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Soaking Grains, Beans, Nuts and Seeds 101

At first glance, soaking may seem intimidating and time-consuming. I thought the same thing too, until I discovered it’s actually quite easy and best of all, it’s significantly beneficial to your health! I never eat grains, beans, nuts or seeds without soaking them, and my mission is to get you to do the same!


Why Do I Need to Soak?

In my last post I discussed how grains, beans, nuts and seeds can be a true health hazard when taken for granted. However, when prepared with proper care, such as soaking, they are truly miraculous foods. The centuries-old process of soaking neutralizes harmful anti-nutrients and hard-to-digest proteins and at the same time, activates vital enzymes, minerals and other beneficial nutrients locked inside.  Make sure you get the full scoop here.

So let’s get started! Below are some simple tips to help you reap the full benefits that grains, beans, nuts and seeds can provide! All it really requires is a little planning. :-)

Photo Courtesy of The Nourishing Home


Keys to a Good Soaking

  • Use a glass or ceramic bowl – Never use plastic or metal.
  • Purified water – Chemicals and contaminants in tap water can interfere with the soaking process. I use the water from my Reverse Osmosis filter. Spring water works too!
  • Planning – Knowing you will have to soak requires that you plan your meals ahead of time. I love this, because it puts you in the driver’s seat. It ensures that your meals are planned out ahead of time so you are less likely to opt for something unhealthy.


The three things listed above are all you really need for effective soaking. However, grains, beans, nuts and seeds require a few different tweaks with the soaking process. Temperature, time, and the correct soaking medium can really make a difference. I have broken it down for you and included a soaking chart for your reference.



Soaking grains is most optimal with hot water and an acid medium. The acid medium has been shown to release phytase to break down phytic acid. My favorites are raw apple cider or coconut vinegar.

Soaking medium – lemon juice, raw apple cider vinegar, coconut vinegar, brown rice vinegar, or kombucha

Main anti-nutrients deactivated: phytic acid, lectins

Main Nutrients activated: Vitamin A, E, B6, Lysine, Selenium, Iron, Copper and Zinc



The optimal method for soaking beans is to start with very hot water and soak at least 24 hours, changing the soak water every 8 hours. I don’t really concern myself with heating the water each time I change it. I think room temperature water is fine to use after the initial rinsing.

There are conflicting opinions about whether an acid medium is necessary. Several sources say it breaks down phytic acid, and several say it doesn’t. Some also claim the acid medium reduces the flavor of the bean.

Since cooking helps to eliminate at least 50% of the phytic acid, I’m okay with just soaking the beans in hot water. For harder, larger beans I’ll throw in a 1/2 tsp. baking soda after the last rinsing. The baking soda literally reduces cooking time by almost half. This is a lifesaver in the kitchen! Do not use baking soda for smaller beans such as lentils, adzuki or navy beans. They’ll cook too fast and become mushy.

Another option is to add kombu. This is widely practiced in many cultures, because kombu increases the mineral content, especially iodine. Just cut a 1 inch piece of kombu and add to the beans once the water has cooled. I like to replace a fresh piece of kombu each time I change the soak water. I do not recommend adding baking soda with the kombu however, so if you are cooking with harder beans the cook time will be a little longer.

Soaking medium - kombu, or baking soda (for larger beans to reduce cooking time)

Main anti-nutrients deactivated: lectins, oligosaccharides, some phytic acid (cooking eliminates at least half)

Main Nutrients activated: protein, calcium, folate, potassium and iron

Note: Although cooking with dry beans that have been thoroughly soaked is the most ideal and most cost effective, there is a source for canned, pre-soaked, and pre-cooked beans. Eden Organics provides a wide variety of soaked beans in BPA-free cans. It’s a good idea to stock your pantry with several cans in case you find yourself in a pinch!


Raw Nuts and Seeds

Raw nuts and seeds are best soaked in a brine (salt solution) to reduce enzyme inhibitors and increase digestibility. They turn out delicious too!

Soaking medium - 1-2 tsp. of high quality Himalayan Salt. NO TABLE SALT!!!!!

