Sprouting Almonds: The Definitive Guide
Almond trees are native to Iran and the surrounding region, but over the years their popularity has led to increased cultivation across the planet. The tree produces fruits commonly known as a drupe; these consist of an outer hull, a hard shell and the almond seed.
Most almonds are sold shelled- the process of removing the shell to reveal the almond seed. This guide dives into the world of almond sprouts, how it's done, how to store and finally what to do with the sprouts.
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What Are Almond Sprouts?
When raw unpasteurized, fully matured almond seeds are activated and kept on a rinse and dry cycle for 2-3 days they will start to sprout. However, unlike other seed sprouts, almonds take a bit longer to sprout as the germination process is much slower.
For this reason, almond sprouts are never meant to grow fully; instead, they are sprouted depending on the specific use, i.e. sprouts for producing almond milk, sprouts for cooking and baking.
What Do Almond Sprouts Smell Like?
Sprout almonds have a slightly earthy, soft and nutty smell. The smell is distinctively similar to that of growing almond fruits although it does get sour after a couple of rinses.
What Do Almond Sprouts Taste Like?
Sprout almonds have a smooth buttery flavor with hints of nuts. Sprouts are less bitter compared to dry almond seeds due to the breakdown of certain chemicals during the germination process.
How Long Does It Take Almonds to Sprout?
Almond sprouts are usually ready to harvest after 2 to 3 days. These are used to produce almond milk. Almond sprouts usually develop a preferable flavor when harvested prior to root development.
Why Sprout Almonds?
1. Increase Nutrients
The sprouting process increases the available nutrients such as protein, vitamins and mineral content. The sprouts also consume most of the stored calorie content as energy is a critical component of the process. This results in reduced calorie intake when consuming the nutritious sprouts.
2. It's Economical
Sprouting your own almonds at home is much cheaper than buying sprout based bulk foods in the store. All you need to do is to get raw almonds and, in a few days, you will have enough sprouts to produce almond milk which is quite pricey in the stores.
3. Can Be Done Indoors
Sprouting almonds at home does not require any additional equipment other than those that can be found in the kitchen. This makes it much easier to start off a sprouting project without incurring any additional costs other than acquiring the raw seeds.
4. Reduce Phytochemicals
The sprouting process usually denatures phytochemicals that are found in almonds. These are chemicals which the plant produces to protect the seed, and when consumed, phytochemicals will block digestive enzymes and absorption of minerals. The reduction of these chemicals in the sprouts makes them soft on the digestion system and also improve mineral uptake.
Why Are Nuts Dehydrated?
Nuts are dehydrated before storage so as to increase their shelf life and also prevent contamination with bacteria cultures. While almonds are not actual nuts, the FDA does require that all almonds being sold packaged to undergo dehydration to eliminate the risk of salmonella.
Health Benefits of Sprouted Almonds
1. Ease Digestion
The sprouting process leads to the breakdown of phytic acid and tannins, which are antinutrients- their absence leads to increased nutrient availability in the soaked almonds. The sprouting process also softens the tough and hard texture making the sprouts much more comfortable to digest. Reference.
Sprout almonds are rich in antioxidants, notably polyphenols. When absorbed, antioxidants react with free radicals in the body, preventing them from harming healthy cells. Regular uptake of polyphenols can protect you against chronic illnesses such as type 2 diabetes and heart disease. Reference.
3. Healthy Cholesterol Levels
Almond sprouts are rich in HDL (good cholesterol), regularly consuming a diet full of HDL will reduce the levels of LDL, otherwise known as bad cholesterol. The improved cholesterol level goes a long way in reducing the risk of heart disease and other chronic conditions. Reference.
Sprouted almonds contain less phytic acid; as a result, the minerals are readily available for absorption upon consuming. These include sodium, iron, manganese magnesium and calcium. Reference.
5. Protein Content
Sprouted almonds are a rich source of plant-based protein which go towards cell reproduction. While almonds do not have much in terms of protein content, sprouting the seeds does increase the protein content to around 6 g per 11 oz serving. Plant-based protein Is however regarded as incomplete due to the absence of specific amino acids. Reference.
