How to soak almonds (and other nuts)


Almonds are one of my favorite quick snacks as well as an easy way to add crunch and flavor to many dishes. They are a great source of biotin, vitamin E (contrived of tocopherols which in Latin means “to bring forth a child”), manganese, and copper. Learning how to soak almonds also makes them more nutritious AND they taste better!

how to soak almonds

A few years ago my thoughts on almonds changed a bit after reading Nourishing Traditions when I was confronted with the fact that raw or roasted almonds may essentially be robbing our bodies of nutrients due to something called phytic acid. Almonds are one of the foods highest in phytic acid – even more so than wheat, oatmeal, and soy.

It is taught in the “traditional foods” circles that this enzyme inhibitor must be reduced to aid in digestion and nutrient absorption.

After soaking almonds for the first time I was hooked.

It takes some time, though just a few minutes of active work, but the end result is a nut that not only tastes better but is easier on the digestive system. I now soak most of the almonds that I use because I notice such a big difference in overall digestion when I eat them – which to me is more important than scientific studies.

Crispy almonds (and other nuts) also taste much better! They’re crunchier with almost a lighter texture, and the taste is also better as well. I’ve had many friends and family tell me they don’t like snacking on almonds, but when I get them to try mine they love them.

How to soak almonds

Besides snacking on crispy almonds by themselves, I like to use them in:

Print Recipe
5 from 1 vote

Crispy almonds

Perfectly light texture and crunch.
Prep Time5 mins
Soaking time8 hrs
Total Time5 mins
Course: Traditional Food Preparation
Cuisine: Traditional Food Preparation
Keyword: soaked almonds
Servings: 32 servings
Calories: 102kcal
Author: Donielle



  • Use a container at least twice the size of the amount of almonds you’re using. They swell to about twice the size and will soak up much of the water.
  • Cover the nuts with warm water and let sit in a warm place for about 12 hours or overnight. After about 12 hours, or in the morning, drain the water, add one teaspoon of salt, and fill again with warm water to let soak for another 8-12 hours.
  • After the final salt water soak, drain the almonds and dehydrate until crisp. This may take 6-8 hours. Use the nut setting on your dehydrator or the lowest temperature available on your oven.


If you can't find raw, purchase unroasted and unsalted nuts and seeds.
Variations - you can use the same method for many nuts and seeds; walnuts, pecans, peanuts, sunflower seeds, pumpkin/pepita seeds, etc.


Calories: 102kcal | Carbohydrates: 3g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 8g | Sodium: 72mg | Potassium: 126mg | Fiber: 2g | Calcium: 4.7% | Iron: 3.7%

When I first started soaking almonds I finished after dehydrating to keep them raw, but since Kimi posted that both dehydrating AND then roasting removed even more phytic acid (though studies have yet to prove how much) I’ve roasted them in the oven for 20 minutes or so which adds a nice roasted flavor to the already salted nuts.

Even the experts are unsure of how much phytic acid is removed during this process, or even if it removes enough to make it worthwhile, but what I do know is that I notice a difference between soaked and unsoaked almonds. So I’ll continue soaking them but not freak out should I consume an unsoaked one from time to time.

Donielle Baker

Donielle Baker

owner and editor of Natural Fertility and Wellness at Natural Fertility and Wellness
I believe women can learn how to heal their bodies & balance their hormones through natural methods. An advocate for natural health, I have a passion for nourishing/real food nutrition and natural living. My personal background includes both infertility and miscarriage and I started Natural Fertility and Wellness in 2008 in order to share all of the information I found helpful in my journey to heal from PCOS and overcome infertility.
Donielle Baker
Donielle Baker
Donielle Baker
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  1. Molly

    I’m totally going to give this a try!

  2. Becky @Our peaceful Home

    So, do you peel them too? I read to peel them…but that takes like all day to peel them.

    • donielle

      I do not peel them – that’s to much work! 🙂 I think if I needed to use them unsoaked I’d want them peeled, but I’d buy them that way.

      • Becky @Our peaceful Home

        @donielle, I agree takes much too long. Does it make much a difference if the water is warm or not? I’ve read mixed reviews on this. I soak mine often but rarely have a warm place to keep them in. We turn our heat off downstairs at night. (I guess I could bring them upstairs where it is warm at night). But, I also keep all my raw almonds in the freezer so they area always frozen when I put them in the water and they seem to cool it off rather quickly.

        • donielle

          @Becky @Our peaceful Home, I think NT says it has to be about 100 degrees or so. I just put mine int eh oven with the lightbulb on inside and they do just fine.

  3. Jake

    Hey, good stuff – do you know how long you can store almonds (and/or other nuts) that have been soaked and roasted in the fridge before they go bad?

    • donielle

      @Jake, I would think multiple weeks at least. I usually toss most of them in the freezer if they aren’t used within a couple weeks.

