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BTD Forums  /  Eat Right 4 Your Type  /  Another Good Reason to Soak Your Nuts
Posted by: Conor, Friday, May 18, 2012, 8:42pm
You could inadvertently be buying nut meats that have been coated with this trasparent VEGE-COAT(tm) coating process, but not have it always be included on the nutritional label of the products being coated (including candies, nutritional supplements, pharmaceutical tablets and the manufacturer is looking for ways in which to make the process applicable to fruit, et cetera). According to the manufacturer, VEGE-COAT(tm) is an edible coating produced by combining the maize protein, zein, with other ingredients.

Zein is a class of prolamine protein found in maize, and is usually manufactured as a powder from corn gluten meal. Too, according to the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, zein can be further processed into resins and other bioplastic polymers, which can be extruded or rolled into a variety of plastic products.

Please correct me if I'm wrong, but this seems like something people wouldn't want on their food, regardless of blood type, especially if they're wanting to eliminate corn and/or gluten from their diet.

Anyhow, with ever increasing attempts by food manufacturers to use non-nutritive shelf life-enhancing tactics like this, ever more reason to know the supplier of your nut meats and to buy directly from reputable organic farmers whenever possible. Even with nuts (and seeds) from the best of sources, it's still a good idea to soak them overnight in warm salt water to neutralize their enzyme inhibitors while encouraging the production of beneficial enzymes. Fortunately, nuts and seeds don't contain as much phytic acid as grains but they do contain high levels of enzyme inhibitors that warm salt water helps to neutralize. (Apologies to those who already know this and feel like this last paragraph is "preaching to the choir.") <~;
Posted by: Lola, Saturday, May 19, 2012, 3:19am; Reply: 1
http://www.dadamo.com/cgi-bin/Blah/Blah.pl?b-btdlf1/m-1276436210/s-50/

a very popular theme.....
Posted by: Ribbit, Monday, May 21, 2012, 11:47pm; Reply: 2
Wow, thank you, Conor.

Could explain why some people still feel like they're having corn reactions even though they've done their best to take corn out of their diet.
Posted by: Possum, Tuesday, May 22, 2012, 12:23am; Reply: 3
I agree Ribbit!! Thanks for the link Conor ;)
Posted by: ruthiegirl, Tuesday, May 22, 2012, 2:47pm; Reply: 4
I emailed Trader Joe's a while ago and they assured me that there was no corn in their almonds.
Posted by: 14442 (Guest), Tuesday, May 22, 2012, 3:35pm; Reply: 5
I've eaten some contaminated nuts lately for sure.  
Posted by: Enobattar, Tuesday, May 22, 2012, 4:30pm; Reply: 6
Quoted from Conor
Even with nuts (and seeds) from the best of sources, it's still a good idea to soak them overnight in warm salt water to neutralize their enzyme inhibitors while encouraging the production of beneficial enzymes. Fortunately, nuts and seeds don't contain as much phytic acid as grains but they do contain high levels of enzyme inhibitors that warm salt water helps to neutralize.<~;


I'm wondering if doing this to hulled walnut halves would make them too mushy?  I don't want to experiment due to them being so expensive.     ??)

Posted by: ruthiegirl, Tuesday, May 22, 2012, 6:20pm; Reply: 7
Maybe experiment with a tiny amount, like 2 walnut halves?

I also want to point out that soaking roasted nuts will have no effect. Only raw nuts can benefit from soaking to activate enzymes. Those enzymes are destroyed in the roasting process. According to some opinions, roasting also destroys "anti-nutrients" that interfere with absorption, making soaking un-necessary for roasted nuts.
Posted by: Conor, Tuesday, May 22, 2012, 6:28pm; Reply: 8
Quoted from Enobattar
I'm wondering if doing this to hulled walnut halves would make them too mushy?  I don't want to experiment due to them being so expensive. ??)

Enobattar, hi, walnuts are one of my superfoods so I use them almost daily. What I do is soak a week's worth of them at a time and, once they've finished soaking, lay them out single-layer in my food dehaydrator trays and let them dry out.

