View Full Version : What's the deal with soaking nuts?
05-08-2005, 06:54 PM
Hey I first put this in the wrong forum and I'm not wure how to delete it?! Anyway oops! I want to know if I need to soak all nuts before I eat them because of enzyme inhibitors. And also do I soak them in a closed container or what?
05-08-2005, 07:34 PM
Here is my understanding of things thusfar. I'm new to this too.
Almonds, walnuts and pecans can be difficult to digest and soaking helps this. They are also difficult if not impossible to sprout. It also makes them more soft and easier for my food processor to deal with.
Pine nuts, as far as I know, are never soaked. They are soft as is.
Pistachios, I recommend soaking based on personal experience. I'm going to chip a tooth on one some day!
I don't soak my sunflower seeds unless I plan to sprout them. They taste lovely when sprouted. They taste green!
The rinsing several times during soaking is supposed to help with the inhibitors. I'm a gardener so I understand the ideal behind that. You don't have to use a closed container. I usually put mine in little containers and toss them in the fridge, taking them out to rinse every so often (at LEAST once daily).
05-09-2005, 12:09 AM
sachis2112 thank you for the info. I guess there is a bit of trial and error involved. :)
05-09-2005, 04:40 AM
You MUST soak almonds, hazelnuts for at least 12 hours, and cashews,for at least 4 hours. These have very strong enzyme enhibitors, and will NOT digest unless soaked.
Walnuts, brazil nuts, pine nuts and pecans do not soak, if you want them to be softer then soak for no more than 15 minutes.
Always, soad sunflower seeds, for at least 4 hours and remove the husks that float to the top, this can be tedious, but will enhance the flavor of anything you make with them.
I don't soak sesame seeds, or poppy seeds,
and technically ALL nuts are seeds anyway.
Just a side note, when soaking dates, soak for only 15 minutes.
05-09-2005, 05:56 PM
Raw Preistess thanks alot for the info it is really helpful. :) What about pumpkin seeds?
05-09-2005, 06:21 PM
Pumpkin seeds don't need to be soaked.
They should all be soaked out of the fridge (the chilling inhibits the soaking process). It's a cinch to just do it overnight, by the way.
If you're interested in eating only raw, you should know that cashews are not raw and that most pecans you buy aren't raw, either. Rhio says it best in her book, Hooked on Raw:
"Raw" cashew nuts are cooked. When you got to buy cashews you will find that some are classified as raw, but they are not raw because of the processing they have undergone to remove the nut from the shell. The cashew nut has a double shell, and between the two shells there is a toxic liquid which most processors burn off, cooking the cashew in the process. Then the interior shell (which is really a skin) is removed. You can get the story in any good encyclopedia.
"Raw" cashews are classified as "raw" to distinguish them from roasted cashews. Roasted cashews, of course, have been cooked again. A good substitute for cashews is pine nuts, macadamias, or pecans.
Also, here's the lowdown on pecans:
Most pecans are steamed before they are taken out of the shell. The rationale given for the steaming is that the pecans will then come out of the shell in two neat halves, without splintering. For truly raw pecans, you have two options: either shell your own or buy from Sunorganicbwww.sunorganic.com. Sunorganic has found a supplier who shells the pecans without steaming.
I believe that most raw pistachios have been heat treated also, but I'm not sure about this. If I find out that it's true, I'll post it.
Deedub, this is covered in Alissa's book and in most good raw food books. Or ... if you're waiting to buy her book, you can always search here on this forum; this is a subject that has come up over and over again as new members join. Just enter in the search term in the box at the top of the page ... and wow, so much information!!
05-09-2005, 09:20 PM
Here is an online source for really raw cashews ......
And rawpriestess, what about macadamia nuts? The last batch I soaked, didn't seem to pick up a lot of water.
05-09-2005, 11:11 PM
Hey thanks RawTruth I think I got it now I appreciate the info. I knew about the cashews and also I bought a book called Dining in the Raw and although I haven't read all the info I think it just says "soak your nuts" with no details. Anyway I tried to find Alissa's book out in stores and being the hands on usually don't order thinks off the net kinda gal I am I don't have it yet. But from reading some of the journals it sounds great especially the DVD. That search tip was great I did not know that. So thanks again for your help. Blessings :) .
05-09-2005, 11:37 PM
No, you don't soak macademias.
05-10-2005, 08:08 PM
You guys are chalk full of info. Thanks Raw Truth! Hey I came across this a few weeks ago in case anyones interested. One thing that bothers me is that the sprout charts differ. For instance Rawpriestess learned thru her raw classes she attended not to soak macademia's. I just read, soak them for four hours. I'm sure if I looked up in my RawGourmet book and Alissa's book, it would be different too. But this is what I found on cashews.
