Almonds are an uber-healthful, filling snack, jammed packed with real protein, fiber, and omega-3 and -6 fatty acids. Lots of raw food enthusiast always tell others how important almonds are to a balanced diet, but it is harder to get them to expound on why soaking almonds can unlock more health benefits, making them easier to digest. Soaking all tree nuts — especially almonds, since they aren’t botanically a tree nut but a seed — keeps you healthy by elevating the vitamins and nutrients your body absorbs from the food, creating a straightforward and efficient process to unlock the treasures inside this healthy seed.
Raw Food 101: Why You Should Always Soak Almonds
by Shane Roberts — Feb 22, 2012
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My wife always tells me to soak almonds, I need to listen to her more the women is a genius…
Haha! My husband is the same way. He recently went to OHI, Opitimum Health Institute in Lemon Grove, CA for a week stay and he said to everybody there,” I know most of all of this stuff from my wife, but now I guess I believe her.”
Soaked almonds brought me to the hospital, for a week………….
I’m confused, for what? Why did you end up at the hospital?
Did you spill some then slip over?
Thanks for talking about hte difference between soaking and sprouting. But, I thought it was impossible to find almonds that will sprout now, because of recent changes to the law that requires them to be be pasteurized while still retaining the “raw’ designation? I buy the organic raw almonds at Trader Joe’s and they used to sprout, but no more.
I started buying the bag at Sam’s Club before I knew about soaking and sprouting. Then before I realized they must be raw, to sprout, I started soaking and sprouting them. They aren’t advertised as raw, and don’t mention pasteurization either. Yet, they clearly are sprouting. So I guess there are exceptions?
How does soaking them overnight, then draining and putting in the fridge differ from sprouting them, by which seems to me to be the same method? Do you add more water after rinsing them?
I’m curious – I don’t have a glass bowl, and I don’t know if my other bowls are BPA-free. How will I know?
BPA is in plastic, not Glass, glass bowls should be sterilized in boiling water for ten minutes.
Chew well and swallow, the rest is BS.
BPA is in plastic, not Glass, glass bowls should be sterilized in boiling water for ten minutes.
Your article fails to mention that truly raw almonds are not available in the US (except at California farm stands). This is because of legislation by the California Almond board (headed by the largest commercial producers) and the USDA. This was done without public comment or notice. The whole undertaking was the result of two outbreaks of salmonella traced back to domestic commercial, large-scale producers. The rule requires that ALL “raw” almonds be sterilized by either steam or chemicals. Today, the vast majority of commercial, non-organic “raw” almonds are sterilized with propylene oxide; a suspected carcinogen. Most organic producers who sterilize their raw almonds use steam. One can legally buy domestic organic almonds directly from California growers’ farm stands only. They cannot be shipped out of state in the US; though they can be legally exported. The only truly organic raw almonds that consumers can legally purchase right now, country-wide, are imported.
The sterilization processes really denatures almonds for the purpose of sprouting as their valuable enzymes are destroyed or compromised. This spoils much of the nutritional benefits of the sprouted seed. Further, propylene oxide is a chemical that is potentially dangerous; and in my view should not be used in food products. It has been used in racing fuels in the past, though some organizations have banned its use due to the carcinogenicity.
Though steam is a much more preferable alternative, it too has the potential to denature the nutritional aspects of the food; especially when sprouting. You can’t really “sprout” a sterilized seed and it is therefore not really “raw”
In my view, all this should not be necessary in organic raw almonds. To my knowledge, problems have never been traced to organic almonds. A great deal of this type of legislation is done to accommodate the largest commercial producers and their production practices. Just as in meat production; the production practices are what produces the problems that require the use of antibiotics. Plainly, economies of scale have a steep cost.
If you want to see changes in this you must contact your legislators and share your views. If you value good food, contact one or more of the following: Organic Consumers Association, Cornucopia Institute, The Institute for Responsible Technology, Natural News. …………There are others, but just start somewhere.
Thanks for the info !
Greg is completely right. I did my research on this after a friend told me about the pateurization laws & I was blown away. In the US, even nuts labeled “raw” aren’t truly raw. Luckily, I live in CA & I just started buying directly from the farmer. I have a friend who bought some from Spain or something though. Can you imagine buying almonds from Spain? This is what the FDA & big gov.’t has done to our country that has acres & acres of beautiful nut trees. We have the right to buy real raw nuts if we want! Just as we have the right to buy raw, unpasteurized milk (illegal in some states). Maybe if hemp wasn’t illegal my hemp protein wouldn’t be so expensive!
