As you know by now, whether you are a new or old-timer to my world, I am all for the sweet, little, BIG game changers. We spend so much time worrying about all the little itty bitty details of getting healthier that have little impact on the big picture (especially as that kind of worry negates any benefit of actually fulfilling on the details), that we forget about the seemingly simple things that actually do the awesome work for us. That’s where soaking nuts comes in.
If you have UnDiet and have take then time to collect all the downloads from the UnDiet Toolbox, then you likely saw various preparation directions for your grains, beans and also nuts and seeds. All of these protein-powered, plant-based foods like to be soaked a little.
I know, it’s hard to talk about soaking nuts without giggling like a 12 year-old boy. You know I love My Nut Sack jokes as much as the next 12 year old. No matter – here we go.
Why do I like my nuts soaked?
Our sweet Mother Earth takes care of her children and nuts, grains and seeds are part of that. Their best defense from predators – birds, bugs, and people – is to contain nutritional inhibitors and other toxic-like substances to keep them from being eaten up before the conditions are perfect for them to germinate and proliferate. Kind of like how we need the right person to come along, with the right effort towards setting the mood lighting, putting on the right tunage and making us just the right meal so we’ll be ready and set to um…germinate.
When grains, nuts or seeds get wet, the sprouting process begins, those inhibitors are washed away and new life is ready to take root.
When it comes to us, those nutritional inhibitors that can challenge our own digestion can be minimized or eliminated by soaking and rinsing them. These inhibitors and toxic substances often include:
- enzyme inhibitors – affect digestion
- phytates (phytic acid) – affect digestion and mineral absorption
- polyphenols (tannins) – affect absorption of nutrients
- goitrogens – affect thyroid function and metabolism
The nutritional benefits of soaking nuts
- Encourage production of healthful bacteria to support good digestion and immune health.
- Increase bio-availability (what your body can absorb) of vitamins, especially the B vitamins needed to convert glucose from our food into ATP, the body’s currency of energy.
- Breakdown some proteins to make digestion easier and protein more absorbable.
- Increase bio-availability of minerals.
How long do nuts soak for?
7-24 hours is ideal, rinsing the nuts, grains or seeds under fresh water every eight hours or so to prevent mold. Smaller seeds, like sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds and sesame seeds for example, will need less time.
How do I eat my soaked nuts?
There are several ways to enjoy your soaked nuts. Here are some of my favourite:
- Add to oatmeal
- Use to make your own nut milks
- Toss into smoothies
- Toss with sea salt and dry out in the oven at 150 for about 2-3 hours, stirring occasionally
- Toss with sea salt and/or seasoning of choice and dehydrate for 12-18 hours on low to maintain raw goodness
- Continue the sprouting process
How do my soaked nuts taste?
The soaking process, as it begins to break things down in the nuts, lends to a slightly sweeter taste. I find that once I either low temperature toast or dehydrate, the nuts are more nutty tasting – more richer in flavour and more delicious. I also find myself to be more satiated by eating less, likely because the nutrients in them are more available to my body.
How many times did I use the phrase “My Soaked Nuts”?
8 responses to “Why I Soak My Nuts – Health Benefits and How To”
Hi, me of the questions again! What I don’t quite understand about the nut soaking is how you keep all your nuts ‘ready’ (soaked) for use every day in cakes, granolas, salads etc. Do you soak then and then dry / dehydrate them and put them in jars? Are the jars in the fridge picture in your book soaked already?
You can drain them after soaking and keep them in the fridge – the more you do your meal prep at the beginning of the week, the more organized you’ll be to know which nuts & seeds you need :)
Thank you, Meghan. This is the best explanation I’ve read yet about why to soak nuts and seeds. I’ve been doing it occasionally for several months now without really understanding the benefits (“less phyto-toxins” didn’t quite resonate). You’ve convinced me!
is it necessary to soak a soft nut like Macadamia and for how long?
Do you recommend raw nuts or sprouted, or organic? I am confused about this – whether or not I need to purchase a ‘best’ nut – or if any nut will do. You can purchase huge bags of nuts at Costco for a good price so I am hoping I can still use those. Please advise. Thank you.
I would highly recommend buying the best nuts your budget affords. The fat soluble toxins from pesticides etc. used in conventional farming hangs out with the fats becomes readily transferrable to us. I always recommend the best quality on all fat-rich foods and oils.
I’ve recently started soaking my nuts in sea-salted water overnight, draining, and then roasting on the lowest oven setting (170) the whole day. Oh my gosh they are delicious! I prepare about 3 to 4 cups at a time since the process is so labour intensive, and then I store the prepared nuts in a mason jar in the fridge.
Wonderful information, thank you