Crispy Nuts: Why and How You Should be Soaking Nuts and Seeds

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Crispy Nuts: Why and How You Should be Soaking Nuts and Seeds | Whole New Mom

Today I am going to share with you are recipe for making Delicious Crispy Nuts, which also happens to be an explanation of why and how you should be soaking nuts and seeds.

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 be Soaking 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.

By the way, any of the following links may be affiliate links. If you click on them and make a purchase, I might make a commission. Your support is much appreciated and helps keep this free resource up and running.

For dehydrating, I highly recommend the Excalibur Dehydrator.  You can also find them on Amazon.

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:

How to Use Soaked & Dried Nuts aka “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 :-)?),

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.Crispy Nuts: Why and How You Should be Soaking Nuts and Seeds | Whole New Mom

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

 

Interested in other nutrition-boosting posts?  Try these:

Have you ever soaking nuts and/or seeds?

These comments do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Whole New Mom, LLC.

Comments

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  1. 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?

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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?

  5. 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.

  6. 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?

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

  8. 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……

  9. 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.

  10. 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

  11. Thanks, Adrieene

    While they are not organic, I bought them from a health food coop so I hope they aren’t laden with chemicals. Regardless, I understand what you have said. I was just wondering about the preparation of them into P Butter and whether or not soaking them would help.

  12. I just bought a BUNCH of peanuts for butter. They are already dried. Do I soak them and dry them again or did I do the wrong thing by buying 25# of DR peanuts?? I sure don’t want to waste them! Thanks for your thoughts!

    • They’re dry roasted? Typically that means they have chemicals on them, but not always. They’re not raw anymore so that aspect of your options to keep the health benefits of eating raw is gone, but if they aren’t laden w/ chemicals and stuff they aren’t totally junk. That being said, there are some who saw our roasting technique is what is causing so many peanut allergies. I don’t know if that’s the case or not.

  13. As I am just learning about “pasteurization” of almonds and do not have any truly raw almonds, does the soaking process help reduce any residues of chemicals used in the pasteurization process? As I begin the soaking process, I replace the water several times during the first 12 hours to remove whatever comes out of the skins. Hoping this may help.

  14. Love this!

    2 things:

    1. Store bought nut and grain milks all have a ton of additives in them and contain much less of the actual NUTS than this fresh recipe does. The additive CARAGEENAN (thickener) found in every packaged nut milk is toxic and should never be consumed. Google it! Even if it cost a little more to make fresh almond milk, it’s still WAY better than packaged “so called” nut milks, which are quite unhealthy, given all the additives. Really, how much ALMOND is really in packaged almond milk??

    2. All the raw almonds you are buying are not truly raw. In fact, they wont even sprout. Try sprouting your almonds! This means they are dead and void of enzymes and nutrients. They have been pasteurized (thanks to the stupid California laws passed a few years back). However, you can google and find an almond grower in california that has a special low heat pasteurization process that guarantees their almonds will still sprout. They are not cheap, but what’s the point of consuming dead almonds? Of course any roasted nuts are dead too which is why they shouldnt be eaten much either.

    • Jeff, if you are speaking to the readers, you are right, but I do have a source for truly raw almonds. Actually, 2 of them. I have a whole post on the almond issue and almond pasteurization. :). I have found that it is hard to sprout any almond but my steam pasteurized ones seem to have the same soaking result as the raw and I am not sure what to make of that. I have heard from my local health food store that the freeze pasteurized ones still sprout as well so that is really interesting. How can one tell if the almonds still sprout? After doing quite a bit of research it seemed many folks can’t get the real “tail” on the almonds and I couldn’t either. Even using the raw almonds. Thanks!

  15. I just had to post that because of coming across your blog a year ago, I realized the rationale of soaking/dehydrating nuts – all thanks to you! And you are so RIGHT! They taste so much better this way that I can’t eat nuts any other way now! Even my little shih-tzu’s come running every time they hear the mason jar rattle from getting into the almonds LOL I make numerous batches of Elana’s Protein Bars with these dehydrated nuts and is it ever GOOD! thanks so much for all your hard work in bringing such good info and recipes to us!

  16. ooooooooooooh that is what I was HOPPING you were saying 🙂

    Let us all know if you figure it out. I am going to try as well and will report back.

  17. You said peanut buttery tasting sun butter soon. Is there a way to make the sun butter taste more like peanut butter?

    Thanks

  18. Yes for sure I will contact you when I want to get a dehydrator. I am been drooling over the ones that you can get for us 🙂

    They are absolutely the king of the dehydrators, not that I spent upwards of 10+ hours researching them. No I wouldn’t do a silly thing like that 😉 lol

  19. WHAT? WHAT?? WHAT????

    HOW is that possible??? Adrienne replied is WAY under 10 mins.

    Do you have a computer implanted in your brain for faster response time 🙂

    THANK YOU so VERY much for the fast reply!

    Ok I am off to soak some sun flower seeds 🙂

  20. Another perfectly spelled out and step by step instructional recipe!

    It REALLY is amazing how clear and precise Adrienne makes writes these out for us. THANK YOU!

    Ok I don’t have a dehydrator but want to make some sunflower seed butter after soaking and drying them.

    I did one batch without soaking and drying and it was very good. But I want to try the soaking and drying.

    I don’t have a dehydrator and don’t see one in my near future. I would like to use my oven BUT it only goes down to 175 F.

    Do people think that is too hot or is it possible it would still work?

    Thank you in advance.

    • Hi Mike. Again, you are waaay too kind and I suspect setting the bar up too high for my future posts :-). You can do 175 you just won’t have raw nuts anymore. So you’ll lose some nutritional value. Whenever you do decide to take the plunge on the dehydrator I promise I will get you the best deal. :).