Main anti-nutrients deactivated: enzyme inhibitors, lectins

Main Nutrients activated: iron, potassium, magnesium, manganese, selenium, zinc, vitamin E, vitamin C,

*Note about Walnuts – Many sources of walnuts contain more fungus than other nuts. I recommend soaking your walnuts first with 1-2 tsp. of food-grade hydrogen peroxide (at a 3% solution) for 15 minutes, then rinse thoroughly before soaking them for the recommended time.

This is my favorite brand:


Easy Peasy…Let’s Get Soaking!

  • Refer to the chart below for water temp and estimated soak time.
  • Add your grains, beans, nuts or seeds to a glass or ceramic bowl.
  • Fill it with purified water 1 inch above whatever you are soaking. Check the temperature in the chart below, and gently heat your water. Heat your water in a hot pot or on the stove. DO NOT MICROWAVE YOUR WATER!!
  • Add your acid medium for grain (1 tbsp.).
  • Add baking soda for longer cooking beans (1/2 – 1 tsp.).
  • Add salt for nuts and seeds (1-2-tsp.).
  • Cover and leave out in room temperature or a warm spot in the kitchen to soak for the desired time.
  • The grains, beans and nuts will absorb water, so add more water a few hours later if necessary.
  • Beans – ideally soak water should be changed every 8 hours, and make sure to thoroughly rinse the beans each time you change soak water. If using baking soda for larger beans, add it to the last soaking.
  • Rinse all grains, beans, nuts and seeds thoroughly once soak time is completed.


Special Note About Grains: Although I only recommend non-gluten grains, I didn’t want to leave anyone out. So I have listed the soak times for the most common grains used in cooking.

Special Note About Driving Yourself Crazy: Don’t do it! There’s no exact science to soaking and more often than not, you’ll run into contradictory information that will confuse you. I say try to follow the guide as best you can, but don’t go nuts over doing it perfectly. At the bottom of this chart I will make a few notes about some of the contradictions I’ve come across and give a brief explanation.


Soaking Guide

Water Temperature Soak Time, Hours
Nuts Around 100°
 Almonds Warm  12 – 18
 Pecans Warm  12 – 18
Walnuts Warm   12 – 18
*Brazil, Cashew,Pistachios,
Pine Nuts,
Hazelnuts and Macadamias
 See Notes Below
 Chia or Salba   Room Temperature  1
 Flax   Room Temperature  2 – 3
 Pumpkin   Room Temperature  6 – 8
 Sunflower   Room Temperature  6 – 8
 Grains (*gluten-free)
 Around 110°
 Amaranth* Warm 18
 Barley, Pearled  Warm  18
 Barley, Hulled  Warm  18
 Buckwheat*   Warm 8
 Cornmeal*  Warm  18
 Millet*  Warm  18
 Oats, groats*  Warm  12 – 18
 Oats, rolled or steel cut*  Warm  8 – 12
 Quinoa*  Warm 20 min 
Rice, Basmati*  Warm  18 – 24
Rice, Brown* Warm 18 – 24
  Rice, Wild*  Warm  24 – 36
  Rye, berries  Warm 24
  Spelt  Warm 24
  Triticale   Warm 24
 Wheat, whole berries  Warm  24
  Wheat, bulgur  Warm  24
  Wheat, cracked  Warm  24
 Wheat, couscous  Warm  24
Around 120°
 Hot  24
  Anasazi   Hot  24
  Black-eyed Peas   Hot  24
  Black Beans   Hot  24
  Cannellini   Hot  24
  Garbanzo or Chickpeas   Hot  24
  Green Peas, whole   Hot  24
  Green Peas, split*   Warm 12-18
  Kidney   Hot  24
  Lentils, Brown*
Warm 6-8
Lentils, Green or Red* Warm 2-6
  Lima   Hot  24
  Mung, whole* Warm  12
  Mung, split* Warm 6
  Navy   Hot  24
  Northern   Hot  24
  Pinto   Hot  24


*There are varying opinions as to whether or not softer beans and split beans (such as lentils, mung beans and split mung beans) need to be soaked. The opinion is that these types of beans contain lesser amounts of oligosaccharides (long-chain sugars that are difficult to digest). I find that green and red lentils turn mushy real quick if they’ve been soaked for long periods of time. I feel that soaking these beans is still important to release anti-nutrients, however the soaking time is greatly reduced.

