How to Activate Nuts

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How to Activate Nuts

I often get asked about the correct way to soak and activate nuts, and why it is beneficial. So today’s post demystifies this simple process so you can enjoy healthy and extra tasty nuts, raw or in your cooking (or un-cooking!).

Why activate them?

Nuts and seeds are sleeping. They are not yet ready to germinate. To protect them in their dormant state, they have an anti-nutrient called phytic acid, which tastes very bitter and deters the pesky birds and other pests from bothering them until it is time to wake up and grow. Phytic acid, when ingested, will bind to minerals in the digestive tract such as iron, calcium and zinc, inhibiting your absorption of them. In order to release this anti-nutrient, nuts and seeds are best soaked and even sprouted – also known as being ‘activated’. The process of soaking mimics an environment in which they may start to grow. Activating your nuts is indeed beneficial, especially for those with compromised digestion.

You can activate any nut or seed with a skin. Try almonds, brazil nuts, hazelnuts, walnuts, pumpkin seeds and pecans. You may be surprised at how much tastier and less bitter they are after this process.

Generally, those that are pale and have no skins such as cashews and macadamias do not need to be activated.

One last note – I like to use a splash of lemon juice or apple cider vinegar, as it helps facilitate the process – but even just using water is perfectly fine.


Activated Nuts

Raw • Easily digested
  • A large quantity of raw, organic nuts (or seeds)
  • Filtered water
  • Apple cider vinegar


  1. Place your raw nuts (or seeds) in a large glass bowl and cover with filtered water.
  2. Add a small splash of apple cider vinegar.
  3. Let soak for a minimum of two hours, ideally overnight.
  4. Drain the water.
  5. Spread evenly on a dehydrator tray and dehydrate at 115˚F till completely dry. Store in an airtight container. 



Hi I’m Lauren, practising Naturopath, Medical Herbalist, Nutritionist, and essential oils educator in Auckland, New Zealand. I’m incredibly passionate about food as medicine, and helping people connect with the healing power of Nature. I’ve been sharing my recipes and health articles here since 2012.

BNatMed, AdDip NutMed, BCS, Certified FitGenes Practitioner.