My article and video on soaking raw nuts caused a bit of a stir with readers. Nothing new for this blog, as challenging the status quo is something that happens regularly in these parts!
In that video, I demonstrate how to properly soak raw nuts in brine water and then dry them in a warm oven set at 150 °F/66 °C.
This practice deactivates anti-nutrients and ensures maximum digestibility and nutrient absorption and is in accordance with the wise preparation methods of Traditional Cultures like the Aztecs.
Numerous comments on the post itself, my YouTube Channel, email, and Facebook have insisted that drying nuts at 150 °F/66 °C is far too high and that the food enzymes are destroyed.
So, what’s the truth? Are nuts dried in a warm oven set at 150 °F/66 °C still raw or not?
The confusion seems to rest with the difference between wet heat and dry heat. When a liquid food like milk is heated, you will find that you burn your finger at a temperature of 118 °F/48 °C.
If the milk is heated only to 117 °F/47 °C, you will not burn yourself and this is nature’s magical way of letting us know that the food still has all of its enzymes intact. Hence, low temp or vat pasteurized milk heated to 145 °F/63 °C is still just as dead as regularly pasteurized milk heated to 160+ °F, despite rumors to the contrary. This is true even if it is non-homogenized, aka “cream top” milk.
Food enzymes and probiotics withstand dry heat much better than wet heat. According to food scientist Dr. Mary Enig, she writes in this article:
All enzymes are deactivated at a wet-heat temperature of 118 degrees Fahrenheit, and a dry-heat temperature of about 150 degrees [66 °C].
It is one of those happy designs of nature that foods and liquids at 117 degrees [47 °C] can be touched without pain, but liquids over 118 degrees [48 °C] will burn. Thus we have a built-in mechanism for determining whether or not the food we are eating still contains its enzyme content.
I hope this information clears up the confusion about drying raw nuts in the oven and whether or not the food enzymes are still intact. It is especially important to harness the convenience of drying large batches of raw food in the oven as not everyone has access to or can afford a large dehydrator.
If you are still unconvinced, dry out a batch of soaked nuts in a 150 °F/66 °C oven and then eat a handful straight out of the oven. You will be delighted to see that the nuts are not hot and that you do not burn your hand or mouth, an indication that the food enzymes are indeed preserved.
By the way, stainless steel dehydrators are much safer to use than plastic ones if you choose to go that route.
If soured raw milk is safe to use, due to the enzyms, is it still safe when heated, even if enzymes are destroyed
It’s fine for cooking.
Hello everyone, I am very new to dehydrating and was hoping this question is not too basic. Are eg mangos and potatos classed as wet heat? When I did some research on drying mangos a few people said 135F keeps the enzymes in tact and this takes well over 12+ hours as it is, (my slices are not paper thin but not thick either) so I hate to think how long it would take at 117F. I also tried to make kale chips, with a tiny bit of olive oil and tamari and these took between 3 – 4 hours at 135F too and some were not even crunchy at 4 hours. Does anyone know how long potatos and mangos are suppose to take at 117F? Any help would be very much appreciated as I am confused. Also do dehydrators brands vary in regards to the temperature?
I dehydrate everything at 115, and just let it go for as many hours as it takes….usually at least 12 hours.
Thanks, Sarah, this is good to know. My faithful dehydrator finally gave out a few months ago and I haven’t had the money for a new one. My crispy nut supply is getting low. Now I’m brave enough to try it in our oven.
I don’t quite understand. If “All enzymes are deactivated at a wet-heat temperature of 118 degrees Fahrenheit, and a dry-heat temperature of about 150 degrees, then wouldn’t the enzymes in your nuts be deactivating since your oven is at 150 degrees. I know you said they don’t burn your hand but according to mary enig, they have reached deactivation temperature. Is that correct?
Thank you for clearing that up Sarah. I am so thankful that you posted a video of how to successfully dehydrate nuts in the oven as I do not yet have a dehydrator and those can be pricey. Hoping for one as a Christmas present this year though 🙂
I have a question about fermented tea. Around here (Maine) people used to pick teaberry leaves (checkerberry/wintergreen) and ferment them in water, then dry for use in winter for tea. My question is: Does pouring boiling water over dried fermented leaves destroy the benefits of fermentation?
I imagine that the fermenting process breaks down certain molecules in the tea leaves to make them more accessible or change the taste. Heating wouldn’t hurt that. I doubt that live enzymes or microbes that might be killed by heat are of importance.
Thanks for posting this, what a great clarification. I currently have an electric oven that has a low setting of 170 degrees. I have been using that setting to dry my ‘crispy nuts’ and have found that I don’t burn myself eating them right out of the oven. I know its not as ideal as the recommend 150, but if anyone else is dealing with the same restriction I’d definitely say go for it, as its better than eating them completely raw or roasted to oblivion. I tend to open up the oven frequently to shake up the nuts and hope that it brings down the temperature a bit too.