Is Soaking Nuts Necessary & How To Properly Soak Your Organic Raw Nuts!

99 responses

  1. Sherri Skogland Goedker
    May 17, 2012

    Thank you for clarifying this!! So, if I only have a gas oven with no pilot, I need to bake them at the lowest setting (possibly with the door ajar) for 12-24 hours? If I can borrow a dehydrator, is that better? (probably cheaper!) Thanks!

  2. Whole Lifestyle Nutrition
    May 17, 2012

    I think a dehydrator works best. I set mine at 105 and the pecans were actually done in 8 hours and the almonds were done in 15 hours.

  3. janegunsul
    May 20, 2012

    Thank you so much for this information!  I have Sally Fallon’s book, I need to get into it some more!  I had been wondering if it was necessary to soak nuts, so this answered a lot of my questions!  Thank you!

  4. happyindolevalley
    May 23, 2012

    Haven’t tried this yet, but it’s on my list! Thanks!

  5. Inspired Economies
    November 8, 2012

    Do you need to dry them before eating them?  I suppose I shouldn’t eat 4 cups of nuts in one sitting (should I?), but if I do smaller portions, or if i share the portions, surely i can eat them without drying them.   The suggestion to dry nuts in an oven seems to defy holistic lifestyle – no consideration of the environment.  Am I wrong?

    • hallecottis
      December 17, 2012

      @Inspired Economies The oven was given only as an alternative method if you do not have a dehydrator.  Certainly you can dry them in a warm spot in your house if you would like, but I am afraid that mold might start to form on the nuts if they don’t dry out fully.  
      I would not recommend eating 4 cups at once.  I have about an ounce per sitting.  Nuts are very filling and a little should keep you satisfied for a long time.

  6. Miella
    December 24, 2012

    Thank you for posting this information.  I have on my “to do” list to purchase Nourishing Traditions, but it’s just not in the budget right now.

  7. Miella
    December 24, 2012

    Question:  For pumpkin seeds, are those in the shell or hulled.  And if hulled, is there an easy way to do it?

  8. Chef Art
    January 23, 2013

    What happens to the nuts if you dry they say at 300 degress until dry?

    • hallecottis
      January 24, 2013

      @Chef Art I am a bit confused by this question?  300F is to high, it would roast the nuts and destroy the good fats.

      • Chef Art
        January 24, 2013

        @hallecottis Hi Halle, I understand it would alter the nuts, but love them roasted in my moring yogurt. They seem to last longer in the frig if roasted a little. No?

      • hallecottis
        January 24, 2013

        @Chef Art  Roasting may alter and damage the polyunsaturated fats in the nuts and they are more vulnerable to oxidation. Oxidized fats/rancid oils is what makes a nut taste off or have a “bad” taste. Rancid oils are pro-inflammatory and carcinogenic.  Roasted, chopped, and ground nuts go rancid more quickly than raw nuts.  You can heat raw nuts slightly on the stove at a very low temp to give it a bit crunchy taste.  Also soaking and dehydrating the nuts also gives them a crispy texture.

  9. Chef Art
    January 24, 2013

    Thanks for the info Halle. I am sprouting them, draining and drying them in the oven at a little higher temp to get them dryed quicker. I also like them a little crisper also.

  10. Cass
    January 31, 2013

    Hi…Can you tell me how long soaked raw nuts last w/o drying them. I like to make nut milk, but I don’t drain the nuts. Thank you!

  11. sutejsharma
    February 13, 2013

    Is drying the nuts in kitchen wipes or paper napkins for 5 minutes sufficient ? And can I soak almonds and walnuts together in the same container ? Thank you in advance :)

  12. sutejsharma
    February 13, 2013

    After soaking the nuts, is it sufficient to wipe and dry them in kitchen wipes for 5 minutes (and then its ready for consumption) ?
    And can I soak almonds and walnuts together in the same container ? Thank you in advance :)

    • hallecottis
      February 13, 2013

      @sutejsharma yes you can soak the two nuts together, just adjust the salt a bit.  You can soak them between 2 paper towels, but they won’t be crisp and dry.  If you are okay with that, then it should be just fine.

