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The Loving Earth Guide to Activating: Why & How In 5 Easy Steps

Why do we activate our foods? It’s simple: to make them better for us. Activating does this by making them easier to digest, and by allowing our body to absorb more of the goodness that's inside of them.

Lots of Loving Earth products are activated: walnuts, almonds, Buckinis and pecans (and of course the chocolate bars we make containing them). These are all essentially seeds, just like many other foods which are part of traditional diets. What does a seed want to do? It wants to grow into a plant (assuming it’s not suffering from any undiagnosed psychological issues). Does a seed want to be digested? No - most definitely not. This is why seeds contain something called phytic acid. This inhibits digestive enzymes so that they remain intact as they pass through the digestive systems of animals that eat them (that’s you). Phytic acid is also known as an anti-nutrient, because it binds to minerals such as calcium, copper, iron, magnesium and zinc, blocking absorption and carrying them out of the body.

The other reason why seeds contain phytic acid is to inhibit phytase, an enzyme which the seed uses during germination. When we soak seeds, we’re basically playing a trick on them and mimicking nature. They think it’s time to grow when moisture activates the phytase within them. The phytase begins breaking down the phytic acid, and vitamins, minerals and amino acids in the seed becomes bioavailable. All the energy and nutrients within the seed become available to the budding plant – unless you get there first and eat it! After we’ve soaked and activated our seeds, we halt the process by dehydrating them. This means they’re at the optimal point for digestion.

Because of how they work, seeds are a fantastic food source. They can be stored for a long time compared to other natural foods, which is why they’ve been part of traditional diets for thousands of years. Whether we’re talking about North America and its many uses of corn, Africa with its delicious injera pancakes, India and the ayurvedic approach to almonds or indeed Melbourne with it’s sourdough obsession, you don’t have to look far to find examples of seeds being soaked. Now you know why!



How To Activate

Good nutrition takes hard work and this can potentially be quite time consuming (that's why we do it for you!), but if you want to activate your seeds at home, here’s how:

  1. Rinse ‘em.
  2. Soak ‘em – they should be completely covered with water.
  3. Leave ‘em – cover them with a teatowel or other breathable cloth for anything from 15 minutes to 24 hours (see chart above).
  4. Drain ‘em – and rinse them too, multiple times.
  5. Dry ‘em – a dehydrator works best, though you can use an oven at the lowest possible temperature, with the door open. Make sure that they’re completely dry.

After they've been activated they can be stored just like any nuts, seeds or beans - ready to be eaten whenever you need them! Happy activating!

READ NEXT: Clean, Paleo, Raw, Vegan: Fads, Fears and Facts

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