Complete Guide to Soaking Nuts & Seeds

soaked walnuts, almonds, pumpkin seeds, and hazelnuts

Soaking nuts and seeds is a relatively simple process that everyone can benefit from.  Not only are soaked nuts and seeds more nutritious and easier to digest, they also taste incredible!

In this “guide to soaking nuts and seeds” we will outline all of the steps required to successfully soak your first batch.

The Benefits of Soaking

Nuts and seeds contain phytic acid and enzyme inhibitors that make them very difficult to digest for some people.  Even if you don’t feel like you have trouble digesting nuts, these acids and enzyme inhibitors decrease the body’s ability to absorb many of the beneficial nutrients they contain.

Soaking reduces the amount of acids and enzyme inhibitors the nuts and seeds contain which makes them more nutritious and much easier on the stomach.  Soaking will truly allow you to get the most out of nuts and seeds, and on top of that, they taste exceptional!

What you Need

  • A strainer or colander
  • 1 or more large bowls
  • Filtered water
  • Sea salt
  • The nuts or seeds of your choice (preferably raw, organic, and unpasturized)
  • Food dehydrator or oven

The Process

Step 1:  Using a strainer or colander, rinse under tap water.  Be sure to mix around with your hands so that all nuts or seeds get plenty of water on them.

Rinsing nuts under tap water
Make sure all nuts are thoroughly rinsed.

Step 2:  Add nuts / seeds to empty bowl and fill with filtered water.  It’s important to use filtered water so that the nuts / seeds don’t absorb chlorine, fluoride, or other chemicals that might be found in the tap water.

Adding water to soak nuts
Make sure all nuts and seeds are fully submerged in water.

Step 3:  Now it’s time to begin the actual soaking process.  Use the chart below to determine the correct soaking time, which will depend on the nut or seed of your choice.

Water added to nuts
Almonds, hazelnuts, pumpkin seeds, and walnuts ready to soak overnight.

How Long to Soak?

Below is a full list of all nuts and seeds, and and approximately how many hours each should be soaked for.  If soaking cashews, do not exceed 6 hours are they may become slimy.

Important:  Once soaked you’ll want to thoroughly dry the nuts or seeds using a food dehydrator or oven unless you plan on using them within a few days.  If moisture remains on them, mold will grow quite quickly.

Almonds:  7-12 hours

Brazil nuts:  7-12 hoursAdding nuts to bowl

*Cashews:  6 hours – Do not over soak!

Hazel nuts:  7-9 hours

Macadamia nuts:  No soaking required

Pecans:  7-8 hours

Pine nuts: No soaking required

Pumpkin seeds:  7-10 hours

Sunflower seeds: 7-12 hours

Walnuts:  7-9 hours

Step 4:  After approximately 3 hours, drain water from bowl and rinse nuts or seeds under tap water.  Place nuts back in bowl and fill with fresh filtered water, adding about 1 tsp of salt for every 1 cup of nuts.  The salt helps break down enzyme inhibitors.

Rinsing nuts and adding fresh water
Re-rinse and add fresh water to bowl after a few hours.

Step 5:  Dry using a food dehydrator or oven for approximately 12-18 hours, or until crisp.  Low heat is the key here, and it’s important to make sure the heat does not exceed 150°F.  At this point there should be absolutely no moisture present in any of the nuts or seeds.

*Important:  If using an oven, the door may need to be propped open in order to ensure that the temperature does not exceed 150°F.

Nuts on racks in food dehydrator
Although an oven can be used, a food dehydrator simplifies the process.

Store in an air tight container in the fridge to maximize freshness.  As long as they have been thoroughly dried, they will remain fresh for many months.

Have any questions?  Did you find this helpful?  Please let us know by leaving a comment below!

2 thoughts on “Complete Guide to Soaking Nuts & Seeds

  1. Kelly Callaghan says:

    Hi there, I’m in need of your guidance and your help. Please! I am new to being vegan and an impassioned foodie that loves creams and cheeses (hate factory farming and animal torture) so I am trying to learn to be a great vegan cook. I live on a small island so acquiring the right ingredients can be very costly. I accidentally, overlooked 4 cups of raw cashews. I got busy living life and they were in the fridge soaking for a full week. They turned into some disgusting sort of gel, slime glob-I then put it in a bag and froze it. Now I have time to work with it. I do not want to trash this big glob of pricey goo, but if I must…any suggestions and input would be greatly appreciated. Thank You, Thank you! Kelly

    • Adam says:

      Hi Kelly,

      As long as they haven’t gone mouldy, you could blend them up and make some cashew milk with them. You will need a high powered blender though like a Vitamix or Blendtec.



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