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Walnuts | Soaking and Drying

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Do we have to soak and dehydrate nuts and seeds? I get asked that question a lot. It takes time and energy and who really have an excess of that?  But the answer is yes, I personally feel, through research and my own experience that it is an important step that will lead us to better health.

How to soak walnuts and dehydrate walnuts for raw diets

Ever heard of Tannins?

The best advice I can give is to do a little test study for yourself to see.  You will see especially in walnuts and almonds that they have a much more appealing taste after they are soaked and dehydrated.

In as little as 20 minutes the soak water is brown.  After a couple of hours,  the dust, residue, and tannins from the skins are released into the water, and the nut emerges with a smoother, more palatable flavor.

Astringent, mouth-puckering taste…

Walnuts are known for their astringent, mouth-puckering taste. By soaking and dehydrating them, this will be greatly reduced.  This is because when soaking walnuts, the tannins are rinsed away, leaving behind a softer, more buttery nut. The soak water from nuts and seeds should always be discarded and never used as water in a recipe.  Be sure to rinse the nuts well after soaking them.

the importance of soaking nuts

Why must we go through all this trouble? I find soaking walnuts a very important step when it comes to my digestion. When nuts/seeds are soaked and/or sprouted in water, the germination process begins, in which the active and readily available amounts of enzymes, vitamins, minerals, proteins and essential fatty acids begin to be activated. 
Nuts and seeds contain phytic acid and enzymes inhibitors which make it quite hard on the stomach and digestion. This simple process can make all the difference in how you feel after consuming them and how your body assimilates them. To read more about the importance of why our bodies benefit from soaking nuts and seeds, click (here).
Did you know that you can make walnut flour? If interested in learning how; click (here) and I will guide you through the process.

Ingredients:How to soak Walnuts in water

  • 4 cups raw walnuts, shelled
  • 1 Tbsp Himalayan pink salt
  • 8 cups water



  1. Place the walnuts and salt in a large glass or stainless steel bowl along with 8 cups of water.
    • The on will swell during the soaking process, so you want enough water to keep them covered.
  2. Leave them on the counter to soak for 4-8 hours.
    • Loosely cover with a clean cloth, this allows the contents of the bowl to breathe.
    • If you think that it will be longer than 8 hours before you can get to them, place the bowl in the fridge, making sure to change the water every so often.
  3. After they are done soaking, drain and rinse them in a colander.
Dehydrator method:
  1. Spread the walnuts on the mesh sheet that comes with the dehydrator.
    • Keep them in a single layer and dry them at 115 degrees (F) until they are thoroughly dry and crisp.  Make sure they are completely dry.  If not, they could mold, plus they won’t have that crunchy, yummy texture you expect from nuts and seeds.
    • The dry time will vary due to the machine you own, the type of climate you live in and how full your dehydrator is when drying them.
    • Expect anywhere from 6 + hours.
  2. Allow them to cool to room temperature before storing.
  3. Store in airtight containers such as mason jars.
    • Use within a month – store in the pantry.
    • Use within 3-6 months – store in the fridge
    • Use within 6-12 months – store in the freezer.


Oven method: (no longer raw)

  1. Preheat the oven to 325-350 degrees (F).
  2. Spread the walnuts on an ungreased cookie sheet in a single layer.
    • Roasting nuts with a touch of oil is a nice way to add flavor and crispness.  This approach is great when using them as a snack or sprinkled on top of salads. Totally optional.
    • Dry roast the walnuts if you plan on using them in recipes where they take the place of  “flour.”
  3. Bake for 10-12 minutes.
    • Don’t leave them unattended, due to their high oil content; they will continue to roast after you remove them from the oven.
    • When toasted correctly they taste toasted, not bitter or burnt.
    • Good idea to stir them around a bit throughout the process.
  4. Cool for about 1 hour.   Make sure that they are cool before storing.
  5. Note ~ You can also attempt to dry the walnuts in the oven and keep them raw, but this is tricky.  You will need to set the oven on the lowest setting, keep the door ajar and hang a thermometer in the oven to watch the temperature.  Nothing is impossible.  With this method… good luck and do your best.

Do soaked nuts and seeds have to be dehydrated?

If you are unable to dry the nuts or seeds, it is best only to soak an amount that you can be sure will used within two or three days.  As with any live food, mold tends to set in within days if you’re not careful. They will need to be stored in water, sealed tight and placed in the fridge.  It is important to rinse them twice a day with fresh water.

127 thoughts on “Walnuts | Soaking and Drying

  1. p says:

    Soaking nuts… How long is too long?
    With the best of intentions, I started soaking the nuts for your Salted Carmel and Chocolate Bars… then things at my home took a turn. They actually soaked for about 24 hours… I emptied the water and put them into the refrigerator… Should I move along and make them today as planned?
    Thank you

    • amie-sue says:

      Hello P. You will have to use your nose, eyes, and taste to determine if they are still good. Chances are, they are fine but if the room temp has been really warm, they could have spoiled. Drain and rinse them very well and then try one. I hope they are still good! Have a wonderful day, amie sue

  2. Jessi says:

    When drying walnuts or cashews In the oven at low temp with door ajar how long do joy dry them for?

