Give your food life! This simple tutorial teaches you about sprouted almonds. Boost the nutrition in your diet by sprouting nuts, beans, and grains! Great for added protein in homemade smoothies.
It never occurred to me to consider whether the food I was eating was dead or alive.
On Saturday night, we had rotisserie whole chicken, roasted potatoes, broccoli salad, green salad, blue cheese, and black pepper focaccia (which was an AMAZING flavor combination, by the way).
The only foods I can wrap my head around being alive are the chicken, bacon from the broccoli salad, and the cheese (because it came from milk and the milk came from cows).
Apparently, there are some foods that are better for you when eaten raw, unlike chicken.
Benefits of Sprouted Almonds
Seeds, grains, nuts, and beans we find in stores were once “alive” plants. They all come from trees or plants or stalks of some sort and when they were alive, they contained active enzymes. These enzymes caused the vitamins and minerals to help the plant grow and produce the food we recognize.
When the foods are picked or harvested, enzyme inhibitors take over and block the enzymes. Consider it nature’s way of protecting the food’s ability to grow and reproduce until the conditions for germination are right. What we are left with is food that contains enzymes in a not-so-helpful, dormant state.
It doesn’t sound like a big deal – so what if the seeds are preventing themselves from germination? We’re just trying to make bread right? Not grow stalks of wheat.
What we fail to realize is that active enzymes increase vitamin content dramatically (Vitamin B and carotene) and even produce some vitamins that are not available when the enzyme inhibitors are in place (Vitamin C).
- Remember the issue with phytic acid? It’s also present in seeds, grains, nuts, and beans and it hinders absorption of several key minerals. It almost seems like these foods shut down once they’re harvested. Minerals are blocked, vitamins are diminished and even cease to exist and our bodies recognize this too.
- Ever have problems digesting grains (and not because of gluten)? I have. Just these past two weeks my gut has been a little bit more disturbed after eating wheat bread (homemade, but no sprouting or soaking).
- Experience a bit of flatulence when eating beans? Let me tell you… eating beans every Thursday will clearly let you know whether or not they are the culprit of excessive gas. Like clockwork, the magical fruit on Thursday means a bit of tooting on Friday. And the effects continue if we have leftovers for lunch. (Unless I implement this method of soaking before I cook.)
Sprouting seeds, grains, nuts and beans can give life to our dead food and help alleviate these problems and provide so many other benefits:
- Produces Vitamin C
- Increase in vitamins B2, B5 and B6
- Increases carotene
- Neutralizes phytic acid
- Breaks down complex sugars that cause intestinal gas
- Neutralizes enzyme inhibitors
- Predigests some starches into sugar
- Inactivates the potent carcinogen aflatoxin
- Produces additional enzymes that aid in digestion
The Sprouting Process
For all the benefits that it provides, sprouting is really, really easy. Easier than making a sourdough starter, and that’s REALLY easy!
The process is the same for all seeds, grains, nuts, and beans: soak, rinse, wait; rinse, wait, and repeat.
Since I’m more of a visual person and everyone likes pictures, here’s the photo process of sprouting almonds:
Ingredients for Sprouted Almonds
- 2 cups of raw almonds
- Filtered water
- Quart jar with lid
- Coffee filter
- Small bowl
Method for Making Sprouted Almonds
Note: Even though these photos are a little older, I’d like to show you them anyway so you can see the step-by-step process of sprouting almonds.
Measure almonds into a quarter jar.
Fill with filtered water and cover with a coffee filter, securing with just the ring of the lid. Allow the jar to sit on the counter overnight.
The next morning, remove the ring and coffee filter and drain the water from the quart jar. Fill the jar again with fresh filtered water, swirl the almonds, and drain the water. Replace the coffee filter and ring and using a small bowl, store the jar at an angle so excess water can drain out and air can circulate inside the jar.
Repeat the above step each morning and night until the almonds begin to sprout.
The above picture was after only one day of soaking. Here are some additional pictures of the process.
This is the jar of almonds after one day.
Little sprouts are trying to poke through the tips of the almonds.
Here’s another almond beginning to sprout after day two.