*As for certain types of nuts, there are also varying opinions as to whether or not they should be soaked. These are: Pistachios, Brazil nuts, Macadamia nuts, Hazelnuts, Pine nuts and Cashews. It requires a tremendous amount of heat to extract Brazil nuts and Cashews from their shell. Some say the nutrients have already been destroyed by this process, so soaking would be useless. And while I’m sure a fair amount of nutrients are lost during the extraction process for these nuts, how much, I am uncertain.

Pistachios, Macadamias, Hazelnuts and Pine Nuts are believed by many to not have many anti-nutrients, therefore soaking is not necessary. I know from personal experience, that soaking cashews makes them soggy and no fun to eat on their own. I generally only soak cashews when I use them in certain recipes.

So in a nutshell, ha! pun intended ;-) , I wouldn’t sweat soaking these nuts. Besides, it’s doubtful you’re eating them in large enough quantities that they would irritate your digestion. However, if you’re pounding fistfuls of these nuts on a regular basis you need to stop. Nuts are highly dense foods, and should always be eaten in small quantities. Just sayin’!


Frequently Asked Questions

When soaking I should leave the bowl on the counter or a warm spot in my kitchen. What is room temperature, and what about the winter months when the house is cooler?

This is a good question. Room temperature generally falls around 68° – 77°. If the temp is cooler than that in your home, especially during winter, your oven will come in handy. You can heat the inside of your oven by leaving the light on for a couple hours. Turn it off, and set the bowl inside and close the door. It works perfectly!

Is it necessary to rinse thoroughly?

I say yes! There are varying opinions about whether or not you should, but I always err on the side of caution and rinse completely. Beans should be rinsed and soaked several times.

Is it safe to eat wet nuts?

Yes. However, you want to thoroughly dry them (leave them out for a few hours) before storing them in the fridge. Soaked nuts should be consumed within a few days to prevent mold. The exception is Dehydrated Nuts.

Should I roast my nuts after soaking?

I am not a big fan of roasting nuts. I think the heat destroys the delicate oils. However, you can gently dry them in the oven at the lowest temperature for an hour or two. I personally think the best way to consume nuts is to soak and dehydrate them. They are 10 times more delicious and easy-to-digest. See Dehydrating Nuts & Seeds.

Should I soak flour before baking?

Yes. I’m not too experienced with baking (this is on my bucket list), however I have read where soaking flour is the same as soaking grains. Add the flour to a bowl with the required amount of water called for in the recipe, add your acid medium, cover and soak for 12-24 hours, then continue with the rest of your recipe.


Now that you know how to soak your grains, beans, nuts and seeds it’s time to get started!! Let me know how it goes by leaving a comment below. And as always, if you enjoyed this post and would like more information like this, please join me at Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest.

Happy Soaking!!



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  1. Thank you so much for this comprehensive guide. I plan to share this with family, friends and clients!

  2. Hi! :-) I really like and appreciate your handy chart and information! I am a mom of 2 boys, who are super active and never stop going. We are vegetarian and try to eat vegan a lot of the time, focusing on whole foods etc. We definitely are not perfect though! I’d really like to start soaking more of our grains/nuts/seeds/beans etc. I do soak beans overnight generally, but I see I should be doing it for longer!haha. I guess the jist of my rambling here is that I was wondering what the most time efficient way of doing this successfully would be? Can I soak/cook the beans and then freeze them? As for seeds and grains, is there a way to keep a “soaked” stash on hand so that I am not constantly running out or having 5 bowls soaking on my counter (small kitchen)… Thanks for any help! :-)

    • Hi Jaime! I certainly can relate to having many bowls taking up precious space on my kitchen counter. I find the easiest way to get around this is to plan my meals for the entire week. I start soaking my beans & grains the morning of the day before I cook them. I change the soak water before I go to bed so they’re ready to cook the next day. It’s really very easy, since I’m only soaking a bean and a grain. I’ve never tried freezing cooked beans since I encourage my clients to eat as much fresh food as possible. As far as the nuts, you may want to invest in a dehydrator. Soaked & dehydrated nuts can last for several weeks when stored in air-tight container in the fridge. You can read my post about dehydrating nuts and seeds at this link.

