Almond Soaking Benefits:
1) Almonds are rich source of vitamins A, B6, C, E and K2.
They have a high amount of fiber which helps digestion. (source)
2) Almonds contain antioxidants called flavonoids which protect against cancer and other diseases such as heart disease and diabetes.
3) Almonds are good sources of protein and carbohydrates.
4) Almonds are good sources of vitamin E.
5) Almonds are good sources of magnesium, manganese, phosphorus and potassium.
Almond Soaking Rules:
1) Do not soak almonds longer than 2 hours.
If you need to soak them longer than two hours then you will experience digestive problems due to excessive gas production from the stomach. (source)
2) Do not soak almonds for more than 3 days.
If you need to soak them for more than three days then you will suffer from liver damage and other health issues. (source)
3) Avoid soaking your nuts overnight or even at all.
Almonds absorb moisture through their skin so they must be soaked before consumption. (source)
Almond Soaking Myth or Fact?
Is it a myth or fact that we are supposed to soak our almonds before eating them?
From reading this article you now know the answer is fact!
Soaking Almonds Fast:
Although you can soak almonds in regular tap water, if you want to do it fast and easy then just use bottled water. It makes a big difference and they will get soft in minutes.
You can store the nuts in the fridge for up to a week, just make sure you finish them within a couple of days.
Soaking Almonds Empty Stomach:
Do not soak almonds on an empty stomach. It is important to eat them with food because they are difficult to digest.
Soaking Almonds in Water:
You can soak them in fresh water or salt water. If you use salt water then make sure the salt to water ration is about 1 teaspoon per cup of water.
This will help break down the nuts and make them softer and easier to digest. You can also add a couple of bay leaves to the water.
Soaking Almonds and Peel:
Make sure you always remove the skin after soaking. The skin is very difficult to digest.
Soaking Almonds and Length:
The length of time that you soak almonds makes a difference on how they taste and digest. Soaking them for 1-2 hours will make them milder.
Soaking them for 12 hours will make them taste a little stronger. Soaking them over night or longer can cause the taste to become very bitter and cause cracking in your lips and mouth.
What Foods to Eat With Soaked Almonds:
Soaked almonds go good with most foods. You can eat them alone as a snack, add them to yogurt, salads, pasta, wraps, just about any food.
They also make a great addition to cookie and cake recipes.
How to Make Almond Milk:
Making almond milk is not that difficult but it can be time consuming. The good thing is you can do it a couple hours before you go to bed and let it sit over night so it is ready to go in the morning.
1 cup raw almonds
3 cups water
1 pinch salt (optional)
Soak the almonds for at least 4-8 hours in enough water to cover them. You can keep them in the fridge during this time.
After soaking, drain and rinse the almonds. Add the almonds, 3 cups of water and a pinch of salt (if desired) to a high-speed blender or food processor and blend until smooth. Strain the mixture through a fine mesh strainer or cheesecloth. (I like to use a metal whisk). The almond pulp that is left behind can be added to other dishes or baked into cookies.
Soaking almonds seems to happen quite often. You may wonder why anyone would intentionally soak something before eating it.
The answer is that there are small enzyme inhibitors in raw almonds that prevent the proper digestion of nutrients when eaten in their natural form. These enzyme inhibitors are deactivated with soaking, allowing you to get the full benefit of the nutrients and oils in the nuts.
* If you have a high-speed blender such as a Vitamix or similar then you can skip the soaking process altogether. Simply add all of the ingredients to your container, secure the lid and select the soup function.
In about 90 seconds you will have creamy, smooth almond milk.
* If your almonds are not already pasteurized, meaning they still have their brown skins on them, then you can follow the same process as above. The skins will turn the milk a darker colour but it will still taste delicious.
The pulp that is left over from the straining of the milk can be added to other dishes or baked into cookies.
Health Benefits of Soaked Almonds:
Soaking almonds has one major benefit and that is the deactivation of the enzyme inhibitors. These enzyme inhibitors exist in all nuts in some form but are especially high in almonds.
Ingestion of these enzyme inhibitors can actually prevent the full digestion and utilization of nutrients within the nuts. Soaking almonds for as little as 8 hours makes a noticeable difference to the digestibility of their nutrients.
