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Soaking Nuts and Seeds
Soaking nuts and seeds make them easier to digest and more comfortable to work with when creating dishes. You would get much better results from your nut milk and pates if the nuts were soaked, as they will be softer and much easier to blend or mix in a food processor.
Some books suggest soaking different nuts for different amounts of time, usually ranging from around 2 hours for cashew nuts to 8-12 hours for almonds. But most people usually soak all nuts and seeds overnight and have never had a problem with them. Try overnight soaking and adjust the times if necessary.
You can soak a fresh batch of nuts or seeds every night, but they will usually keep in the refrigerator for 3-5 days once they are absorbed. Just add water to the nuts and seeds and drain them the next morning.
Soaking Dried Fruits
Dried fruits are also better if soaked, as they taste better and are easier to work with when preparing a dish. They will also blend much more quickly once you have soaked them. If using dried fruit in a salad, soak them for 3-5 minutes. When adding them to a recipe that requires a blender or food processor, give yourself time to soak them for 10-30 minutes. The one exception is if dried fruit is part of raw cakes or cookies, do not soak them at all; otherwise, the cakes and cookies can become soggy.
Sprouts are very nutritious and so easy to grow. You can sprout almost any legume, seed, or nut. There are many great sprouting books available. Sprouts: The Miracle Food: The Complete Guide to Sprouting by Steve Meyerowitz is an excellent resource.
For alfalfa sprouts, and any other sprouts, you will need a mason jar and some cheesecloth or mesh.
To grow alfalfa sprouts put two tablespoons of alfalfa seeds in your mason jar and fill it with warm (not hot) water. Screw on the lid and leave them alone for 8-12 hours. After the time is up, remove the cover and replace it with the cheesecloth, holding it in place with an elastic band. Empty the water and rinse the seeds with fresh water, which you should then discard. Then lay the mason jar at an angle on your draining board so that any excess water will drain away. Repeat the rinsing process once every morning and once every evening for five days. The sprouts will then be ready to eat.
If sprouting is not for you, you can always see if you can buy them already sprouted at your local store. Although pre-sprouted food cost a little extra, they are a great addition to your raw food diet.