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Soaking Nuts, Seeds, and Beans For Optimal Health

Soaking Nuts, Seeds, and Beans For Optimal HealthWhy soak nuts and seeds?

Seeds, nuts and beans can just lie around for months when dry – without sprouting – because they contain enzyme inhibitors to stop that process. But once they make contact with water, they become alive and the enzyme inhibitors are released – like Gremlins!

The sprouting enzymes become active in these little seeds and begin breaking down the food to it’s easiest to digest form. This makes it easier for you to digest and more nutrients are bio-available and you absorb more nutrients to feed your cells.

Enzymes are alive only in living foods but not cooked foods and begin to die at around 115 degrees Fahrenheit.

I believe that for optimal living we need to eat living foods. After all, a “live” food is life giving, energy giving, and nutritious but cooked dead food does not give you the vigor and energy that living foods can.

I know you are a person who wants to get the most out of life, so feeling amazing is very important to you. This element right here is very important.

Begin to eat more living foods, not just soaked seeds. My challenge to you is to try and eat more vegetables, I dare you! This would be one of the best things you could do for your health and weight loss.


You don’t need any fancy jars unless you just want to buy them. A bowl works just great for sprouting. When you sprout smaller seeds like sesame seeds, radish seeds, broccoli seeds which are really small, you will want a sprouting jar with a lid.

Flax Seeds:flax-seed

Soak for 8 hours (overnight). Put flax seeds in a bowl and cover with water about 1 inch above the seeds. Place the bowl on the counter at room temperature for the full 8 hours uncovered. You can cover with a towel to keep bugs out.

The flax seeds will absorb all the water and become a little slimy. This is natural. After 8 hours, put the unused soaked/sprouted flax seeds in the refrigerator with a lid on. They will last about 5 days in the refrigerator.

Sunflower seeds:

Use the same process as flax seeds. Soak for 8 hours (overnight) in a bowl and cover with water about 1 inch above the seeds. Place the bowl on the counter at room temperature for the full 8 hours uncovered. You can cover with a towel to keep bugs out.

After 8 hours, drain the water and store in fresh water. To use, drain water and scoop out what you need for eating. We use for breakfast, pate’s, snacks, granola, raw sushi rolls, and lots of other cool stuff.

Store in the refrigerator with a lid on and be sure to store seeds in fresh water. If they are not stored in water and exposed to the air, they will mold quickly. They will last about 5 days in the refrigerator after sprouted.

Sesame seeds:

Same process as sunflower seeds. These are GREAT sources of calcium.


Soak almonds for 12-24 hours. Put the almonds in a bowl and sit on counter to soak.

With almonds you need to rinse them every 12 hours if you are soaking for 24 hours.

Store almonds the same way you store sunflower seeds. Store in fresh water and put a lid on it and put in the refrigerator. These are great snacks, or for smoothies, or making fresh almond milk, and all sorts of other goodies.

Almonds these days are pasteurized because after an E coli break out involving almonds, the government required all almond growers to pasteurize their almonds – usually by quick steam or a chemical spray.

Even if the package says “raw”, they are technically not raw, it is now against the law to sell them. It is very difficult to find raw almonds now but it can be done. Just do the best that you can with what you have. At least soak your almonds so they are easy to digest.


Kardena Pauza,
Author of Easy Veggie Meal Plans, a 90 day vegetarian weight loss system.

39 Comments Leave a Comment

Comment by Janina Lapp
2010-03-03 21:44:56

This is a question not a comment – can shelled sunflower seeds be sprouted or they need to be still in the shell?

Comment by Kardena Pauza
2010-03-10 02:10:48

Good question. They can be shelled and still sprout as long as they are raw. I used shelled seeds all the time.

Comment by vivian
2010-03-04 02:20:02

THank you very mutch god bless

Comment by Amir
2010-03-04 04:05:21

I bought flax seed few weeks ago, but i don’t know what to do with it.what do i do so that i can eat it?

Comment by Kardena Pauza
2010-03-10 02:12:16

Flax seeds are very versatile.

You can blend them in a coffee grinder or magic bullet. Then add them to cereals, smoothies, make fiber muffins, sprinkle on salads or soups.


Comment by Clement
2010-03-04 07:17:17

Hmm kardina, does it really make much of a difference to your body composition and fat-burning if they’re soaked or not? I’m just curious as I’ve eaten them unsoaked for years.

Comment by Kardena Pauza
2010-03-10 02:40:16

soaking seeds in water changes the make up of the seeds and the nutrients become more bio available and soaking increases the available energy in the seeds.
Eating raw nuts uses up more of your digestive enzymes and over time this will make digestion difficult causing weight gain and other health challenges.

Comment by Isaac
2010-03-06 00:07:50

Question: Once you soak the almonds, can you dry them
out again or do you eat them wet? Also, do you eat them with the skins on or skins off? Thanks for your reply!

