How and Why to Soak and Dehydrate Nuts and Seeds | How to Make Crispy Nuts

Learn how to make "Crispy Nuts" - How and Why to Soak Nuts and Seeds to make them more nutritious plus they taste way better too!

Have you:

– heard about soaking nuts and seeds, but you don’t why you should do it? or

– do you know it is important but think that you just can’t fit it into your schedule? or

– have you heard about Crispy Nuts, but don’t know what they are?

Well, I am here to clear all of that up.

How and Why You Should Soak Nuts and Seeds 

1.  It helps with digestibility

2.  It’s easier and takes less time than you think

3.  They just plain taste better this way!

Nuts and seeds are a wonderful addition to your diet.  They have a bounty of healthy fats, minerals, protein and vitamins.  However, they can also be a bit rough on your stomach.  That’s because they contain phytic acid and enzyme inhibitors that prevent them from being digested well and that can be detrimental to your health.

The answer to this problem is simple: soak your nuts and seeds

When seeds and nuts are planted in the ground, the warmth and moisture in the soil around them breaks down their skins so that they can germinate and grow into plants.  Likewise, when we soak our nuts and seeds, we break down the encasing on these great sources of energy and make the nutrients more available to us.

I know.  You’re already busy and this sounds like a lot of extra work.

But it’s really not.

Most of the time spent soaking and dehydrating is hands-off time.  You just put the seeds or nuts in a bowl, transfer them to the dehydrator (or oven) and then take them out when dry.

For dehydrating, I highly recommend the Excalibur Dehydrator.

If you don’t have a dehydrator, however, you can start dehydrating with your oven.  During the winter months, you’ll welcome the added warmth, but in the summer, you’ll wish you had the dehydrator :-)!

So…here is how to do it:

You’ll find that your nuts and seeds are much tastier and lighter than before.  You will never go back again!

Notes and Tips:

  • Cashews have a somewhat toxic coating on them between the nut and the shell.  According to most resources that I researched, this coating is removed in processing.  (I did find one source saying nothing about it all being removed).  Additionally, they are prone to mold and so are not the greatest choice for those sensitive to mold.So I recommend only eating them in moderation or not at all.  They also get slimy when soaked longer than 6 hours so if you choose to soak to improve their digestibility, keep an eye on the clock :-).
  • Temperature control is one way in which the dehydrator is a much better option than the oven.  Typically the lowest temperature for an oven is high enough to destroy the enzymes in the nuts/seeds, therefore diminishing their healthful qualities.  However, I still think the oven is the best place for someone new to soaking and drying to start.
  • There is debate about what temperature to dehydrate at in order to preserve the enzymes in your food.  For now I am comfortable with 125.  I am not an ardent raw foodist, and after researching this I found that the temperature of the food in the dehydrator is significantly below the temperature of the air around it.  Thus, if the setting of the dehydrator is 125, your food temperature is almost certainly in the raw food range–115 or below.

How to Use Soaked & Dried “Crispy Nuts”

1.  Eat them plain – yum!

2.  Make Homemade Nut or Seed Butter

3.  Make Nut or Seed Milk – Here’s the Easiest Almond Milk Ever!

4.  And here’s a variation – yummy Chocolate / Carob Nuts.

As I’ve said before, try not to be “all-or-nothing” in your thinking about soaking, drying, and the raw food issues.  My family loves the flavor of the dehydrated nuts, but we don’t like hazelnuts (filberts) unless they are roasted.  So we roast them after soaking them.  They are still lighter and tastier than without soaking, but they’ve lost some of their nutrition.  We also sometimes eat unsoaked nuts and seeds when we’re served them, but we sure do notice right away what a difference there is.

The point here is to make steps towards wholeness and to do what you can at the pace that you can handle.

If you’re interested in finding out more about an Excalibur Dehydrator (in my mind this is the one to buy if you are serious about dehydrating – and who wouldn’t be :-)?), I would be happy to help with a great deal and shipping right to your door!  All of the details are on my Best Excalibur Deal.  Your purchase will also help keep this blog up and running!

Interested in other nutrition boosting posts?  How about:

Have you ever soaked your nuts and/or seeds?

This post contains affiliate links.  Please read my disclaimer here.

Shared at Kitchen Tip Tuesdays.