      I hope this has been helpful!

      • Just found your site–very nice and helpful. Do you have a website like this one
        that explains in detail like this site on sprouting beans, nuts and all grains. So
        many books vary on how long to sprout and how long the sprout should be.

        Thanks for your research as i am a good cook but do to health issues this soaking
        and sprouting has come to our attention , and I hopefully can do it right the first
        few times as it is time consuming but worth the effort.

        Thanks again Sharon

        • Hi Sharon,

          I understand your frustration. I’ve been researching sprouting grains, beans, nuts etc. for several years and compiled everything I know here. I personally feel the soaking chart I created covers everything. I do not eat gluten-grains, so half the problem is solved there. If you do eat grains with gluten, I suggest sprouting for a little longer than the time suggests. For beans, you should be fine soaking them for 24-36 hours, changing the soak water a few times in between.

          It is time consuming, but with practice the process becomes much easier.

          Hope this helps!

  3. Thanks for all this information. I can relate to Jaime’s desire to freeze the food. I understand that it would be better to eat it fresh. If I were to freeze the food, though, would all the anti-nutrients that were eliminated by soaking still be eliminated? They wouldn’t come back, would they? I’m particularly interested in eliminating lectins.

    Also, do I need to use a pressure cooker?

    • Lee, soaking permanently eliminates anti-nutrients. If you soak properly and rinse thoroughly, you are fine. :) A pressure cooker may be helpful with cooking certain foods, but it’s not necessary. I don’t have one, and I cook a wide variety of dishes.

  4. Thank you for taking the complexity out of soaking grains and nuts. And thank you, for taking the time to share.

  5. Thank you for all the great information. So far I have soaked oats, garbanzo beans and walnuts. I was very intimidated but it worked great. I decided to do a large quantity of oats for the week and then tried my hand at drying them. I don’t have a dehydrator so I just used my oven on the lowest setting.

    It took quite a few hours while with turning and un-clumping but I did it in the evening while watching TV so it was no bother. I ended with some really great, crunchy grains that I used in my yogurt, ate some plain when I had a munchie, and even cooked some up as oatmeal the next week. It was great!

    I’m going to keep experimenting because I want the most nutrition out of the food I eat.

    Thanks again!

    • Awesome to hear about your success Toni! The more you soak, the easier the process becomes. I think I have something soaking almost everyday! Those oats sound delicious. You may want to consider saving up for a dehydrator. Once you try soaked & dehydrated walnuts, you’ll never be able to eat them any other way!! ;)

  6. Thank you so much for this list! In an effort to reduce grain exposure, I’ve recently started baking with nut flours, primarily almond and coconut. If I’m buying the almond flours pre-ground, should I also be soaking them? If so, how do you soak flour?

    • Heather, I’m not too experienced in the baking realm, but I will try to help you as best as I can. From what I know using nut flours in baking is relatively new, and all information about it is basically experimental. I personally wouldn’t use Almond Flour, because it’s delicate polyunsaturated fats oxidize when exposed to high heat. However, I’m not sure if much of the fat is removed from the almonds to make into a flour. If a large amount of fat is removed to make the flour, then I say it’s fine to use in baking. Soaking it, I’m not sure. You may want to experiment. The fats in coconut are very stable and stay intact under high heat, so I say definitely use it in your baking. Even better news is that you don’t have to soak the flour, because coconuts don’t have anti-nutrients. One last note, there are many sources online for sprouted flours. You may want to look around for sprouted almond flour. :)

  7. Why should I not microwave the water when soaking or cooking?

  8. Thank you so much for this handy list. I’ve been soaking my grains lately and it’s made a tremendous difference with my digestion. I would like to know what kombu is? I have never heard of it.

    • Kimber, kombu is a type of seaweed. You can find it at any health food store. :)

  9. 1) Can I use really hot water, from the hot water tap to soak and rinse the beans? It’s around 55-65 C or 131-149 F.

