My three-year-old's favorite snack is "rainsins and cashews." Except now he almost always says "raisins" instead of "rainsins." He's growing up too fast! The wrong way was so cute. :)
Since he eats this snack multiple times a day, I want it to be as healthy as possible. I buy organic raisins, because conventional grapes are loaded with pesticides.
But the cashews were a little trickier. I was buying the roasted & salted ones from the grocery store, but I hate that they contain vegetable oil, which is almost always genetically modified, and even if it's not, is heated to scary-high temps which cause it to go rancid, and then it is bleached and deodorized to mask the fact that it's toxic. I try to have as little vegetable oil as possible come into my home. (But we do still buy tortilla chips...)
Also, nuts are ideally soaked and dehydrated to make their nutrients accessible. Nuts contain enzyme inhibitors that make digestion difficult, but soaking in salt water neutralizes them.
I've soaked and dried nuts plenty of times. It's really easy! You just soak them overnight with some salt and filtered water, drain, and dry in the oven at a low temp or in a dehydrator.
But I was afraid to try it with cashews. Why? Because in Nourishing Traditions, Sally Fallon Morell writes,
Some care must be taken in preparing cashews. They will become slimy and develop a disagreeable taste if allowed to soak too long or dry out too slowly...." (page 515)Gross.
Well I'm happy to report that I got over my fear and gave it a go. And the result is, dare I say, delicious! If you love cashews, I recommend giving it a try.
You need to start with high-quality, "raw" cashews. Now, Sally tells us that "raw" cashews are often not raw, but just do your best. I found "raw" cashews at my local grocery store, but you can also look at a health food store or order them online.
How to Soak and Dry CashewsIngredients:
4 cups raw cashews
1 T. unrefined sea salt
filtered water to cover
Combine nuts and salt in a medium glass bowl. Pour water over to cover the nuts. Cover and allow to soak for six hours and no longer.
Drain in a colander, spread on cookie sheets, and dry in the oven at 200 degrees. Taste after 12 hours. If they taste dry and crunchy, they are done. If not, cook longer.
No sliminess, no odd taste. Just delicious, lightly salted, crispy cashews. Enjoy!
This is part of: Real Food Wednesday, Whole Foods Wednesday, Frugal Days Sustainable Ways, Healthy2Day Wednesday, Thank Your Body Thursday, Pennywise Platter Thursday, Simple Lives Thursday, Keep it Real Thursday, Tasty Traditions, Make Your Own Monday