So, it’s been a while since I’ve posted. I have good reason, I promise. We put our first house on the market last summer, and let me just tell you that the whole moving process is A BITCH. There, I said it. No sugar coating this one. Moving kicked my ass! First, there was the decluttering that started well before we even interviewed real estate agents. We had been toying with the idea of moving back to our hometown (The PTC Bubble), and when we finally made the decision that we were ready, we were committed. We had been in our house for almost 10 years at this point. The longest we both had been in any housing since childhood. You would not believe the amount of STUFF that one accumulates in a 10-year period. Or, maybe you would. INSANE! We started with closets, and proceeded to the basement, attic, garage, and shed. We started with plastic storage bins for the stuff we wanted to keep for the time being but knew we needed to keep out of sight for staging purposes. We spent a small fortune on the cheapest plastic bins The Home Depot sells. That small fortune was not enough. Every weekend, I tried to tackle a corner of our modest, but very full, starter home. It took months. I’m so proud of how our staging efforts turned out, but I was ready to sleep for a week out of sheer exhaustion of tackling such a large organization project. I’m looking forward to sharing the end product with all of you.
At the same time, I was also experiencing a health crisis of sorts. This may be an exaggeration, but I’m sure many of you understand the feeling of being fed up and ready for change. You may remember from my g-free post that I suffer from psoriasis. This has been an on-going struggle of mine that is sometimes very manageable and at other times causes a lot of stress. I was at the point where I knew something had to give. I had been “managing” for years, but I still hadn’t discovered what would keep it at bay for the long-term. I debated having thousands of dollars of blood work done to determine the best course of action. But, then I attended a free class on gut-health hosted by the Green Queen herself and led by an intelligent neuroscientist. Both of these women had discovered the GAPS protocol on their own and had seen it work wonders in their own lives. I was intrigued. I dove into research and decided I wanted to give it a try. While I was purging my house of material things and cataloging 10 years of memories, I prepared for a life-changing adventure in the kitchen. Hubby was on board (especially since I decided against spending all that money on testing), and we both agreed Munchkin would join us for the ride. We started the GAPS protocol the same week the “For Sale” sign went in the yard.
Y’all, I am certifiable.
More on the GAPS protocol at a later date, but suffice it to say, it is labor intensive. Every meal and snack produced a mess in the kitchen; a mess that had to immediately be attacked so that the house was ready for showings. I am a glutton for punishment. The first week is a blur of food prep and food cleanup, but for the first time, I was waking up without an alarm clock and not wanting to hit snooze. The recipe that follows is one of the first GAPS recipes I made, and it is still a favorite! It may seem time-intensive, but most of it is inactive soaking and dehydrating time. These steps are important in the GAPS world and help your body digest the phytic acid and enzyme inhibitors found in the nuts. Wellness Mama and Mommypotamus both have great posts on the benefits of soaking nuts. I encourage you to give it a try. Your digestive tract will thank you 😉
The first step in preparing Crispy Nuts is to start with raw nuts. This recipe calls for cashews, almonds, walnuts (easily becoming my favorite nut), and pumpkin seeds. I have been pretty happy with the selection at my local Costco for bulk nuts. Nuts are expensive! Trader Joe’s can be another great source. The package should say “raw” and the ingredients listed should ONLY be the nut. NO oils, salt, etc. These are the nuts I used:
The next step is to soak. Measure out the nuts in four separate bowls. 3 cups each of cashews, almonds, and walnuts; 1 cup of pumpkin seeds. Fill each bowl with warm water until the nuts are covered by an inch. The nuts will absorb the water while soaking, so you want to make sure there is plenty of water in the bowl. Next, add salt: 2 teaspoons each for cashews, almonds, and walnuts; 1 teaspoon for pumpkin seeds. I lined up my bowls in order of soaking times and noted the end time for each nut. The recommended soaking times are as follows: Cashews 3-6 hours, Almonds 7-8 hours, Walnuts 6 hours, and pumpkin seeds 7-8 hours.
After the nuts have soaked, drain them in a colander and spread out on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Dehydrate at the lowest setting on your oven, 150 being preferable. (On my oven, this is actually the “keep warm” setting.) Dehydrate for 12-24 hours until the nuts are dry but before they brown. Note: my oven automatically shuts off after 12 hours, so make sure to reset your oven before that expiration if you want crispier nuts.
Next, prepare the sauce.
In a large stockpot on low heat, melt the coconut oil, honey, vanilla, cinnamon, and sea salt until combined. (Tip: measure the coconut oil first, then use the same measuring cup for the honey. The oil will keep the honey from sticking to the measuring cup.) Then, pour all of the crispy nuts into the pot and stir until coated.
Add in the coconut flakes and the raisins.
Voilà! The perfect GAPS snack!
I store mine in an OXO Good Grip Container (available at Bed, Bath & Beyond with a coupon 😉 ) in the pantry; store in the fridge for a less-sticky version.
- 3 cups raw almonds, soaked and dehydrated
- 3 cups raw walnuts, soaked and dehydrated
- 3 cups cashews, soaked and dehydrated
- 1 cup pumpkin seeds, soaked and dehydrated
- 1/4 cup coconut oil
- 1/4 cup raw honey
- 1 TB vanilla
- 1 TB cinnamon
- 1 1/2 tsp Celtic sea salt
- 2 cups organic unsweetened raisins
- 1 cup shredded coconut
- Combine coconut oil, honey, vanilla, cinnamon, and sea salt in a large stock pot over low heat until fully mixed. Turn off heat.
- Add in nuts and mix until coated.
- Add in raisins and coconut and mix well.
- Store in an airtight container. Can be stored in the pantry, but best if stored in the fridge.