It's a fascinating insight from Habib Bailey a leader in the raw food movement,
"I imagine that many of you raw folks have been told that all cashews are not truly raw, because they've been heated in the shell before being opened. Well, I'm here to give you some news that will be very well received by everyone who loves the rich, creamy consistency that cashews bring to many delicious raw recipes.
A long time ago, I also heard that cashews are heated in the shells. I did find out that it is true. But rather than simply leaving it at that, and never eating them again, I reasoned that whether they were truly raw or not depended on whether or not enough heat made it through the shell, to actually alter the nuts themselves. You see,the reason they are heated, is that there is a caustic substance
coating the inside of the shell, that will burn the hands of those who open them for processing. They are briefly heated in order to disperse this natural, caustic agent. I heard that the heating didn't need to be very long, in order to accomplish this. This is what caused me to begin questioning how much heat actually made it through the shell, and whether it was of sufficient duration to actually
alter the nut.
So I devised an experiment:
I began making nut cheeses from all different kinds of nuts I could
find, using a very simple recipe I have devised, to make a cultured
nut cheese. Whenever I tried a particular nut cheese, I would make
two versions: one batch I would make from nuts labelled "raw" and the
other batch I would make from nuts that were NOT labelled raw. For
each kind of nut, I gave it several tries, to see if my results were
the same each time. And guess what? My results were ALWAYS the same...
Nut cheeses made from raw nuts virtually always came out right. They
tasted good, and had the kind of "pleasantly sharp" taste you get
from the growth of healthful, beneficial bacteria. Similar to the
kind that grows in good, live sauerkraut.
On the other hand, the nut cheeses made from nuts which were NOT
labelled as raw, ALWAYS ended up spoiling. There was in every single
case, a bad smell, and a bad taste. They were full of putrefactive
bacteria, and had to be thrown away.
NOW FOR THE CLINCHER: If you make the same conclusion from these
results that I did, you would also reason that if a nut cultured
properly, then it MUST have been raw....
Well, I will tell you: every single batch of cashew cheese that I
have ever made from cashews that were labelled as raw, ALWAYS
cultured properly, and came out tasting and smelling very, very
good... with no putrefactive odor or taste at all. In fact, whenever
I have given samples of this cheese to people who haven't tasted it
before, their eyes widen, and they have to have the recipe...
AND just like all the other kinds of nuts tested, every batch of
cashew cheese made from cashews NOT labelled as raw, ALWAYS SPOILED.
So the only possibility that makes sense to me, is that although
cashews are most definitely heated in the shells, that not enough
heat makes it through the shell, and not for a sufficient duration,
to detrimentally alter the cashew nut itself.
I have shared the story of my "experiment" and conclusions with many
raw food teachers. Usually they are very glad to hear of it, because
the cashew is an extremely versatile, tasty nut".
05-11-2005, 10:40 AM
hey Thank you Emily for the info on the cashew experiment. That is exciting news to me.
05-11-2005, 11:33 AM
Thanks for passing on all that information. I am glad to hear of the results.
05-12-2005, 02:35 AM
I think we all learn different things, because there are so many teachers, who have all learned it differently.
this is what I learned in a nut shell (lol hahahahaha ho ho hee hee I'm so funny)
When nuts fall to the ground, they won't start growing until they know they are ready to grow, which means there is enough water in the soil to produce a tree.
If a nut has a soft shell like an almond, or cashew, or hazelnut, then it has really strong enzyme inhibitors, so it won't grow prematurilly, if it has a harder outer shell, it has less enzyme inhibitors, because the shell won't let in the water.
So, it is also interesting to not that the harder shelled nuts have alot more oils than the softer nuts, and a more intense flavor, and they are also much more expensive.
so, you can remember which ones are hard shelled, or which ones have more oil, or which ones cost more, or you can just remember that you only HAVE to soak, almonds, hazelnuts, sufnlower seeds and cashews.
the rest you don't soak.
Hope this helps.
05-12-2005, 04:39 PM
Thanks again. I was trying to relay this to my husband because I read it in one of your other posts. So I appreciate you posting this again for us! You put it in such a way that simplifies it and makes sense in this sometimes complicated way of eating. Now I'm going to hurry up and put it in a file before it gets removed! :rolleyes: Just kidding. ( I had to throw the just kidding remark in because like you said, it is so easy to misinterpret,) Really, we appreciate so much all the good info on raw food and dishes that you have given us, Rawpriestess. Thanks so much.
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