Comment by Kardena Pauza
2010-03-10 02:46:10

you can dry the almonds at lowest possible temp and they will store longer. You can add sea salt and herbs, garlic and they are very tasty.

Comment by Celeste
2010-03-13 14:55:22

Hey Kardena! I was thinking of sprouting some red wheat, or other grains for that matter, what is your recommendation for that?

Comment by Kardena Pauza
2010-07-12 23:46:09

Hi Celeste,
You can sprout wheat and make crusts for pies, healthy pizza or raw pizza, or make breakfasts cereals. Or you can continue sprouting wheat and you will have wheat grass which as you probably know is an amazing superfood.
You can sprout so many different types of grains and seeds. Seeds and grains like quinoa, rice, buckwheat, kamut, garlic, broccoli, lentils, spelt, garbanzo beans and so many more.

Comment by Anonymous
2010-03-25 15:40:00

Hi Kardena – I understand that raw nuts may contain enzyme inhibitors that can be released with soaking, which is the ideal. But I have been enjoying ground SEEDS for years. Does grinding raw seeds also cause the release of enzyme inhibitors, especially when they enter the body which is filled with liquids? Do you happen to know of someone who is an expert on this topic that I can ask? I have searched all over for the answer to this question. Thank you very much. 🙂

Comment by Kardena Pauza
2010-03-27 00:44:52

Hi Patty,
Great question!
Soaking seeds to release enzyme inhibitors is a chemical reaction that happens when the seeds make contact with water. Just like in nature when rain makes contact with seeds, the inhibitors are released and the enzymes become active. So grinding seeds is a whole different action separate from inhibitors. I hope this helps!

Comment by Monika
2010-05-14 20:17:42

Hi Kardena,
I soaked the almonds and then I was so busy that I didn’t use them for couple days and they got dry. Should I soak them again before I’ll need them? Are they still going to be good?
Thank you.

Comment by Kardena Pauza
2010-07-12 23:55:58

Hi Monika,
The reason you keep the almonds in water is so that they do not go bad or moldy. You do not have to re-soak them before you eat them.
You can soak seeds, add seasonings and dehydrate them to store longer. It’s like having seasoned seeds/nuts you buy at the store, just a healthier version.

Comment by Michelle
2010-05-22 11:48:13

Do you need to soak cashews? If so, how many hours? After soaking, do you need to keep them in the refrigerator with water or without water? If you dehydrate them after soaking, how long are they good for?

Comment by Kardena Pauza
2010-07-13 00:01:24

Hi Michelle,
Cashews will not sprout, however soaking does improve you bodies ability to digest them. They only need to soak for 6-8 hours. After soaking, put fresh water in container and store in refrigerator. I like adding seasoning to the cashews and dehydrating them. I like chili lime flavor.
One they’re dried, if you keep them in a sealed dry container they will stay for quite awhile. at least a month.

Comment by Valerie
2010-07-08 09:05:15

Thank you for all this info. I also use pumpkin seeds. How long should they be soaked for best results?

Comment by Kardena Pauza
2010-07-23 01:00:09

Hi Valerie,
Pumpkin seeds only need to soak for 8 hours and they are ready to use!

Comment by Nguyen
2010-08-19 22:13:18

I have a question: Should flax seeds be stored in fresh water like you say to do with sunflower and sesame seeds? I ask this because you say sunflower seeds require the same process as flax seeds, but you added this to the instructions for soaking sunflower seeds but it was not mentioned for the instructions for soaking flax seeds. Thanks.

P.D. I apologize if this is posted twice; I posted it again because I didn’t see my question posted on the page after I submitted it.

Comment by Kardena
2011-04-12 10:52:40

I only see it posted once, all good. When you soak flax seeds, they stick together so it’s difficult to rinse them or put more water in them. They have a gelatinous coating around them that makes them stick together, the good news about this is that they do not mold quickly because they have very little exposure to oxygen. They will last a good 4-5 days in the frig. I’ve even kept them longer and all they do is start to sprout! they are still edible. Sunflower seeds are easily drained of their water and refreshed with new water. Keeping them in water will limit their exposure to oxygen and thus mold.

Comment by alpana
2010-09-27 02:13:07

what to do with the water in which seeds are soaked ?should it be thrown or can be used to drink ? Thanks

Comment by admin
2010-12-30 22:47:23

You want to throw out the water, it contains enzyme inhibitors that have been released from the seeds. just throw it away.

Comment by KELLY
2011-03-14 09:28:45

Hi There,

I have been soaking almonds and then patting them dry and putting them in a container in hte fridge. Do you think this is OK or do I need to be keeping them in water. How long will they last in the fridge.