After two days, the almonds were beginning to swell up.
You can see how the almond is beginning to outgrow its shell, so to speak – seen by the cracks at the bottom and along the sides.
If you crack open a sprouting almond, this is what you’ll find.
Once all the nuts are sprouted, store them in a jar in the fridge for a few days or dehydrate them into crispy nuts.
The sprout itself will look different depending on what seed, grain, nut, or bean you’re sprouting. Some grains will produce small, white sprouts. Lentils are fully sprouted when the “tail” reaches 1/4″. Mung beans will grow 2″ long sprouts!
The process works with nearly every seed, grain, nut, and bean, with just a few minor exceptions:
- Flax seeds become too moist and sticky.
- Oat seeds will not sprout since they’re separated from their outer hull.
- Pecans, walnuts, and other nuts removed from their shell will not sprout.
- Sprouting should work with both skinned or skinless nuts.
My Food is Alive – Now What?
- Once you sprout grains, you can use them immediately in dough recipes. Or you can dehydrate them to make flour (even without a mill).
- You can eat nuts and seeds wet or added to smoothies to boost protein. Or you can dehydrate them into crispy nuts or crispy seeds. Another option is to dehydrate and grind nuts into flour or meal for recipes (almond meal is an easy way to boost protein in a standard granola bar).
- Sprouted beans can be soaked to reduce phytic acid even more, and then cooked over several hours on low. I use this method here for soaking and cooking. And sometimes even cook in my slow cooker!
- At the end of the day, if I can increase the nutrients my family eats, I’m all for it. Because if I can get them to eat beans, then I want them to get everything they can out of them!
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What’s your experience with sprouting? Do you think it’s something you could incorporate in your kitchen routine?
Technically, almonds are seeds. They are not tree nuts like walnuts and pecans.
Thanks Cindy! Technically peanuts are legumes (a bean), but they’re all lumped together in general terms. 🙂
Hello, I’m a little confused about the process. After the initial soak, drain, and rinse, do you leave the almonds in a jar without water for a couple of days to germinate or do you soak them again?
Another question (sorry) – are there regulations as to the max temperature of the steam when almonds are steamed pasturized? I would think if the temp was too high it might damage the nut.
No need to apologize! I’m not sure if there’s regulations Carrie, but I’m sure there standards. A quick search yielded a temperature of 200F with “short bursts of steam.” That definitely warrants more research, but in the mean time, it’s way better than the chemical pasteurization process. If you’re able to get raw almonds from a local source, then I encourage you to do so. Although the ones at Costco are pasteurized, I’ve been able to sprout them without a problem!
Do you know if almonds pasturized by the STEAM method can still sprout?
Mine do. 🙂
Thanks. appreciate ALL the info.
Hello, how are you? After I dehydrate the nuts for 24 hours at less than 115 degrees fahrenheit and make them into butter. How longer before it goes bad??
Hi Deandra! I’d say you have a week or two for the soaked nut butter – be sure to store it in the fridge!
Dead animal meat is not alive.
Yes, I know 🙂
I would like to know if it is possible to make rice milk without boiling the rice first but by soaking the rice overnight and then blend it with water.
Thanks for posting all these very interesting articles and recipes !! 🙂
You’re most welcome Peppy! I haven’t tried making this with raw rice (even though it’s soaked, it would still be raw, right?), but you could try. My guess is that it wouldn’t blend as well, or taste much like rice. If you give it a try though, please come back and let us know how it turns out! 🙂
Hey Tiffany, I know that all almonds and nuts are pasteurized in USA by law, can you still sprout pasteurized nuts, or u buy them overseas and sprout them? Also which method is better for digestion sprouting or soaking?
Hi Skirmante! It depends on the type of pasteurizing the manufacturing does. I buy my nuts from Costco and they must be low-temp pasteurized because I’m still able to sprout them. Either method is fine for digestion, although sprouting gives new life to the tiny enzymes, so you’ll get a bit more nutrition.
Hello there. Thank you for posting the process of sprouting nuts – really helpful as I am new to this. One question – at what temperature should we be dehydrating the nuts? I keep reading conflicting information, some sources state no more than 105 F or no more than 118 F. Would you happen to know? Thanks!