  4. Molly

    So I tried this last night and I don’t think I left them in the oven long enough, though they felt only when I took them out. Are they still okay to eat even though they might be a tad “squishy”? How long do you typically keep them in the oven to dry out and at what temperature?

    • donielle

      @Molly, I’d just put them back in to fully dry. You just use the lowest temp on your oven and heat until crisp. I just bite into one every couple of hours to check. They can take 6+ hours sometimes. In my dehydrator they take 24. 🙂

  5. sarah h

    If you dont have a dehydtator, how wpuld u do it w an oven? Everytime i try they turn out rock hard and awful! What am i doing wrong? Thanks!

    • donielle

      @sarah h, Hmmmm. I’ve never had that happen. You should be able to do them in an oven, just put it at the lowest temp possible for at least a few hours, stirring once or twice.

  6. Lorie

    When you soak almonds for this long they are really easy to slip out of their skins, it does take a little while but I’m willing to do it – do you know if some of the phytic acid is in the skin?

    • donielle

      @Lorie, No – they don’t come out easily! 🙂 I’ve never taken the time to do it either. I have heard that blanching them for a few seconds causes them to slide right out and I’ve thought of trying this next time – after I soak.. Then dehydrate them.

  7. Erica

    I soaked my almonds for about a day, but when I went to empty the water, there was all of this mold at the top! Has this ever happened to you? Did I soak them too long? Should I have soaked them in the refridgerator as opposed to on our counter? I ended up sadly throwing them away.


    • donielle

      @Erica, Ewww! Sometimes I get a bit of white residue in the water, but never mold. I would think that maybe there was something in the jar or maybe the almonds were contaminated…… I don’t know. I have some sitting out for almost 24 hours (which is normal for me to do) and I’ve never seen actual mold.

      When you try it again, I’d run hot, HOT water through the jar to sanitize it before you put the almonds and soaking water in.

      • kimberlie

        I have read that if they go moldy or turn black during the soak then they are not raw almonds. if they have been processed in any way prior to soaking, the good enzymes have already been killed either through roasting or chemical treatment. you want to use raw, organic if possible…@donielle,

      • Johan


        There is no point in soaking if you do a heat treatment first as you would destroy the phytase which you want to activate during the soaking to disable the phytic acid.

        • donielle

          @Johan, I’m a bit confused – I don’t do a heat treatment before soaking at all. If it’s the above comment you’re referring to (when I mention the use of very hot water), that’s just to sterilize the jar, not for the almonds. You’d still put luke warm water in for soaking the almonds, the hot water beforehand would just help kill any bacteria that might be in the jar.

  8. Emily

    After about 12 hours of soaking… the almonds smells a little sourish… why.. ?

    • Emily

      Sorry… It should be.. Soaking after 24 hours.. it smells a. It sourish. Why.. ?

      • donielle

        @Emily, So after 24 hours of soaking it started to smell sour? Were they truly raw almonds or pasteurized? Did you change the water midway through?

        Otherwise, I can’t imagine anything would be wrong with them. 🙂

        • Emily

          Yes.. I changed water not only mid way.. but many times.. At least 3 – 5 times through soaking..

          How does one know if the almonds are pasteurised or not..
          I bought from the bakery tools store that sells all sorts of ingredient for baking.. dessert.. and sells utensils for bakery purposes..

          It does looks raw.. But not sure if it’s pasteurised..

          So.. it’s not supposed to smell sourish after 12 or 24 hours of soaking..
          But the almonds did swells up/bulge after soaking…

          • donielle

            @Emily, In reality, I guess all almonds that you buy from a store are going to be pasteurized. You have to buy them directly from a farm if you want truly raw almonds.
            Either way, most pasteurized almonds are steam pasteurized and should be fine for soaking. They should swell up and bulge after soaking, and a bit of a smell is really not an issue. You may just want to make sure that you don’t seal them up in a jar as they soak. You’d notice a bad smell or mold if something went wrong, but a slight sour smell shouldn’t be an issue at all – the almonds are chemically changing so it’s to be expected.

          • Emily

            Thanks Donielle… : )
            so.. for making almond milk…
            should we soak for 12 hours.. or 24 hours… ?

          • donielle

            @Emily, Well, I’ve never made almond milk before, but I’d do at least 12 hours. 🙂

  9. curious

    hi i was wondering, how to dehydrate the almonds without an oven or dehydrator?

    i love almondss and till now have simply been eating them raw. Help please!!

    • donielle

      @curious, I know that some people in the very warm yet dry climates can do so outside – otherwise they may begin to mold if they aren’t dried fast enough. Personally I wouldn’t attempt it without an oven or dehydrator. You could potentially eat them while wet ( and refrigerate right after soaking), though the texture is lacking.