    2) Can I rinse all of the nuts in the same bowl, and can I do the same with the seeds? Also, after soaking them, do I dry them straight away with a paper towel?

    3) Lastly! Can I store my nuts and seeds in the same bag in my fridge after they’ve been dried?

    Thank you!

    • Rushil, there is no real “specific” science when it comes to soaking nuts, beans, etc. I think the temperatures you’re suggesting for the beans may be a little too hot. Also, certain beans such as lentils do not require very hot temps or long soaking times. Lastly, since tap water contains chlorine, fluoride and other chemicals that will leach into the beans, I always recommend filtered or spring water if possible. The same applies to nuts, some have different soaking times, so I suggest only soaking together the ones that require similar soaking times.

      Check out Dehydrating Nuts & Seeds for specifics.

      • Do you think that I have to soak black rice overnight too?

        • Yes. Black rice is like any other rice and should be soaked. :)

  10. Hi Kim,

    Thanks for you info. I’m wondering where would I get food grade hydrogen peroxide? for soaking walnuts? That sounds a bit scary to me. would Apple cider vinegar work instead?

    Also I’ve been soaking my Chia seeds over night in plain filtered water. Do I need to add anything to it like salt or vinegar? and how do you drain the gel? I would have thought they’d stick to a sieve or strainer? Or in the Chia case is it safe just to use the liquid they have been soaking in?


    • Alice, you can find food grade hydrogen peroxide at any health food store. As for the chia, you shouldn’t drain the seeds. The gel is where all the good stuff is. :)

  11. One more question do I need to soak quinoa or Amaranth flakes?

    • I’ve never cooked with amaranth flakes. Maybe soak them overnight, and cook with the soak water and see how it turns out?

  12. I was wondering if buying organic blanched almonds would still be considered raw? Apparently almonds are blanched in boiling water for one minute. I wasn’t sure if the boiling water for one minute would raise the temperature to the point where they are no longer considered raw.

    • Hi Lori. Are the skins removed from the blanched almonds? Blanching, even for a minute will reduce the nutrients, although not entirely. The bigger problem with almonds, even organic, is that they’re also pasteurized which degrades the nutrient content considerably. I typically purchase truly raw, non-pasteurized almonds from the internet. Living Nutz is the website. Some health food stores are starting to carry non-pasteurized almonds. You will need to check the labels.

  13. Love love love the great info you have and the way you present it. I would definitely attend a seminar on food based nutrition if you ever offer them.
    Thank you,
    Dr. Jason

    • Thank you Jason. I haven’t held any seminars yet, but I have been thinking about it. :)

  14. I’m confused by your inclusion of Brazil Nuts & Cashews in above list. From cross-references elsewhere (as well as based on knowledge of how these nuts are brought from farm to consumer) I was under the impression that soaking these is TOTALLY unnecessary. Specifically, both of these nuts involve a high temperature extraction process to get the seed out off messy – potentially toxic – fruit. Since they’ve already have to go through such process & cannot possibly come to our plate raw, there is nothing constructive achieved by further soaking them (such as breaking down enzyme inhibitors etc.)


  15. Apologies, replace “Pistachio” instead of “Cashew” in above comment….meaning references found indicating nothing fruitful done in terms of removing enzyme inhibitors by soaking pistachios as well as Brazil nuts.

    • Wilford, that is an excellent question. I’ve recently come across conflicting information about macadamia and hazlenuts also. When I created the chart I was aware that some evidence suggested that Brazil nuts and pistachios did not need to be soaked because they did not contain enzyme inhibitors, however since soaking activates vital nutrients such as iron, potassium, magnesium, manganese, selenium, zinc, vitamin E, vitamin C, I included them in the list. I personally feel there is no exact science behind the soaking process, and recommend that people follow their intuition. Soon, I will be making an update and giving the people the option to soak Brazil nuts, pistachios, hazlenuts, macadamias as well as pine nuts and cashews. Cashews soften too quickly and aren’t very tasty when soaked, however soaking them is necessary when using them for specific recipes. Also, I will recommend that if you eat nuts in small quantities, skipping the soaking process from time to time won’t kill you.

