Nuts are nutritious and versatile foods that come in a variety of shapes, sizes, and flavours. They are the seeds found within the shells of certain fruits, such as almonds, walnuts, cashews, pecans, pistachios, and more.
Which is better?
Nuts were once roasted and consumed by most of us, and now we are asked to soak them and consume them. According to Ayurveda, every form of cooking or processing has a different effect on the end product.
Roasted nuts are prepared by subjecting them to dry heat, either in an oven or a skillet, until they turn golden brown and become crispy. Here are some advantages to roasted nuts:
- Enhanced flavour: Roasting intensifies the natural flavours of nuts, providing a rich and toasty taste.
- Improved texture: The roasting process adds a delightful crunch to the nuts, making them more enjoyable to eat.
- Extended shelf life: Roasting nuts can help extend their shelf life by reducing moisture content and inhibiting the growth of certain microorganisms.
Soaking nuts involves immersing them in water for a specific period of time, typically a few hours or overnight. This process has its own benefits:
- Improved digestibility: Soaking nuts helps break down phytic acid, an anti-nutrient that can inhibit mineral absorption. This makes the nutrients in nuts more bioavailable and easier to digest.
- Enhanced nutrient absorption: Soaking can increase the availability of certain vitamins, minerals, and enzymes present in nuts, making them more beneficial to the body.
- Softer texture: Soaking can soften the nuts, making them easier to chew, especially for those with dental issues or sensitive teeth.
Salting Nuts :
It involves coating them with salt or a salt-based seasoning. Here are some points to consider when it comes to salted nuts:
- Flavour enhancement: Salting adds a savoury and slightly salty taste to the nuts, which can be appealing to those who enjoy that flavour profile.
- Increased thirst: Consuming salted nuts may increase thirst due to the salt content. It’s important to drink an adequate amount of water when consuming salted snacks.
- Sodium intake: Salted nuts can contribute to higher sodium intake, so it’s crucial to be mindful of overall sodium consumption, especially for individuals with specific dietary restrictions.
Roasting, soaking, salting, and spicing all have different effects on nuts. Raw nuts, being “GURU”, heavy to digest, need to be processed to make them light enough to digest.
- Effect: makes it “laghu” (light).
- Best for: VATA Folks
- Effect: reduce “ushnata” (the innate heat of nuts).
- Best for: PITTA Folks
Salting and spicing
- Effect: makes it lighter; aids in digestion
- Best for: Kapha Folks
Soaking nuts also helps in reducing:
- Phytic Acid
Which in turn helps in reducing the post-digestion heat experienced by the PITTA folks.
Ultimately, the choice between roasted or soaked nuts depends on personal preference and the specific benefits you seek. Roasted nuts offer a crunchy texture and intensified flavour, while soaked nuts provide improved digestibility and potential nutrient enhancements. You can experiment with both methods to determine which one suits your taste and dietary needs best.