How to Make Nourishing Traditions Crispy Nuts to Reduce Phytic Acid

How to make crispy nuts

I’ve been soaking my nuts and seeds to reduce their phytic acid content for years, and I’ve learned quite a bit along the way, especially about food dehydrators.

Nuts aren’t cheap, so you don’t really want to turn a batch here and there into expensive “learning experiences” like I have. Here I’ll share everything I know about soaking all different kinds of nuts so you can get the most nutritive value for your money spent.

Here is the Nourishing Traditions method for Crispy Nuts:

Nourishing Traditions instructs on how to make “Crispy Nuts”, soaked and dehydrated nuts that supposedly have the enzymes of raw foods intact but the phytic acid and enzyme inhibitors obliterated.

Soak 4 cups raw nuts in sea salt and filtered water to cover in a warm place at least 7 hours. Drain and spread in a single layer (I found that part out by experience) on pans and dry in an oven on its lowest temp for 12-24 hours.

Freshly shelled nuts are best.

However, I’ll never buy unshelled nuts again after my husband and son spent half an hour cracking nuts for me and only got a pound or less! My husband thought I was crazy for buying so many, and half are still in my pantry, unshelled!

If you set the temperature of your dehydrator at 150 F or below, the enzymes are preserved. If you don’t have a dehydrator yet (you seriously should get one) and your oven only goes to 170 F or something (like mine), you’ll be killing the enzymes anyway.

If this is the case at your home, to speed up the process and free up your oven more quickly turn the heat up to 250 F, or even 350 F, but only if you’re willing to watch the nuts very closely. Over-toasted walnuts (use the code STEWARDSHIP for 10% off at that site!) just aren’t tasty – more “from experience” sharing!

Phytic Acid Research

Although I’ve researched soaked grains like mad, I haven’t come across any particular research on phytic acid in nuts. If I defer to the phytic acid expert, Amanda Rose, she also claims there is not much food science on nuts, perhaps because grains are a bigger concern because they are a larger part of many people’s diets.

“If your diet does not have a lot of nuts and seeds, do not worry too much about the phytate content. Enjoy your food just as it comes off the tree or the plant. If you rely on foods like nut-based milk, you may want to consider fermenting them before drinking them. I would consider using water kefir grains to make fermented nut milk.”

How much salt to add to 4 cups of nuts:

Pecans, Walnuts*2 teaspoons
Almonds (use the code STEWARDSHIP for 10% off at that site!), Peanuts, Pine Nuts, Hazelnuts, Cashews (use the code STEWARDSHIP for 10% off at that site!), Macadamia Nuts1 Tablespoon
Pumpkin Seeds2 Tablespoons

*On account of walnuts’ more sensitive types of fats, it is recommended that they be refrigerated.

How to make crispy nuts

I have to say, I simply guesstimate the amounts of salt when I’m soaking nuts. It’s another slightly frustrating process, not because it’s difficult (it’s absolutely easy), but because it’s another task wherein I start with nuts, do an hour or so of work, and end up with…nuts. The largest amount of your time is spent moving the nuts from the dehydrator trays or baking sheets into storage. I freeze them when I have room, just to ensure their quality.

My Method for Soaking Nuts:

Soak raw nuts in Redmond sea salt (the cheaper stuff!) and warm water that I heated in a teapot while I got everything else out of the cupboards. I dump the salt on the nuts in glass bowls and pour the water over them.

Soak overnight (at least 7 hours). Drain in a colander. Arrange on dehydrator tray. Sometimes I sprinkle a little salt on the wet nuts once they’re spread out.

Start soaked nuts at 135F for about 3 hours, then turn the dehydrator down to 115F for the remainder of the time, even if it takes two days.

Taste test to check: the nuts should practically pop (or crumble, depending on the nut) in your mouth. Just try not to eat them all when they’re warm and toasty!

Almonds take 24 hours, walnuts and pecans between 12-16 hours. Store in glass jars, or at least airtight containers. Sometimes mine go right back in the plastic bag they came in.

For long term storage (months), you may want to keep your crispy nuts in the fridge or freezer.

