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(FREE) Almonds, Soaking and Drying

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Almonds, Soaking and Drying

Soaked almonds are often referred to as; soaked almonds sprouted almonds or activated almonds.   There is an important reason as to why we go through this process…

Nuts have enzyme inhibitors that prevent them from sprouting in dry conditions. They also contain phytic acid which can make it very difficult for our bodies to digest them. Once soaked,  they begin to sprout which unlocks their nutrients and make them much better for digesting.

almonds in a black bowl

Soaking almonds not only helps with digestion but it enhances their flavor tremendously!  They are slightly crispy, have a nice light and airy texture.

Below, I am sharing with you two drying techniques.  The first one uses a dehydrator with the temperature set at 115 degrees (F).  This will keep the nuts raw making it optimal for absorbing all the nutrients that they have to offer.

The second technique is roasting them in the oven.  This wouldn’t be my method of choice because the nuts won’t be raw any longer and some nutrients will be lost, but I realize that not everybody owns a dehydrator.  BUT I would rather you go through the soaking process and roasting them rather than eating them raw or commercially roasted (which haven’t been soaked prior to roasting).   The measurements below are just for a guideline.

Do they have to be dehydrated?

If you are unable to dry the almonds, only soak an amount that you can be sure to use within two or three days.  For convenience, I like to soak them in mason jars in the fridge. Rinse them every 12 hours, putting fresh water back in each time. You want to use them within a few days because as with any live food, mold tends to set in within days if you’re not careful.

the-importance-of-soaking1

Why must we go through all this trouble? I find soaking nuts 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 enzyme 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. The salt helps activate enzymes that de-activate the enzyme inhibitors. To read more about the importance of why our bodies benefit from soaking nuts and seeds, click (here).

480Ingredients:

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

Preparation:

Dehydrator method:

  1. Place the almonds and salt in a large bowl along with 8 cups of water.
    • The almonds will swell during the soaking process, so you want enough water to keep them covered.
    • Salt is necessary to help neutralize the enzymes.
  2. Leave them on the counter for 8-12 hours.  Cover with a clean cloth and lay it over the bowl, this allows the contents of the bowl to breathe.
    • Cover with a clean cloth and lay it over the bowl, this allows the contents of the bowl to breathe.
    • It’s a good idea to change the water every 4-8 hours.
  3. After they are done soaking, drain them in a colander and rinse them well.
    • Note ~  you can use and eat the soaked almonds as they are, without drying them.
    • Some recipes use wet or dry almonds.
  4. Spread the almonds 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 12 + hours.
  5. Allow them to cool to room temperature before storing.  As they cool, they will make a popping sound which can be entertaining for young ones.
  6. Store in airtight containers such as mason jars.
    • If you plan on using them within 3 months, you can store them in the fridge.
    • Anything longer, store in the freezer.
  7. I like to do a lot of nuts and seeds in a big batch to save time and energy when using my dehydrator.  This way, I always have properly prepared nuts and seeds on hand for snacks, salads, and recipes.

Oven method:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees (F).
  2. Spread the almonds on an ungreased cookie sheet in a single layer.
  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.
  4. Cool for about 1 hour.   Make sure that they are cool before storing.
  5. Note ~  you can also slow roast the almonds by setting your oven to the lowest setting, adjust the roast time accordingly.   You can also attempt to dry the almonds 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. :)

Want to learn more about using almond in raw dishes? Here are some basics.

Learn how to make Almond flour (made from whole almonds)

Soaking & dehydrating is required

Learn how to make Almond flour (made from almond pulp) This flour is lighter in texture.

Soaking, making nut milk and dehydration is required.

almond flour made from almond pulp

Never heard of almond pulp?  Click (here) to learn about it.

Soaking & dehydrating required.

wet almond pulp on a piece of parchment paper

Learn how to make pure white almond flour by removing the skins.  Click (here).