Sprout Almonds Nutritional Facts
Calories - 170 per 11 oz serving. Calories serve as the source of energy for the metabolism process in the body
Dietary Fiber - 4 g per 11 oz serving. Dietary fiber normalizes bowel movements and a healthy digestion system
Protein - 7 g per 11 oz serving. Protein forms the basic building blocks of all cells in the body, and it's required to grow muscles
Vitamin E - 35% Daily Value. Vitamin E plays a critical role as an antioxidant in removing free radicals from the body cells
Calcium - 9% Daily Value. Calcium is required in the formation of healthy bones and teeth
Iron - 6% Daily Value. Iron is used in the production of haemoglobin which is used to transport oxygen via red blood cells
Sodium - 125 mg per 11 oz serving. Sodium is an essential electrolyte which helps in maintaining the balance of water in the cells
Vitamin A - 10% Daily Value. Vitamin A helps protect the eyes from certain disorders and improving the immune system
Do All Almonds Sprout?
Only raw mature almond seeds can sprout. Any almonds which have been pasteurized or dried via heat-treatment cannot germinate as the enzymes in them get denatured by heat. If you are unable to obtain raw seeds from an almond farmer or local dealers, you can shop online for sproutable almond brands such as Terrasoul.
Considerations when Buying Almonds for Sprouting
1. Produced for Sprouting
Almonds that are packed explicitly for the purpose of sprouting will always give a much higher sprout rate. These are raw seeds which have not been pasteurized, and they will naturally absorb the water during the activation step.
While comparing different brands that are offering sprout ready almonds, it's advisable to go for brands that are well known and have actual customer reviews and feedback.
Ensure that the almonds you plan on sprouting are non-GMO, organically grown locally or internationally. This ensures that they are not too old and that the seeds do adhere to FDA standards.
Our Recommended Almond Product: TerraSoul
Price: $0.78 per oz
Brand: Terrasoul Superfoods
Where to buy: Check Latest Price Here
TerraSoul is a Texas-based family-owned wholefoods company with a passion for living and eating well. Their raw unpasteurized almonds are shipped directly from a cold storage facility, thus keeping them fresh and teaming with live enzymes.
The firm relies on a select variety with higher nutrient content and a rich flavor. The seeds are available on Amazon and can be shipped in various sizes ranging from 16 oz to 32oz and in packs of 1 to 5.
How to Sprout Almonds
Mason jar equipped with a sprouting lid
1 cup Raw sprout-ready almonds
Salt- 1 teaspoon per 1 cup of almonds
Warm water to fill the bowl
Cold filtered water
1. Add warm water into a large bowl and drop in the raw almonds, allow the seeds to soak overnight or for 12 hours at room temperature.
2. Strain out the seeds and rinse them with cold filtered water.
3. Add the sprouts into the mason jar and secure it with the sprouting lid. Keep the jar inverted at an angle in a bowl so as to drain out the excess water and allow air to circulate in the jar
4. Rinse and drain the seeds every 8- 12 hours until the almonds begin to sprout. The sprouts will begin to outgrow their shells, and it will crack along the sides, making it much easier to remove.
5. When the sprouts are ready to harvest, rinse the one final time and use paper towels to absorb excess water from the sprouts before storing or cooking them.
YouTube Sprouting Method
How to Make Sprouted Almond Milk
Sprout bag or cheesecloth
1 cup of raw almonds
4 cups cold filtered water
½ teaspoon of sea salt
Optional sweetener: 2 tablespoons maple syrup
1. Add 4 cups of filtered water in a bowl and stir in the sea salt until completely dissolved
2. Add the raw almonds and allow them to soak for at least 12 hours in the fridge
3. Drain the soaking salty water and rinse the almonds under running cold water
4. Blend the soaked almonds or 3 minutes or until smooth and creamy
5. Strain the creamy mixture in a sprout bag or a cheesecloth while using a bowl to catch the almond milk
6. Pour the milk into a glass jar and store in the fridge for up to 3 days
Sprouted Almond Butter
Sprouted almond butter is a nutritious dairy-free butter alternative. The butter can be made at home with equipment that's easily found around the kitchen.