Amanda Rose recommends:

Sprouting is best in her opinion, but she also soaks in warm water with no salt, or even cracks/slightly grinds the nuts, especially if she’s just planning on making nut butter from them. Cracking the nuts slightly allows (a) more enzyme inhibitors to work, and (b) faster drying time. There isn’t research that shows that salt water reduces phytic acid any more than plain water. (This information is from Rose’s white paper, “Reducing Phytic Acid in Your Food,” available for purchase here.)

I tried sprouting some conventional nuts, and nothing happened. Perhaps they weren’t as “raw” as the package claimed? Perhaps they had been irradiated (shudder) which killed them? I saw organic “really raw” nuts in my health food store that particularly noted “for sprouting,” but they were about three times the price. I can’t do it! Nuts are pricey already.

My daughter went through a phase where she only wanted to eat almonds for snacks. Because she was young at the time and didn’t chew very well, so many almonds were evident on the other end…I started cringing thinking, “We’re paying good money for those nuts! Digest, digest!”  🙂

Note: I understand as of spring 2014 that Nourishing Traditions has published new guidelines for soaking nuts, which may include a longer soak time and changing out the water, but I can’t find them! If you have a link or WAPF newsletter that details the new method, please share in the comments. Thanks!

Special Considerations for Various Nuts

Cashews do not come raw, because they grow with a toxic poison inside, so they must be roasted to keep us safe. Even cashews that are sold as “raw” are not really. NT says you can still soak and dry cashews, just for the enzyme inhibitors, not the phytic acid or enzymes.

Finding the Right Almonds

You can buy almonds with the brown skin on or off. Which to seek out?

The brown skin likely contains the vast majority of the phytic acid since it is like the bran of a wheat kernel. Therefore, some would say that a blanched (skinned) almond doesn’t need soaking. You can buy either one!

But, there’s something about almonds you may not realize.

Have you ever purchased “raw” almonds in a store with plans to make crispy nuts, taking the time to soak, then carefully dehydrate at a low temperature to preserve the enzymes?

If so, you may feel hoodwinked.

All almonds sold in stores are pasteurized.

Even if the label says “raw.”

All of them.

It’s the law.

If the almonds are organic, they’re pasteurized using a burst of steam. Otherwise, most likely chemicals are used in a process called PPO, or Propylene Oxide. It’s FDA and EPA approved. Of course. Last time I checked the really great price almonds at Costco are chemically pasteurized which is a total bummer.

The idea behind them still being labeled “raw” is that the treatment is only on the outside and doesn’t really “cook” or (apparently, according to the government) alter or affect the inside or nutritional value.

If you don’t like the idea of chemicals being puffed at your food, whether EPA says it all goes away in a few minutes or not, or you want truly raw almonds, you have to buy directly from the grower.

You can find farms like this one selling online, but the almonds aren’t cheap.

Wherever you purchase your almonds from, you may want to call the supplier to make sure they’re not chemically pasteurized. You can also find organic, “for sprouting” nuts that are certainly living foods and not pasteurized, but I found them to be cost-prohibitive at my health foods store. You’ll have to decide for yourself if it’s worth dehydrating almonds or just roasting them.

Peanuts & More

I didn’t like soaked peanuts very much, because all the lovely salt soaked away. Salt makes a peanut! I think I’m just going to continue to buy regular store peanuts and not process them again at home. I’ll look for nuts with no MSG or other random additives in them. For example, Planter’s Dry Roasted peanuts have about 12 ingredients – yucky!

I have a whole post about how to make crispy (soaked) pumpkin seeds – a very frugal snack.

I’ve done sunflower seeds, too, which went well but was frustrated with sesame seeds. Might not try that one again!

Tips for Using an Oven to Dehydrate Nuts

My mom regularly makes crispy nuts in an oven, and they’re excellent and yummy! Here are her tips (see also her baked apple chips in the oven):

How to make crispy nuts

  • Soak nuts with salt according to the recipe.
  • After draining, blot them with a towel so they’re less wet for the drying time.
  • Set your oven at its lowest setting. Mine says 170F, but it’s a ‘slow’ oven which should make it a bit less than 170.
  • Whole, raw almonds usually take 24 hours in my oven at its lowest setting.
  • Walnuts take 12+ hours.
    • Katie’s notes: Obviously, make sure you don’t need your oven during that time (although you could take the nuts out to bake something and then put them back in).
  • You can also “dry” them out at a higher temperature, like 300F, but it will only take a few hours and you risk singeing them, which tastes horrible. If you try that, keep a close eye on them every half hour and more frequently as they get close.

