The titles of my books, Soak Your Nuts: Cleansing with Karyn and Karyn’s Conscious Comfort Foods, are a reference to a practice I think everyone should master. I am often asked at my Juice Bar why we soak our nuts before making our nut milks.
Nuts contain natural compounds that prevent them from sprouting prematurely. Soaking breaks down these compounds and begins the sprouting process, which I believe makes nuts easier to digest. An added bonus is that it may increase the absorption of their nutrients. I feel satisfied more quickly and am likely to eat fewer nuts if I’ve soaked them first. This applies to seeds, grains, and legumes as well.
I always have several jars of soaked nuts in my refrigerator ready for a quick snack or to use in a recipe. Nuts can be dried at room temperature or in a dehydrator to return them to their pre-soaked crunchiness.
Soak nuts in a bowl in enough water to cover and follow recipe instructions. If you have time, soak them overnight, or use this general guide.
Nut or Seed Soak Time
Almonds 8 hours or overnight
Brazil Nuts 1 -2 hours
Cashews 1 -2 hours
Pecans 2 -4 hours
Sesame Seeds 30 minutes
Sunflower Seeds 30 minutes
Walnuts 2 -4 hours