Alternately, if you don't have a dehydrator, you can accomplish pretty much the same thing by setting your conventional oven to its lowest setting (most are 170-degrees but some of the newer ones will allow you to adjust them even lower). Let the oven warm up to temperature with the door closed and, in the meantime, lay out the walnuts single-layer on one or two cookie sheets. Once your oven has warmed to temperature, place cookie sheets on oven racks and leave oven door cracked open two to three inches. This should allow a gentle heat to evaporate the walnuts without destroying their enzymes or harming their flavor (actually, I find that soaking and dehydrating really enhances the flavor while minimizing any inherent bitterness).

To everyone that said 'thanks,' my pleasure. Likewise, I thank you for the good informational posts I find from so many on these forums. Pretty awesome of Doctor D'Adamo to provide us with such an excellent forum resource. Too many times nutritional and/or lifestyle forums are, at best, an afterthought meant solely to boost sales for various parties ... but these forums definitely are not. Really appreciate them. (:
Posted by: Conor, Tuesday, May 22, 2012, 6:53pm; Reply: 9
Quoted from ruthiegirl
According to some opinions, roasting also destroys "anti-nutrients" that interfere with absorption, making soaking un-necessary for roasted nuts.

The most serious concern I have, ruthiegirl, about the roasting of nuts is the acrylamide formation that occurs in roasted nuts, especially those with higher levels of the amino acid asparagine; e.g., almonds, hazelnuts, et al. Since acrylamide is a potential carcinogen, and easily avoidable by not high-heat roasting nut meats, I prefer to avoid the roasted varieties. I know the scientific community is still not agreed as to exactly what harm there might be from the levels of acrylamide in roasted nut meats. I'd just rather take the 'better safe than sorry' path.

Too, just as high-quality olive oil is somewhat delicate and really should not be cooked with at high temperatures (oxidizes and destroys part of the flavor profile), most nut oils are also fairly delicate. The high heat at which the nut meat processors roast the nuts oxidizes their oils. Personally, I think it destroys the true flavors of the respective nuts. I know some people really enjoy the flavor of salted, roasted nuts. So did I until I learned what I was missing out on, flavor-wise, by preparing them in a more traditional manner. Just my two pennies. (:
Posted by: Enobattar, Thursday, May 24, 2012, 5:58pm; Reply: 10
Quoted from Conor

What I do is soak a week's worth of them at a time and, once they've finished soaking, lay them out single-layer in my food dehaydrator trays and let them dry out.

Alternately, if you don't have a dehydrator, you can accomplish pretty much the same thing by setting your conventional oven to its lowest setting (most are 170-degrees but some of the newer ones will allow you to adjust them even lower). Let the oven warm up to temperature with the door closed and, in the meantime, lay out the walnuts single-layer on one or two cookie sheets. Once your oven has warmed to temperature, place cookie sheets on oven racks and leave oven door cracked open two to three inches. This should allow a gentle heat to evaporate the walnuts without destroying their enzymes or harming their flavor (actually, I find that soaking and dehydrating really enhances the flavor while minimizing any inherent bitterness).
(:


Thanks, Connor.  Very encouraging.   I'll try it.  ;)

Posted by: Lin, Thursday, May 24, 2012, 8:44pm; Reply: 11
I got a tip yesterday from the Acupuncturist on drying nuts/seeds.  Apparently after the soak, boil them for 5 minutes and then take them out quickly and the heat will help them dry off very fast.
I haven't actually tried it yet but have some walnuts soaking that I will try tonight.
Lin
Posted by: Lin, Thursday, May 24, 2012, 11:35pm; Reply: 12
So I did the experiment and boiled walnuts and pumpkin seeds and then put them in the oven on lowest setting for a brief time. They came out great.
Posted by: Possum, Thursday, May 24, 2012, 11:49pm; Reply: 13
Quoted from Lin
I got a tip yesterday from the Acupuncturist on drying nuts/seeds.  Apparently after the soak, boil them for 5 minutes and then take them out quickly and the heat will help them dry off very fast.
I haven't actually tried it yet but have some walnuts soaking that I will try tonight.Lin
& boiling them for 5 minutes doesn't destroy the nutritional element?

