Raw Nuts: How to Soak & Why?

Why Soak Raw Nuts?

Raw nuts are one of natures most nutritious foods, though they must be properly prepared to gain all of the nutritious benefits within them.

Raw nuts contain high amounts of phytic acid and enzyme inhibitors (a.k.a. anti-nutrients). These anti-nutrients act as a defense system to the nuts to keep them from sprouting prematurely and can be harmful to our own digestive systems when eaten without first soaking the nuts. The soaking of the raw nuts tricks the nut/seed into thinking that it is time to sprout. This neutralizes the enzyme inhibitors and phytic acid, making them easier to digest, increases vitamin/mineral absorption, and makes them even more tasty. See this article on phytic acid in nuts and/or Buy the Phytic Acid Paper at Rebuild Market.

How to Soak Raw Nuts

Soaking raw nuts is very easy to do. If you can invest in a decent food dehydrator, I really suggest you do (nobody wants to chew on a wet ‘soggy’ nut). The dehydrator will dry the nuts and make them yummy-crispy, with minimal work. I bought my dehydrator pretty inexpensively at an outdoor store, and I absolutely love it! The dehydrator I use is easy to operate and has its own timer with an auto-off feature, so I don’t have to worry when the nuts are done. Check out this dehydrator, it’s very similar to mine. It’s even made by the same manufacture.

Below is a recipe for soaked “raw” almonds. To see more recipes and find out more about soaking nuts, please read Sandy Fallon’s book ‘Nourishing Traditions: The Cookbook that Challenges Politically Correct Nutrition and the Diet Dictocrats’ (you can find this book in our store) It really is a must have, must read.

Soaked “Raw” Nuts

  • 4 cups raw almonds OR pecans OR walnuts, etc
  • 1 Tablespoon sea salt
  • filtered water
  • large glass bowl or large mason jar with lid
  • colander
  • food dehydrator (or a very low heated oven, see ‘No Dehydrator’ notes below)

1. Place the raw nuts in a glass bowl or jar. Fill with filtered water to completely cover. The nuts will soak up some of the water, so be sure to use plenty of water to cover.

2. Add the sea salt, and stir to dissolve the salt.

3. Cover the bowl or jar and let soak for at least 7 hours, or overnight.

4. Drain the soaked nuts in a colander, discarding the water they were soaking in.

5. Divide the drained nuts between several food dehydrator trays, being sure to spread them out well to make for quicker-even drying. Dry the nuts for 24 hours at 105ºF. To test the nuts for doneness break a couple in half, if they are dry inside and not soft or “squishy” then they are done. If need continue drying the nuts until they are dry throughout. (Note: the smaller the seed or nut, the shorter the drying time.)

6. Place the soaked and dried nuts in an air-tight container, and store in a cool dry place. (I usually make several batches of nuts at a time, as we go through them at my house very quickly.)

Makes 4-cups of nuts.

No dehydrator?

If you do not have a food dehydrator and cannot get one, you may be able to use a very low oven and just keep the door open. I have not done this though, as my oven will not go low enough without roasting the nuts (using too high of a heat will kill the “good for you” enzymes in the nuts and can turn the oil in the nuts rancid).

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Disclaimer: The information in this post is meant for educational purposes only. It is not intended as a substitute for professional medical advice. None of the opinions are meant to diagnose or treat any disease or illness. You should always consult your healthcare provider.


  1. I thought a person couldn’t buy raw almonds anywhere and they are all pastuerized. I don’t live where almond trees grow. Can I try this on store-bought almonds?

  2. Hi -Thanks for the great informative article! I make a smoothie with raw soaked almonds and was hoping to keep the almonds soft for as long as possible. Is it ok to soak them longer than 24 hours if I keep them soaking in the refrigerator ? Thanks!

    • Terry, I have never tried soaking them longer, even in the refrigerator. My concern would be that the almonds would mold. So if you do try it just keep any eye on them.

  3. I was soaking my walnuts in a bowl without sea salt and no lid. Any reason as to why you do that? I am going to put them in the dehydrator (I have a Nesco one similar to the links you shared). In the past, I’ve had a mold problem (they get moldy quickly and after all that work! lol) so I’m guessing they weren’t dry enough. I think I only did 12 hours and not 24, good to know. Thank you. Now…would you store them in the fridge or cabinet?

    • Daina, thanks for the comment. Whenever I soak nuts I do add sea salt and cover the container they are in. Traditional cultures would soak their nuts/seeds in sea water… this was for a purpose. The salt in the sea water would help with the neutralizing of the phytic acid (it also adds a touch of flavor as well). So adding a little sea salt when soaking your nuts/seeds at home mimics this method. I always store my soaked-dehydrated nuts in an air-tight container in my pantry, which is usually fairly cool. I have never had them get moldy on me. If you are having that issue I would suggest drying them for longer. Depending on how long you soaked the nuts it could take even longer than 24 hours… just test them every-so-often by breaking one open. The nuts when properly dry should not be wet or moist inside at all.

  4. I tried drying nuts in the oven with the door open and it doesn’t do a good job at keeping the temperature low. My oven only goes down to 170 F. Must invest in a dehydrator.

    • Yes I agree a dehydrator is a really helpful kitchen item to have. You do not need to spend a fortune on one though. My dehydrator cost less than $150, and has a digital display with a timer function, which is nice that it auto-shuts off so you don’t over-dry your food. But there are other options out there as well if your budget is even smaller.

      Such as these two in the $50 to $60 range:


  1. […] If you prefer, you may soak & dry the peanuts first, before roasting. This will make the peanut butter more easily […]

  2. […] that you have soaked overnight and dried in a dehydrator on very low heat. See our article on “Raw Nuts: How to Soak & Why?” for instructions and information. These nuts turn out super tasty and the soaking process unlocks […]

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