FoodUnlocking the benefits: Why soaking your nuts is worth it

Unlocking the benefits: Why soaking your nuts is worth it

Nuts are a great snack!
Nuts are a great snack!
Images source: © Pexels | Engin Akyurt

7:17 PM EDT, April 1, 2024, updated: 9:56 AM EDT, April 2, 2024

Walnuts, hazelnuts, pistachios, and Brazilian nuts are excellent snack choices. They offer numerous benefits, being rich in unsaturated fatty acids, antioxidants, and vitamins. Moreover, there's a simple method to enhance their nutritional value and flavor.

Nuts are abundant in vitamins, proteins, and unsaturated fatty acids. They reduce the risk of many diseases and positively affect brain function. Besides, they're delicious snacks. Many enjoy munching on them while watching TV and for a good reason. Regular consumption of nuts also boosts the production of serotonin, the "happiness hormone," improving mood and stress management. But do nuts have any downsides?

Fats, but the good ones

Nuts are renowned for their beneficial fats. These unsaturated fats help to lower cholesterol levels. Additionally, nuts are high in fiber, making them incredibly filling. A small handful can quell hunger, though consuming much more than intended is easy. Large quantities can strain the stomach and liver. Remember, despite being healthy, nuts are still high in calories.

What about the acid?

Excessive nut consumption can lead to discomfort due to natural enzymatic inhibitors, such as phytic acid. This compound prevents the nut from sprouting prematurely and hinders mineral absorption from other foods. Like legumes, soaking nuts before eating them can help eliminate phytic acid.

The importance of soaking

Soaking enhances the taste of nuts and improves their nutritional value. It can benefit any type or mix of nuts and also helps remove any added salt. This process eases digestion and ensures we absorb all the nutrients they offer.

The soaking duration varies by nut type. Hazelnuts require the longest, over 10 hours. Use boiled and cooled water for soaking, adding a few drops of lemon juice or apple cider vinegar. Salt is another beneficial additive. After soaking, nuts can be used immediately or dried for later use in an oven set between 104 and 122 degrees F or a food dehydrator to prevent mold.

How long to soak nuts?

- Brazil nuts, pine nuts, and macadamia: 1 hour
- Pistachios and cashews: 2-4 hours
- Walnuts and almonds: more than 8 hours
- Hazelnuts: at least 10 hours

Is it necessary?

Worried that soaking will turn your quick snack into a chore? It's optional. If you rarely eat nuts, soaking isn't essential. It's particularly recommended for those planning to use nuts in large-quantity desserts or for individuals with digestive issues. And if you're wondering, yes, soaked nuts are less crunchy due to their softer texture.
Related content