    • amie-sue says:

      I can’t really answer that Jessi. Too many variables; how loaded is the baking sheet? how much water was left on the nuts? What is the actual temperature of the oven? How warm and humid is your house? It could take hours. My best advice is to make sure you shake as much water off of the nuts as possible (even blot with a towel), spread in a single layer, then proceed with baking them as indicated. Then check on them every 15 minutes until done. Be sure to document the time for your next round. I hope this helps. Let me know. Blessings, amie sue

  3. aj says:

    Use within a month – store in the panty. ???? lol

  4. […] the dates and walnuts beforehand. Soak walnuts for the content of tannins and dates for making them softer to […]

  5. Abbie says:

    Hi. Thanks for the helpful information :)
    If you don’t mind, can I translate this contents for Korean?

  6. Angela says:

    Hi Amie Sue!

    Thank you for this guide. I was curious what happens if you forget to let the walnuts cool to room temp before putting in the freezer. :) I was very tired when they were done dehydrating and was eager to get them stored and forgot about the cooling part…!

    Thank you so much.

    • amie-sue says:

      Good day Angela,

      I am sure they are just fine. The purpose of allowing them cool is just to cut down on the possibility of condensation building up in the sealed container (warmth introduced with freezing cold). Don’t worry about it. :) I have had moments like that myself. :) Blessings, amie sue

  7. Tom says:

    Hi, what type of oil for baking nuts in oven, and I assume that’s after they’re dried in oven? Thanks, Tom

    • amie-sue says:

      Good day Tom,

      Adding the oil is totally optional. I would use avocado oil since it has a high heat threshold. But again, you can skip adding it. I find that if I add the oil, it works best for nuts that you are flavoring or salting, to help it stick… otherwise, I go al’ natural :) Blessings, amie sue

  8. Alice says:

    Hi, I bout a bag of raw walnut pieces and am wondering does it do any good to soak those?? Thank you for the helpful instruction.

  9. irenic says:

    Is it necessary to take the skin off from walnuts, hazel nuts ans almonds before soaking them or after soakong?

    • amie-sue says:

      Good morning Irenic,

      No, it isn’t. It would be next to impossible to get the skins off of walnuts and difficult on Hazelnuts. Almonds are fairly easy to pop the skins off after they have been soaking in water. The only time I remove the skins off of almonds is when I want to make a recipe that is light in color, such as an almond based cream, cheese, or cookie batter. Some people remove their skins for better digestion.

      I hope this helps, blessings. amie sue

  10. I pick up walnuts was told to let the green turn to black then I removed most of the black put in outside building left there for weeks as the remaining black wasn’t drying and still isn’t so going to wash them in the sink to hope I can remove the black and let them sit on the counter till the outside look s dry .do I dry in the oven before or after I remove them from shell and that’s another problem best tech for removeing shell these are black walnut s and I live in West Virginia

    • amie-sue says:

      Hello Debbie. I am afraid that I don’t know the answer to this. I haven’t had the pleasure of harvesting walnuts from the tree. My uncle has walnut trees and I know he had to store his in an outbuilding to get them to dry further. He uses pliers to shell them. But then he may be “old school” haha Sorry that I don’t have experience with this. amie sue

    • Jon says:

      With black walnuts roll on cement with boots on green to remove outer husk. It’s easier green but can be done black. They can also be put in a 5 gallon pail of water and agitated with paint mixer on drill to remove the husk. Sun dry for afternoon to dry juices (they’ll dye your hands) then you can dehydrate the whole nut shell and all at 130f 24 hours to dry or place on racks in basement for a few weeks. Then they are ready to crack.

  11. Drini says:

    Is it healthy/dangerous to drink the water that walnuts has been soaked. I have been drinking that water for 3 days now twice a day( I was told it reduces cholesterol significantly if you drink that water) and I am not feeling well. Just wanted to check should i stop drinking that water

    • amie-sue says:

      I have never heard of such a think Drini. Do you have a link to the source as to where you read this? Personally, I pour it down the drain. Part of the reason for soaking nuts and seeds to draw out some of the phytic acid and enzyme inhibitors… seems only obvious that you are just ingesting them through drinking the water. I find other ways to reduce your cholesterol. Just my opinion… amie sue

    • Dragan says:

      Hi, I did the same thing. I drank the walnut water for about 2 month and my liver enzymes (ggt = 300). I was shocked. Yesterday I’ve got my blood results. The cholesterol dropped significantly but the liver enzymes are too high. The water must be toxic. I do not have another explanation.

  12. Ramkyz says:

    I have couple of questions on soaking nuts, I am soaking nuts with out salt as i do not like with salt, how good is this method of soaking nuts with out water?

    2) I will soak almond nuts in batches every day and eat on the same day after removing the skin, what am i going to loose eating without skin

    3) Can i soak Walnuts with out salt and eat?

    • amie-sue says:

      Good morning Ramkyz,

      Question 1 answer – You can skip the salt if you have an issue with it. The salt isn’t detected in the end flavor though. After soaking, rinse the nuts/seeds before dehydrating.

      Question 2 answer – I already touched basis on your last post comment regarding the skins, please see that.

      Question 3 answer – See answer #1 :)

  13. Ramkyz says:

    I have a question on almonds, since couple of years i am soaking almonds without salt, is salt mandatory?

    I am also eating almonds with out skin? does the skin have any minerals,protiens etc..?

