Soaking Nuts

Yes, this title made me laugh too . . . but there’s really no better description for what I have to share with you.  My mother-in-law had a mason jar full of walnuts sitting on her breakfast table.  I have a great affinity for walnuts, so I took a few.  After eating the first nut, I was confused.  This walnut was different.  It didn’t leave a gritty feeling on my teeth and tongue.  Just the slightest taste of being roasted.  A hint of salt.  Then she revealed her secret … she had soaked the nuts!  Now I love them even more.

For those of you who have never heard of this or don’t understand why one would do this, let me enlighten you. Nuts have a little thing called phytic acid on their outer layer. Phytic acid can combine with minerals in the intestinal tract and prevent the body from absorbing them. Soaking helps reduce or eliminate the phytic acid on the outer layer. Nuts can also be an enzyme inhibitor … meaning your digestive and metabolic enzymes may be prevented from working properly. Soaking also reduces these enzyme enemies in nuts. Overall, soaking aids your body in digesting nuts and getting the full benefit that nuts offer. More vitamins and minerals, less acids and inhibitors. Plus, it’s really simple and they taste amazing!

Gather your nuts … I chose walnuts, pecans, and almonds. Mmmmm. It doesn’t really matter how much you do at once, but take into consideration that you will need oven and pan space to spread these puppies out when they go in for their drying session. I probably did a few too many, but I dried them in cycles.

The first step is to soak them overnight in water, at least 8 hours and up to 24 hours. Make sure they are completely covered in water the entire time.  Add 1 tsp. of salt for every 1/2 gallon of water.

After soaking, you will see how murky the water gets.  Drain off the water and rinse the nuts.

Then lay out the nuts on paper towels to pat dry.

Some of the almonds lost their coating altogether after soaking. 

After hand drying some, spread the nuts onto a cookie sheet and place in the oven at the lowest temperature that your oven will go.  For me, that was 175.  Take time to stir them every 4 hours or so.  The nuts will take varying amounts of time to dry out.  It also depends on how crowded your pan is … for me, the walnuts were done first, which I soaked the least of.  Then the pecans, and lastly the almonds. 

The only way easiest way to know if they’re done is to try one.  When they’re crunchy again, they’re done.  Be careful to keep from overbaking them.  Then place them in a container for easy munching access!

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2 Comments to “Soaking Nuts”

  1. Interesting. May have to try that. So how long is the oven on? Stir every 4 hours? Does that mean they are drying in the oven for 8 hours or more?

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