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(FREE) 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 head 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

Preparation:

Soaking:

  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.

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59 thoughts on “(FREE) 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

  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

  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

      • Claire says:

        The package says natural walnuts and they taste just like raw ones. The ingredients contain just walnuts. I have no idea how they got trans fat in them.

  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

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