    Can we take walnuts with out soaking in salt water, but in purified water?

    • amie-sue says:

      Hello Ramkyz,

      It is mandatory… just suggested/recommended. I can’t really comment regarding if there are minerals or proteins in the skins of the almonds. I can’t find any research that breaks the nutrients down between the skin and flesh of the almond. A lot of people remove the skins because they find it easier on their digestion so I would continue as is.

      Your last question about walnuts is unclear to me. Are you just asking if you can skip the salt and soak in purified water? If that is the case… I recommend adding the salt to all nuts and seeds… and soaking in purified water is fine. I hope this answers your questions. blessings, amie sue

  14. Dainty says:

    Hi amie sue, I hope you’re doing well :)
    My question is regarding the soaking water: I have read that it is beneficial to add food grade hydrogen peroxide to the water to help with the mycocyannins that are found in walnuts (and other nuts). I knew I had to ask you before I tried this! Haha! You are my go-to for anything soaking related ;) have you tried this/heard anything about this?
    Thanks in advance!

    • amie-sue says:

      Good afternoon Dainty,

      I had to do some research on this because I hadn’t heard of it. From the sites that I read from, I can’t find any scientific attachments. That doesn’t discount the idea, but I like to dig deep to see where people are coming up with this information. At this point, if it is something that you want to add to your soaking, I would say go for it. See how it goes. Make sure to rinse whatever you are soaking well once done. I will keep researching this though. Thanks for asking a great question. amie sue :)

      • Dainty says:

        Thanks so much for your reply :)
        This is the first I’ve heard about it also, so just wanted to reach out to get your feelings on it. The food world is so interesting! Haha! Take care.

        • amie-sue says:

          You bet Dainty. I have reached out to a few people who have made claims on using this during the soaking process. I am asking where they got their information. So far, no one is responding. But if they do, I will stay in touch with you. blessings, amie sue :)

  15. Anthony says:

    Do you soak (sprout) walnuts in the shell, or after shelling them? If the latter, will raw walnut halves sprout just fine? I soaked raw walnut halves for 12 hours in salted water, but they did not soak up any water, and they were about as crunchy after the soak as they were beforehand.

    • amie-sue says:

      Hello Anthony,

      You are to soak all nuts, seeds, and grains outside of their shells. Walnuts don’t sprout in terms of creating tails off of them like other seeds that you might sprout. The soaking process reduces phytic acid and helps the enzyme inhibitors. Did you soak your walnuts in or out of the shell? amie sue

  16. Bhargav says:

    If we soak nuts, vitamins do not get dissolved in water? Because if that is the case we would be missing out essential nutrients!!

    • amie-sue says:

      Good afternoon.

      There may be some loss of vitamins, but if you don’t soak them, they will be higher in phytic acid and enzyme inhibitors… therefore you need weigh out the good and bad. By not going through the soaking process your body will have a hard time absorbing some the nutrients regardless. blessings, amie sue

  17. Jo says:

    I bought Hammond walnuts and soaked them for probably 12 hours and then dried them in my oven at 170F for 2 hours. I forgot about them and some of them taste bitter. Are they ok to eat?

    • amie-sue says:

      Good evening Jo,

      How long did you forget about them? Walnuts, in general, can taste bitter… so I would assume they are ok, but you will have to make that call since I can’t see or taste them myself. blessings, amie sue

  18. William Walls says:

    Hello, I have question on what you mean by “no longer raw”, do you mean when after they’re soaked?

  19. Claire says:

    Hello amie sue. I bought a bag of Macro natural walnuts and just found out the labels says it contains less than 0.1g trans fat per 100g. I wonder if you may know why these walnuts contain trans fat at all.

    • amie-sue says:

      Good day Claire, from all the nutritional data information that I have read, I don’t see they have any trans fats in them. I am not familiar with this brand. Are they raw? Have they been roasted in another oil? amie sue

  20. Gisela Melwani says:

    I enjoyed reading your website. My question: My grandson (a landscape gardener here in the UK) has brought me a bag of WALNUTS that are still in their VERY GREEN SKINS and look like little green apples. Am I right in thinking that I just have to let them dry and dry.But as the weather here in the UK is now turning cooler and autumnal (you call if “fall”), I presume I (firstly)have to dry them slowly in the oven? Then remove green shell,then more oven drying, then soaking? Thanks for your advice in advance.

    • amie-sue says:

      Good morning Gisela,

      I don’t have an answer based off of any experience with walnuts at this stage, I wish I did. :) I found this site though that might help: https://www.farmanddairy.com/top-stories/harvest-process-store-black-walnuts/215439.html

      Sorry. Good luck!! I did message my uncle this morning to see what they did because they have walnut trees, he said this,”We usually wait till mother nature/ first cold weather for the outer to skin dry and split. Then the walnut falls to the ground and we pick them up. From there we take them inside to dry some more. Do not let them get wet with rain or they will spoil. I then begin to shell the nuts to get the meat and bring them to you to soak and dehydrate.”

      I hope this helps Gisela. blessings, amie sue

  21. Gail says:

    Is the soaking/dehydrating process the same for Black Walnuts?

  22. Nancy says:

    Do the walnuts need to be shelled before soaking and drying?

