Trying a wide range of nuts has somewhat been a challenge for me simply because I like the taste of certain nuts more than others. To me cashews tasted the best while almonds are usually chosen as by those who want to lose weight. Walnuts on the other hand are a good alternative vegetarian source for omega 3 fatty acids. According to WHFoods walnuts is the second richest source of this fatty acid after ground flaxseeds. Take that fish!
I’ve never been really fond of eating raw walnuts though. I was curious to find if there was anything I could do to tempt me into giving t hem a second chance and discovered that many people were in fact roasting them. Roasting nuts in my experience usually adds another dimension of flavour. In this case with the walnuts, that strange bitterness and soft crunchy texture was replaced with a aromatic and crispy delight. I looked up different methods of how to go about roasting them and finally settled down to the most commonly recommended method, that is to soak the walnuts first then dehydrate (toast/roast) them.
So why should you roast walnuts? I personally find that it tastes so much better as compared to eating them raw. Sure it requires a bit of extra effort, but trust me its worth it. Now the next question is, why soak them before roasting? Well there is no real scientific evidence to suggest that soaking walnuts before roasting them will provide any added significant nutritional value to the nut itself. There is speculation however that soaking nuts help reduce of toxic enzyme inhibitors which prevent the seed from growing until certain conditions are met such as adequate moisture. By soaking the seeds, these enzymes in particular phytic acid are deactivated to promote digestion and nutrient absoprtion in the small intestine.
As I mentioned earlier there isn’t a lot of peer-reviewed papers to state that pre-soaked walnuts are better for your health, but they do suggest that soaking reduces phytate levels. The Weston A Price Foundation has provided some interesting factors on what soaking does to nuts. You can read the full article here.
“Soaking for seven hours likely eliminates some phytate. Based on the accumulation of evidence, soaking nuts for eighteen hours, dehydrating at very low temperatures—a warm oven—and then roasting or cooking the nuts would likely eliminate a large portion of phytates.” Ramiel Nagel, 2010
I was only interested in parts of the article regarding phytic and nuts.
Another blogger, Joy of Blending writes about her opinions and experience when it comes to soaking nuts before roasting. She’s tried the method with a few different nuts such as almonds, pecans and and her method of roasting can be found here from which she got from this site. Well now that I’ve given you on some background information on why you should soak nuts before roasting them, let’s move onto what I actually do. It’s pretty simple.
Makes: How many you decide to soak. Difficulty: super easy
- 2 cups walnuts (or 500g or the whole packet you’ve just bought, it doesn’t really matter)
No salt or oil and what not. I haven’t tried the recipes that do suggest them but I don’t find it necessary at this stage.
1. Place walnuts in a large bowl.
2. Pour enough water into the bowl to cover the walnuts completely
3. Let the walnuts soak for overnight or 8 hours approximately
4. Drain and let dry for 3o-60minutes.
1. Roast the walnuts on 175°C fan heat for 30mins. ( I tried the conventional setting and it did not get the crisp texture that I wanted.)
2. Cool completely before storing in an airtight container.