Raw and Living foods have not been devitalized, i.e., have not had the enzymes cooked or processed out. Cooked food has no enzymes. Nuts have a place at the raw food table. However, one should eat minimal amounts of nuts in a raw food diet.
According to raw-food philosophy, heating food over 116 degrees Fahrenheit destroys enzymes in food and renders it toxic. Raw-food enthusiasts maintain raw food as the holy grail of dietary choices. They claim, since human beings' original fare consisted of raw fruits and vegetables, a raw food-diet is a return to the roots and intention of eating. Uncooked or barely cooked fruits and vegetables offer the highest nutritional value.
Raw-food enthusiasts claim raw foods are healthier, more energy efficient, Earth and animal-friendly. Raw foodies proclaim weight loss, higher energy reserves and overall improved wellness. Since you do not cook raw food, you save energy, which improves your energy bill and the planet's resources. Eating organic, raw produce is environmentally friendly. You are not involved in the slaughter of animals for food.
Raw and living foods proponents only eat fruits, vegetables, sprouts, nuts, seeds, grains, sea vegetables and other organic/natural foods that have not been processed. Raw foodies value sprouts for enzymes activated during sprouting. Learn how raw nuts are processed to be sure the nuts you choose meet raw-food requirements.
Processed and pasteurized nuts are not viable for sprouting and, therefore, for live food. According to Thomas A. Billings, raw nuts are only viable after harvest for a certain period of time. Nuts lose viability with age, damage or by overheating. Raw-food proponents disagree over when a nut is no longer viable.
Raw, unsprouted nuts contain dormant enzymes. Activate enzymes in almonds by soaking them. Soak raw almonds in distilled water for about 24 hours. As the almonds sprout, enzymes activate. Once the enzymes are active, the sprouts are considered live food. Eat the sprout "whole,' with its skin on or shelled. The taste is bitter before shelling. Peel almond sprouts by running hot water over them. In about a minute, peel the skin.
Billings recommends buying unshelled nuts. Shelled nuts are devitalized. Consider individual characteristic of nuts for raw food diets. Cashews cannot be sprouted. Eat coconuts green and chewy. Hazelnuts, while not sproutable, are viable. Purchase hazelnuts in-shell or shelled and raw. You may be able to locate unprocessed Macadamia nuts. When viable, in-shell Macadamias take 30 to 60 days to sprout. For best flavor, eat only sprouted and peeled peanuts. Shelled pecans are devitalized. Sprout unmilled pine nuts in just a day. The United States pasteurizes all nuts.