  23. Rosemary Frost says:

    Coming new to this..it was not at all clear that english walnuts should be shelled before soaking. So..I soaked them in their shells after removing the green outer coating. Now have them in my dehydrator..watch this space. Was given a load free by a friend, so my very first time.

    • amie-sue says:

      Hello Rosemary,

      All nuts and seeds need to be shelled before the soaking and drying process. If they are in the shell there is no way for the nuts/seeds to be soaked. That’s pretty awesome that your friend gave you a bunch! amie sue

  24. Lisa says:

    I found an easy way to shell walnuts using a lime juicer which I rarely use ( I usually just use the lemon for both). Put the nut in the bowl and give it a quick rap with the heel of my hand, turn the nut if needed and repeat. It’s quick and the nuts don’t go flying like with a pair of pliers. It will take the paint off the juicer so it won’t be good for juicing after that.

  25. Sonia says:

    Hi Aime-Sue
    Thanks for your great articles,I have just found them and really enjoyed devouring them.

    I really enjoy and respect, that you are prepared to say you dont know, or do further research etc, it gives me great confidence in what you write.

    I am a bit new to soaking, in the past I have only soaked legumes. I have just started making my own walnut milk, after my cholesterol rose after drinking coconut milk. Walnut milk is sooo delicious and creamy. I add a pinch of salt and organic vanilla essence, yum. (best to only make enough for 2-3 days)

    I have a few questions. I read all of the above, so I apologize if I have missed something.

    1. What is phytic acid? (I could Google it, but wanted to to see what your opinion was)

    2. Why do you use salt when soaking (just curious, not concerned) and how much do you use?

    3. Is there an optimal amount of time for soaking, or is it the case that the longer the better (remembering to rinse every 12 hours)(I soak my walnuts overnight)

    4. Is it good or better to use alkaline water to rinse?

    Thanks again for all your great info.

    • amie-sue says:

      Good afternoon Sonia,

      Great questions and so glad you asked them. Let me see if I can help…

      Q – What is phytic acid? (I could Google it, but wanted to see what your opinion was)

      A – From my research, this is what I believe as to why seeds, nuts, and grains need to be soaked.

      Phytic acid, or phytate, is found in plant seeds, nuts, and grains (and other foods as well). It serves as the main storage form of phosphorus in the seeds, nuts, and grains. If we eat an unbalanced diet and eat too many of these items without being treated properly, phytic acid can combine with calcium, magnesium, copper, iron especially zinc in the intestinal tract and block their absorption. Which may lead to serious mineral deficiencies and bone loss. Raw food diets can quickly become unbalances if a person isn’t careful so that is key right there. There is more to topic obviously but that’s a quick snippet.

      Q – Why do you use salt when soaking (just curious, not concerned) and how much do you use?

      A – Salt is necessary to help neutralize the enzymes. The amount I use is posted above in the ingredient list.

      Q – Is there an optimal amount of time for soaking, or is it the case that the longer the better (remembering to rinse every 12 hours)(I soak my walnuts overnight)

      A – I have it posted above on how long to soak. For walnuts, I soak them anywhere between 4-8 hours. They are a softer nut so I don’t see the need to soak the maximum time listed or any longer. But there are times when I soak longer (8 hours) may be due to doing it overnight while I am sleeping.

      Q – Is it good or better to use alkaline water to rinse?

      A – I don’t see the need personally. Just make sure that your water source is clean from chemicals.

      I have a bit more written up here as well: https://nouveauraw.com/soaking-nuts-seeds-and-grains/soaking-nuts-dried-fruit/

      I hope this helps, blessings. amie sue

  26. Margaret says:

    I haven’t read the other comments yet, so I don’t know if this has already been discussed, but I drain my walnuts well, place them in a covered glass container, and store in the fridge. I find they dry naturally (I don’t have a dehydrator), without the sogginess of being stored in water, and never mold. And I make sure to use them within three days.

    • amie-sue says:

      That is one way of doing it Margaret. Dehydrating them prolongs the shelf life. A person can adapt certain methods to accommodate their lifestyle. Thanks so much for sharing. blessings, amie sue

  27. Janet says:

    I put walnut in a soup and the broth turned brown. When I read hear that the water should never be used it worries me. Would something bad happen if I consume the soup that had walnuts in it.

    • amie-sue says:

      You are fine Janet. When you soak the walnuts the water turns a brownish color…I believe it to the tannins. The astringent and sometimes bitter taste of walnuts is a result of the tannins and catechin from the paper-like skin surrounding the nut kernel. This is what is coming off in the water or in your case the soup.

      Enjoy your soup :) blessings and happy holidays!, amie sue

  28. Sue deng says:

    Will it be ok if I soak the walnuts for 4 hours, drain, then put the walnuts into a soup to stew for another hour?
    Will they lose nutrients because of stew?

    • amie-sue says:

      Hello Sue,

      Great question, if you are cooking them in the stew, they will lose some but they will still add some health benefit to the dish. :) I would still soak them prior to using. blessings, amie sue :)

  29. […] Walnuts, Soaking and Drying | Nouveau Raw    https://nouveauraw.com/raw-techniques/soaking-nuts…/walnuts-soaking-and-drying/ […]

  30. Teresa Mark says:

    Can I use this method for nuts and seeds that are processed? Would it still remove phytic acid?