      • sutejsharma
        February 13, 2013

        @hallecottis  @sutejsharma Hi Halle thanks for your reply. I want to know if it is sufficient to dry them using paper towels after they have been soaked. That is, drying them with paper towels as opposed to using an oven… Thanks !

      • hallecottis
        February 13, 2013

        @sutejsharma @hallecottis no I don’t think they would dry between 2 towels. I think it is important to dry them fully in the oven or dehydrator so mold doesn’t start to form as they dry.

  13. KimberlyGill
    March 7, 2013

    HI thank you so much for answering my question.  My oven only goes down to 170… do know if cracking it will bring it down enough not to hurt the nuts?  I do have a candy thermometer but I’m not sure how to use it to find this out.

    • KimberlyGill
      March 7, 2013

      Oh! and do they have to be soaked in filtered water?  My water sits out long enough for the chlorine to be evaperated, would that be doable?

  14. SJH1987
    March 15, 2013

    Hi there thanks for your post! Do you know if it is ok to use an acidic medium, such as lemon juice, to soak the nuts in, instead of salt? I know you have to use an acidic medium for soaking grains, but I’m not sure if the same can apply to nuts and seeds? Thanks, Steph

  15. kayleeh
    March 21, 2013

    If I’m wanting to make almond butter do you think I still need to dehydrate them before putting them in the food processor or could I just put them in after soaking?

    • SJH1987
      March 21, 2013

      @kayleeh I definitely would. I haven’t made nut butters with soaked, undehydrated nuts, but I can imagine it would make for a somewhat watery nut butter. Also, with the extra moisture, the nut butter might turn moldy a lot quicker. Goodluck!

  16. vancouvereign
    April 3, 2013

    Do you do the same with all seeds? Sunflower, sesame, and hemp??

  17. Reita
    April 11, 2013

    I just purchased a Nesco Dehydrator and want to dry some almonds….my question is at what temp do you dry your nuts as the dehydrator indicates 105….above you are stating not to go above 150 so just wondering at what temp you have found to be the best tks

  18. Ulie
    June 18, 2013

    In order for a seed to germinate, it has to take in water. If the salt concentration is too high around the seed, it will actually prevent germination by keeping water from it. If it does take in the salt water, once it sprouts, it will immediately die. The water evaporates from the sprout and leaves the salt behind drying it out and killing it.

  19. Ulie
    June 18, 2013

    So please can you tell me why on earth it is nescessary to soak nuts in salt water? I mean the nutrient content is a thousand fold in sprouted nuts especially if you just soak them in fresh UNSALTED water for two days, after this they are sweet/milky and have a little white tip on the end. I personally take the skins off before I eat them (and when i make almond milk) which makes them easier to digest, and i assume it is the skins which are left with most of the anti-nutrients, oxalic acid, etc. Soaking is the same with legumes. The best tasting sprouted nuts and legumes are FRESHLY dried ones because they sprout the quickest and have the lowest amount of natural anti-nutrients.

    • AndreeV
      June 26, 2013

      Ulie So, what is the verdict?  To salt or not to salt

      • Ulie
        June 27, 2013

        Food for thought: Are the gardens of this earth watered with salty water or fresh water?

    • hallecottis
      June 27, 2013

      Ulie here is why salt is so important: salt in soaking water activates the enzymes that neutralize enzyme inhibitors.

  20. Show Appeal Realty
    September 23, 2013

    I have been reading your posts regularly. I need to say that you are doing a fantastic job.

  21. heidip
    October 11, 2013

    Ulie That makes no sense.  Doesn’t apply to human digestion.

  22. heidip
    October 11, 2013

    Ulie The point is reducing enzyme inhibitors and phytic acid.  Sprouting is another topic.