How Much Does it Cost to Run an Oven For That Long?

I figure it adds about a dollar a batch to run a dehydrator for 12 hours, almonds double that since they take twice as long. I have a gas oven, which is less expensive than electric in my area, so again I figure I need to add 50 cents per batch if I kill the enzymes.

Once I tried to pack too many cookie sheets in the oven to be more efficient, but stacking one on top of the other made my walnuts turn black. Yikes. They weren’t burnt at all, just black. So don’t stack cookie sheets up! You can do the math to figure out how much moolah your crispy nuts add to the price of a snack with my “How Much do Appliances Cost to Run?” post.

Does a Dehydrator Use More Energy Than an Oven?

According to my appliance cost post, an oven costs between 10-25 cents/hour at 350F. When I compared two dehydrators, I found that the Excalibur 9-tray model, which I have, costs 61 cents for 12 hours. If almonds take 3-4 hours to finish in a 350F degree oven, that’s $0.30-1.00 for a batch. The Excalibur 9-tray can fit at least three times as many nuts, and even if it takes 48 hours for almonds, that’s about $2.44.

Depending on whether you have a gas (less expensive) or electric oven, it may still be better to run the dehydrator for crispy almonds. Since walnuts get done in about 12-14 hours, I would say the dehydrator would definitely be more cost effective there.

Aren’t Nuts Expensive?

Crispy nuts compared to conventional snacks

Unfortunately, yes. When I made my first batch of crispy nuts last winter, I took this comparison photo: On the left, 5 pounds of crispy nuts = over $25 and an hour’s work

On the right, 3 choices of conventional processed snacks = $4 and no work

It’s a hazard of eating real food, all right. It’s going to cost you more, most likely some more time and some more money. Of course, there are costs and hazards to the alternative, too. And they might just kill you.

Do you make crispy nuts? Do you find nuts bother your digestion?

Healthy Snacks To Go on iPadI’d sure like to think that I can save you money. Nuts are expensive, but making your own nut based snacks from scratch will save you money over buying store-bought snacks, plus they’ll be much healthier!

30 of the 45 recipes in my ebook, Healthy Snacks to Go call for crispy nuts!

If you make just a few batches of the famous power bars (my copycat Larabar recipe), packed with expensive ingredients like dried fruit and nuts, you’ll save the purchase price of the book vs. buying individual Larabars. A couple batches of homemade Wheat Thins, and you’ll not only have a much healthier end product, but a few bucks still in your pocket as well.

Learn More About The Ebook

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links from which I will earn a commission. See my full disclosure statement here.

Images from steffenz and s58y.

76 thoughts on “How to Make Nourishing Traditions Crispy Nuts to Reduce Phytic Acid”

  1. Beth Steenwyk – I posted about my “oops” with Diamond brand – BHT on the nuts!!! – earlier this month on FB. I need a better walnut source; I love them, too!

  2. Christal via Facebook

    That reminds me, my husband would gripe about me buying raw nuts, soaking them, then dehydrating them saying it was a waste of time and they weren’t that good anyway. So I stopped buying nuts period. He asked me to get him a bag of regular roasted/salted nuts, fine! He digs into the bag & starts munching walking away…comes back later to quietly inform me that they tasted like crap & were soft & chewy, that the nuts I make are far better. Ha!!

  3. Beth via Facebook

    Where do you buy your walnuts? I read somewhere (I know, great sourcing 😉 that walnuts can have a fair amount of pesticide on them. The price of organic about kills me! I haven’t bought any in a while, but my son LOVES them.

  4. Amy Guthrie Junkins – I just got an order of truly raw almonds from http://www.homegrownalmonds.com/ and they’re wonderful. Otherwise, I’ve gotten them from Meijer or Country Life. I’d like a better walnut source…

  5. Brandis via Facebook

    I guess I’m fortunate that my oven sucks- the lowest temp, which says 150 on the dial, comes in at like 130 on my oven thermometer. I honestly think my (totally crappy) dehydrator gets hotter… since it somehow managed to melt it’s own trays!

