Nuts can be a great protein snack, but they can also leave folks with a heavy, bloated feeling. After a bit of nutritional research I discovered that nuts have enzyme inhibitors that cause the discomfort and the full nutritional value is more available when soaked and dehydrated. For more detailed info on this subject, check out this resource.
More appetizing than raw nuts and healthier than roasted, soaked and dehydrated nuts have become a central part to creating healthy snacks in our home. I also use them in baked goods, on salads, or to sprinkle over oatmeal and yogurt. Ball wide mouth jars are ideal for storage and any dehydrator will work. I have heard some use an oven set on low and leave the oven door ajar so the temperature does not exceed 150°, which is very important so the oils in the nuts are not destroyed.
My only caution is that the crispy-crunchy subtle sweetness of these nuts is hard to resist! Even good things are best in moderation.
Sweetly Spiced Crispy Pecans
4 cups raw pecans
2 teaspoons sea salt
4 tablespoons palm sugar
1-2 teaspoons cinnamon
Filtered water to cover pecans
Soak pecans in a large bowl with filtered water and salt for 8-12 hours. Pour off water and allow to drain well, 5-10 minutes. Spread out half the pecans in a large bowl; sprinkle 2 tablespoons of palm sugar and up to 1 teaspoon of cinnamon over pecans. Mix well. The moisture from the soaked pecans should help to create a light coating of sugar and cinnamon over the pecans.
Arrange on dehydrator trays and repeat with the remaining pecans. Dry at 150° for 16-18 hours, or until pecans are crisp. Note: To test the nuts, allow a couple to cool for a few minutes first.
This same recipe works great with raw walnuts too. Because of their delicate oils, walnuts should be stored in the refrigerator.