  10. solarian

    what if right after soaking, you try roast them on a plate surface with an hairdryer instead of using an oven? I’ll give it a try!

    • donielle

      @solarian, I think you may be standing there with a hair dryer for a long time! lol. It takes anywhere from 12-24 hours to dry them out again. 🙂

      • Solarian

        yes, your’re right 🙂 well, after 5 minutes hanging the dryer around, my fresh soaked almonds were into more worm atmosphere, inside the oven.
        as usually, I forget theme there for a longer period of time than need it… 🙂

  11. Sunrain

    Thanks for the great info Donielle! A quick question for you – why do you soak the almonds the second time? Do you feel they need at least 24 hours, rather than just 12 or 7 as some recipes suggest? Prior to this, I had seen people soaking them about 8-12 hours and only one time, so I am curious to know the reasons for the difference.

    Thanks again!

    • donielle

      @Sunrain, Well, the longer you soak, the more phytic acid is removed/disabled/etc. But I don’t like the stagnant water in there, PLUS I like the salty crunch, so I soak again in salt water.

      You could do 8-12 hours, but it takes like 8 hours just to start dealing with the phytic acid from what I’ve heard.

  12. Laura

    Hi Donielle. I very much enjoyed your posts! I have a question about almonds. For several years, I have been a big fan of soaking almonds before eating them. Now, I am currently making spiced roasted nuts for holiday giving, and I wonder if I can soak for 24 hours, pat dry, and then go directly to roasting (with seasonings), or, must I dehydrate first? I have no dehydrator (and my time is limited). What do you think? I appreciate any advice you can offer. Thanks!

    • donielle

      @Laura, You can totally do that! 🙂 It should work out just fine, it’ll probably take a few hours, but check it every once in awhile and do it at a low temp until they are dry. (otherwise the outside will roast and possibly burn depending on the temp you use and leave the inside wet) I’d go with about 225 for a few hours.

    • Laura

      @Laura, Thanks Donielle!

  13. Naomi

    just what I’ve been looking for.

  14. Dana

    My dehydrator just has temperature settings….so what temperature? 95, 105, 115, 125? And for how long? Thanks for all the info!

    • donielle

      @Dana, My dehydrator has 105 as a setting for nuts and seeds, but I find that almonds take forever at that temp, like days….. so I usually do about 130.

      • pmfh

        Oops! If you go above 118, you kill beneficial enzymes…

        • Donielle Baker

          It’s a controversial thing perhaps. 😉 But others say that by heating to, say, 250 degrees that the phytic acid is also reduced. And personally, It takes over 48 hours for me to dry almonds below 118, so I usually don’t worry about missing the enzymes as I get in plenty from other foods, especially fermented foods.

  15. Sara

    Hi Donielle! How long do the almonds keep after drying? Would it be best to toss them in the freezer just to ensure they stay fresh?

    • Donielle Baker

      I’m not sure what the official answer is, but I keep mine either in the freezer or fridge to make sure none of the fragile fats in them go bad. I do a large batch at once and then just keep them in quart freezer bags until I need them. 🙂

  16. allison

    at what temp do you roast them in the oven for the final roasting? thanks!

    • Donielle Baker

      When I roast them for flavor (and not to keep enzymes intact) I roast at 225 until they are cripsy. Otherwise I do them in a dehydrator.

  17. Lisa

    Where can I buy organic, raw almonds??

    • Donielle Baker

      I usually buy mine through a co-op that a friend runs locally or I get them at a bulk foods store and health food store near my home. Technically the ones at the store aren’t “raw” as they are flash pasteurized (I think they use very hot steam for a moment) but they aren’t “cooked” all the way through so I find they seem just like raw almonds. If I remember correctly, Green Smoothie Girl may run a co-op every once in awhile.

      • Jan

        Do you soak pasteurized almonds for the same amount of time as truly raw ones?

        • Donielle Baker

          If they were flash pasteurized, they may still be able to be soaked as the process may not have “killed” the part of the almond that grows. If they’ve already been heated enough so that they won’t grow if planted, then soaking does nothing for them.

          That said, most of the almonds I buy are flash pasteurized and soaking/dehydrating makes a difference in digestibility for our family.

  18. Kathy

    By not soaking they are bitter so I soak thanks would not let me rate over 3 I give it a 5

  19. Carina

    I tried soaking my almonds overnight on the counter with salt, but they got very moldy. Any advice?

    • Donielle Baker

      In all my years of soaking my almonds, I’ve never had that happen! Yikes! I’d wonder if the almonds you purchased were already contaminated with mold or maybe in the container?

  20. Kirsty

    Would it be silly to skip the dehydration and just roast the almonds…

    • Donielle Baker

      Hey Kirsty. You can just roast them but often times it takes much longer in the oven. You could also do a few hours on a low temp to start drying them out before turning it up to roast them.

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