    • amie-sue says:

      Hello Teresa,

      If the nuts and seeds are already roasted, I wouldn’t worry about it. The roasting process helps to reduce some of the phytic acid. But you also lose other nutrients when roasted compared to raw nuts and seeds soaked and dehydrated.

      Do to the fact that nuts contain polyunsaturated fats it’s thought that roasting at lower temperatures is better. Also, nuts which contain asparagine, such as almonds, need to be kept below 130°C to avoid producing acrylamide, which is a neurotoxin and carcinogen.


      Roasted nuts that you buy from the supermarkets are often not roasted but deep-fried, so make sure that the packaging states dry roasted.

      I hope this helps, blessings, amie sue

  31. reg maive says:

    yes ok but the downside is whicheverway you like at it they lose some taste or texture after soaking and they don’t taste as good. Even after being left to dry or being dried in a frying pan they’re just not as delicious. Well folks it’s the price you pay for cleanliness and hygiene

    • amie-sue says:

      I have to disagree Reg. I find that the soaking and dehydrating process improves the taste and texture. I am not alone in this, so does my husband and those I share my foods through gifting or my manufacturing company. The process isn’t used for cleanliness and hygiene, it’s used to reduce the enzyme inhibitors making it easier for the body to digest. thanks for popping in. :) blessings, amie sue

  32. Morgana says:

    I was wondering must you drain the water almonds have soaked in an rinse them? What are the pros and cons of doing so? I’m new to making almond milk an was told 1 cup of almonds soaked for 4 to 48hrs in 1 Cup water, once soaked throw in a blender with another cup of water strain with cheese cloth or the like and a pinch of salt, sugar, vanilla extract etc if wanted. Sorry if I’m asking a question that has already been answered as well.

  33. Aysun says:

    Hi dear Amie,
    I wonder if the walnut soak water is harmful to drink? If harmful why? Thank you so much for all informations.

    • amie-sue says:

      Good day Aysun,

      Personally, I wouldn’t drink it. The purpose of soaking the walnuts is to reduce the phytic acid and enzyme inhibitors… if these are leaching into the soak water, why drink it? blessings, amie sue

  34. arrow says:

    I soak my daily dose of 2 to 4 whole walnut kernels in warm salt water and take the soak water in small sips but only on empty stomach . to make the tannin rich water palatable i also add some lemon juice vinegar , ground cumin and black pepper and some water kefir. They say 90 percent of the cardiovascular and metabolic benefits are only in the skin so why should i miss out? Is it any differnt from eating walnuts fresh no soak? I take soaked walnuts with meals usually grind them with som warm stock to make creamy dressing or sauce like they do in caucasus region.

    • amie-sue says:

      Good morning Arrow.

      I don’t drink the soak water from the nuts and seeds I use. Personally, I haven’t found any evidence that supports it and to me, it doesn’t make sense. Any reading that I have done on the topic comes with a lot of controversies. If you have some links to where you are getting this information, please share them. blessings, amie sue

  35. arrow says:

    Even if the soakwater polyphenols were healthy the tannins may have effects on liver that go Both ways. Some claim tannins are hepatotixic and others claim hepatoprotective. It could be that a variety of tannins have a variety of effects.Another epic fail of nutritional sciences and medicine which would rather have us popping expensive pills i guess. Eitherways most antioxidant studies imply most benefits are in the skins rather than kernels . references in my next post later.

  36. Margaret says:

    I don’t have a dehydrator so I soak just enough walnuts to be used in a few days. I don’t store them in water in the fridge, though. Instead, I drain them well, after rinsing, and store in a covered glass container. I find the cool air of the fridge naturally dries them out, and they’re quite enjoyable, with a little “bite” to them.

  37. Dragan Grujic says:

    My liver enzymes went terribly up when I was drinking soaked water. GGT was over 300. This is toxic.

  38. Dragan says:

    Yes, you’re right. Unfortunately I’ve been told that soaked walnut water is reducing cholesterol levels. This is absolutely true. My cholesterol levels were drastically reduced but liver enzymes went up due to toxic acids.

  39. Rob says:

    I’m confused how you can think it improves the taste. I’ve tried soaked walnuts, and other nuts, and it makes them completely tasteless. Plus, I like the taste of unsoaked walnuts, I don’t think it’s unpleasant or bitter or astringent and I’ve never heard anybody saying that.

    But I suppose for health reasons I should soak them anyway, even if it ruins the taste of the nut.

    • amie-sue says:

      Good morning Rob,

      We have different opinions based off our tastebuds. I experience the opposite of you and so have many others. But I am not here to argue that… if you don’t like them, you don’t like them. Most people eat roasted nuts that taste different from raw ones thus you don’t hear them complain about bitterness or an astringent taste, especially when it comes to walnuts. blessings, amie sue

      P.S. I should state that I dehydrate the soaked walnuts… when just soaked they don’t have a top-notch taste. But once dehydrated they become light, airy, crispy, and delicious tasting.

    • Reg Maive says:

      I agree with Rob, this doesn’t work for me. I’ve tried soaking almonds, cashews and walnuts several times and as I don’t have an oven ora dehydrator so I dry them on the stovetop in a frying pan. The water turns a dirty colour, but the result is always the same, they lose some of their taste, their deliciousness, their texture, their nuttiness. They become a pale shadow of the raw organic nuts that I buy.
      Is their a way to do this without an oven or dehydrator, on a stove top?