Soaked almonds also have a higher antioxidant content after being soaked. The amount of antioxidants actually increase by about 20% when soaked in water for 24 hours.
Antioxidants are compounds that can help prevent some types of cell damage which can reduce your risk of certain diseases and health issues.
Soaked almonds are often easier to digest as well. This is especially true if you have an intolerance to nuts or have a nut-allergy.
People with these types of conditions should always seek medical advice before altering their diet but in some cases, soaking nuts can help.
Almonds are very nutritious and considered to be one of the most nutrient-dense foods on the planet. They contain high amounts of vitamin E, magnesium, potassium and calcium as well as several beneficial plant compounds (phytonutrients).
Although all nuts are healthy, almonds are considered to be slightly higher in nutrients than other varieties such as Brazil or cashews.
Almonds are slightly more expensive than other nuts, especially if you buy them raw and unshelled. The good news is that a small amount of almonds goes a long way since they are quite filling.
One ounce of almonds (23 whole nuts) contains about 160 calories so it’s best to stick to an ounce a day as part of your diet.
Other Ways to Soak
There are a few other ways that you can soak your almonds including:
Overnight Soaking: For this method, simply place your almonds in a bowl and cover them with water. Soak them overnight or for at least 8 hours.
Quick Soaking: For this method you will need to add a bit of baking soda to your water before placing the almonds in. This helps to soften the nuts slightly which shortens the soaking time.
Add 1 tablespoon of baking soda to 3 cups of water then soak your almonds for at least 4 hours.
Traditional Fermentation: This is the method that I use. For full details on how to do this, please read my hub page on it by clicking here.
With any of these soaking methods, you can always add spices or herbs to infuse into the water. Cinnamon, vanilla beans or fresh apple slices all work well for this.
Once you have soaked your almonds, the next step is to strain and rinse them well. You can then add them to your baked goods just like you would with cooked mashed bananas.
You can add the almond water that you strained off to cooking or smoothies as well. It makes a healthy beverage.
Using Almond Meal/Flour
You can also use the soaked almonds in the form of “meal” or “flour”. To do this you need to pulse them in your food processor a few times until they reach the consistency that you want.
Almond meal is great for making cookies, bars or other baked goods. It can also be used as an ingredient when making homemade pet food.
One warning though, it can go bad fairly quickly so make sure to use it within a week or two. Store it in the fridge or freezer to extend its shelf-life.
Almond flour can be used in a variety of ways as well. It can be used in place of wheat or other grain flour when baking cookies, muffins or other baked goods.
It can also be used to thicken soups and stews or as a breading when frying chicken, fish or other foods. Almond flour is more expensive than regular wheat flour so you will typically pay a higher price for it at the grocery store.
Keep in mind that a little goes a long way so even a small bag should last you several months even if you use it on a regular basis.
Make Your Own Butter
Of course, you can make your own almond butter yourself at home. The process is very simple and will only take about 10 minutes of your time.
Start by heating 1 cup of almonds in a pan on medium heat. Continually stir them until you hear them start to crackle.
Pour the almonds into a coffee filter and let them “bleed” into a bowl. Keep doing this until the coffee filter no longer releases butter and you’re left with just dry skin.
That’s it! You now have fresh almond butter that you made all by yourself!
As you can see, there are many ways that you can incorporate almonds into your own diet or even recipes that you create. They are versatile, nutritious and taste delicious.
Whether you eat them as-is, add them to a salad or incorporate them into baked goods, they are sure to please. So grab a few almonds the next time you’re in the store and see for yourself just how wonderful they can be!
Sources & references used in this article:
Nutritional value and health benefits of nuts by KL Kumawat, WH Raja, L Chand, KM Rai – 2017 – researchgate.net
Best Nuts and Seeds for Diabetics to Control Blood Sugar by VE Content – deathtodiabetes.com
Dietary almonds increase serum HDL cholesterol in coronary artery disease patients in a randomized controlled trial by H Jamshed, FAT Sultan, R Iqbal… – The Journal of …, 2015 – academic.oup.com