  6. Diane Palma Bowman – Yes, I think cashews are 7 hours max. I don’t bother b/c it’s hard to keep them from getting slimy, so we just eat them from the store and say “oh well.” 😉

  7. Brandis L Roush – click to the post, but basically over 150F kills enzymes. Plus, I burn them when I do the oven! 😉 It was too much hassle at my in-laws.

  8. Lorrie via Facebook

    The oven can be too warm and can “kill” the nuts, right? My oven’s lowest temp is too warm to dehydrate nuts. Which dehydrator do you all use?

  9. Diane via Facebook

    I love cashews and almonds. I thought I’d read somewhere that cashews don’t need to be soaked as long.. Can you advise?

  10. Although the group buy is over for the year, here is a link on information regarding raw almonds and why you would want the unpasteurized and unfumigated ones – when they pasteurize them, they kill the enzymes, which is what you are trying to keep by sprouting/soaking/drying. http://www.greensmoothiegirl.com/blog/2011/10/04/prices-on-nutsseeds-for-this-years-group-buy/

  11. There are already 55 comments on this article and I don’t have time to read through them all to see if someone posted this already. You can get truly raw, unpasteurized almonds in the fall from California, but you have to know who to get them from. We used to have Nutty Guys in Salt Lake City who we could get these unpasteurized almonds from, but they’ve gone out of business. This year we paid a bit more ($3.75 per pound) and got them from greensmoothiegirl.com’s annual group buy. She does this in October. I’ve NEVER tasted almonds so good! You know “almond” flavoring? Yep – that’s how these nuts taste. I keep them in the freezer and use as needed throughout the year.

    1. Wow, Heather, thank you! That is an amazing price, period, for almonds!!!!! I just put it in my Google calendar to look into it next September/Oct. Thanks so much! 🙂 Katie

  12. Brandis via Facebook

    I just made a big batch of crispy walnuts. Nuts aren’t my fave, but I read that consuming more triptophan can increase seratonin, and I need that in the winter. Is there a reason you didn’t just dry them in the oven- that’s what I do.

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  15. Hi Katie. We use nuts probably about 5x a week for a snack or breakfast, especially now that I’ve found some awesome recipes in your e-book 😉
    I’ve never gone to the trouble of soaking nuts but would consider now if the evidence shows phytic acid is actually reduced. Reading “Living with Phytic Acid” Mr Nagel states it may be reduced. Do you know if Ms. Rose’s research shows it is actually reduced? Like everyone else, I’m just so busy I don’t want to add an extra step that is just a theory and not proven beneficial.

    1. Shannon,
      I honestly can’t remember if Amanda Rose’s research touches much on nuts;she talks a lot about grains. I’d search her blog real quick if I were you: http://www.rebuild-from-depression.com

      Some people can *feel* the difference, as in they feel awfully if they eat unsoaked nuts. ??? That means something is being done, whether it’s phytic acid or not, I can’t say. never an easy answer, is there! 🙁
      Katie

  16. One of the main reason’s I dislike eating nut’s is cracking a tooth on a nut in the past. Are dehydrated nuts not firmer and harder on teeth then standard supermarket nuts?

    1. I would say they are not. Walnuts and pecans feel the same, with a bit more flavor, and almonds aren’t harder, but they “pop” more when you bite them, like falling apart instead of just grinding in your mouth. I like them all better than unsoaked nuts! 🙂 Katie

      1. Thanks Katie. Is it true that phytic acid only draws minerals from the meal it is in? So you do not lose calcium in your body. Just the calcium in a bowl of oatmeal, for instance.

        1. Tough to say! That one is so controversial about whether it even can affect the other foods you’re eating at the time at all… sorry I haven’t found to answer yet! 🙂 Katie

          1. Thanks again. What about a meal or snack, say an hour or two after you have eaten phytic acid?

            Would this still possibly have an effect on nutrients?

  17. The almonds I buy from Organic Pastures really truly are RAW. So if you live in California get almonds from here. (It’s the same farm that I get our raw milk from). http://www.organicpastures.com/raw-almond-expose.html

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  19. I just reread this and think I found my answer. So, walnuts should be refrigerated right? Also, you keep as many as you have room for in your freezer to ensure quality?

  20. I made some crispy nuts recently and was wondering about how to store them. I had them at room temperature but my walnuts tasted bad when I ate some today. Should I store them in the freezer or fridge?

