Lately, I’ve been reflecting on everything we talk about and I would like to sharing more relating to health, fitness and beauty. I always intended Style Elixir to be a lifestyle blog, so in addition to fashion, I hope you enjoy these other topics too.

I wanted to start things off by sharing one of my recent addictions with you… the good thing is though, it’s healthy!  I’m not sure what it is or why, but over recent months I have become a lot more conscious of the things I eat. I think I’ve finally realized the old adage is true… “you are what you eat”.  If you put good things in, your body will thank you for it.

When we’re always so busy and on the go, it can be hard to eat healthy – and there are so many temptations! I’m a big snack person, so to help me keep on a healthy eating path (while still indulging my love of snacks!), I’ve started packing a little container of nuts and raisins in my handbag. They are perfect – quick, easy, not messy and give me a sweet little kick along when I feel like it. Are you a snack lover too? What are some things you pack in your bag or keep at the office?

Over the last few weeks, I’ve taken the whole nut thing to another level… I read about ‘activated nuts’ and wanted to give it a try! If you follow me on Instagram, you may have seen me in the midst of activating almonds over the weekend…

Activated Almonds

The crisp, crunchy texture of nuts make them a fabulous snack. They also add a delicious flavor to any meal, are relatively inexpensive and easy to cook with at home, or to bring when you’re on the go. Nuts are a nutritious snack – they have so many important nutrients, such as calcium (found in brazil nuts and almonds), vitamin E, magnesium and fiber. They are also an excellent source of protein and healthy fats (such as monounsaturated and poly-unsaturated fatty acids), which are important for your mental and physical wellbeing.

The process of ‘activating’ nuts is like a natural sprouting process. An ‘activated nut’ is basically a nut that has been soaked in water for 7-12 hours, then left to dehydrate. This process is specifically used to release enzyme inhibitors, which interfere with the absorption of minerals in your body.

A lot of people are quite sensitive to raw (un-activated) nuts and seeds, which as a result can lead to stomach cramps, bloating and constipation. When you soak the nut, you can essentially trick the nut into starting to sprout. This is a really good thing, because the sprouted nuts have nutrients that are far more easily digested. Perfect for the body!

If you buy raw nuts, it’s simple to activate them at home (see recipe below). The soaking and dehydration time can take up to a day, however the actual preparation time is less than a few minutes. This recipe works well for all nuts (except cashews… they only need to be soaked for 3-6 hours and can go slimy if soaked for longer!).

Once activated, the nuts can be eaten just like regular, raw nuts – add them to your breakfast muesli, salad mix or keep them in your office drawer as a tasty snack. If you are gluten intolerant, another clever trick is to make your own activated nut flour (instead of using standard all purpose flour). This is easy to do with a basic food processor… you only need to grind the nuts into a smooth, flour-like consistency and then store them in a zip lock bag in the fridge or freezer (where it can be kept for several months).

Keen to try some activated nuts? It’s super easy, I promise! This table I found from Lorna Jane shows you the different nut soaking times, drying times, as well as how much salt to use for every cup of nuts.

 photo ActivatingNutsCookingTime_zps0ec010f7.jpg

 HOW TO ACTIVATE NUTS:

1.  Dissolve salt in enough water to cover the amount of nuts/seeds you are activating
2.  In a large bowl place your nut or seed of choice
3.  Cover with the salt-water mix
4.  Soak for the required number of hours
5.  Strain and rinse the nuts
6.  Spread over a baking tray
7.  Dry in the oven for around 12-24 hours.  Set the oven at the lowest temperature possible. Turn them occasionally.

 

Have you ever tried to do activated nuts? Do you think it’s something you would try?
If you do, I’d love to know how it goes and your thoughts!

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