      Hope this helps to clarify any confusion. :)

  16. Great post!!! I have a couple questions if I could…

    1. Would it be beneficial to soak (particularly GF grains, such as oats and brown rice) in the Excaliber dehydrator at the lowest setting, considering we keep our house temp in the winter at 63 degrees or so?

    2. Is it okay to put m ore water in for the soaking, to avoid having to add more later in the soak?

    3. Do you add buckwheat flour or other phytase containing grain when you soak oats?

    4. I’ve read in a couple places that it’s best to soak oats for 24 hours — do you think there is any detriment to doing that?

    Thanks for all the hard work and caring that go into what you do to make our lives better!!!!

    • Hi Deb.

      1. I’m not sure about soaking grains in the dehydrator. It’s optimal to start the soaking process with warmer water, however to continue with the warmer temps may cause the grains to ferment. I’ve never actually done it, so I don’t really know the results. Maybe you can turn the dehydrator on and off while soaking. Generally, you want to soak in room temp. Maybe the oven with the light on?

      2. It is perfectly fine to add more water to whatever you’re soaking.

      3. I have heard about adding wheat flour or other grains with phytase to oatmeal. I think it’s a good idea. In fact, I will add an update recommending adding a little buckwheat flour to oats when soaking. :)

      4. I think it’s perfectly fine to soak your oats for 24 hours.

      Hope this helps!

      • Thanks for your reply Kim!

        I’ve been grinding 1 Tablespoon or so of buckwheat groats in my old coffee grinder and adding that to the oats along with ACV for the soak.

        I really do think my stomach is very happy with the soaked oats. I’ve been making old-fashioned oats, but today I started some steel cut oats soaking, so we’ll see how those come out =)

        I really love your site and have learned a lot, so thanks again!!!

        • You are welcome Deb! Thanks for the great tip for using buckwheat flour. I will definitely add it to the post! :)

  17. Hi,
    I’m wondering if you can add a chart… one that I CAN’T find anywhere on the internet… A cooking chart for soaked grains and beans/legumes. (ie how much water and how long).
    Do you have any resources that would be helpful? Thanks.

    • Hi Josi! A chart with soaking & cooking times? Hmmm…that’s a tough one. A chart would be helpful, however. I will give it a lot of thought. Are you buying your grains and beans in bulk? A helpful tip for now would be to soak the grain, bean or legume for the recommended time on my chart. Then find the recommended cooking time and amount of water, reduce both by a 1/4 and go from there. Cook low and slow and eyeball carefully. If you’ve added to much water to a grain, you can always strain off the excess. In time, you’ll gain enough experience to know precisely how much liquid and how long to cook.

  18. Is it possible to soak beans for specified time in chart and then dehydrate them to store for another day? By doing this it would help with that impromptu soup that needs to be made now (lol)

    • Donna, I think it would be worth a try. I’ve never dehydrated soaked beans, then cooked them. If you do, please report back with the results. It will be very helpful information for my readers. :)

  19. How long should hemp seeds be soaked? Thanks!

    • Hey Lori! No need to soak hemp seeds since they don’t contain any anti-nutrients. :-)

      • Thanks Kim, great to hear that!

  20. Excellent info. Comprehensive and clear. Focusing on beans and nuts has changed my life (getting off of dairy, gluten – huge well being, sleep, mood, focus, energy change). This info is key for digesting beans which is complicated without soaking. I soaked for less time and not always but this article changed my mind on that. Thanks again. Keep up the great work.

  21. Hi Kim!

    Can I ask what brand of the food grade hydrogen peroxide you’d recommend? Which percentage do you use? I see it on-line in 8%, 12%, and 35%.


    • Deb, I use Sun Food hydrogen peroxide in a 3% solution. I’m not an expert on hydrogen peroxide, but I assume the higher percentage solutions are used for therapeutic measures.

      • Thanks so much Kim! You have been such an incredible resource, and I really appreciate everything you do!

        • Thank you Deb, and you are very welcome!