  21. hi katie thanks again so much for all your research! i found this online, not sure how reliable it is, but it’s something new to me and might be worth checking out? this might also be relevant to the soaking grains debate that you’re reviving.

    http://www.vegsource.com/talk/raw/messages/16306.html

    1. Shu,
      Thanks for sharing. The comments there do make sense, although since it’s just a forum answer, I have no way of knowing the person’s background. 🙂 Katie

  22. Alright, so I want to try baking/cooking more with almond flour (to complement already using coconut flour frequently).

    Any suggestions on the best way about this so it isn’t terribly expensive and yet is still digestible with some health benefits? I have an excalibur dehydrator now, but not sure what’s the best way about this. Should I buy almonds or almond flour already blanched and then soak and dehydrate it for optimum digestibility? I know I’ll be losing the enzymes with baking. I’m kinda getting lost in all the different options- raw, pasteurized, blanched, whole almonds or almond flour… I need to sort this out! Help!

    1. Carrie,
      Now THAT is a good question. Let me turn on the ol’ brain…

      With almonds, you don’t have a phytate issue if you don’t have the skins, so blanched almonds (or flour, if that’s what it starts with) doesn’t benefit as much from the soaking/dehydrating. You could probably modify an almond flour recipe for soaking (or find one at a real food blog…but not mine, sorry). Since almond flour is so expensive, in my opinion, IF you have a really good blender or food processor (I have heard only the Vitamix/Blendtec sort has the power to get to flour) or a grain grinder that can handle nuts (Wondermill, for example – my Nutrimill won’t do nuts, so sad), you could soak, dehydrate, and grind your own. Phew! Feel better now? 😉

      Actually, if you wanted to save time, you could just zap your soaked almonds at 350F for an hour or two (more? almonds are so dense!) since you’ll be baking with them anyway. Your choice on that one!

      Good luck! 🙂 Katie

      1. So let me see if I’m understanding this correctly.

        If I buy blanched almond flour (or buy almonds and blanch and grind them myself) and I’m planning on baking with it (at high temps), am I understanding that it will neither have the phytic acid problem (due to the skins being removed) and also won’t have enzyme inhibitors (due it being either pasteurized or baked at high heat)? I’m assuming that the regular old blanched almond flour no longer has either, due to no skins and the steam pasteurization. And I’ve found prices that really aren’t much worse than if I were to make the almond flour myself. (I’m hoping to save some time here too!) Am I good to use this blanched pasteurized almond flour as is? I’m thinking it’s only an issue if I buy my own truly raw almonds and then would need to soak/dehydrate (for phytic acid in the skins) and blanch.

        Hope I’m getting this right… it’s confusing sometimes! Silly almonds! 😉

        1. I…think? I guess I don’t know about the enzyme inhibitors, but the enzymes themselves will be killed. ?? I’m thinking it’s pretty darn healthy at this point! 🙂 Katie

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  25. UPDATE: I emailed Meijer and Country Life Naturals, the two places I get almonds, and both use the steam method of pasteurizing. No chemicals. Phew.

    Thanks for the education, gals!
    🙂 Katie

  26. Katie ~ Simple Organic

    OK!! This is what I have been wondering about. I knew the “raw” almonds in stores weren’t really raw, so I wasn’t sure whether there would still be any benefit to soaking and drying. (Just got an Excalibur – whee!) But it looks like there would still be benefit. When I’m making the big bucks I’ll start buying really raw almonds. 😉 Crispy nuts, here we come!
    .-= Katie ~ Simple Organic´s last blog ..Fruits and Veggies: When To Buy Organic =-.

  27. A recent WAPF article recommends soaking nuts for 18 hrs. 😛 http://www.westonaprice.org/Living-With-Phytic-Acid.html (Go about 1/3 ofway down to the section titled “NUTS.”)

    Ok. I just started skimming this article. it is sort of depressing, so you might not want to read it!

  28. We don’t eat a lot of nuts, partially because of the cost and partially because I don’t care for them. We will occasionally throw some slivered almonds in with a salad or something. DH does love pine nuts, but those are some of the most $$ of all!
    I cannot eat cashews or pistachios (which happen to be the only two types of nuts that I really like). Somewhere around when I was in college either type of nut started giving me a horrid stomach ache for a few hours after eating them. I’ve also recently added kiwi to the list of things that I have this reaction to. Very strange.

