Your whole food, plant-based life.

Raw Food: Soaking Nuts and Seeds

AlmondsWhether you are eating a raw food diet, or simply incorporating more raw foods into your diet, most likely you are eating more nuts and seeds. In raw food cooking, nuts and seeds are a versatile food source. They can be used to make substitutions for many dairy products such as milk, sour cream, cream cheese,  and cheese. Nuts can be made into healthy, tasty sauces and  added to recipes for texture and flavor. If you eliminate animal products, nuts can provide protein and omega 3’s, the “good” fats. They are also a great source of fiber, antioxidents, photonutrients, and plant sterols. Eating 1.5 ounces of nuts daily can help reduce heart disease.

As we move into the cold weather months, heartier food may be desired. Nuts and seeds help fulfill this need. Nuts and seeds can be a great addition to your diet but there are a few things that you should keep in mind when using them to get the most possible nutrients for your body.


One of the questions that often comes up is whether you should soak or not. Personally, I soak my nuts. It takes a little extra work but the benefits are great.

As soon as I buy a bag of nuts or seeds, I drop them in a glass bowl with enough water to cover them by an inch (some nuts will require more water) and let them sit overnight. In the summer, I put them in the fridge. In the winter, my house is as cold so I cover them and leave them on the counter out of Skyler’s reach. After 12 hours, I give them a good rinse and they go in the dehydrator at a low temp to dry. I store them in glass containers in the refrigerator. Why do I do this?

Nuts and seeds have enzyme inhibitors such as phytic acid, that can put a strain on your digestive system. The reason these enzyme inhibitors are there in the first place is to make sure the nuts and seeds don’t prematurely sprout. Makes sense. They need to be in the right environment for their life giving properties to be activated. The plus for you? Soaking not only releases the enzyme inhibitors, it starts the germination process which releases the good enzymes and nutrients! If you soak your nuts, they are much easier to digest and their nutrients are easier to assimilate. With a little advanced effort, you can unlock the all of the wonderful gifts nuts an seeds have to offer.

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  1. laura wrote on May 2, 2010

    is it just me, or do they not taste as good once they have been soaked? i am wondering if you have any ideas for flavoring? i guess i could sprinkle them with some curry or braggs before sticking them in the oven/ dehydrator?

  2. Fredrik wrote on April 27, 2010

    Do i really have to dry them or can i just eat all of them after soaked for like 9 hours (almonds and hazelnuts)

    • Susan wrote on May 4, 2010

      Fredrik: You can eat them right away but if you are going to store them for any time, you need to dry them or they could get moldy.

  3. kiley wrote on April 24, 2010

    how long do your nuts last in the fridge after you soaked and dehydrated them?

    • Susan wrote on April 24, 2010

      Kiley…as long as you make sure they are completely dry, they last a long time.

  4. bianca wrote on April 15, 2010

    hi does soaking the almonds after a few days and changing the water and then finaly drying them out reduce the fat level in them?

    • Susan wrote on April 15, 2010

      I have heard that it does but honestly, I haven’t been able to find any scientific studies to back it up. It does make them easier to digest. Also, I would caution soaking for days as I have had them go bad even when I am changing the water.

  5. Jessie R wrote on April 7, 2010

    How long and at what temperature do you dehydrate your nuts after soaking?

    After drying your nuts and using it for a dish that calls for soaked nuts.. how long do you re-soak them before using them in your receipes?

    Jessie :-)

  6. Jeffrey wrote on March 26, 2010

    I soaked almonds and spreaded them out on a towel to dry (don’t have a dehydrator) for about 1-1/2 days, they were still moist and ate some. The flavor was not as good as before soaking. Will dehydrating or thoughly drying them retain the original flavor the almond had before soaking?

    • Susan wrote on March 26, 2010

      Honestly, I wouldn’t leave them to air dry. I think you are taking a pretty big chance at developing bacteria. I would at least try the oven trick…although the heat might get too high.

  7. Chris wrote on March 3, 2010

    Is it still necessary to soak nuts that have already been pasteurized? I have yet to find a raw almond retailer in my area and ordering offline is out of my budget.

    • Susan wrote on March 3, 2010

      I would definitely still soak them. There are different ways to pasteurize nuts and I don’t think that you can be guaranteed that the enzyme inhibitors have been released.

  8. Isle Dance wrote on October 27, 2009

    I love this. SO much. Thank you.

  9. myrecessionkitchen wrote on October 27, 2009

    I soak/sprout/dehydrate almonds all time. It also reduces their fat content as well, we’ve had them tested. One thing you didn’t mention is that if you want to soak and sprout almonds you need to buy them direct from a farmer before they’re pasteurized. All of the almonds you buy in a store are pasteurized and will not sprout.

  10. Eating Raw Foods Info wrote on October 26, 2009

    I used to soak the nuts, but haven’t in a while. I don’t have a dehydrator, so I used to soak them and eat them after they had dried. I like the taste much better without soaking them, but with a dehydrator, you probably solve that problem.

    I have also heard it’s better for your digestion to do this. Thanks for the tip.

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