Soaking, skin removal & dehydrating is required.

almonds with their skins removed to soak almonds

Want to make your own almond milk?  Easy!  Here is a basic recipe for making nut milk.

Soaking required.

how to make almond milk in pretty glass pitchers

 

Make almond milk with a cheese press.  (good for those with weakened hand strength)

Soaking required.

how to make cheese with almond milk. new nut milk technique done with a fruit press

Make an almond milk that doesn’t separate;  Homogenized Almond Milk

Soaking required.

Homogenized Almond Milk displayed in an antique milk jar

Want to make your own raw almond butter?

Soaking & dehydrating required.

How to make almond butter, raw

Why are almonds used in raw recipes?  For many reasons actually.  Nutrient-wise, they are a good source of protein, fiber, and omega 3 & 6’s.  Textually, they act as a filler/flour (as shown above) in many cookie, bar and cake recipes.  Flavor-wise, they have a light, delicate taste with a hint of sweetness.  This makes for a nice recipe base when you don’t want much-added flavor from it added to all the other flavors going on in a recipe.  To find recipes that use almonds, type the word almonds in the search box located on the left menu bar.

 

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28 thoughts on “(FREE) Almonds, Soaking and Drying

  1. Amy says:

    Hi there. If I roast them in the oven (for flavor) after soaking and drying them in the dehydrator, will they keep their nutrients?

    • amie-sue says:

      Hello Amy,

      There’s not much reliable research available regarding specifics of how the nutritional content of nuts changes when they are roasted. If you do your due diligence in researching this topic, you will quickly find that they answers (opinions) are all over the board.

      Personally, after spending years of using, preparing, and enjoying nuts/seeds… both my husband and I find them easier to digest when we soak and dehydrate them. So my suggestion is to skip the roasting but if you want to enjoy them roasted every now and then, I don’t see an issue with that. But if you do plan to consume roasted nuts, make them yourself. Many roasted nuts on the market start with stale or poor quality nuts and are roasted (and often fried) in bad oils (which is harmful to your body) they then enhance their taste with salt and sugar. The process of roasting with bad oils oxidizes the heart-healthy polyunsaturated fats, creating unstable compounds linked to inflammation.

      Also, roasted, chopped, and ground nuts go rancid more quickly than whole raw ones, so use them up quickly.

      I hope this helps, Blessings, amie sue

  2. Beth says:

    Amie Sue,

    I have been making and enjoying almond milk for years now and yesterday I experienced something I had never seen before. After I rinsed the nuts I happened to see a clear, jelly like substance on the nuts. They seemed to be oozing it, but I suppose it is possible that it had collected?? The jelly wasn’t sticky like sap; however, it reminded me of sap. Do you know what this could be and if it is safe to use the nuts if I find this again.
    Thank you sincerely for the life you live. Your knowledge helps others in the journey to health and your conversations inspire a greater appreciation and love for all we have.

    Beth

    • amie-sue says:

      Good evening Beth,

      Ohhh, hmmm, wow. I can’t say that I have experience that before but I have a few questions for you.

      1. How long did they soak for and at what temp?
      2. Did you use a new brand of almonds?
      3. Were they indeed raw almonds?
      4. Can you send me a picture? (amiesue@nouveauraw.com)
      5. Were the almonds rancid upon using them? Did you taste one to see what their freshness was prior? (good habit to be in)

      Let’s start there and see what we can maybe narrow this down too. amie sue :)

  3. Alina says:

    Hi Amie-Sue,
    In this article you advise to store the dehydrated almonds in fridge. Can they ever be stored at room tempereature?
    What about other dehydrated products? Do they all have to be stored in fridge?
    Thank you

    • amie-sue says:

      Good day Alina,

      For me, my rule of thumb is to keep them stored in the fridge or freezer just to reduce any chance of them going rancid (due to their high fat content). If I know they will be eaten with 2-4 weeks I am ok with them being on the counter. It also depends on how warm it is where they are being stored.

