Nuts are an essensial part of raw baking and works as a replacement for wheat flour. They add a lot of flavor and different nuts pairs differently with different ingredients.
The nuts are ground into a nut flour that can be added to raw cookies, bars, brownies, crusts and so on. Full packed with minerals and heart friendly fats, nuts are an important nutritional addition.
Some like to soak, or "sprout" them before using them in the recipe. Others use nuts as they are.
Macadamia nuts (do not soak)
Almonds are the most alkaline of all nuts and contains as much as 20% protein. They can be eaten with skin or you can peel them if you want for example a white raw whipped cream. Almonds can aid heartburn and gastric ulcer. The almond has a mild taste, which brings forth other flavors.
Cashews are white kidney shaped nuts with a whipped cream-taste. They contain copper and magnesium. It is hard to find really raw cashews as the shell of the nut is poisonous and needs to be heated to be handled. Cashews contains up to 18% protein and lots of minerals.
Hazelnuts (do not soak)
The hazelnut is rich in fat; as much as 60-70% of the nut is nutritional fats. It contains around 13% protein and vitamin B that is needed to cope stress.
Walnuts (soak for 4 hours)
When you want to create a heavier feeling for your dessert, walnuts are a good choice. They are rich in good fats, taste and nutrition. Walnuts are soft nuts, which easily go rancid. Keep them in the fridge, as with all nuts. Walnuts brake down plaque in the blood vessels.
Pecan nuts (4-6 hours)
The pecan nut has a characteristic taste , which can transform any dessert into a winner, who doesn't love peacan pie? Pecans contain 19 different vitamins and minerals. They are naturally cholesterol free and like the walnut it contain lots of good fats.
Pistachio nuts (do not soak)
A tasteful very soft nut, that can bring interesting texture to different desserts. They have a beautiful green and purlple color, have a high amount of fiber, contains antioxidants and lowers the bad LDL cholesterol as most nuts do.
Brazil nuts (do not soak)
A hard oval nut with brown skin. You can scrape the skin off with a knife if you want to make a white filling or cream. The brazil nut is also a heart booster and heals the thyorid gland thanks to the selenium in the nut.
Good quality raw pumpkin seeds almost tastes like candy. If they don't taste great, don't use them in a dessert as it will spoil the end result when all flavors comes together. Works as a great option to nuts if you are intollerant or allergic. The minerals in pumpkin seeds are magnesium, potassium, zinc and copper. They are also rich in omega fats like Omega 3 and 6.
You soak or sprout nuts for several reasons:
1) to de-activate the enzyme inhibitors and lectines in the nut (anti-untrients),
2) to activate enzymes and nutrients and
3) to get rid of some of the fat that will be transfrerred into the soaking water.
Personally, I never soak my nuts as I don't have a sensitivity to enzyme inhibitors or lectins that can be found in raw, un-soaked nuts and seeds. You notice a sensitiveness of enzyme inhibitors and/or lectines if your stomach gets bloated and painful. If that's the case you can try and soak your nuts following the suggested soaking time in the list above.
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