  29. My daughter can’t handle nuts. Or couldn’t last time we tried, a few months back. Too bad because she LOVES them. Now that she’s tolerating the sprouted spelt well, though, crispy nuts are on my list of foods to try. I’m willing to do the work even though it’s “the same” after because I’ve noticed how well she does on raw milk and sprouted grains, vs. pasteurized milk and unsprouted grains. To me, it’s worth it to do more prep to be able to eat all the “normal” food. We went from being free of all dairy, legumes, nuts, grains, and more…to being free of nuts and seeds. Seriously? So much better.
    .-= Kate´s last blog ..Introducing Solids: What, When, How =-.

    1. Kate,
      I thought I saw that you made biscuits! Woo hoo for grains coming back! You’re right, it’s worth it – I hope I didn’t come across as too negative on that. 🙂 Katie

  30. I found your article very interesting. I try to do the crispy nuts but my oven only goes to 170. I thought that would do, but it sounds like I shouldn’t even bother. Also, I read in cheeseslave.com that even if the package says raw if they come from the U.S. they really aren’t. They are expensive and I can’t afford to order them online, and if my oven is killing all the good enzymes what’s the point? I think I should stop wasting my time trying to make crispy nuts! I do need to find some other snacks though.

    1. Linda,
      Even without the raw enzymes, crispy nuts are still super healthy! You want to soak and toast them to make the minerals they contain available to your body – because they’re seeds, they’d rather not be digested well. Nuts make a great snack, enzymes or not.
      🙂 Katie

  31. Raw Almonds have already been pasteurized in this country, so you really don’t need to worry about preserving the enzymes. The laws changed about 2-3 years ago. They are either pasteurized by a toxic fumigant or high heat steam (I think around 188 degrees- I called a company I was buying nuts from). As far as the skin goes- this is what I found. So, don’t get rid of the skins!! The flavonoids found in almond skins team up with the vitamin E found in their meat to more than double the antioxidant punch either delivers when administered separately, shows a study published in the Journal of Nutrition.
    So, if you are buying Almonds, call the company to see HOW they are pasteurized!!!
    I also started putting my bowl of soaking pecans into the oven with the oven light over night (temp gets around 100 degrees) and Wow, what a difference it makes. They taste like butter!

    1. Mary Jo,
      Thank you so much for this information. It kind of changes everything, doesn’t it? I’m calling Meijer tomorrow about almonds!
      🙂 Katie

    2. The other day I found “truly raw” almonds from Azure Standard and emailed to ask if they are pasteurized and this was their response:

      “The Truly Raw Almonds are truly raw. They are not flashed pasteurized, heated or treated in any way. They are straight from the grower to our warehouse with no stops or “middlemen” which is why they are raw in all aspects. ”

      So, it is possible to find raw almonds! I think Organic Pastures also sells truly raw almonds as well.
      .-= Carrie´s last blog ..Goat’s Milk =-.

      1. Very cool. I hadn’t looked into this for the last couple of years but I just read that 2 loopholes to the North American law of pasteurization was that you can buy them online or at a farmer’s market. Hmmm, I wonder what Azure standard charges for them…

        1. NOT cheap… $38.85 for 5lbs right now. Yikes!! We eat almonds and walnuts so frequently that I figured it would be better to have good quality, but it’s just SO expensive and I’m not sure if it’s worth it…
          .-= Carrie´s last blog ..Goat’s Milk =-.

          1. This is my reasoning- I soak the nuts and dehydrate at 155 degrees. If you purchase nuts that are steam pasteurized, the temperature is about 180- 188 degrees. I’m not sure 25 degrees is worth spending twice as much. Just my .02. HOWEVER, I will definitely spend the extra money on organic peanuts. Those are heavily sprayed and carcinogenic (from what I have learned).

            1. Mary Jo,
              The temperature is all about enzymes: dead or alive? So yes, a few degrees makes a difference. Enzymes die above 150 F dry heat, 118 F wet heat. When I make my yogurt, if I stir in the culture starter when the milk is 125 degrees, I’m going to have nothing but milk. If I stir it in at 115, I get yogurt. Past. nuts have no living enzymes, so you can still soak them for max. digestibility, but just dry them out at any temperature you want. Does that make sense? (You may want to lower that temp 5 degrees, in fact!)

