how to REALLY eat nuts

This isn't a post in which I'm going to tell you to activate your nuts. I mean, the better way to eat nuts is to activate them, but there's a step before that that many people skip.

via answerit

Remember when you were a kid and your parents had a lazy susan full of whole nuts on the coffee table? And a nut cracker from 1949? My parents did anyway. I have very fond memories of my mum cracking nuts in front of the telly all night. The sound of a cracking nut feels oddly comforting to me, for that reason.

Turns out, we should still be cracking nuts. I mean, instead of buying them ready-shelled in little plastic bags. This is the reason:

As soon as a nut is shelled, it starts turning rancid and continues to deteriorate even when it's packed in a vacuum sealed bag. All the while, it's losing nutrients and important enzymes and vitamins are being destroyed. On top of that, a rancid nut will irritate your stomach and gut lining.

All of which leads to this fairly dire point:

It's better not to eat nuts at all than to eat rancid ones.

The higher the natural oils, in particular omega-3 oils (found in their highest concentration in walnuts) the worse the situation. The more rapidly the nut turns rancid.

Eating rancid nuts can:

  • weaken your immune system
  • promote cancer and other chronic conditions
  • cause toxins to accumulate in your body
  • irritate your stomach and gut lining, as I mentioned above.

Needless to say, I bought myself a nut cracker for $6 a few weeks ago* and have been cracking nuts silly ever since.

Nuts in their shells are protected from air and can last up to 1 year without going bad. All the nutty goodness is maintained.

They also taste 1086948303032032 times better.

As a bonus, whole nuts are cheaper than nuts that have been shelled. I buy them out of the bulk bins at the market. Also, you've got yourself a nice little portion control mechanism right there.

Happy nut cracking.

* Before that I was using a mortar and pestle, such is my resistance to acquiring more kitchen gadgets. Eventually, however, I got sick of the mess (picture nut shell flying through the air).


  1. Do you crack them and then activate/soak them? or do you not need to do that when you crack them yourself?

    1. Weeeell, it is better for you to activate them, but I have to admit to just cracking at eating them fresh lately. The reality is you eat much fewer nuts, probably a more suitable amount, because you have to work for it! So I figure it's ok ;)

  2. Haha, I use a mortar and pestle to crack my nuts open too (particularly walnuts - my favourite!). Before I had a mortar and pestle though I used a big jar full of lentils to smash them (gently!) :)



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