Hi Liz! The lower the better. The healthy enzymes start to die if you go too high and I recommend 95F: https://dontwastethecrumbs.com/2013/07/yummy-recipe-crispy-almonds/. 🙂
I have a question about pasteurized almonds – does the process (chemicals, hot heat) destroys lectins, phytic acid.. Soaking is useles then?
Thank you for yor help
No, the chemicals and high heat does NOT destroy the phytic acid. It just kills all the beneficial enzymes nuts have to offer. The only way (that I know of) to rid phytic acid is a long, slow soak in an acid medium. 🙂
I have been soaking my almonds for last 5 years and I take it with home made yogurt, fruits, almonds just 5 pcs only in the morning, It is very good for the brain. I also planted one almond in a pot of dirt and it is grow so good, Now I have transplanted the almond tree in my backyard. Hope it will give me some fruits of almond. It is 4 feet now. Interesting.
I was wondering about pinto beans. Do you use the same process as sprouting almonds then cook. My family is from the southwest and we love our beans and chile….however the beans don’t love us…ugh!
It’s been 24 hours and my almonds just started sprouting so excited I never heard of this before. Only problem is – when I started this process I didn’t realize your suppose to let them rest without water. I’ve kept them in water this entire time will it make the almonds bitter?
Can the sprouted almonds be used to make almond milk? My recipes calls for soaking the almonds overnight, but could I use sprouted ones instead? I’m definitely intrigued… 🙂
I tried sprouting almonds, but was unsuccessful. Later I found that all almonds sold in the US are pasteurized. Can you let me know from where can I purchase raw almonds? Thank you.
Hi Smu! The type of pasteurization will affect the sprouting. Steam pasteurization is a low-temp, and will not kill the enzymes. High-heat uses heavy machinery and the almonds will come out dead. I buy my almonds from Costco and have had success. JustAlmonds offers steam pasteurization too, and Whole New Mom has a coupon on her homepage. 🙂 http://wholenewmom.com/
Thank you, Tiffany. I will check at Costco. Do you get any specific brand or is it Kirkland? Thanks, again.
Regular ‘ol Kirkland! 🙂 You’re welcome!
I also have had success with Kirkland almonds. We love the taste of soaked dehydrated walnuts too. Taste way better after an overnight soak in salt water.
I want to try the walnuts Randi! Thanks for the second notion on Kirklands 🙂
Costco’s kirkland almonds are PPO gas treated. I confirmed that over 2 years ago with them:(
Azure Standard (online store) has organic truly raw almonds imported from Spain.
Catherine @ Happily Ever Crafter
That’s really cool! I would have never thought to sprout almonds. I’m hearing so much about the benefits of sprouted food, though! Thanks for sharing! I kind of want to go plant an almond now…haha.
Found my way here through the Wellness Wednesday link party! 🙂
I’m happy you found me Catherine! Sprouted and dehydrated almonds are SUPER tasty. Totally worth the 24 hour wait. 😉
I currently soak almonds to make (very easy) almond milk…. any issues to sprout them and then make the almond milk? Thanks for your time!
My recipe for Easy almond milk (2qts):
Soak 1/2c to 1c of almonds overnight (amt depending on thickness desired or budget).
In morning, drain and rinse.
Put into blender(or food processor) with 2 cups water, add a few dashes of real salt.
Blend until no chunks remain (a few minutes with a cheap blender.
Using something to strain the meal out (a milk (nut) bag is ideal, fine mesh strainer, cheesecloth layered many times, etc) and a med sized bowl or lg measuring glass to catch your liquids; pour out the blender contents and separate the almond meal from the milk.
Put the concentrated milk into your 2qt container and add water to make the 2 quarts.
****all done**** this would be unsweetened almond milk.
**If you are used to buying your almond milk you may want to add a sweetener, vanilla and gar gum or glucomannan powder to thicken it.
Thanks Jenn! It looks a lot like the recipe I wrote here: https://dontwastethecrumbs.com/2012/03/recipe-almond-milk/
I love using those leftover almond grinds for granola bars. Delish!!