Oven or dehydrator
3 cups of raw almonds
1.2 teaspoon sea salt
6 cups of water
1. Soak the nuts in a large bowl with salted water for 8 to 12 hours or overnight
2. Drain and rinse the almonds over running water
3. Spread the almonds on a baking tray and set the oven to lowest possible temperature. You can also use a dehydrator; set it to 110 F for 8- 12 hours
4. If you are using an oven; bake the almonds for 22 to 3 hours with the door ajar until they are crispy and bone dry
5. Place the still warm almonds into a food processor or a powerful blender and blend in 2-minute intervals
6. Use a spoon to scrape down the sides and mix in the almond butter before blending until it evens out
7. Store the sprouted almond butter in a mason jar and keep it refrigerated for a few weeks
Buying Sprouted Almonds
Sprouted almonds can be packed and sold commercially unlike other sprouts due to the fact that they are not fully sprouted. Instead, the seeds are allowed to sprout for around 1 to 2 days before getting dehydrated by either roasting, baking or using a dehydrator.
What to Look for When Buying Almond Sprouts
1. Only Buy Pasteurized Almond Sprouts
FDA requires that all almond sprouts be pasteurized before packaging to eliminate bacteria cultures. It's, therefore, recommendable to only buy pasteurized almond sprouts.
While almond sprouts can be quite pricey, it's essential to keep your budget in mind while shopping for them. Because almond sprouts can be frozen for months, it's recommendable to buy them in bulk which cuts down on the total cost.
Almond sprouts can be flavored before they are roasted or dried. Alternatively, you can get unflavored brands which are often sold as salted only; this gives you more control in terms of flavors you want to incorporate in the recipe.
How to Eat Sprouted Almonds
Can You Eat Sprouted Almonds Raw?
While raw sprouted almonds are perfectly edible, they do not have a great flavor. However, the flavor can be improved by either roasting or cooking.
Are They A High-Risk Food?
Raw sprouted almonds are considered as high-risk food due to the possibility of bacterial contamination. This can lead to food poisoning and bacterial infection.
1. Chocolate Sprouted Almond Torte
Recipe Inspired By SproutPeople.org
2 cups raw almond sprouts
½ cup of cocoa powder
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
½ cup nut butter
Topping- nuts such as peanut or cashew
1. Blend the 2 cups of raw almond sprouts in a food processor
2. Add cocoa powder and vanilla extract and continue to mix
3. Add the rest of the ingredients and blend until the mixture achieves a smooth consistency
4. Spray a springform pan with nonstick and gently pour in the batter
5. Freeze for at least 4 hours before gently removing the torte from the pan
6. Slice and garnish with coconut flakes before serving
2. Roasted Almond Sprouts
Recipe Inspired By Injeenieskitchen.com
1 cup raw almond sprouts
2 tablespoons extra virgin oil
Flaky sea salt
1. Preheat the oven to 300º F
2. Use paper towels to dry the almond sprouts
3. Spread out the almonds on a rimmed baking tray and drizzle with extra virgin oil
4. Sprinkle the salt and give the pan a shake to coat the sprouts
5. Bake for about 40 minutes or until the almonds are lightly golden and fragrant
3. Almond Feta Cheese
Recipe Inspired By VegetarianTimes.com.
1 cup whole almond sprouts- blanched
1 teaspoon fresh rosemary leaves
1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
1 teaspoon salt
1 garlic clove
3 tablespoons olive oil
¼ cup lemon juice
1. Puree the almond sprouts in a food processor and add oil, garlic, salt and a half cup cold water. Blend for another 6 minutes or until creamy
2. Use a large strainer lined with cheesecloth to drain out excess moisture from the batter. Suspend the strainer over a large bowl to collect the draining moisture and chill the set up for 12 hours. Discard the drained water
3. Preheat the oven to 200°F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper
4. Form ¾ inch thick batter balls and place them on the baking sheet and flatten them down
5. Bake for 40 minutes or until the top becomes slightly firm
6. Cool the baked cheese and then chill. It can be kept chilled for 2 days
4. Banana Almond Meal Muffins
Recipe Inspired By Minimalistbaker.com.
