I’m drying a few batches of walnuts in preparation for holiday baking. Here’s my method:
Put 4 cups walnuts into a glass bowl. I’m doing 2 batches here.
Add a heaping tsp. of sea salt to the nuts.
Cover with purified water. Let sit for 24 hours on the countertop. This allows the nuts to soak up the salt water, which breaks down the phytic acid in them.
After the nuts have soaked 24 hours, drain off the water, and transfer them to baking pans. I try not to use aluminum cookware, so I use my glass pans.
Place in an oven at about 120 degrees, to allow the enzymes to stay intact. My oven only goes down to 170, so I use the warming drawer under my oven.
Leave in there for about 2 days, stirring every 12 hours or so. When done, they will be crispy all the way through. Store in a sealed container. Use them in baking (which kills the enzymes, but there is still the benefit of having the phytic acid removed). They are also delicious on salads, or as a small snack.
I’m planning to make the High Protein Waffles, but I’ve never soaked grains before, and I am unclear on the process. I looked around a little on the internet, and it wasn’t much clearer. Did you separate your own whey from milk, or buy whey powder and reconstitute it, or would you suggest I just use yogurt? I haven’t even purchased the whey (or yogurt) yet, so if you have some direction on that, I’d appreciate it!
~Debra , via Facebook
Soaking grains is pretty straight forward, although I know it can seem daunting at first since this practice has been all but abandoned in modern cooking. To soak my oats, I measure them into a glass bowl; you’ll want one large enough that there is some space left for the whey or yogurt. You can see my whey here in the picture.
Pour the liquid/yogurt on top of the oats and begin to incorporate with a small spoon.
Stir the wet and dry together until there aren’t any dry oats left.
Then smash them down firmly in the bowl with the back of the spoon. There shouldn’t be any pooling wet areas.
Cover with a dish towel and place on the countertop, or another warmish clean place, for 12-24 hours.
At the end of this time, you’ll notice that the oats seem to have dried out some, and are stuck into a clump which will need a little bit of breaking up before putting into the blender.
If you double or triple the recipe, you can soak all the oats together and then evenly divide them the next day after soaking. Since they are stuck together in a chunk, it’s not to hard to cut them evenly. However, I recommend only making one batch at a time (unless you have a really strong blender) as doubling the batch makes it difficult to completely blend the oats into the eggs and cottage cheese mixture.
Whey and yogurt can both be used in this recipe. If you use yogurt you’ll need to use a little more than if using whey, since it is thicker and won’t mix with the oats as freely. I often use whey just because I have it on hand when it has separated from the kefir I make continually on my countertop. If the whey hasn’t separated, I use the kefir or a plain yogurt, which is probably what you should do at this point.
Here’s a picture of oats soaked in yogurt.
These soaking agents are actually souring the oats, and the waffles will have a pleasant sourdough flavor. I think kefir makes them more sour than yogurt, but it is pretty inconsequential. The acids and bacteria in the whey/yogurt are the agents that are eating away at the sugars in the oats, and dismantling some of the anti-nutrients like phytic acid. Therefore, whey powder (protein powder) reconstituted would not work for this purpose, as it no longer has these active cultures at work.
On purchasing the yogurt: get plain, and make sure it has active cultures in it. I like the European Style Whole Milk Yogurt from Traders Joes, and while you’re there, their Small Curd Cottage Cheese seems to be a good choice (for the waffle recipe) since the side of the carton makes it sound like the cows live in a resort. 🙂
Make sure your waffle iron is fully heated before pouring in the batter. I was in a hurry when I made these a few weeks ago, and I ended up with a mess in waffle maker! :-/
The waffles freeze well after cooling, and can then be toasted for a quick snack later.