Can I use the leftover almond grinds resulted from the milk to make almond butter in the food processor? Do i have to dehydrate them first?
I would dehydrate them first. They’re on the wetter side, so if you make almond butter, it’ll be on the runnier side (with the excess water) and you’ll have to store it in the fridge too. If you don’t want to dry, you can just stir some into oatmeal, bread or into the dough for crackers.
Nope, shouldn’t be any issues as long as you refrigerate the milk (which I’m assuming you do). You’re most welcome Jenn!!
Lucky me, I was set out to read more about sprouting, and I found this post next!
First off, your broccoli salad looks amazing, and I am pretty sure I will be making it for dinner tonight (just pinned it, too!).
Between my daughter and me, we are allergic to almost every nut 🙁 But it is really interesting viewing food as alive, and that it increases the nutritional content. I have the philosophy that the closer our food is to its natural state, the healthier it is.
Thanks for linking up to Natural Living Monday 🙂
It’s fate Andrea! 😉
The broccoli salad makes great leftovers too. Don’t forget that sprouting works on beans and grains too!
I was inspired by this post; and immediately set my raw almonds to sprout. (I don’t know why I haven’t done this sooner!) Unfortunately, it’s been 4 days, and the nuts haven’t sprouted. Do you think I should give up on them? Maybe just dehydrate and eat them as is so they don’t go to waste? Or should I give them a few more days?
If you don’t see sprouts and it’s a full 4 days later, your almonds are likely not raw. Extreme heat is the only culprit that I know of that would kill the enzymes to the point of being unable to germinate again. I’d dehydrate them and eat them to prevent waste. No sprouting at 4 days w/almonds means you probably won’t. Can I ask where you’re buying your almonds from?
On a lighter note, I’m glad you were inspired! Hopefully we can get to the bottom of the issue. 🙂 ~Tiffany
In 2007 I believe the Almond industry changed due to an e coli incident apparently. All almonds are now pasteurized. Non organic ones with a cancerous substance, organic ones with a steaming process. Either way they’re not really raw anymore. Hard to get Raw Almonds but they’re around….
You can get organic truly raw almonds from Azure Standard. (They ship, and if you are near one of their monthly routes, shipping is free) The truly raw almonds are from Spain where they don’t require pasteurization of almonds. Or you can get plain raw almonds from Azure Standard which are lightly pasteurized. They have a lot of other organic products as well; you can even get raw grains like wheat, rye, einkorn, etc.
Love sprouted almonds! I never liked almonds until I soaked them for my husband, and all of a sudden I was eating them up,too! Also, they smell better. I always wondered why almond extract smelled like it did, but now I realize that the soaked almonds have that smell. Thanks for the demo!
I didn’t notice the smell Nikolia, but you’re right – they do smell wonderful. You’re very welcome! (PS – I can’t keep my hands off of them!) ~Tiffany
Could you please clarify which nuts can be sprouted (or how)? With pecans or walnuts, do they need to be left in the shell to soak or are you not able to soak these at all? Thanks!
The following nuts are capable of sprouting for sure: almonds, cashews, macadamia and peanuts.
Walnuts and pecans would still benefit from a soak (with more coming on that tomorrow), but they won’t necessarily sprout (although some people do claim they will). If skins/shells are removed through a high-heat processing (boiling, roasting, etc.) all the enzymes are killed and the nut will not germinate. Try to buy “raw” nuts if possible, but definitely avoid boiled or roasted nuts if you intend to sprout (b/c it won’t work!). If you attempt with pecans or walnuts, just know that the sprouting results are hit/miss, depending on how the shells were removed.
Here’s what I would do: Soak the nuts in a warm, salty bath overnight (specific process coming tomorrow). Drain in the process above for one day. If you start to see new life, some germination in even one seed or two, continue. If not, dehydrate them into crispy nuts.
I hope this helps! ~Tiffany
Cashews will not sprout, though all the nuts can be soaked to improve digestibility. Cashews that you buy as raw are not truly raw. Cashews are not edible raw. They are also a legume.