To Soak Or Not To Soak….

Although eating nuts and seeds, even when roasted, can be very healthy, it may be beneficial to purchase your nuts and seeds raw and then soak them in clean water for a few hours before eating them. Soaking raw nuts and seeds stimulates the process of germination, which increases the vitamin C, B, and carotenes (pre-vitamin A) content. It may also neutralize phytic acid, a substance present in the bran of all grains and seeds that can inhibit some absorption of calcium, magnesium, iron, copper, and zinc. Raw nuts and seeds also contain enzyme inhibitors that are neutralized by germination.

If you choose to soak your nuts and seeds, please follow these general guidelines:

  • Getting ready: Use raw, preferably organic, nuts and seeds. Make enough for three days only. Use a glass or stainless steel bowl or jar (plastics may contain toxins). Rinse your nuts or seeds (purified or distilled water is generally preferred).
    Soak them: Place your nuts and seeds in in the bowl or jar and then cover it with something breathable, like a kitchen towel. Let them soak according to the following schedule (all times approximate).
  • Over the course of the soaking, drain and rinse the nuts or seeds two (2) or three (3) times.   Each time you do this, make sure you rinse them until the water drains clear. This is especially important with nuts and seeds that soak for longer amounts of time.
  • Afterwards: After you’ve soaked them, you may want to do a final rinse with grapefruit seed extract or organic apple cider vinegar, as these will clean them of bacteria without being absorbed. You now have germinated nuts and seeds! You’re ready to eat them. You can store the leftovers in the refrigerator for up to three (3) days.
  • If the idea of soaking your nuts and seeds seems too time-consuming an endeavour for you, don’t worry—many nutrients cannot be heated out of foods, like protein, vitamin E, and fibre, which are found in ample quantities inside nuts and seeds of all kinds, both cooked and uncooked.

Take a look at our quick reference chart alongside for soaking times on nuts: Nuts- Soaking Timetable.

Soaking Nuts & Seeds -more info

  • Almonds are now being irradiated (zapped with radiation) in most countries, which change and damage the body’s cells if consumed, so no one should have them, unless the packaging states non-irradiated.
  •  Important to check your packaging labels ……
  • Candida sufferers should not have cashews, peanuts, or pistachio nuts.
  • Cashews are processed even if they are labelled “raw,” and peanuts and pistachios contain mycotoxins (fungal-type toxins).
  • Nuts and seeds are a wonderful snack and they can also be ground into flour. Always buy raw nuts or seeds that are not toasted or roasted because they contain man-made oils that are damaging to health.
  • Place 4 cups of raw nuts or seeds in a bowl.
  • Sprinkle 1 tablespoon of Himalayan salt over them (if soaking less than 4 cups less salt is added accordingly). No acid medium is necessary for soaking nuts and seeds.
  • Pour enough warm non-chlorinated water over them, just enough to cover them.
  • Leave them to soak in a warm place for 6 to 8 hours – please see the note on cashews below.
  • Drain off the water (do not rinse them), and pat them dry with a towel.

Seeds are air-dried at room temperature, and nuts can be air-dried too, or they can be dried in the oven:

Spread nuts out on a cookie sheet and dry them in the oven on the lowest heat possible for 12-24 hours depending upon the type of nut – the temperature should not go above 150°F since it can burn them.

Some nuts, like pecans, only require the oven light to provide enough heat to dry them without burning them – they shouldn’t be left in the oven for more than 4 hours, and then they should be air-dried the rest of the way. Some ovens will require the oven door be propped open with rolled towels to keep the heat in and the light on at the same time.

It is better to be cautious when drying nuts in the oven, even when only using the oven light, because they can burn very easily. They can also be dried at room temperature but it will take longer.

  • Ensure the nuts and seeds are totally dried before storing them or they will have more of a tendency to mould. If you aren’t sure they are completely dried, put a paper towel in the jar, with the lid on tight, for 24 hours to soak up the moisture, and then refrigerate them.
  • Store nuts and seeds in glass containers with tight fitting lids, and keep them in the refrigerator.


Cashews are the exception to long soaking time. Do not soak them more than 7 hours. They have already been through one soaking in their initial processing. If they are soaked too long they will be bitter. They may be crisped in the oven at a higher temperature because they have already had their enzymes destroyed by high temperature used during their commercial processing. 

How to use Nuts and Seeds

  • The best way to use seeds is to incorporate them into your salads, whole grain breads (if permitted by your DBM Physician) and of course in your breakfast oats as well as smoothies. 
  • The ULTIMATE way to use seeds is through sprouting.  See Sprouts and Enzymes for information on how to sprout
  • Another way to ensure you take advantage of all the nutrients available in nuts, is through the use of Nut Butters. 
  • Download our Eat To Live – Replacements booklet  and refer to page 7 for some recipes on how to make your own Nut Butters.
  • Another interesting use of nut butters is to make quick and easy Milk Replacements. You will find these recipes in this same booklet.
  • Use nut butters as part of a snack with slices of apples/celery during the day.
  • Visit Butter and Margarine Substitutes for recipes on how to make your own nut and seed butters.

Reference Sources

  • “Back to Basics: Nuts and Seeds” by BBC Food
  • The New Four Food Group by Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM)
  • “Nuts and Seeds – Nature’s Powerhouses” by Allison Anton
  • World’s Healthiest Foods List by the George Mateljan Foundation
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