      As far as other dehydrated foods, it will depend on the moisture content that is left behind in them, so I can’t give a black and white answer to that. If you have more specific dehydrated recipes that you are referring to, just let me know so I can better guide. you..

      Blessings, amie sue

  4. Isabelle says:

    Hello Amie-Sue,

    could you tell me why should I add salt?
    I always soaked them only with water.

    Do you peel the almonds after soaking, or would it be better?

    Thank you!
    Isabelle

    • amie-sue says:

      Good morning Isabelle,

      Salt is necessary to help neutralize the enzymes. The only time I peel almonds is if my digestion is off kilter because the skins can aggravate some people. The other time is when I want to create a creamy white color in a recipe that I may be developing. That way I don’t have brown specs in the batter.

      Have a wonderful weekend, amie sue :)

  5. Laura says:

    Thanks for this article. I have been soaking almonds for a while now since it is important for me to eat easy to digest foods due to health issues. I used to dry them out in the oven, but now I have a dehydrator. My question is, are soaked almonds supposed to taste similar to roasted almonds? Because I have always loved almonds, yet my soaked almonds taste a little weird. It’s hard for me to describe the exact taste. Almost like they are a little bit sour or something. I still eat them, but my kids refuse to eat them, saying they taste bad. Is it possible I’m not drying them out enough? Or that they’ve gone bad? Or do soaked almonds just taste different?

    • amie-sue says:

      Good afternoon Laura,

      I will jump right into this… no, soaked and dehydrated almonds won’t taste like roasted almonds. Raw almonds are delicious and have the traditional almond taste as opposed to the roasted flavor of roasted nuts. Raw almonds do not have the intense taste of roasted almonds, this has to do with the oils that are released during the cooking. Throughout all these years of preparing and creating raw recipes, I have come to learn that not all almonds are the same. They vary from grower to grower. Some dehydrate nice and crispy while others seem to remain a tad bit softer. They also vary in flavor.

      For example, Marcona almonds are more tender, sweet, and delicate than regular almonds, with a nice buttery flavor that is due to their high oil and moisture content. California almonds have been described as tasting more “woody” in comparison.

      Do you soak them in salt water? When it comes to dehydrating them, throughout the process or when you think they are done… take just one out and let it cool to room temp. Slice it in half, if you see a darker color in the center of the nut, keep drying. They shouldn’t taste sour. Be sure to change the water throughout the soaking process, especially if you are in a hot and humid climate.

      If you want the almonds for snacking (for your kiddos) do you try salting them after soaking them? I like to take sea salt and grind it to a powder, then toss my soaked nuts in it before dehydrating.

      Always make sure that you are taste testing the raw almonds before soaking and drying. IF they taste stale or rancid prior, they won’t get better tasting throughout the process.

      Lastly, try different brands and keep a log of the ones that tasted better. I wish I could say that I exclusively get my nuts from just one supplier. I hope this was helpful, let me know. blessings, amie sue

      • Laura says:

        Thank you for the response! It may be just the almonds I am starting with…they do taste a bit “woody” I guess. I do soak them in salt water. There is no dark colour in the center of the nut. I do not salt them after soaking because they already seem to retain enough salt from the soaking water.

        I have never taste tested an almond prior to soaking, so I will for sure do that next time. Perhaps the almonds I am using aren’t great to begin with. But I will say, that a few times I chopped up some of my weird tasting soaked almonds (after they were already dried), toasted them in the oven just until they browned, and used them as a crispy topping on yogurt, and I thought they tasted way better that way, the way an almond is supposed to taste. Maybe I just don’t like the taste of raw almonds…I hope that’s not what it is.

        • amie-sue says:

          Good afternoon Laura… after all this talking back and forth, I would just suggest trying some different brands and see if it makes a difference for you. You may not like nuts prepared this way… or at least just almonds. Don’t give up! :) Keep me posted as you test other ones and see if things change for your taste buds. blessings, amie sue

  6. Priscilla Paxson says:

    I bought roasted alomonds by mistake . Can I still soak them to get the skins off. I am using them to make almond butter.
    Thank You!

