Your Monkey’s Diet & Health
Part 2: Germinating Raw Nuts & Seeds
Why germinate your monkey’s nuts and seeds? Raw UNGERMINATED nuts and seeds require even MORE energy for your monkey to digest than overcooked foods and monkey chow. This is because raw seeds contain enzyme inhibitors, (which help ensure the seeds’ survival by keeping them in a dormant state until good growing conditions are present). However, when we feed these raw seeds, not only does the monkey’s body have to supply all the enzymes necessary to digest them, they have to manufacture yet more enzymes to neutralize the inhibitors - a double-whammy drain on the monkey’s energy.
How to germinate nuts and seeds: Nuts your monkey will like germinated: almonds, Brazil, cashews, filberts, jungle peanuts, pecans, pine nuts, pistachios, walnuts. Nut seeds your monkey will like germinated: pumpkin, unhulled sesame and sunflower.
Feeding germinated seeds and nuts is an easy, clean and safe way to give your primates super nutrition. Germination is safer than sprouting because the process is shorter. The seeds don’t have time to deteriorate and spoil.
Germinated nuts and seeds are SUPERFOODS FOR YOUR MONKEY! They are very rich in active enzymes, quality protein, fats, and vitamins and they contain fiber as well.
Germinating unlocks nutrients in nuts and seeds making them richer in active enzymes and vitamins. When eaten, the germinated nuts and seeds, also called pulses, have a crisp texture.
As one of nature’s most nutrient-dense foods, germinated pulses help neutralize toxins in your monkey’s colon and because they are high in fiber, they help clean the colon.
1. Use raw, preferably organic, nuts and seeds. Make enough for three days only, as they should not be stored longer than that.
2. Use a glass or stainless steel bowl or jar (plastics contain toxins). You can separate your pulses using a container for small, one for medium and one for large nuts.
3. Rinse your nuts or seeds and soak them in purified water. The soak starts the process of enzyme inhibitor release.
4. Cover the bowl or jar with cheesecloth or a fine mesh stocking to keep free of insects and let it set at room temperature.
5. Drain and rinse the nuts or seeds two or three times until the water runs clear.
6. Do a final rinse with grapefruit seed extract (GSE) or organic apple cider vinegar. (GSE or ACV will clean the pulses of most bacteria, without being absorbed. You should consider using one of these especially if you live in a warmer climate.) Refrigerate the germinated nuts and seeds. They are now ready to be fed and can be eaten in monkey salads of romaine lettuce, cherry tomato and olive oil and lemon juice dressing. Monkeys also like them plain. Small germinated nuts and seeds make good training rewards.
Recommended soaking time varies with different authors. Recommended soaking times vary from the table below to a flat 24 hour soaking time for all nuts.
Almonds, germination time 8-12 hours at room temperature
Cashews, whole, germination time 2-2 1/2 hours at room temperature
Sesame seeds, germination time 8 hours at room temperature
Sunflower seeds, germination time 2 hours at room temperature
Walnuts, germination time 4 hours at room temperature
All other nuts, germination time 6-24 hours at room temperature
Authors who recommend 24 hours soaking time, claim the enzyme inhibitors and tannins are more thoroughly released with more soaking and also recommend rinsing them a couple of times during the 24 hours until the water looks clear. To err on the safe side, I now soak 24 hours.
How do monkeys respond to soaked nuts? If fed alone, many species, including macaque, squirrel, spider, capuchin, patas and guenon, have eaten soaked nuts of all kinds without hesitation. Just don’t offer soaked nuts side by side with roasted nuts, since monkeys usually do prefer the richer flavor of the nutritionally inferior roasted nut.
Germinate raw, preferably organic, nuts and seeds. Make enough for three days only, as they should not be stored longer than that. Even monkeys who are used to roasted nuts will come to enjoy the more nutritious germinated ones. Mona guenon Sasha, left, and spot-nosed guenon Danny right, both adjusted immediately to the more crispy taste of germinated nuts.
Small germinated nuts and seeds like pumpkin seeds, almonds and peanuts can be used in feeding puzzle toys like this Buster Cube (found at some Pet-Co stores). Above, patas monkey youngster Bhuti enjoys pumpkin seeds and adult squirrel monkey Pip enjoys the same below.