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
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.
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.
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.
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
*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.
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.
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.
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