Posted by: Conor, Friday, May 25, 2012, 12:40am; Reply: 14
Quoted from Possum
& boiling them for 5 minutes doesn't destroy the nutritional element?

Hi Possum, I think it definitely impacts (negatively) the enzymes in the nuts/seeds. Here's why:
Quoted Text
In her book, GREEN LEAVES OF BARLEY, Dr. Mary Ruth Swope compares the depleted enzyme levels of people who died of cancer, diabetes, liver problems and other debilitating diseases, and who had markedly fewer enzymes in their pancreases, with people that were relatively healthy when they died and had a much higher level of enzymes in their pancreases. Her advice was that, in view of this, we should learn to eat a good supply of raw foods daily because all raw foods contain enzymes. Cooked foods have few enzymes left in them. Enzymes are destroyed by heat at 122 degrees F. Milk is pasteurized at either 161 degrees F (HTST) or 275 degrees F (UHT). Boiling water is 212 degrees F, so no enzymes survive. Blanching bite-sized green beans for more than one minute results in almost total enzyme loss.

And, here: Enzymes and their impact: an interview with Brenda Davis, R.D.
Posted by: Possum, Friday, May 25, 2012, 2:26am; Reply: 15
Thanks Conor - great article!! - I kinda thought it would have to be that way... ;)
Posted by: Lin, Friday, May 25, 2012, 11:23pm; Reply: 16
Conor, that makes sense.  thanks, Lin
Posted by: veggiequeen, Saturday, May 26, 2012, 7:17am; Reply: 17
I've only recently started soaking nuts.  Do you HAVE to 'dry/dehydrate' them?

I've been soaking a couple days worth of walnuts overnight in salted water. In the morning I just rinse them, lay them out and 'dry' them manually with a towel and then let them air dry a little longer. Then I store them in the fridge until I want them.

I was surprised, but they are actually still crunchy enough. A tender crunch, but still crunchy-good. And not bitter at all. In fact, my type O hubs always said he didn't like walnuts due to the bitterness, but now says these are good. I do get organic walnuts to start with though, and I do think they taste better...  

Anyway, seems simple enough. I don't have a dehydrator and don't usually want to run my oven either.
Posted by: Possum, Saturday, May 26, 2012, 7:28am; Reply: 18
I am guessing it would all depend on how many you soaked & how long you wanted to keep them... :-/ Obviously the longer you wanted to keep them & the more you soaked, the risk of them going mouldy increases... ;)
Posted by: veggiequeen, Saturday, May 26, 2012, 9:07am; Reply: 19
I haven't had any of them mold in the short time I've kept them in the fridge...

I wonder if it would be ok to freeze them after air-drying?

Seems like that would hold off the mold too...  :-/
Posted by: Possum, Saturday, May 26, 2012, 9:20am; Reply: 20
Freezing nuts should work... Maybe it is only something you will find out by trying though? I froze some almond meal the other week, as I still had some left in the fridge, of the bag I'd already bought...
Posted by: Spring, Saturday, May 26, 2012, 3:16pm; Reply: 21
veggiequeen, sounds like you have a perfect plan for your walnuts! (smile)
Posted by: deblynn3, Saturday, May 26, 2012, 9:46pm; Reply: 22
http://www.livingnutz.com/2011/04/the-truth-about-almond-pasteurization-methods/

Someone please tell me this isn't true.  I'm looking at getting my own trees.  I don't understand why we can't just have our food in it's natural state.  Unpoisoned
Posted by: Possum, Sunday, May 27, 2012, 3:40am; Reply: 23
Eeek & Sheesh!! ::)
Posted by: C_Sharp, Sunday, May 27, 2012, 4:10am; Reply: 24
I have worked both in growing nuts and the production of nut products. Freezing is necessary if you intend to store the nuts for an extended period of time. Not necessary for short periods of times.
Posted by: Conor, Sunday, May 27, 2012, 9:12am; Reply: 25
Quoted from deblynn3
Someone please tell me this isn't true.