1 cup almond meal: ground from raw almond sprouts
2 batches flax eggs
2 medium-size ripe bananas
2 tablespoons maple syrup
2 tablespoons unsweetened vanilla
1 teaspoon baking powder
1. Preheat the oven to 350 F (176 C) and line a muffin tin with paper liners
2. In a large bowl, prep the flax egg by mixing water and flaxseeds, set aside for a few minutes
3. Add bananas and mash before adding maple syrup, baking powder, and vanilla
4. Stir in thee almond meal and stir until smoothly mixed
5. Pour into the paper liners and bake for 40 minutes
6. Let the muffins cool down so as to remove them from the muffin tin easily
7. Store in an airtight container and keep refrigerated for up to 1 week
How to Make Raw Almond Sprouts Edible for Low Immunity Groups
Consuming raw almond sprouts can introduce harmful bacteria culture, which can overpower compromised immune systems leading to infections.
Who's at Risk?
1. Pregnant women
3. Cancer patients
4. Patients on immunosuppressants
5. HIV & AIDS patients
Boiling and Steaming Method for Killing Bacteria
Exposing the almond sprouts to 160 F temperature will eliminate the risky bacteria that might have contaminated the sprouts.
Wooden steam bucket (optional)
1. Halfway fill a large pot with water and bring to boil over medium heat
2. If you are boiling the sprouts: add the almond sprouts into the pot of boiling water and allow them to boil for 20 minutes
3. If you are steaming: place the wooden steam bucket in the pot of boiling water and add the almond sprouts into the bucket and cover it. Allow the sprouts to steam for 30 minutes.
Can Parrots and Birds Eat Almond Sprouts?
Almond sprouts are perfect for parrots and other birds; the sprout nuts provide not only protein but also dietary fiber.
Other Recommended Sprouted Nuts (with internal links)
Are Sprouted Almonds Better for You?
Yes, sprout almonds are much better to you due to the increased nutrition and removal of anti-nutrients.
Can You Grow An Almond Tree From An Almond?
Yes, you can grow almond trees from raw almond seeds at home.
How Long Do Sprouted Almonds Last?
Sprout almonds which have been dried can be stored in the freezer for up to 2 months.
Can You Sprout Pasteurized Almonds?
No, pasteurized almonds cannot germinate as the enzymes responsible get denatured by the pasteurization process.
Can You Eat Raw Almonds?
Yes, raw almonds are edible, but it's not advisable to eat them this way as they may be contaminated with infectious bacteria.
Why Do You Soak Almonds In Water?
Soaking almonds in water aids with digestion by releasing enzymes which help in digestion such as lipase.
Can I Sprout Almonds?
Yes, you can sprout raw almonds indoors.
How Long Can Almonds Soak?
Almonds should soak for 8 to 12 hours.
How Many Almonds Can Be Eaten In A Day?
About 10 almonds per day should be enough to supplement usual meals in a day.
Do I Have To Dehydrate Nuts After Soaking?
No, you can opt to eat them, make almond milk, or store them in the fridge for 3 days. To store them beyond 3 days you will have to dehydrate the nuts.
When Should You Eat Soaked Almonds?
Soaked almonds are full of essential minerals, nutrients and enzymes.
How Fast Do Almond Trees Grow?
Almond trees usually grow by about 8 to 15 inches per year before attaining full maturity by the 12th year.
Can You Grow An Almond Tree Indoors?
Almond trees require a lot of sunlight so they can only be grown outside, potted almond trees can be brought indoors during cold winter.
How Long Do Almond Trees Live?
Almond trees have a lifespan of about 20 to 25 years.