      • amie-sue says:

        Good day Reg,

        I’ve never dried soaked nuts on the stovetop so I can’t comment on that process. Perhaps it just boils down to taste receptors. We love the taste and texture (and health benefits) of soaking and dehydrating all the nuts and seeds that we consume. You can sun-dry some foods but I’ve never gone down that path. Other than that, if you want them to remain raw, you will need to dehydrate them. You can use an oven but there’s no guarantee that they won’t overheat and not be raw in the end. It just depends on what your goals are.

        blessings, amie sue

  40. Hannah says:

    I’ve been buying “raw”, non organic walnuts from Trader Joe’s for years and I always use this soaking method. I just noticed on the back of the bag that it says the nuts are steamed and dried, even though they’re labeled raw. Are they still really raw? I’m actually less concerned about that and more concerned about them being digestible, which is why I soak and roast them myself. But if they’re already “steamed” do I need to bother with the soaking? And are you aware of any chemicals being applied to “raw”nuts when they’re pre steamed before packaging?

    • amie-sue says:

      Good morning Hannah,

      These are all good questions. Let me see if I can help.

      Q. – I’ve been buying “raw”, non organic walnuts from Trader Joe’s for years and I always use this soaking method. I just noticed on the back of the bag that it says the nuts are steamed and dried, even though they’re labeled raw. Are they still really raw?

      A. – I haven’t shopped at Trader Joe’s for many years but when I did, I know that most of their nuts were NOT raw back then, even with the word “raw” on the bag. The word RAW is loosely used when it comes to marketing. You may see a package of almonds in a store say the almonds are “raw”, but they are pasteurized by law unless they are grown in a foreign country like Spain or Italy. In 2008 a judge ruled companies can use the term raw even if they are pasteurized. Packaging laws do not require the handler to disclose which method they use for pasteurization. The least expensive form of pasteurization is fumigation. Labeling DOES NOT require which type of pasteurization is used, however, only steam is approved for an organic product.

      Q.- I’m actually less concerned about that and more concerned about them being digestible, which is why I soak and roast them myself. But if they’re already “steamed” do I need to bother with the soaking?

      A. – I am glad you are roasting them yourself so you can better control the end quality of the nuts you are eating. When you say that they are steamed, it is known as steam pasteurization. Steam partially cooks the almond, causing a reduction of nutrient content. In this process, the almonds are exposed to steam for 8 seconds at 210-215 degrees (F). For the next 44 seconds, they are moved through a high-heat dehydration tunnel, removing the moisture resulting from the steam. The temperature of the circulating air is 391-395 degrees (F). The almonds themselves reach a temperature of 220 degrees (F). Health benefit degradation begins at around 115 degrees. So, my personal opinion would be to still soak them even though they have been steamed to possibly reduce any phytic acid.

      Q. – And are you aware of any chemicals being applied to “raw” nuts when they’re pre-steamed before packaging?

      A. – I don’t know the answer to this.

      I hope this helped. blessings, amie sue

      • Hannah says:

        Thank you so much Amie for a quick and thoughtful reply. Just to make sure I understand, for the purpose of making the nuts more digestible, you don’t think soaking them is necessary if they have already been steam pasteurized? And you actually did answer my question about whether chemicals were used in the process when you mentioned that they could be fumigated. Yuck! I have been trying to save money by buying non organic since mg family eats a lot of walnuts, but I think I will have to pay the extra price to avoid possible fumigation. However, if I were to buy “raw” organic walnuts that were steam pasteurized, you suggest that I simply roast them to my personal taste preference? In this case, if I understand rightly, the steaming process actually saved me some time and effort, like it has already been made more digestible? (Although I understand the steaming process also destroys nutrients)

        • amie-sue says:

          Good afternoon Hannah,

          You are welcome. :) This conversation is complex and has a lot of moving parts to it. haha Before, I dive more deeply into this let me share something from my heart… It’s easy to get overwhelmed with what is the right or wrong way of preparing foods, but after doing this for over 10 years, I have learned not to stress over it too much. I do my best with the information I have, I use the best quality of ingredients I can and go from there. Stressing over it can do as much or more harm in the long wrong.

          Now… After thinking more about it, I do believe in soaking grains, nuts, or seeds that may have been steamed or heated, since it is a daily practice of mine. Sorry to have confused that matter. I will adjust my previous response. Current World Event Brain fog… blaming it on that. 🙂

          The bottom line is that our digestive systems are designed to handle phytic acid in small amounts, but some people are more sensitive than others and certain diets are more prone to issues with phytic acid. If you eat lots of nuts/seeds and foods high in phytic acid like grains, legumes, nut flours/butters, and beans… I encourage you to at least try and see if it helps you. Sometimes we don’t know that something isn’t right or that we can actually feel better until we try something different.

          To take things to another level, if I am cooking oats, rice, or other grains, I soak them with some apple cider vinegar, drain and rinse, then add a strip of Kombu seaweed to the pot when cooking. It enhances their nutritional value. You can read more about kombu here – https://nouveauraw.com/cooked/reference-library-cooked/why-i-add-kombu-seaweed-to-beans-rice-grains-and-soups/

          To touch again on fumigation… In the fumigation process, nuts are inserted into a closed chamber, to propylene oxide gas. If not pasteurized or steamed, under law, almonds must be fumigated with a chemical called propylene oxide, or PPO. Propylene oxide is classified by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) as a probable human carcinogen. Shew.