Sorry, deblynn3, unfortunately, it's very much true. Primarily, the USDA decided to protect all of us almond eaters from ourselves by mandating that all commercially sold almonds in the U.S. be pasteurized, even the ones specified as organic. The only exception to this rule is if you buy your almonds direct from the almond farmer. This is what I do in order to be able to purchase raw almonds that have not been pasteurized. Right now there's a loophole in the regulations that allows an almond farmer to sell his/her almonds directly to the public, sans pasteurization. Briden Wilson Farm is a source I've found to be consistently top quality ...
Posted by: veggiequeen, Monday, May 28, 2012, 7:21am; Reply: 26
Quoted from Possum
Freezing nuts should work... Maybe it is only something you will find out by trying though? I froze some almond meal the other week, as I still had some left in the fridge, of the bag I'd already bought...
Actually now that I think about it, they are frozen before I soak them, so I guess I'll try freezing them again after soaking... just to be sure I don't get molds if I can't get them eaten fast enough.  :)
Quoted from Spring
veggiequeen, sounds like you have a perfect plan for your walnuts! (smile)
8)   :)


Posted by: Conor, Monday, May 28, 2012, 7:39pm; Reply: 27
Quoted from C_Sharp
I have worked both in growing nuts and the production of nut products. Freezing is necessary if you intend to store the nuts for an extended period of time. Not necessary for short periods of times.

Hi C_sharp, some time ago I read an article in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry that referenced a study abstract about the effects of freezing on the vitamin E content in nut meats. The researchers concluded that freezing diminishes the vitamin E content of nuts/seeds (and, I would imagine, other foodstuffs), and that the destructive effects are cumulative over longer storage terms. Consequently, I started storing almonds, walnuts, et cetera, in the refrigerator (35 degrees F) rather than the freezer so as to minimize any damage to the vitamin E levels (the 'freezing' temperature range noted in the abstract was zero degrees F and below).

Whenever possible, I buy nuts in bulk (10-25 lbs. quantities) directly from the grower(s). Thus, it takes me a few months to go through them. I'm wondering if, from your production experience, you ever conducted any oxidative potential tests on refrigerated nut meats? Am hoping you might know how many months, in general, one is able to store refrigerated almonds, pecans and walnuts before oxidative fat cleavage occurs (enough to adversely impact the health benefits of the nuts, anyhow).
Posted by: 18545 (Guest), Monday, May 28, 2012, 8:12pm; Reply: 28
That makes me sad about almonds.  All the work it takes to find good food to eat takes all the fun out of eating it for me.  Almonds are just one more food I will eat less of.  Do they do that stuff to walnuts too?  I like the bitter taste in walnuts.  I will probably never soak and dry a nut in my life.  I would rather just quit eating them.
Posted by: Conor, Monday, May 28, 2012, 9:05pm; Reply: 29
Quoted from 18545
I will probably never soak and dry a nut in my life.

Hi Kibble, our ancestors as recently as the early 20th century still soaked, sprouted and dehydrated nuts/seeds for eating. This manner of preparation was a traditional method in many parts of the world. The Aztecs soaked pumpkin and squash seeds, staple foods in their society, in salt water and then sun-dried them. As well, today, a number of Central American people continue to do so. It was only with the advent of the industrial revolution's ever increasingly mechanized food processing methods that more and more of our traditional food preparation practices were aborted in the name of progress (i.e., increased production/decreased operations).