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  1. Stephanie says:

    Hi there thanks for your post! Do you know if it is ok to use an acidic medium, such as lemon juice, to soak the nuts in, instead of salt? I know you have to use an acidic medium for soaking grains, but I’m not sure if the same can apply to nuts and seeds? Thanks, Steph

  2. Stephanie says:

    I only ask because I have just soaked a whole lots of nuts and seeds but I didn’t use salt, I used lemon juice instead. I hope it hasn’t been a waste of my time and money soaking without the salt! :-)

    • The info I have read has adding acid medium (sometimes) to grains, but salt to nuts and seeds. The grains have phytates but the nuts and seeds have enzyme inhibitors.

  3. I am so impressed with your blog and all that you share and the wealth of knowledge that you have….as i go from topic to topic…..
    anyway do you think that only excalibur can be used….i bought a dehydrator two years back, not the excalibur, and i just can’t afford another one at the moment….
    i know that all raw food people recommend excalibur too………
    notice i bought it but never used it…
    and adding salt to soaking seeds and nuts is a new piece of info for me……thank-you ever so much……

  4. Nicolas says:

    Must a nut be whole to sprout or do nut pieces work as well?

  5. Hi Adrianne,
    I soak and sprout (the ones that can be), then dehydrate all my nuts because I cannot tolerate them otherwise. I did a lot of research before buying the dehydrator and so I was wondering what you know about which kind of nuts can be sprouted and which can’t. From my research, macademia nuts, for instance, do not need to be soaked. Many other nuts fall under the same category. Also, the raw foodies dehydrate all nuts under 105F and that works for me, I also dehydrate them for 24 hrs. They come out deliciously crispy and taste way better than non soaked/sprouted nuts. Any thoughts?

  6. Kimberly says:

    I’ve been soaking and drying nuts for many years, but have never splurged on a dehydrator. When we remodeled our kitchen 2 years ago, I did make sure the oven I purchased had a dehydration function for this very reason. But I’ve found that it takes SO long to get the nuts crispy that I end up bumping the temperature above 125 so they’re done in less than 24 hours – defeating the purpose of having the dehydrate function. Can you tell me how long it takes in your Excalibur to dry almonds? It may make it worth the expense to me! I usually do about 2 lbs. of almonds at a time because, with 6 kids, we go through them quickly! How much would the Excalibur hold? Thank you for your time, I will be sure to order through you if I purchase.

    • The almonds can take a long time. I tend to set the temp on 125 b/c the food temp is lower than the air temp and that is what the book recommended. That being said, the circulating air helps w/ the drying so for sure your almonds, etc. will dry faster in the dehydrator. I can easily get 35 cups of nut in my Excalibur and the other day I got more than that of macadamias.

  7. I’m just starting to learn about this (plus I’m sleep deprived…), so please bear with me. :-)
    You start out with RAW nuts, not roasted ones, right?

  8. Tia Stevens says:

    Probably a silly question, but do you do this process to all store bought nuts?

    • Not silly at all–I do this to raw nuts. There really isn’t a reason to do it to roasted nuts from the store since that already inhibits some or all of the enzyme inhibitors…but this way is more beneficial to your health.

  9. On a call to Excalibur, I was told their chef starts dehydrating nuts at a higher temp (I start at 145) for a few hours and then turns the temperature to 105.

  10. I’ve been looking for info on this, thanks!
    question: how/where/how long can you store nuts after they’re soaked? I store my raw ones in the freezer, but what changes once they’re soaked/roasted?

  11. How do I dehydrate sunflower seeds and not have them fall through the mesh of the excaliber tray? Ive been using parchment paper on top of the mesh but wondered what other options there were. Thanks.

  12. Well hello there and a big fat thanks for your time & information :)
    I do not have a dehydrator yet, one day I will be contacting you to get that Excalibar however right now, don’t ask me why because I don’t know that answer Ha ha ha but I have a Mac daddy Oven evidently because it goes to a very low temperature of 100*
    So I soaked the Brazil nuts overnight then put them in the oven on 125* at around 10am today…. I had to leave the house at that time and so I left the oven door a little open… ?question? Am I supposed to close Oven door while the nuts are in there dehydrating or leave the door open a bit?? Is it safe for me to leave Oven on when I am not home or when I sleep through the night….. I read to dehydrate them for 18hrs that would end up being 5am, I have to be up at 5:30 to get ready to go so good timing I suppose;) but just wondering if people just leave the Oven on while they are not home or sleeping? :) :) :) :)

    • Hi there. I could not recommend leaving an oven on while sleeping or away from home. I am sure people do it but I don’t think it’s recommended for safety reasons. Sorry :).