          As I mentioned before labeling DOES NOT require which type of pasteurization is used, however, only steam is approved for an organic product, so that’s something to think about if considering if you should buy organic or not.

          My husband and I eat as organic as we can. In fact, when we first got together he looked me in the eye and said, “Listen, I don’t care if buy our clothing second hand, but I won’t sacrifice the quality of our food.” Organic has always been our priority. By purchasing organic, we send a message to the food industry that there is a demand for it. We need to show conventional growers that we CARE about what goes into and on to the foods we eat.

          To stand firmly on our convictions about this matter, we converted our orchards (pear and cherry) to organic when we bought our place. It’s not easy; it costs more in labor, our yield reduced dramicatly (which affects our bottom dollar), and it took 3 years for the conversion. It’s not always easy to live by your convictions and beliefs but it is worth it!

          So, my suggestion would be (drumroll please lol)… soak the nuts and seeds (with an acid) even if you suspect that they have been steamed since you and your family eat a high amount of foods with phytic acid in them. Better to be safe than suffer in the area of digestion. There are companies that sell activated nuts, seeds, and oats… saving you from having to go through all the steps but they cost more.

          Anyway, I hope this helps. Sorry to be so winded. blessings, amie sue

  41. Kristiana says:

    Hello there!
    I have soaked my walnuts for 8 hours then dried them in the oven, but some of them darkened while drying – has this happened to you? They taste good, but I don’t know why they are darkened – they are not burned they just changed their color.

    • amie-sue says:

      Good morning Kristiana,

      I get walnuts from my Aunt and Uncles tree and occasionally I will get some that darken when dehydrated. As far as roasting goes, the color and flavor of the nuts change. The nuts can turn a darker brown, which is usually due to the Maillard reaction, where the proteins and sugars in the nuts react together and form a variety of new compounds.

      This is the first thing that came to mind. blessings, amie sue

  42. Aerika says:

    Hi there

    When the nuts are done soaking but I’m not ready to consume them immediately, how do i store them without dehydrating?

    • amie-sue says:

      Good morning Aerika,

      At the bottom of the post I shared,

      Do soaked nuts and seeds have to be dehydrated?

      If you are unable to dry the nuts or seeds, it is best only to soak an amount that you can be sure will used within two or three days.  As with any live food, mold tends to set in within days if you’re not careful. They will need to be stored in water, sealed tight and placed in the fridge.  It is important to rinse them twice a day with fresh water.

      I hope this helps, blessings. amie sue

  43. Kathi Bui says:

    Fantastic article, insights, and feedback responses. Thank you!!!

  44. Alice says:

    The walnuts on the top turned black. I put in the right amount of water and salt. Do I put a cover on

    • amie-sue says:

      Good evening Alice,

      I have soaked 100’s of pounds of walnuts when I was manufacturing raw foods… It was common to have a few darken while soaking. Toss those. Always make sure that the nuts are fully underwater. I tend to put a dish towel over the top of the bowl to prevent any bugs/fruit flies, etc from dropping in for a swim. Thanks for reaching out. blessings, amie sue

  45. Alfredo says:

    I find it amazing that you are still answering questions on a post that has been around for so long :) Thank you for that. I am stopping by to ask a question regarding soaking “halved” nuts.
    Does it make sense to soak nuts that have been pre-halved by the vendor? Should I opt out of Halved nuts moving forward?

    Thank you!

    • amie-sue says:

      Good morning Alredo,

      I answer ALL questions that come to my site… old or new. :) As long as the walnuts are raw, still soak them no matter if they are whole, halved, or chopped. Just because they are chopped or cut in half doesn’t mean that it reduces the phytic acid/enzyme inhibitor… it’s the soaking process that does that. :) I hope this helps. have a wonderful day, amie sue

      • Alfredo says:

        Thank you :). I have a question about the cloth you place loosely over the container where you are soaking the nuts. I am currently soaking in a mason jar, Is a paper towel tightly fitted to the mason jar enough for breathability? Since it has pores I figure it may breath through the paper towel?

        • amie-sue says:

          I am so sorry for the delay in getting back to your Alfredo. Yes, any type of breathable cloth will work. Dishtowel, paper towel, cheesecloth… are all great examples. blessings, amie sue

  46. Tina says:

    Amie-Sue, I really have enjoyed your site! I found the answers I was looking for and learned so much more. Thank you! Kudos on how you manage to find your way through some of the questions to find what it is that they are asking you(at times it’s not so clear). You are so thorough in the information you give. It gives me(the reader)confidence that you are knowledgeable on the subject. You are upfront and state if you don’t have the answer but research for the answer-love it! You are now my “go-to” girl on this subject. Blessings to you, Sincerely Tina

  47. Mat says:

    Hi Amie-Sue,

    I have become obsessed with your website after I purchased food dehydrator. Today I am dehydrating walnuts and I know you already mentioned countless times that dehydration time depends on so many factors but I’ve seen on other websites than it could take anytime between 12-24 hours to dry… Now I started hoping to need a good 6-8 hours drying time and to be fair my nuts feel and taste pretty good after 7 hours… I wonder if I should push it a bit further though? Is it possible to “overdry” a nut?

