Walnuts are nutrient-packed nuts that are a great addition to any diet. They are high in protein, healthy fats, fiber, vitamins, and minerals which make them a healthy snack option. However, to get the optimal nutrition from walnuts, you need to know how to prepare them correctly. One common question people ask about walnuts is how long to soak them. In this article, we will explore the science behind soaking walnuts and how long you should soak them for optimal nutrition.
Why Soak Walnuts?
Soaking walnuts is a simple process of submerging them in water for a specified period of time. The purpose of soaking walnuts is to activate the enzymes, break down the phytic acid content, and reduce the tannin levels in the nuts. Phytic acid is an anti-nutrient that binds to minerals like calcium, zinc, and iron, making them unavailable for absorption. Tannins are bitter compounds found in the outer layer of nuts that can interfere with mineral absorption as well. Soaking walnuts can help reduce the phytic acid and tannin levels, making the nuts more digestible and increasing the bioavailability of nutrients.
How to Soak Walnuts?
To soak walnuts, simply take the amount of walnuts you want to use and put them in a bowl of filtered water. Make sure the water covers the nuts completely. Add a pinch of salt for flavor if desired. Let the nuts soak for 8-12 hours or overnight. Drain and rinse the walnuts thoroughly after soaking. The soaked walnuts can then be eaten as they are or used in recipes.
How Long Should You Soak Walnuts?
The recommended soaking time for walnuts is 8-12 hours or overnight. This timeframe is sufficient to activate the enzymes and reduce the levels of phytic acid and tannins in the nuts. So, if you want to get the optimal nutrition from walnuts, you should soak them for at least 8 hours. However, soaking walnuts for longer than 12 hours can result in the nuts becoming mushy and losing their flavor and texture.
Benefits of Soaking Walnuts
1. Increased Digestibility
Soaking walnuts can increase the digestibility of the nuts by breaking down the enzymes and reducing the levels of phytic acid and tannins. This makes the nuts easier to digest and less likely to cause digestive distress.
2. Enhanced Nutrient Absorption
Soaking walnuts can enhance the absorption of nutrients like vitamins, minerals, and protein. When the levels of phytic acid and tannins are reduced, the nutrients in the nuts become more bioavailable and easier to absorb.
3. Improved Flavor and Texture
Soaking walnuts can also improve the flavor and texture of the nuts. Soaked walnuts are softer and creamier than unsoaked walnuts, making them an ideal addition to recipes like smoothies or nut milk.
How to Store Soaked Walnuts?
After soaking walnuts, you should drain and dry them thoroughly before storing. Wet walnuts can spoil quickly, so it’s important to make sure they are completely dry before putting them in an airtight container. You can store soaked walnuts in the refrigerator for up to five days or freeze them for up to six months.
Recipes Using Soaked Walnuts
1. Walnut Milk
- 1 cup of soaked walnuts
- 3-4 cups of filtered water
- 1-2 tablespoons of honey or maple syrup (optional)
- A pinch of salt (optional)
Blend all the ingredients in a blender till smooth, strain the milk and refrigerate.
2. Raw Walnut Brownies
- 1 cup pitted dates
- 1 cup soaked and drained walnuts
- 1/4 cup cacao powder
- A pinch of sea salt
Blend all the ingredients in a food processor till smooth, then press into a pan and refrigerate.
FAQs About Soaking Walnuts
Q. How long can you soak walnuts?
A. The recommended soaking time for walnuts is 8-12 hours or overnight.
Q. Can you over-soak walnuts?
A. Yes, soaking walnuts for more than 12 hours can result in the nuts becoming mushy and losing their flavor and texture.
Q. How do you store soaked walnuts?
A. After soaking walnuts, dry them completely and store them in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days or freeze them for up to 6 months.
Q. What are some recipes that use soaked walnuts?
A. You can make walnut milk, raw walnut brownies, or use them as a topping for salads and oatmeal.
Q. Can you soak other nuts?
A. Yes, you can soak other nuts like almonds, cashews, and pecans.
Soaking walnuts is a simple process that can enhance the digestibility and nutritional benefits of the nuts. The recommended soaking time for walnuts is 8-12 hours or overnight. After soaking, make sure to drain and dry the walnuts thoroughly before storing. Soaked walnuts can be used in recipes like nut milk and raw brownies or as a topping for salads and oatmeal. By soaking your nuts, you can get the optimal nutrition from them and enjoy their many health benefits.
- “Soak Your Nuts: Cleansing With Food” by Jacob Trager and Cherie Calbom.
- “Nourishing Traditions” by Sally Fallon.
- “The Complete Guide to Soaking Nuts, Seeds and Legumes” by Sarah Pope.