture.
Longer Shelf Life
Raw almonds usually have up to 8% moisture. This moisture is reduced to 1-2% during the activation process. Therefore, it gives activated almonds a longer shelf life. Even if you freeze the activated almonds, you will still get the beneficial nutrients and the delicious crunch.
Add Activated Almonds to Your Recipes
Now that you know all about activated almonds, you can easily add them to your favorite recipes and share them with your customers. You can pair them with fruit purees and yogurts or add them to your signature salads. Try activated almonds with this unique Caesar salad on a stick recipe for an explosion of flavors on your palate.