  22. Hey Kim, im spending hours on your site and loving it:-)one quick question regarding this thread. I agree about your comments on wheat, however i have read that sour dough bread is healthy bread given the fermentation process involved in making the dough.I would love to hear your view…
    Best regards

    • Thanks Stan! You are correct. True sourdough bread that has been properly prepared using truly artisanal methods is much healthier than other breads. The most ideal sourdough bread would be made with heirloom wheat. If you make your own, here’s a good place to find some: :-)

      • Thanks for the reply Kim , much appreciated. You folks in usa are way ahead of the game. I doubt if this is being done in south africa, but will check it out.
        Kind regards

  23. I am interested in soaking beans and grains in whey, as I making a lot of yogurt and kefir with raw goat milk. I’m not sure whether I should just add a little whey to the soaking water or soak in “straight” whey. Have you had experience using whey as a medium?
    Thank you, karen

    • Karen, since I’m mainly vegan I have no experience soaking with whey. I’m pretty sure Nourishing Traditions, the book by Sally Fallon talks about though. :-)

  24. avacado pits?

    • Jim, I’m not really sure about avocado pits. I’ve never eaten them but would assume, much like sprouting, a good soaking would unlock nutrients.

  25. Regarding your advice to soak walnuts in 1-2 tsp. of 35% food grade hydrogen peroxide for 15 min., rinsing well and then soaking to remove any fungus, I read that you have to make sure to properly dilute 35% food grade hydrogen peroxide or it can dangerous or fatal. Any concentrations over 10% can cause neurological reactions and damage to the upper gastrointestinal tract. Here’s the article where I got this information but I have read it elsewhere too.

    So if you recommend 1-2 tsp. of food grade hydrogen peroxide, how much water are you using to soak the walnuts for 15 min.? I bought some organic raw walnuts directly from a farmer in CA so I wonder if I need to soak them to remove any fungus because I want to avoid having to work with food grade hydrogen peroxide which can burn the skin on contact. Thanks!

    • Lori, I use 35% food grade hydrogen peroxide all the time, and it’s never burned my skin, so I question the validity of this article. Second, I generally add enough soak water to where the walnuts are completely submerged, plus extra. I rinse thoroughly after using the peroxide and never have had an issue. I think you’re fine if you thoroughly rinse after soaking. Also yes, I still recommend to soak organic walnuts with food grade hydrogen peroxide.

      • Hey Lori, I owe you an apology! I went back and looked at the brand I use and it’s in a 3% solution. I’m actually grateful you alerted me to this and went ahead and updated the post. You can find the brand here: Thank you again! :-)

  26. Hi,
    What is the ratio for soaking grains? One cup grains to one tablesppon soaking medium?

    • Maria, I recommend 1 tsp. for every 1-2 cups of grains. However, more wont’ hurt either.

  27. Hi Kim
    Thank you for posting about this it’s sooo helpful to have a proper explanation and a chart to refer to. With the kombu do you put it in just when you are soaking the beans or are you meant to also put it in when cooking?
    Also can you make almond butter using soaked and dehydrated almonds or do you have to add something like an oil to get the right texture?
    I was also wondering how many nuts you would recommend having a day?

    • Thank you Harri. I always discard the kombu after the soaking process. Making almond butter from soaked & dehydrated nuts is on my to-do list. I imagine you would need some type of oil, as this is the case when I make tahini. If you experiment with making almond butter, I’d love for you to share your experience here. As far as how many nuts to eat daily, I say no more than a handful or two. Although, you should tune into your body. If you feel dull or heavy after eating them, it means you’re eating too much. Hope this helps. :-D

  28. Thank you for this information. It is so helpful! I wanted to let you know that I contacted Eden Foods to ask a bit more about their beans as I noticed when I read the cans in the organic market, it didn’t mention anything about being pre-soaked, nor does it say on their website. I would love to hear your thoughts on the amount of time they soak and the material they use for soaking. Obviously still better than other canned products! This was their response: “Thank you for your interest in Eden Foods. During the processing of Eden Organic Canned beans, the beans are soaked for twelve hours in stainless steel soak tanks. There are no other ingredients added to the soaking water. The source of the water is deep well municipal water that has gone through a filtration system.”