    • amie-sue says:

      Hello Priscilla,

      I haven’t tried it myself. I would soak a couple and see how the skins are. They might be more difficult to remove. You don’t have to remove the skins to make the almond butter unless that is your preference. Good luck, amie sue :)

    • Laura says:

      Priscilla, the almond butter I normally purchase clearly has the skins still in, so it isn’t necessary to remove them. However, when I soak almonds I always remove the skins to make them easier to digest. I have never soaked already roasted almonds so I’m not sure about that, but when soaking raw almonds the skins are pretty easy to slip off once they’ve been soaking 6 hours or so, you just give each almond a firm squeeze and it slips right out of the skin.

  7. Michael says:

    Hi Amie Sue,

    I enjoyed the article! But, I have a question.

    I eat raw, sliced almonds. I understand that salt must be used when soaking almonds to neutralize the enzymes. But, when soaking sliced almonds should you use less salt because these almonds don’t have a protective shell (as with whole almonds)?

    Thank you1

    • amie-sue says:

      Hello Michael,

      I wouldn’t. I would just carry on as normal.Are they balanced almonds? Most almonds that are sold as sliced pieces are. amie sue

  8. Michael says:

    Thank you for the quick response, Amie Sue! I appreciate it. Yes, I do think they’re balanced almonds.

  9. Ayshwarya says:

    1) can we sun dry the soaked almonds?
    2) can we use microwave to dry the soaked almonds?

    Thanks,
    Aysh

    • amie-sue says:

      Good day Aysh,

      Yes, you can sun-dry almonds. I have a post on sun-drying fruit but you can use the same basic set up for nuts.

      And no, I wouldn’t advise on drying almonds in the microwave. For starters, they no longer would remain raw. I am not sure if that is a goal of yours or not.

      amie sue

  10. Kari says:

    Hi Amie Sue,
    Is it not necessary to change the water during the soaking process as you don’t recommend it?
    Kari

    • amie-sue says:

      Good afternoon Kari,

      Yes, I would recommend changing the water every 4-8 hours. Thank you for pointing that out. It should have been listed in the preparation. I will make the adjustment. blessings, amie sue

  11. Helen says:

    I would like to make some spiced almond/nut mix that is dried in the dehydrator. Do you have any tips and/or recipes for how to do this? Thanks

  12. Harry says:

    Hi, I want to add raw almonds to my anzac biscuit recipe and was wondering after I have soaked the almonds do they require the dehydrating process.

    • amie-sue says:

      Good evening Harry,

      I assume that you are baking them and not trying to make them raw? I had to look them up since I am not familiar with them. If it were me, I would soak and dehydrate them, then add them into the biscuit recipe. Keep me posted how they turn out. :) blessings, amie sue

  13. Piyush Dabriwal says:

    Can i soak then dehydrate and then roast and add natural ingredients to it so that kids like it? I understand that by roasting the nutrients value decreases. But if i do dry roasting with controlled temperature- will that not be fine? If kids does not like the taste then end up having nithing- but by this process at least some nutrients will go inside their body. Can we talk over the phone/linkedin/mail?

    • amie-sue says:

      Good day Piyush,

      There is no point to soak, dehydrate, and then roast. Skip the dehydrating process if you are going to roast the nuts. In order for the nuts to remain raw, you would need to keep your oven below 115 degrees (F)… there are ways to calibrate that process. I have a post on that, https://nouveauraw.com/dehydrating/conventional-oven-food-drying/.

      But I agree, losing some nutrients is better than having your kids avoiding them all together. Go ahead and soak the raw nuts, then roast in the oven.

      You can always connect with me through email at amiesue@nouveauraw.com. If you need help with particular recipes on the site, keep our communication here so others can learn from your questions as well. :)

      Have a blessed day, amie sue

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