The complete guide on soaking Nuts

Soaking nuts is a traditional practice that enhances their nutritional benefits and makes them easier to digest. This guide will cover the various types of nuts, the benefits of soaking them, the soaking process, and the different soaking mediums you can use.

Types of Nuts to Soak

  • Almonds: High in vitamin E, magnesium, and fiber. They require a longer soaking time due to their hardness.
  • Walnuts: Rich in omega-3 fatty acids. They have a slightly bitter taste that soaking can help minimize.
  • Cashews: Good source of copper and magnesium. Soak for a shorter period to prevent them from becoming too soft.
  • Pecans: Similar to walnuts, soaking reduces their tannin content, which can make them easier to digest.
  • Hazelnuts: High in vitamin E and beneficial for heart health. They require a moderate soaking time.
  • Brazil nuts: Selenium-rich nuts that can benefit from soaking to reduce phytic acid.
  • Pistachios: Not commonly soaked due to their softer texture, but can be soaked for a short period.
  • Macadamia nuts: High in healthy fats and relatively low in phytic acid, so they require less soaking time.

Benefits of Soaking Nuts

  1. Reduces Phytic Acid: Nuts contain phytic acid, which can inhibit the absorption of minerals such as iron, zinc, and calcium. Soaking reduces the phytic acid content.
  2. Decreases Enzyme Inhibitors: Soaking deactivates enzyme inhibitors, making nuts easier to digest and their nutrients more accessible.
  3. Enhances Nutritional Profile: Soaking can increase the bioavailability of nutrients, making them more beneficial to the body.
  4. Improves Texture: Soaking softens nuts, making them easier to blend for recipes like nut milks, creams, and butters.
  5. Reduces Tannins: In some nuts, soaking reduces tannins, which can improve flavor and digestibility.

The Soaking Process

  1. Ratio and Medium: Use a ratio of 2 cups of water per 1 cup of nuts. You can add a teaspoon of salt to help neutralize enzyme inhibitors. Other mediums include lemon juice or apple cider vinegar for an acidic soak, and baking soda for a more alkaline soak.
  2. Soaking Time: Soaking times can vary:
    • Almonds: 12-48 hours
    • Walnuts: 4-8 hours
    • Cashews: 2-4 hours
    • Pecans: 4-6 hours
    • Hazelnuts: 8-12 hours
    • Brazil nuts: 8-12 hours
    • Pistachios: 4-6 hours
    • Macadamia nuts: 2-4 hours
  3. Draining and Rinsing: After soaking, drain and rinse the nuts thoroughly under cool running water to remove any phytic acid and enzyme inhibitors that have been leached out.
  4. Drying: If you’re not using the nuts right away, dry them to prevent mold growth. You can air dry them, use a dehydrator, or bake them on the lowest setting in your oven until thoroughly dry.

Soaking Mediums

  • Water: The most common medium, either plain or salted, helps in activating the nuts’ sprouting process, which reduces antinutrients.
  • Lemon Juice or Apple Cider Vinegar: Adding a tablespoon of lemon juice or apple cider vinegar to the soaking water can help neutralize more of the enzyme inhibitors.
  • Baking Soda: A pinch of baking soda can make the soaking medium more alkaline, which some people find effective for reducing phytic acid further.


Soaking nuts is a simple yet effective process to enhance their nutritional value and digestibility. By following the soaking times and methods discussed, you can easily incorporate soaked nuts into your diet, benefiting from their enhanced taste and nutritional profile. Always remember to thoroughly dry soaked nuts if you’re not planning to use them immediately to prevent spoilage.

Frederik Lamote

Frederik is the founder of, a startup that is 3D printing Treehouses. While exploring treehouse locations around the world he got fascinated by the value and products trees produce.

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