Soaking: Why? Where? How?

Why do we soak nuts and seeds?

  • Soaking makes your nuts and seeds cleaner and easier to digest
  • The skin of the nuts contains enzyme inhibitors that allow them to stay dormant until they are soaked, sprouted and ready to grow. Nature preserves the life force in this way so that they can reproduce. By soaking, the enzyme inhibitors are removed, therefore softer and easier to digest.
  • Soaking chart will give you the amount of time required to soak your seeds and needs. Not all nuts have enzyme inhibitors, therefore soaking only softens them (e.g. brazil nuts).
  • Soaking process is done in a way: soak-drain-rinse cycle

General Guidelines: 

  • The denser (harder) the nut, the longer you will need to soak them. Harder nuts are almond, hazelnuts, and pistachios.
  • Nuts with more oils such as brazil nuts, pecans, and walnuts, become saturated more easily.
  • Cashews, macadamia nuts and pine nuts, don't have the problematic inner skins and require less soaking time (1-2 hours). However, it is fine to soak all of these overnight if it is more convenient.
  • Keep in mind, the longer nuts soak the more waterlogged they become and you may require less water in your recipe.
  • Often, one or two nuts will rise to the top. It's a good idea to discard these floaters as it usually means they have gone rancid.

Storage

  • It is best to store your nuts and seeds in airtight containers in the refrigerator.
  • Nuts can actually go rancid if exposed to too much light and if they are left sitting around too long.
  • As for seeds, keep them on shelves or in cupboards. While they do look nice in glass or clear storage jars, it's best to keep them away from light whenever possible. Hemp seeds are the exception--they are best kept in the refrigerator.