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Are Sprouted Nuts and Nut Butters Better?

11 August 2010 10 Comments

Oddly enough, I didn’t really like nuts as a kid, so I pretty much avoided them for most of my life. But, when I went strictly dairy-free I discovered their magical powers for creaminess, sweetness, and as a good protein / fat snack when things like string cheese were not on the munchy menu.

But have you noticed the nut butter explosion? Apparently I’m not the only one taking notice, because swarms of companies are emerging with various nut and seed butter blend. I’ve sampled a few, and all have their charms, but lately I started wondering about this whole sprouted nut theory.

According to Blue Mountain Organics, the producers of the Better Than Roasted brand, “Soaking nuts initiates germination and removes naturally occurring bitter tasting phytates, which have been shown to inhibit digestion as well as the absorption of some nutrients.” Sounds logical, and to be honest, I’m not going to go fishing through studies to prove or disprove them. But, I was curious if the taste is really any different.

They look like ordinary nuts right? …

But look closely, they are a bit drier than your average raw nuts. They have a snappy crisp when you bite into them, not unlike roasted nuts, but a bit lighter and fresher. And why yes, they actually are a bit sweeter! I liked the cashews best, because they are the sweetest and creamiest of the bunch … but the pecans, which were abundant in this Totally Nutz Organic Just 4 Nuts Mix, came in a close second. Even the walnuts had been shed of nearly all of their bitterness. I was impressed.

For the past several days I have kept this mix on my desk (cool 6-ounce stand up pouch), and munch on it whenever hunger strikes. They are so satisfying that I’ve barely dented it! So much goodness left.

Moving back to the nut butter topic, the Organic Just Four Nuts Nut Butter, was basically the above mix all blended up. I loved how the different nuts separated, creating layers of goodness. I stirred it up to get the full blended nut butter effect and slathered on a rice cake for my first food of the day (with tea of course!). I could definitely taste that it was raw, and the blend was pleasant and sweet. It tasted very close to raw almond butter, hmm wait, that is definitely some sweet creamy cashew butter leading the scene, oh but there is something different … the pecans perhaps? Okay, yeah, a bit more complex than just almond butter … and definitely scrumptious!

That bright yellow fruit in the back is actually watermelon! It came in my CSA. I had no idea there was yellow watermelon. Have any of you heard of this?

My only complaint is that like all good quality nut butters, this stuff ain’t cheap and I prefer a nice thick layer of nut butter. Yes, once those nuts are blended up and in what I call “frosting” format, my serving size explodes. My solution? I actually blend the nut butter with other add-ins to make it thicker, fuller, and go further.

The following rice cake is topped with:

  • 1-1/2 Tablespoons Nut Butter
  • 1 Tablespoon Unsweetened Applesauce
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Maple Syrup
  • 1/8 Teaspoon Ground Cinnamon
  • Tiny Pinch of Sea Salt

I’m curious to continue on this tasting path. Do you have a favorite brand or type of nut and/or seed butter that you recommend?

Do you have any tricks to making that jar of nut or seed butter go further?

For all of you raw foodist dabblers out there, do the nuts actually “sprout” when you soak them? I’m obviously VERY new to this field.

10 Comments »

  • Kelsey @ CleanTeenKelsey said:

    Thanks for the review! I’ve been very interested in their sprouted nut butter as well. I want to try it!

  • lindsay said:

    oh rice cake and nut butter, what a perfect combo. My favorite nut butter is sunbutter or the peanutfree Nuttzo, even though its $$ its worth it!.

  • Fiona said:

    Wow, so they actually SPROUT them? freaky!

  • Hannah said:

    I don’t know too much about sprouted nuts, but I do know about yellow watermelon! http://www.flickr.com/photos/_bittersweet/3824356968/

    Unfortunately, it tends to not live up to the hype, especially when you compare the price to standard watermelons. You just can’t mess with perfection. ;)

  • Sarena (The Non Dairy Queen) said:

    Those suckers will definitely sprout when you soak them! Now I need to get my hands on some raw nuts. I want to try to make some. You know I love nut butters, but I am just way to cheap to buy all the expensive stuff. I definitely go for making them myself.

  • 5 Star Foodie said:

    Your topping for the rice cake sounds so yummy! I need to try more nut butters; so far I’ve tried the almond butter and also the sunflower seed one which was really delicious too.

  • Pure2raw twins said:

    Yes soaking nuts and seeds makes them easier to digest. I agree they are expensive, but unfortunately most healthier foods are, but you can make your own. We have made almond a few times, although I just get lazy. : ) Glad you liked the nut butter! We love Blue Mountain Organics!

  • Katie said:

    Very interesting stuff here. I’ve recently realized I can’t digest nut butters very well, so I haven’t had any in FAR too long (like, nearly a week!). This sounds promising.

    I also hated nuts growing up, but loved peanut butter (back when that was all they had at the store). Also loved ketchup and hated tomatoes. Kids are weird.

    I mash bananas into nut butter sometimes to make it last longer. It doesn’t usually work though.

  • theemptynutjar said:

    I consume a ton of nuts and nut butters. Some raw, some roasted. I assume sprouted nuts simply means soaking them in water (?). I have read that soaking them in water can ease their digestion — but I admit that I do not do it very often. I have read differing arguments on it actually. On one hand, soaking them is supposed to ease digestibility, etc…but on the other hand I read an article before that stated soaking them also lowers their protein/fiber/nutrient availability because of the chipping/exposure…(something like that…I wasn’t too interested in it).
    Basically, I just eat them :)
    And I eat a lot (like A LOT). I won’t even say how much…
    Never heard of those brands you mention above.

  • Elaine @ Om Sweet Om said:

    Yes, in fact yellow watermelons are pretty common in Taiwan! I’ve also heard that there are some ORANGE watermelons lurking out there somewhere. I haven’t seen one yet, but it’ll sure be interesting!

    Wow, the four nuts nut butter sounds really good! Four good stuff in one jar!

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