What are activated seeds? They are getting very popuplar and that’s for a reason!
I was curious when I first heard about them in the US and the UK. Those countries are far ahead with living foods than we are in France.
In order to “activate“, two steps are involved: soaking for several hours, and then a gentle drying. And I must say, how good were these little “activated nuts & seeds”! Lucky they can now be easily found in organic shops! Or even better: make your own!
These two steps of transformation make the seed infinitely more interesting for the following 5 reasons:
1. More digestible
Indeed, the envelope of some seeds (almonds, walnuts, sunflower seeds…) contains an anti-germinative molecule, the phytic acid, which protects the seed from parasites, as long as the good conditions for it to germinate are not met.
When we eat a nut such as it is, this molecule, also called enzyme inhibitor, decreases the rate of absorption of certain minerals in the body (calcium magnesium iron zinc).
When the rain falls and the temperature is mild, the seed begins its transformation to become a small shoot. Its molecular structure changes, it is germination. We imitate this natural process when we soak our seeds.
The skin no longer needs the unwanted phytic acid. This makes it much more digestible!
2. More bio-assimilable nutrients
In fact, these seeds, once soaked in water for a few hours, start to develop their nutritional potential. There is an exponential growth of their content in amino acids, digestive enzymes, they are full of vitamins of the B group, vitamins A, C, E, essential fatty acids, antioxidants, fibers…
They become real vitality bombs!
They can be eaten at this stage, they are sprouted seeds.
But they can also be dehydrated at low temperature (40°C or 118°F), which allows to preserve all these nutritional qualities. Then they are activated seeds.
3. More tasty
This is my opinion anyway! It is true that for example, if you soak a bowl of almonds one night and then dehydrate them for 24 hours, they will become much crunchier and will have a more swollen aspect, like candies!
I have found that all of them become much better and more palatable: walnuts, hazelnuts, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, pecans… A real treat!
4. More interesting on the raw cuisine side
Here my healthy carob bar
Activating the seeds brings a non-negligible nutritional aspect to raw foods cooking. Seeds and oilseeds are part of the 6 vegan food groups used in living foods. It is therefore interesting to optimize their nutritional potential.
Moreover, their high taste quality allows to enrich this cuisine with as many possible flavors and textures in an advantageous way.
5. Ready to use
Once the seeds are activated, they can be stored and they keep for a long time (when kept in an airtight container).
So, when you need them for a recipe or simply as a healthy and tasty snack, there is no need to repeat this relatively long process. You have your seeds at hand for everyday recipes.
That’s why I always advise to do the activation steps as soon as you buy oilseeds or seeds. Soak them as soon as possible, and make a batch in the dehydrator to always have some on hand.
How to activate your seeds, the process:
- Place one cup of seeds and two cups of cold filtered (or spring) water into a container.
- Let soak at least eight hours. In general you can do it the night before for the following day.
- Rinse the seeds well, removing as much water as possible.
- Place them on a dehydrator tray, on a mesh or a Teflex sheet if they are very small (buckwheat, sunflower…)
- Let them dry between 24 to 48 hours for the biggest ones (almonds, walnuts, pecan nuts).
- Keep them in a sealed box so that they remain crunchy for a long time.
What about you, do you activate your seeds? What are your favorite activated seeds?
If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to leave them in comments 😉