              Good call on the peanuts – I struggle with our choices for PB, because the organic one is in a plastic jar and has added sweeteners, but the regular natural version is “ingredients: peanuts” and in a glass jar. What’s up with that? 😉 Katie

              1. See, this is why I need an Excalibur dehydrator 🙂 I set my dial around 150 (or 155) but I think it gets hotter than that. I can’t wait until it breaks! Either way, I can’t see myself paying nearly $8/lb on Almonds unless my family was doing GAPS.
                If you put your yogurt culture in at 125, the heat might kill the enzymes in your raw milk, but not the bacteria of your culture. (?) If you maintain 110 degrees you will get your yogurt and slightly higher temp the whey will separate slightly from the milk solids and you will get a riccota like cheese. I’m really horrible with the chemistry of all this, I am always confusing enzymes, bacteria etc.

              2. Just make your own peanut butter in the food processor or a high power blender- it really is easy and you can customize it to your liking- extra salt, light salt, a little honey, or whatever!

  32. I have been soaking my almonds for about a year now and find that it does make a huge difference in digestibility for me. Almonds used to give me a headache if I ate too many (more than a small handful). I don’t have that problem any more.

    As far as the cost of nuts as a snack versus the snack “foods” that you showed, the true cost will show up in the future from eating all those non-foods. Not to mention, 5 lbs of almonds would last me a long time since they are so satisfying. If I was eating doritos, I’d snarf down that whole bag, be unsatisfied (not to mention ill) and I’d keep eating. 🙂 If I eat the nuts, I’m truly happy with my handful. (especially if i pop them in the toaster oven with a sprinkle of fish sauce or tamari, yummy!)
    Great post!

  33. I do mostly pecans and walnuts and add them to my salads. As far as price though, in your comparison…those are the kind of snacks one could mindlessly eat the entire bag of and still not feel exactly satisfied, ill maybe, but not satisfied. The crispy nuts on the other hand, If I’m on the go, I can grab a handful of the nuts and an orange or apple and it satisfies like a small meal. Its nearly impossible to eat to many of the nuts too! They are just way more satisfing(: As far as other flavors, I picked up some spicy pumpkin seeds at the store recently and was going to try to make my own, maybe with a bit of cayenne pepper, which is supposed to be a thermogenic (metabolism booster) or something like that(: As far as too much salt, I’m sure you could use less and have the same nutritional results. Plus, I find when I soak them they loose their slightly bitter taste..at least for the walnuts and pecans….maybe that is the phytic acid(: Anyway, I’d like to try maybe a maple glazed soaked nut in hopes my kiddos would like them…my kids arent huge nut fans unless it is the skippy “natural” brand peanut butter…oh well, baby steps!

    1. Jeni,
      Can I just second everything you said and thank you for answering all my comments today? 😉 Thank you! I probably should have pointed out that the chips and such are junk, but hopefully people know that. It’s just painful at first…

      🙂 Katie

  34. Katie –

    WRT Planter’s peanuts, the “Lightly Salted” variety of the roasted peanuts does NOT have MSG; the regular (i.e., higher sodium) variety DOES.

    We love dry roasted peanuts around here and although there’s that certain *je ne sais quoi* that makes the regular ones really yum, we’re avoiding MSG and opt for the Lightly Salted version. The bonus is when I mix some of those peanuts with dried cherries & some freeze-dried fruit (apples, mostly), it makes a super-yummy snack and we don’t realize the peanuts are lower-salt, b/c the salt rubs off on the fruit and it tastes so good together. 🙂
    .-= sue´s last blog ..tasty tuesday: granola bars =-.

    1. Lenetta @ Nettacow

      I’m so glad you mentioned the lightly salted version – I’m not sure I’d have checked it out otherwise!

      Katie, I linked to this on my latest weekly roundup – thanks for sharing!
      .-= Lenetta @ Nettacow´s last blog ..Link Roundup – First Anniversary Edition =-.

  35. Has anyone tried adding other flavors to the soaking water? Cinnamon with almonds and black pepper with walnuts were the two combinations that sprang to mind.