    • amie-sue says:

      Good morning Mat,

      It made my day hearing how much you are enjoying the site. So much passion and work have gone into over the years. :) Dry times are always suggested times because as you have read, there are so many factors that determine how long something will take. There is indeed a possibility of over-drying but it would be in one of those cases where maybe you forgot about them for days. I might have done that with dehydrating banana slices. ;) They looked and tasted burnt even after I remembered them 3 days later. Ooops. haha But I learned a lesson there.

      The main thing is that you don’t want moisture left in them otherwise they could be susceptible to molding. Walnuts are really easy to tell if they are dry enough, they are very light and snap really easily. So if they appear, feel, and taste done in 7 hours, pull them out. One thing you can always do (which is helpful with any food you dehydrating) is take a few out and let them cool because that’s when you can really get a sense of if they are done.

      I hope this makes sense and helps. blessings and keep on surfing (site-surfing) that is. :) amie sue

  48. Stacy says:

    Most of the comments are about English walnuts. Should raw black walnuts be soaked as well before eating?

    • amie-sue says:

      Good day Stacy,

      I would say yes to your question. I use this soaking process on ALL nuts, seeds, and grains (for the various reasons listed in the post). blessings, amie sue

  49. […] order to neutralize the phytic acid and tannins in walnuts, they can be soaked overnight in a water and salt […]

  50. Amie-sue
    I just came across your site here. I bought a bag of English walnuts at Costo,,,already shelled and supposedly ready to eat. I would eat a little palm full every day,,and I got loose stools…I looked it up to see if they caused that,,,and wasa surprised to see they could. I cannot find pink salt,,,and just wondered I nuts from costco are considered “RAW” and could I just soak them without salt of anykind and them spread them out on a baking sheet to dry or maybe even put them in the oven on low heat.

    • amie-sue says:

      Good morning Carol,

      I am so glad that you stumbled upon my site. My guess is that they are not raw, if a nut/seed is genuinely raw, they put that on the package. I did a little Googling and read that Costco nuts are considered raw, but a company spokesperson from Costco confirmed that these are pasteurized using the PPO method (propylene oxide treatment). Propylene oxide (PPO) is a chemical applied to the outside of the nut, that supposedly dissipates after treatment. PPO is banned in the European Union, Canada, Mexico, and many other countries but NOT in the US.

      As far as the soaking process goes, pink salt is Himalayan salt which is what I use but you can also use any sea salt. Salt is added to the soaking water to help reduce the phytates and enzyme inhibitors that make nuts and seeds so tricky to digest. And they can be dried in the oven (see the post, I share how to do that).

      I hope this helps. It’s such a shame that navigating our food has become so complex. blessings, amie sue

    • BethC says:

      I have colitis and eating walnuts always caused problems. Walnuts always make my mouth react, too. I learned this is because of the phytic acid in them, but the soaking removes that. Now, no mouth reaction or issues with my colitis. After I roast (dry) and cool them I put them in the freezer for use anytime.

  51. Ed says:

    Hi Amie-Sue,

    I don’t keep salt at home, so I was wondering if potassium chloride (salt substitute) would work as well.

    • amie-sue says:

      Hello Ed,

      That’s a good question. I had to look it up myself. From what I have read, it seems that it would be ok. I haven’t used salt in this form so it’s new to me. amie sue

  52. Corol says:

    Good Afternoon Amie -sue, can you please clarify this for me.. I have recently bought some shop bought unshelled walnuts, and I soaked them in water, the ones that float I throw away..I leave the rest until the morning. I then rinse them and put in the air fryer to dehydrate them and the eat..am I doing it correctly, especially because they are shop brought unshelled, do you still have to do the float test??

    • amie-sue says:

      Hello Corol,

      You are calling your walnuts “unshelled”… which means they have the shell on them. You only soak nuts or seeds when they are out of the shell. I just want to clarify that you soaks walnuts that don’t have a shell on them. amie sue

  53. Nora says:

    Hi Amie-Sue, I also just stumbled across your web site and was amazed at your wonderful information. You may have already answered this question and I missed the answer, but I get my English walnuts from under my tree and a friend’s tree so they are really raw. I then spread them out on a screen door frame I built, suspend it on sawhorses and run fans over the nuts to dry them. Now I am unsure if you meant any walnut meat dry or wet could be soaked to make them less acidic. I have a dehydrator but haven’t used it for the nuts before. I usually vacuum seal my nuts when dry off the rack. This would be a great time to try your method, just making sure I do it right. Thank you. Nora

    • amie-sue says:

      Good morning Nora,

      I am so happy to hear that you are enjoying my site. Thanks for stopping in. :)

      I don’t grow or by nuts in their shells so the soaking process that I am referring to is for nuts or seeds that have had the shell removed. From what I have read, drying walnuts is typically a two-step process. You dry the unshelled walnuts, then remove the shell and dry the walnut itself. At that point, I would soak them as instructed in the post, dehydrate them, then vacuum seal them for longer storage use. What a blessing that you have access to them! My late uncle had a few walnut trees and he would gift me gallon sized zip lock bags of them! I miss such fresh walnuts but I miss him more. :) I hope this helps. blessings, amie sue

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