Monday, December 21, 2009

holiday snacking

Last Christmas, I received the book Nourishing Traditions as a gift from myself. One of the recipes/food preparation methods I've added to my kitchen routine is that of soaking and drying nuts. The issue with raw or dry roasted nuts, is that nuts have a high amount of enzyme inhibitors that make them difficult to digest. In nature, these enzyme inhibitors are useful as they prevent nuts/seeds/grains from sprouting and growing prematurely (ie, the middle of a Canadian winter). Unfortunately, the enzymes in our stomachs that digest our food are also effected by these enzyme inhibitors.

Soaking nuts in warm water with a little bit of salt will neutralize the enzyme inhibitors and also help to encourage the production of beneficial enzymes that will help our stomachs digest nuts AND increase the availability of many vitamins (especially B vitamins). The nuts become easier to digest, the nutrients more easier to absorb.

The basic method for soaking nuts:
  • dissolve salt in water
  • pour water over nuts (or seeds) with enough water to cover
  • leave in a warm place (time varies for type of nut)
  • drain and spread on a pan (stainless steal is preferable)
  • place in a warm oven (no warmer that 150 degrees) for specified time
  • turn occasionally until thoroughly dry and crisp
For pecans (my favourite!) the soaking time is at least 7 hours (or even overnight) and it can take between 12-24 hours to completely dry them out.  I know this is more work than just tearing into a bag of roasted pecans, but they are soooo good when soaked and dehydrated. Seriously. It's such an improvement. They're beautiful and buttery and DE.LI.CIOUS.

Nourishing Traditions also contains a recipe for what are called "Holiday Pecans", as opposed to the simple Crispy Pecans as described above. Unfortunately, I couldn't remember the recipe and I didn't lug my copy of the book along to Regina. So this morning, I called Peter and asked if he would write out the recipe and email it to me. Here's what I found in my inbox this afternoon,
Holiday Pecans (makes 4 cups)

4 cups crispy pecan halves
3 egg whites
pinch sea salt
1/2 cup maple syrup
1 Tbsp vanilla extract

Beat egg whites with salt in a clean bowl until stiff. Slowly beat in maple syrup and vanilla. Fold in pecans until well coated. Spread on 2 buttered, stainless steal baking pans and place in a warm oven (no more than 150 degrees) for several hours until the egg white coating hardens. Store in an airtight container in the fridge. Save some for Peter.

Recipe to come... Holiday nuts coated in festive sack.
And my response?
I'm totally re-posting this on my blog. WHERE YOUR MOM WILL SEE IT.

Your loving wife, Amy
It's clear to me that, in the absence of my stable and calming presence, my dear husband has returned to his  pre-parenthood, pre-marriage, PRE-ADOLESCENT self sense of humour. Hopefully I won't have to put up with weeks of fart jokes while he reverts back to his grown up self.


  1. Haha! You guys are so funny!! :)
    Love you!

  2. I adore pecans. We eat them fresh and unsalted...especially as a late night snack. The comment I get...every night..."Want some nuts? I know how you like em" Yeah, yeah.

  3. I totally just laughed out loud waking up Jake who had fallen asleep on the couch. Whoops. Well worth it though. I'll have to make sure Brad reads this. I KNOW he will appreciate Pete...they are one in the same!
    see you soon???

  4. hahahaha! I just laughed out loud too and woke up Matt, who thought it was hilarious.
    - Sara

  5. So much for attorney-client privilege, or whatever you call it among couples. Franchement.


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