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How To Soak Nuts | WholeLifestyleNutrition.com.001

 Is It Necessary To Soak Nuts?

 

Many of us consume nuts for their healthy fats and their good source of  protein.  They make a great quick snack that can easily be taken with you, making it an ideal snack.  But many of us do not know how to properly prepare nuts so that we can better digest them.  Is it necessary to soak nuts?  The answer to that question is absolutely!

Nuts have phytic acid.  Phytic acid is also found in grains and legumes.  Just as with grains and legumes, soaking nuts is essential for proper digestions.  When eating nuts that haven’t been soaked, the phytic acid binds to minerals in the gastrointestinal tract and can not be absorbed in the intestine and to many bound minerals can lead to mineral deficiencies.  By soaking, you are breaking down the phytic acid so it can be absorbed properly.  

Nuts also have high amounts of enzymes inhibitors.  This is another reason why un soaked nuts are hard to digest.  Soaking nuts neutralizes the enzymes allowing for proper digestion.  

 

Signs That You Aren’t Digesting Nuts

 

Have you ever had a heavy feeling in your lower stomach after eating to many nuts that were not soaked?  

Have you noticed the next day that the nuts are in your stool?  These are a few signs that the nuts were not properly digested.  

It isn’t hard to soak and dry your nuts.  It actually only takes a few minutes of hands on work to accomplish this task.  Time is what you need to allow the nuts to soak and dry.  

How To Soak Nuts

 

I have learned this method of drying and soaking from the research of Sally Fallon and her great book ~ Nourishing Traditions: The book that Challenges Politically Correct Nutrition and the Diet Dictocrats If you do not have a copy of her cookbook it is a great resource of information and is an essential cookbook for traditional cooking.

So the basic method of soaking nuts is pretty much the same with some slight variations.  Basically you soak the nuts in salt water (salt is necessary to help neutralize the enzymes) and then you dry them.  

Be sure to fully dry your nuts or they could become moldy.  You do not want to dry your nuts any higher than 150°F.  You can use a Nesco American Harvest Snackmaster Encore Dehydrator or an oven to dehydrate your nuts.

A lot of the newer ovens do not go below 200ºF.  You can most likely change the default setting of 200°F. Check your owners manual to learn how for your make and model.  You can also set your oven to the lowest temperature and leave it slightly a-jarred.  Use an internal thermometer to reach the desired temperature.

One last thing I want to note.  Soaking the nuts not only helps with digestion but it enhances the flavor tremendously!  They are slightly crispy, have a nice texture, and taste amazing.  That alone encourages me to soak my nuts!  If you haven’t tired to soak your nuts, give this method a try.  I think you will be pleasantly surprised how easy and delicious soaked nuts are!

Recipes

 

Almonds

Soak overnight or a minimum of 7 hours

Dehydrate for 12-24 hours or until crisp

 

Macadamia Nuts

Soak overnight or a minimum of 7 hours

Dehydrate for 12-24 hours or until crisp (do not use temperature above 150°F)

 

Cashews

Soak overnight or a minimum of 7 hours

Dehydrate for 12-24 hours or until crisp (do not use temperature above 150°F)

 

Pecans & Walnuts

Soak overnight or a minimum of 7 hours

Dehydrate for 12-24 hours or until crisp (do not use temperature above 150°F)

 

Pine Nuts & Hazelnuts

Soak overnight or a minimum of 7 hours

Dehydrate for 12-24 hours or until crisp (do not use temperature above 150°F)

 

Pumpkin seeds

Soak overnight or a minimum of 7 hours

Dehydrate for 12 hours or overnight  (do not use temperature above 150°F) 

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Join the Conversation

102 thoughts on “Is Soaking Nuts Necessary & How To Properly Soak Your Organic Raw Nuts!”

  1. Sherri Skogland Goedker says:

    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 says:

    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 says:

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

  5. Inspired Economies says:

    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?

    1. hallecottis says:

      @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 says:

    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 says:

    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 says:

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

    1. hallecottis says:

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

      1. Chef Art says:

        @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?

        1. hallecottis says:

          @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 says:

    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 says:

    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 says:

    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 says:

    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 :)

    1. hallecottis says:

      @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.

      1. sutejsharma says:

        @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 !

        1. hallecottis says:

          @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 says:

    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.

    1. KimberlyGill says:

      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 says:

    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 says:

    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?

    1. SJH1987 says:

      @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 says:

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

  17. Reita says:

    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 says:

    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 says:

    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.

    1. AndreeV says:

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

      1. Ulie says:

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

    2. hallecottis says:

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

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

  21. heidip says:

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

  22. heidip says:

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

  23. AlisterBlunt says:

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

  24. Adam says:

    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!

    1. Halle Cottis says:

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

  25. hallecottis says:

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

  26. ladynataliemarie says:

    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 says:

    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 says:

    What about my favorite…pistachio nuts?

    1. Halle Cottis says:

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

  29. autsom says:

    This is good. Thank you,  Linda

  30. Lyle Allen says:

    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 says:

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

    1. Halle Cottis says:

      150F is recommended.

  32. Coralie says:

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

    1. Halle Cottis says:

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

  33. AdaPia says:

    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!

    1. Halle Cottis says:

      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 says:

    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 says:

    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 says:

    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.

    1. Halle Cottis says:

      I agree, they totally taste better!

  37. Dan says:

    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 says:

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

    1. Halle Cottis says:

      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 says:

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

  40. Megan says:

    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 says:

    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 says:

    #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 says:

    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 says:

    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?

    1. Halle Cottis says:

      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 says:

    Thanks.

  46. Carol Bronson says:

    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.

    1. Halle Cottis says:

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

  47. Sharon says:

    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 says:

    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:
    http://www.sixstepstobetterhealth.com/seeds.html

  49. Julie Becker says:

    Just Raw nuts :)

  50. Tash says:

    Hi. I just soaked and dried my almonds and realise I totally forgot the salt. Would I have lost any benefit from the soaking having missed the salt? What would you do with these nuts? Use as is or re do them? Thanks

    1. Halle Cottis says:

      I’d use as is and on the next batch use the salt.

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