By the way, soaking/drying won't completely eliminate the slight bitterness inherent in walnuts. It's the catechin and tannins in the pellicle that adds to the meat its unique astringent flavor, and I find that the flavor is still there even after soaking and dehydrating.
Posted by: ruthiegirl, Tuesday, May 29, 2012, 5:20pm; Reply: 30
Quoted from deblynn3
http://www.livingnutz.com/2011/04/the-truth-about-almond-pasteurization-methods/

Someone please tell me this isn't true.  I'm looking at getting my own trees.  I don't understand why we can't just have our food in it's natural state.  Unpoisoned


I remember when that first went into effect a few years ago. That's around the time I stopped buying raw almonds and started buying them roasted. I only buy "raw" almonds when I want the "raw" taste, specifically for making almond milk. If I'm buying them to snack on, I find the roasted nuts tastier anyway, and it's not like I can get them truly raw anyway.
Posted by: C_Sharp, Friday, June 1, 2012, 5:03pm; Reply: 31
Quoted from Conor

some time ago I read an article in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry that referenced a study abstract about the effects of freezing on the vitamin E content in nut meats. The researchers concluded that freezing diminishes the vitamin E content of nuts/seeds (and, I would imagine, other foodstuffs), and that the destructive effects are cumulative over longer storage terms. Consequently, I started storing almonds, walnuts, et cetera, in the refrigerator (35 degrees F) rather than the freezer so as to minimize any damage to the vitamin E levels (the 'freezing' temperature range noted in the abstract was zero degrees F and below).

Whenever possible, I buy nuts in bulk (10-25 lbs. quantities) directly from the grower(s). Thus, it takes me a few months to go through them. I'm wondering if, from your production experience, you ever conducted any oxidative potential tests on refrigerated nut meats? Am hoping you might know how many months, in general, one is able to store refrigerated almonds, pecans and walnuts before oxidative fat cleavage occurs (enough to adversely impact the health benefits of the nuts, anyhow).


I was more concern with preventing the oils from going rancid than on preserving vitamin E.

Freezing temperatures allowed us to store nuts two to three times as long.

Many of the nuts we stored were in shell.  Freezing also reduces losses from molds, worms, insects.

Onsite (short term storage) was refrigerated for all nut products. Unshelled nuts were usually stored unrefrigerated, particularly prior to drying.

Off site storage was refrigerated or frozen depending on how long nuts or nut products would be stored.  We had different policies for different products and our expected sale date for our products.  Unshelled dried nuts were normally stored at temperatures below freezing point of water.  

For the most part we froze unshelled nuts and would process most of those nuts prior to sale (In candy, fruitcakes, ...).




Summary:

I have not measured oxidative potential of nuts stored in different ways.

But in general if you are dealing with a nut harvested in November and want to store them for use in March, refrigeration is fine.

But if you want to sell/eat the nuts in August you are probably going to need to freeze the nuts.
Posted by: Conor, Friday, June 1, 2012, 6:18pm; Reply: 32
Quoted from C_Sharp
But in general if you are dealing with a nut harvested in November and want to store them for use in March, refrigeration is fine ....

C_sharp, thanks for your input. A few months of refrigerated storage shortly after harvest being okay was what I was hoping would be your answer.
Posted by: Henriette Bsec, Friday, June 1, 2012, 6:26pm; Reply: 33
We harvest a lot of walnuts here in my garden/parents garden and we always store them cool
( at less than 10 c ) and they taste fine after 6 months. If we kept them at room temperature they would be slightly rancid now in may/june.

It is funny but the almonds here in Denmark isn´t  pasteurized ::)
Posted by: Conor, Friday, June 1, 2012, 7:14pm; Reply: 34
Quoted from Henriette Bsec
It is funny but the almonds here in Denmark isn´t pasteurized ::)

Nor were they pasteurized in the U.S. until 2007.

That's when the totally clueless bureaucrats at the ABC/USDA went on a campaign to save the world from all potential pathogenic contamination, at least as far as U.S. almonds were concerned. Then the super nubs at the FDA ruled that the 'pasteurized' almonds, no matter whether pasteurized with steam or even by the propylene oxide (PPO) method, could still be labeled as raw (and, in some cases, organic). (disappointed)

Hello 1984, figured it was only a matter of time before you'd show up.
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