  23. AlisterBlunt
    November 3, 2013

    What about LSA mix? Has that been pre soaked before the sesame, linseed and almond hits the grinder?

  24. Adam
    November 13, 2013

    That’s a lot of sodium, will it taste very salty if you just want to eat the nuts by itself? I am planning to do this, oing to be eating them by itself so should I still use salt? or should I use lemon juice freshky squeezed out of a lemon? Thanks!

    • Halle Cottis
      November 14, 2013

      It does add a slight salty taste but it isn’t overwhelming. I would use the salt and see what you think.

  25. hallecottis
    November 14, 2013

    @AdamIt does add a slight salty taste but it isn’t overwhelming. I would use the salt and see what you think.

  26. ladynataliemarie
    December 1, 2013

    Even the nuts that we buy in containers ready to eat, are we suppose to eat?  Even the nuts in little handy packages bought at sores or vending machine, are these already presoaked?

  27. ladynataliemarie
    December 1, 2013

    This is confusing. No container of nuts I have ever purchased has told the consumer to presoak and this in dangerous then. Why is it this way?    Can you explain further which nuts that are sold are indeed presoaked and where to purchase; and vice versa. Thank you

  28. cindy souza
    December 5, 2013

    What about my favorite…pistachio nuts?

    • Halle Cottis
      December 7, 2013

      Let me look into that. I think most pistachio nuts are roasted already aren’t they?

  29. autsom
    December 6, 2013

    This is good. Thank you,  Linda

  30. Lyle Allen
    December 8, 2013

    Got any outcome research on this?
    Are all nuts created equal? Do they all need soaking?
    What if someone doesn’t have trouble / issues with digesting nuts?

    Sounds fadish to me..

    LMA, Durham NC

  31. Abby
    December 9, 2013

    My oven goes as low as 170 degrees. Will that work, or will I still need to leave the door ajar?

    • Halle Cottis
      December 11, 2013

      150F is recommended.

  32. Coralie
    December 16, 2013

    What is the salt for? Is it necessary to add it?

    • Halle Cottis
      December 17, 2013

      Yes it needs to be added. The salt helps break down the phytic acid.

  33. AdaPia
    January 4, 2014

    Whole Foods now has a large section of SPROUTED nuts, seeds and granolas. Are the sprouted nuts and seeds at Whole Foods already soaked and dehydrated then? Or do I need to do the soaking/drying process on those too?

    Thank you!

    • Halle Cottis
      January 6, 2014

      Good questions and I am not sure what the answer to that question is. I would recommend you call the company who makes them and ask them.

  34. Adam
    January 6, 2014

    Can anyone confirm how long soaked / dehydrated nuts will last if stored in an air tight container in the fridge or freezer?

  35. Nena Knox
    January 7, 2014

    Hi there. I was wondering about peanuts and how long/how much salt to use. And Im assuming that most pre roasted nuts arent soaked and should be avoided? And that,anything sprouted does not further need to be soaked? Thank you!!

  36. Carol
    January 23, 2014

    I am so glad I saw the post on this post on facebook. I never knew about soaking nuts before. I was so surprised at how much better they taste. It may be time consuming, but everything in life is hurry up and wait. Well worth it. Thanks.

    • Halle Cottis
      January 23, 2014

      I agree, they totally taste better!

  37. Dan
    February 24, 2014

    Phytic acid is a big problem – especially for those of us who have taught ourselves to eat healthy! Most grains, and in particular whole grains contain phytic acid too – so ironically all those people who don’t eat any whole grains, wholemeal products, nuts or seeds are probably just fine for iron and zinc etc (although maybe lacking elsewhere)!

    I don’t have a dehydrator, but I’ve just been drying nuts in the sun after soaking (cover with muslin/cheesecloth to keep the bugs off) same as I do sun-dried tomatoes. Just move them to partial sun if it’s a really hot day though.

