Sprinkling nuts and seeds on your meals is a great way to increase the nutrient content. Just make sure you roast, soak or sprout them first. Nuts and seeds contain “phytic acid” which is considered an “anti-nutrient” that binds to the minerals: zinc and iron, preventing their absorption in the gut.
This is not good news if you’re an athlete training hard 1-2 times daily 5-7 days a week and adding these little nutrient powerhouses to most of your meals. Iron plays a key role in your hemoglobin and zinc is pivotal for healthy immunity and tissue formation.
It’s not that you should avoid nuts and seeds, but you’re probably skipping a step that could aid digestion and improve mineral absorption. Here are your options:
- SOAK ‘EM
Soaking nuts and seeds for several hours, or overnight dramatically lowers their phytic acid content. Rinse them after the soak to fully remove phytic acid. Additionally, you can dehydrate them in a dehydrator or on the lowest setting of your oven. These nuts and seeds are now called “activated”and they are ready for maximal digestion.
- ROAST ‘EM
Roasting nuts and seeds is another way to remove phytic acid. I prefer to roast my own because I can control the method and cooking temperature. If you purchase them already roasted from the store, make sure they are “dry-roasted” so you aren’t purchasing a deep-fried version.
- SPROUT ‘EM
Sprouting is definitely a commitment until you are in the habit as it takes several days for nuts and seeds to sprout. It’s best to purchase a Seed Sprouter if you are using this method, to allow proper temperature and avoid potential mould formation. Once you’re in the habit, you can produce your own micro-greens which are some of the most nutrient-dense plants you can eat.
I like to say “everything in my life happens right on time,” but that’s usually because more often than not, I’m in a hurry to get things done. Needless to say, I’ve been roasting my nuts and seeds and I’ve come up with my best granola to date!
TIP: Granola recipes are easy to play around with, just use the same ratio of dry to wet ingredients in the recipe below.
COCONUT MAPLE NUT GRANOLA
½ C walnuts, chopped
½ C almonds, chopped
½ C hazelnuts, chopped
1 C sunflower seeds
1 C oats
1/3 C maple syrup
1/3 C coconut oil, melted
½ vanilla bean
½ tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
¼ tsp nutmeg
1 C Desiccated Coconut flakes, unsweetened & toasted
1.Preheat convection oven to 300F
2.Combine nuts, seeds and oats in a bowl (*NOT COCONUT)
3.Add vanilla, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg and mix
4.Pour coconut oil and maple syrup into mix and combine
5.Spread onto two parchment lined baking trays
6.Bake 15 min. Remove and stir.
7.Bake 10-15 additional minutes, checking and stirring a couple of times
8.Remove and stir in coconut.
9.Allow to cool. This is when it will harden