Nuts or seeds can be a great nutrient-dense snack or addition to any meal. But like legumes and grains, they can also contain substances that can interfere with your body’s ability to absorb nutrients.
Just as the process of sprouting, soaking or fermenting grains reduces its anti-nutrient content and makes them more beneficial to the body. The simple process of soaking nuts also improve their nutrition.
Is It Necessary to Soak Nuts?
The answer is YES! Why?
Nuts contain phytic acid. Phytic acid is also found in legumes and grains. Just like with legumes and grains, soaking nuts is important for proper digestions.
When you consume nuts that have not been soaked, the phytic acid binds to the minerals in the gastrointestinal tract and cannot be absorbed in the intestine. To many bound minerals can lead to mineral deficiencies. Through soaking, you are breaking down the phytic acid so it can be properly absorb.
Also, nuts contain huge amount of enzymes inhibitors. This is why un-soaked nuts are hard to digest. Soaking nuts help neutralize the enzymes allowing for proper digestion.
While some traditional cultures naturally soaked or sprouted seeds, this step is hardly taken with large scale production since it is time consuming. But is is, simple and inexpensive to do at home and can increase the nutrient content of the seeds and nuts you consume.
How to Soak Nuts:
4 cups of raw, unsalted, organic nuts/seeds
1-2 tablespoons unrefined salt
1. Place 4 cups of raw, unsalted, organic nuts or seeds into a medium sized bowl.
2. Cover with filtered water, so that nuts are submerged.
3. Add 1 to 2 tablespoons unrefined salt.
4. Place with a cover on the counter, for about 7 hours, or overnight.
5. Rinse the nuts to remove salt residue.
6. Spread out in single layer on a rack to dehydrate.
7. Dry at low temperature (generally no higher than 150°F, although there are exceptions) using a dehydrator or oven for 12-24 hours or until the nuts are slightly crispy.
Soaking Time for Nuts:
Below are the number of hours nuts must be soaked as per curejoy website:
Garbanzo beans: 12-48 hrs
Almonds : 12 hrs
Alfalfa seeds : 12 hrs
Walnuts : 8 hrs
Pecans : 8 hrs
Broccoli seeds: 8 hrs
Pine nuts : 8 hrs
Hazelnuts : 8 hrs
Pumpkin seeds : 7 hrs
Cashewnuts : 6 hrs
Flax seeds : 6 hrs
Macadamia : 4 hrs
If you are going to soak nuts for more than 8 hours, it is advisable that you re-wash them. You can also add fresh water for soaking every 8 hours.