You can buy raw, organic, UNPASTEURIZED almonds from California farm stands online. Just do a Google search and you will find them. Happy sprouting!
Again, good to do research. The chemical (Propylene oxide) is labelled as “possibly carcinogenic to humans” not because it has caused cancer in any tests, but because it hasn’t been tested long term. Since there’s no long term answer to this, it’s labelled as such. If you’re worried, I’d skip eating almonds, I have no idea if it can be washed off.
My initial thought when I read this comment was that dihydrogenmonoxide has not been tested long term.
But doing a bit of suggested research shows other evidence (just not long term testing).
I just purchased raw almonds from a California farm online. They can be shipped out of state if as a consumer you buy them online. I haven’t particularly liked the European raw almonds and they’re more expensive.
If this was plagiarized someone should notify live strong.
I believe the mastication process pretty much removes the skin from the almonds i crunch thru ! ??
Whats the fuss on washing additionally ?
Oh my God, someone who actually thinks. Ever wonder why there are no scientific articles attached to stories like this? Why aren’t there any quotes from real studies?
OK, it only took a little time, less than 5 minutes, to see while this is true, it is also false. The enzyme does exist and it is destroyed by soaking and HEAT. The latter is important because all almonds are pasteurized- steam heated- so the enzyme is already destroyed. Here’s a good website giving actual facts i.e. there is little nutritional benefit to soaking them, not any great benefit. http://foodwatch.com.au/reviews/item/product-review-activated-almonds.html It’s actually good to get real science.
Really interesting article overall.
@ Greg – thanks for this really important info
I bought sprouted almonds from Whole Foods….do I still need to soak them?
Thanks for the information, I only have one question: does the almond have to be in one piece to release the enzymes? I ask this because I often make almond milk in the blender, and wonder if I should soak them before, or just start blending and leave it suspended in the machine for a while before giving it a last spin and filter it..
This won’t work. After soaking, you need to drain the soak water away and rise the almonds – the enzyme inhibitors and tannins will be in the soak water, you need to get rid of this.
I soak raw almonds at room temperature for at least 24 hours with the skin on. Then I peel off the skin once done.
Thanks for sharing the hows and whys of this important detail. I notice that many raw recipes often neglect to indicate that nuts, especially almonds should be soaked.
I haven’t found almonds yet that sprouts. I have been buying almonds
and they have all been terrible after I soak them. contact HealthWorks on Instagram pre
I like soaked almonds because the skin peals off. I don’t like almond skin.
Thank you for the info! I mentioned it in my blog, Crunchee Granola. http://cruncheegranola.wordpress.com/2013/08/23/almonds-advice-from-my-dentist/
According to Ayurveda too, almonds need to be soaked !
Nuts have phytic acid. Phytic acid is also found in grains and legumes. Just as with grains and legumes, soaking nuts is essential for proper digestions. When eating nuts that haven’t been soaked, the phytic acid binds to minerals in the gastrointestinal tract and can not be absorbed in the intestine and to many bound minerals can lead to mineral deficiencies. By soaking, you are breaking down the phytic acid so it can be absorbed properly. – from http://wholelifestylenutrition.com/recipes/appetizers-snacks/is-soaking-nuts-necessary-how-to-properly-soak-your-organic-raw-nuts/
My wife never tells me to soak almonds; she is a dumb shit.
You’re a dumb shit Bob.
Almond skin is made up of Tannin acid which inhibits the absorption of nutrients in a Almond. That’s why one should soak Almond so that it gets sprouted and full of nutrients and take skin off so that tannin acid don’t inhibit absorption of nutrients
Great entertainment, folks !
Cliff Notes: Raw almonds sold at the store – not really raw. If your wife says to soak them then she should know. The government is bad but they can’t touch Californians because they’re awesome. You can’t sprout anymore ’cause they’re covered in jet fuel. Read up and use your own brain. Eat them as you please – everything else is BS.
Bob was dropped head first when he was a baby ,,,,thus he is Boob.
I soak the almonds that I buy raw from BJ’s for 12 hours that I rinse off the water and soak again for another 12 and then I put in a dehydrator until very crispy and I like the texture… I understand now from this thread that these are actually not sprouted but I still enjoy the flavor in the text you’re better but I don’t remove the skins and now I’m understanding I might have to do that right?
I would love to have read this but wow, the advertisements dominate the article (mobile). You can get the same info on less advertisement driven places… Just an honest suggestion. 🙂
but I have heard the skin contains alot of antioxidans, and isn’t it more interesting getting that than protein and fiber?