Nutrition

Dry Roasting Nuts and Seeds

Grains, legumes, nuts, and seeds are nature’s nutritional powerhouse. Just think about it. In the right conditions tiny (and not so tiny) grains, legumes, nuts, and seeds sprout, root into the earth and grow up to be big plants and trees. All the ingredients required for that seed to become a plant are contained in that tiny seed that’s no bigger than your fingernail. That’s a lot of powerful ingredients!

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The only problem is the protective elements that keep the seed in mint condition until it meets the correct circumstances for growth also make it less nutritious for human consumption. Ever heard of phytic acid or phytates? Basically, they are anti-nutrients that bind to minerals like zinc and magnesium. Once bound, these minerals are not able to be absorbed by the body. Soaking, sprouting and fermenting reduce the number of phytates. You can learn more here http://www.precisionnutrition.com/all-about-phytates-phytic-acid
Heat also destroys some phytates and leads me to my favorite way to prepare nuts and seeds for consumption: dry roasting!
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Most “roasted” store-bought nuts are actually fried. Check the ingredient list. If it includes oil, those nuts are totally fried!
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Buying raw nuts and seeds in bulk and roasting them yourself creates less waste, uses no oil and is super easy!
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All you need are nuts or seeds of your choice (my favorites are almonds and sunflower seeds) and a large frying pan.
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Put the nuts/seeds into the pan, shake so they spread out evenly, and turn the burner to medium heat. I usually set my burner to 7.
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Look, listen and smell what’s going on. I have burned many a batch from not paying enough attention. AS SOON as you either smell them roasting or see/hear them pop, turn the burner down to 4. Give them a good shake or stir to make sure they roast evenly. Shake or stir them every minute or so until they all turn a nice golden brown color. You can even turn the burner off and they will continue to cook in the hot pan. Don’t forget to continue shaking and stirring!
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If you have the patience, you can keep the burner on 3 or 4 for the whole process. For me, this takes too long. I prefer to get the pan heated up and then turn it down before it gets crazy hot. As long as I pay attention and don’t get distracted, I get good results using this method. Happy roasting!

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