  36. just finished setting out my crispy nuts to dry. We heat with coal and our furnace is still running because of the cool nights – i set mine out on screens right over the warmest vent (which happens to be in my sewing room). They’re usually crispy in a day or so, so I guess it’s a good way to do it.

    I never like nuts much because of TMJ and having trouble chewing them. I find crispy nuts more easy to chew (though they are still crunchy) so have been able to add more my diet with less strain on my jaw.

    Question – If I’m making soaked granola, could I just throw unsoaked nuts in with the oats, or do they not like the yogurt/whey environment for soaking? This would save a step…
    .-= Trina´s last blog ..Flowers and Chocolate =-.

    1. Trina,
      That is an excellent question. Part of me says “phytates are phytates” so they should all be broken down the same way, but then why are the processes different? If it were me, I’d probably do it. In fact, maybe I will! 😉 Katie

  37. We love soaked nuts – I like being able to soak and dehydrate, then store them at room temperature instead of in the freezer. I do soak mine with salt – I think different nuts absorb more than others. I love crispy pine nuts on a salad. I have 6 crispy almonds almost every morning for snack. Your article has given me much food for thought. I’ll be reading again and revisiting this topic. Thanks for posting!

  38. I’ve made crispy nuts/seeds once – with almonds and sunflower seeds. They were too salty for me (I like unsalted nuts), so that was a bit of a problem. However, I did notice the almonds digested easier with this method, than simply eating them raw. But it turns out I really prefer the taste of roasted almonds anyway, and I’m still on the fence about that b/c of ‘killing the enzymes’ when they are roasted.

    I soak pumpkin seeds overnight and add them to my breakfast in the morning (drained) without the extra step of making them ‘crispy’ and have no problems with that.

    I’ve stopped adding salt to my soaking liquid b/c it was too salty for my tastes.

    1. To reduce the salt just rinse several times, thoroughly, after soaking. I drain them, then put the nuts in a huge bowl of fresh water, stirring, drain and repeat this 4-5 times and finally rinse them again in a colander before baking them at 140 degrees.

  39. okay, still not sure what phyatic acid is, but I’ll do my research! I like nuts, but they seem to upset my stomach in quantities larger than a small handful at a time. I hadn’t heard of the soaking thing. Maybe this is the key.
    I also didn’t know that brown rice needs to be soaked too before cooking. Good to know because I just bought a huge bag of it. (We had been eating white glutinous rice mixed with this purple wild rice at times…it is a korean thing.) More reading, need to read more! Thanks for this post!

    1. Abbie,
      Phytic acid binds to the minerals in the nuts and doesn’t really let your body use them. There’s lots more to read about the soaking process here: http://www.kitchenstewardship.com/seriescarnivals/soaking-grains-an-exploration/

      I would be so curious to hear if you try this and can handle nuts better!
      🙂 Katie

      1. ohh, thank you so much! I had been reading a bit more, but it seems that sources are scarce on nuts…a lot about grains though…and I can’t eat many of those being gluten-intolerant.
        I just love your site…I am always learning more about better ways to preserve my health and the health of my family. You don’t know the service you do for others. Thanks!

  40. Oops. It wasn’t the directions in Nourishing Traditions, it was from a blog post at The Nourishing Gourmet, here – http://www.thenourishinggourmet.com/2008/07/soaking-nuts.html

  41. Good post. We don’t eat a lot of nuts, mostly because they are so expensive. But we do have half a dozen or so pecan trees, and last Christmas I made my first ever pecan pie. I followed the soaking directions in NT, and dried them on my wood heat stove. They were so yummy and I didn’t add salt to the pie, the pecans were the perfect addition.

    We love sunflower seeds, but I have yet to try them with this method. You’ve got me thinking that I really should ….

  42. Musings of a Housewife

    I made them for the first time a few weeks ago. We love them just as a snack. They are too salty to add to my (your, lol) granola though. I think since I don’t have a dehydrator, next time I’ll soak, chop, add to granola, and bake. Hopefully if they are mixed into the granola, they won’t taste so salty.

    Thanks for all of your research and hard work. Your site is invaluable to my whole foods journey. 🙂
    .-= Musings of a Housewife´s last blog ..American Idol Recap =-.

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