  38. Mike
    March 16, 2014

    Hi Halle,
    after soaked, how many time I have before they got not edible ?

    • Halle Cottis
      March 19, 2014

      Store them in a cool dry place and they should last quite awhile. You will know if the fats go rancid, the nuts will taste off a bit.

  39. Mike
    March 22, 2014

    So how do i drained them and let them dry properly?

  40. Megan
    April 12, 2014

    Just wondering how salt activates these enzymes? Is it a process that naturally occurs in nature… with the salt water I mean? Thanks.

  41. Nicole
    April 23, 2014

    Great post! I’ve recently gone raw & tried a couple recipes that called for soaked walnuts & got terribly ill. (Vomiting+loose stools). I’m wondering if anyone else has experienced this. I will definitely try soaking+dehydrating to see if that makes a difference. Thanks!!

  42. Joann
    May 5, 2014

    #1: I have soaked my nuts for years now, but I think the nut butter made from these nuts usually tastes bland. I dehydrate them so they are nice and crunchy, but…sometimes the taste is just too bland! ???

    I also read on a blog post from a nutbutter manufacturer, that roasting hazelnuts brings out the oils, (so one will have a nicer end product). I use up my nut butter quickly, so I can’t see that they would go rancid in the fridge for a week., after gently roasting them. Doesn’t heating them remove enzyme inhibitors as well?

    Thank you for your reply!

  43. Casey
    June 4, 2014

    I forgot about the frosting I’m making for a German Chocolate cake, which calls for 2 cups of pecans. I have about 17 hours until the party, so assuming they dry for 12 hours, that’s 4 hours of soaking (and an hour to put the frosting together). In this circumstance I’m guessing a little soaking is better than none at all?

  44. Adey
    June 10, 2014

    I normally blend a cup each of peeled almond, pumpkin seed, pine nuts, pecan, cashew nuts, walnut, chia seed, eggs, almond milk, banana and brown sugar to make muffin without soaking the nuts. I bake it for about 45minutes at 350 degrees. I eat this as lunch as I am trying to lose weight. Is this safe and healthy?

    • Halle Cottis
      June 11, 2014

      It is best to soak the nuts for best digestion. Also, with that many nuts, watch the calorie intake…it might be high. Less is often more when eating nuts.

  45. Adey
    June 10, 2014


  46. Carol Bronson
    July 1, 2014

    I have a water softner that uses salt. Will this be sufficient? First time I soaked nuts I did add salt but after drying they tasted too salty for me.

    • Halle Cottis
      July 7, 2014

      It really isn’t enough. I would add a little more salt into the nuts.

  47. Sharon
    July 16, 2014

    Do you think the pink himilayian salt would be ok to use or does it have to be the sea salt. I haven’t read the book so I wasn’t sure if the reference specifies only certain salts can be used? Thanks

  48. Steve Vrosch
    July 26, 2014

    Hi there Halle, I was just browsing through your site and noticed above that you put the soaking times for all the nuts at 7 hours. With all do respect, that’s impossible because of the different density of the nuts. The one type absorbs the moisture a lot quicker than the other. The link I placed here below is a list of soak times necessary for each type of nut. You can however mix the nuts in one jar as long as you make sure they come out of it at the same time. For instance, I just made a new batch starting with Almonds(12 hrs) I start at 1 o’clock in the afternoon. That means they’re ready at 1am(I’m a chronic insomniac…but that’s another story). To mix with Hazel nuts(8 hrs) I just count back from 1am to 5pm and put them in then. Cashews(2 hrs) are then put in at 11pm. That way you can leave them to dry together at 130-150 degrees over night(on a timer of course) and in the morning you can dig in for your morning juice or smoothy. Nutrients are safe and sound, enzyme inhibitors deactivated and actual nutritional value of each nut at least quadrupled. I’m just saying….grtz from across the pond (the Netherlands) Steve
    Soak time list:

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