    Thanks again, I’m excited to cook this way again!

    • Yogi, thank you for sharing this information. On their site, they do mention they soak the beans overnight. It’s on the product page for each bean.

      My feelings are pretty much the same as yours, the beans aren’t the most ideal, but they’re way better than other canned beans. This is why I typically soak all my beans, and use the Eden Organics in a pinch. :-)

  29. Hi Kim!

    Really informative post you have there! thanks!

    I am considering soaking my rolled oats (8 to 24 hours) before baking it. Will baking it into granola remove the additional benefit gained soaking?

    By the way, does the nutritional value of rolled oats and steel cut oats differ greatly?

    Thank you!

    • Jo, anytime you cook a food there will be a loss of nutrients through the heating process. However, there are some beneficial nutrients still left.

      Yes there is a difference between rolled and steel cut oats. Whenever you cut a grain, oxidation of its oils begins immediately. Rolled oats are more processed, therefore have more oxidation. The most ideal way to eat oats, is to use a food processor to chop the oat bran, soak overnight and cook in the morning. However, not everyone has this option. Eating rolled oats isn’t terribly bad, especially if you’re adding nutritious fats and other nutritious ingredients. If you do have the time and resources, I suggest start working with the whole oat groat.

  30. Thank you so much for this helpful chart! I used to avoid eating beans because of their antinutrient content. Will be giving them a try this weekend though!

    I was wondering how long you cook the beans for once they’re done soaking?

    • So glad the chart is helpful for you, Christina. Cooking time varies among the type of bean you’re cooking. Generally, it’s around 30 min or so for most beans. You may want to eyeball at first to get a good idea of how long it takes each bean to cook until tender.

  31. What a GREAT page about soaking everything! This is now my reference guide. Thank you, thank you!!!

    • You’re welcome Manon!

  32. I’m guessing that you have really never soaked chia seeds. I followed your directions and had a gelatinous mess on my hands, it took at least 3 days to dry and they are like crackers, not individual seeds. This doesn’t work. I should have known better, just adding them to a smoothie makes a gooey mess in my teeth. Comments??

    • Yes, Vick I’ve soaked chia seeds. Since they absorb up to 12 times their weight in water, they naturally turn into gel. I suggest maybe using less chia seeds for your smoothies?

  33. Hello Kim!

    It’s Chestnut season! What is your opinion of chestnuts? Should they be soaked? Traditionally they are roasted, but doesn’t that make the fatty acids rancid? I plan on cracking them, soaking them overnight in sea salt, and then dehydrating them.

    Here are health benefits:

    • Hey Corey, I never got the scoop on whether or nut chestnuts should be soaked. They may fit into the category with hazelnuts. When you soak them, please report back and let me know how they turned out. :-D

  34. Thank you for all the wonderful and comprehensive information! Just wondering your thoughts on soaking in stainless steel as it should be a non-reactive metal…and I read that comment about the Eden beans soak. Thanks for your thoughts!

    • Hey Basya! You know, I’m just not really sure about stainless steel. I recommend soaking in glass because it doesn’t leach, yet I’ve never found a definitive answer about stainless steel. I do think, it’s probably way better than soaking in plastic, though!

  35. Hi! thanks so much for this helpful info!! Definitely given me the motivation I needed to start soaking!
    I just have one question…. once I’ve soaked my beans/grains etc… how long can I keep them in storage before actually using them?

    • Hey Vanessa! That’s a good question. Since there isn’t much research about how long sprouted beans/grains last, I would err on side of caution and cook them as soon as possible after soaking. Some grains and beans will actually start to sprout if they’re not cooked. Hope this helps. :-D

  36. Thank You!
    This was wonderful information. So comprehensive. And the nuts were fantastic. What an amazing texture. I don’t have a dehydrator so the oven on the lowest setting did the job. I will be experimering a lot more with grains and legumes.

    • Thank you Annie! Aren’t soaked nuts the best?!?! My favorite are walnuts. Glad you enjoyed them, and let me know how it goes with soaking the grains and legumes. :-D


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