Tips&TricksUnlock the full potential of almonds: dos and don'ts of soaking and roasting

Unlock the full potential of almonds: dos and don'ts of soaking and roasting

A handful of almonds.
A handful of almonds.
Images source: © Freepik | wirestock

1:08 PM EST, December 26, 2023

Nuts are an excellent source of beneficial fatty acids. Among the popular varieties, almonds can be found in almost any store. They are packed with omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, proteins, potassium, magnesium, and vitamin E, which protects the skin from aging. As you can see, they're a powerhouse of health, but their preparation before consumption is crucial.

Almonds frequently feature in many dishes

In the west, more people are discussing a type of cuisine where thermally processed dishes are omitted. This method aims to prevent food from losing its valuable properties. Almonds possess a special attribute: the propensity to release healthful enzymes only after soaking. Hence, if prepared correctly, nuts can become healthier and, importantly, easier for the digestive system to process.

Almonds come with a protective brown skin that covers the seed. This skin contains the enzyme inhibitor. The soaking process causes the skin to start separating from the nut, thus discarding these inhibitors and releasing enzymes along with their nutritious components. However, you'll irrevocably lose the fiber and vitamin E that the skin also contains.

Does this mean we should avoid soaking almonds? Contrarily, soaked nuts are easier to digest, and they become easier to chew, a feature especially useful for children and seniors. If you're using almonds as a base for something like a cake, it's preferable to soak them before use.

How to soak almonds without losing their beneficial components?

Simply place a portion of almonds in a bowl and cover them with water. They should be ready after 8-10 hours. During this waiting period, you should change the water several times to remove the dissolved inhibitors. The softened almonds could be kept in the refrigerator for several days.

An alternative to soaking is pan-roasting the almonds. This method may break down the valuable enzymes due to heat but makes the skin easier to digest. Another advantage is the taste improvement, as lightly roasted nuts exhibit a unique flavor. It's advisable to switch between these two methods based on your requirements. For instance, at a child's party, it's safer to avoid hard nuts that children might choke on.

Roasting almonds in a pan
Roasting almonds in a pan© Freepik | narong27
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