Thank you for your time,

Comment by Kardena
2011-04-12 10:55:33

Hello Kelly,
I recommend leaving them in water. Exposure to oxygen and a moist environment can lend itself to mold. Your other choice is to put them in the freezer after soaking them and drying them or dehydrating them and storing in a sealed dry container.

Comment by christine wittner
2011-06-10 10:11:37

I’m soaking for the first time, flax seeds to make crackers!
I’m new at all this and very excited about learning I understand that you can freeze almonds affter soaking. Can freezing be done with all nuts or seeds?
Thank you for your help

Comment by Kardena
2011-06-13 15:25:00

That’s awesome! Flax seeds are one of the easiest to soak and sprout so great choice 🙂 let me know how they turned out. You can freeze most nuts and seeds. If you dry/dehydrate them first they will freeze better.

Comment by Sonia
2011-07-04 01:24:50

I have a question please. After, I soak the flax seeds can I eat them without further processing and still get the omega oil? I thank you for your help.

Comment by Kardena
2011-07-13 22:34:21

Hi Sonia,
Yes you can eat them after you soak the flax seeds. You can put them in smoothies or cereal. Just make sure you chew them or blend them to break the outer shell so the stomach acids can digest and access the omegas.. Great source of fiber!

Comment by James Bond
2012-02-12 06:33:55

Can you use a vacuum sealer (soak flax seeds in canning/mason jar,
rinse, drain, then suck the air out with a vacuum sealer) to preserve the soaked flax seeds longer? I don’t think mold will grow in a vacuum. Not sure if the seeds would sprout in a vacuum, either.

Got a foodsaver vacuum sealer recently and enjoy keeping my food fresh by storing in 64oz canning jars that I found at ace hardware.
Finding more and more uses for it. Normally I just grind my flax seeds and put on cereal or salads w/o soaking. Still a mystery how much improvement one would see by soaking them first. Seems like a pain to have to dry them, then grind, etc.

Comment by Kardena
2012-05-11 18:23:57

Hey 007,
If you want to vacuum seal them to store longer? I would recommend doing everything you said but dehydrating them before you vacuum seal them. I would get most of the moisture out and then they will store.
Really the idea of soaking seeds before you eat them is a compounding effect. One you won’t see overnight, jsut like eating unhealthy doesn’t have an overnight effect but you see the results in long term health. soaking helps so you don’t rob your body of it’s precious enzymes. The more of you metabolic enzymes you use, the faster you age.
You could do a good amount of soaked seeds and dry them and store them. If you have to do it once every 6 months, that’s not bad!

Comment by lynne
2012-02-16 17:29:49

Hi Anonymous —

Re: Your 3/25/10 comment — Did you ever receive an answer or find a book on soaking nuts and seeds? I’m searching for authoritative answers rather than differing opinions. I can say that Sally Fallon Morrell, head of Weston A. Price, has good information on their website and in her book “Nourishing Traditions.”


Comment by Kardena
2012-05-11 18:54:24

check out this website. they seem to be the experts & they have a chart for storage of all types of seeds or call & ask them. http://sproutpeople.org/sprouts/grow/storage.html

Comment by pj
2012-02-25 09:59:29

Hi there –
Wonderful article. A few questions so I can learn more about this wonderful process…
How long can I store the pre-soaked and now soaking sunflower and almond seeds in the refrigerator? (Why in water if they’ve already soaked?)
How long will pre-soaked almonds last Without being stored in water, but in the refrigerator?
Do Almonds sprout? Someone told me once they did, but other article said they just absorb water and the tip just looks like it’s sprouting but isn’t really.
I hope to see your reply soon. Thanks for all your help.

Comment by Kardena
2012-05-11 18:16:00

Hey PJ,
thank you, you can store the soaked nuts and seeds in the frig for about 5-7 days. I would rinse them after about 3 days and put fresh water in. If they are stored out of water in the frig, they tend to mildew quickly. water inhibits this from happening.
pre-soaked almonds last about 3-4 days in the frig not soaked in water.
when you soak the almonds you won’t see a sprout like you do with sunflower seeds. but yes they absorb the water.

Comment by christy
2012-05-01 08:15:03

Wouldn’t it be healthy to drink the mucilaginous liquid that is created by flax seed?

Comment by Kardena
2012-05-11 17:38:32

Possibly! however the gooey liquid is difficult to separate from the flax seeds. So your basically leaving them in the water. They are all clumped together and absorb most of the water.

Comment by Erma Melvin
2012-05-30 13:15:09

I suffered from constipation for years until a friend told me to soak golden flax seeds in water until slightly thicken and drink it it works fine its a life saver. My question is how can I preserve the water

Comment by Kardena
2012-06-13 22:16:18

They are a lifesaver! It’s so simple and inexpensive too! That’s wonderful to hear. When you say preserve the water, I’m not sure what you mean. If you mean save it to consume at a later time? It’s perishable so I think it only last for about 3 days.

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