Activated Nuts

I was doing some preparation for a recipe and as I did a bit of research I came upon a strange term… ‘activated nuts’… What are they? A special kind of nut?

So it turns out there is a correct way to soak nuts that makes them more beneficial.  Nuts and seeds are sleeping and 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 birds and other pests.  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 – lemon juice or apple cider vinegar can help to facilitate the process – but water on its own is perfectly fine.

How do I do this at home?


You need:
A large quantity of raw, organic nuts (or seeds)
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 dehydrating tray and dehydrate at 45˚C till completely dry.  You can also use an oven or leave it out in the sun to dry.
  6. Store in an airtight container.

I hope you all have fun activating your stash of nuts tonight! 

In good health.

4 Responses

Doing as you suggest will remove (most of), the phytic acid though more than very gentle heating (in an oven), will not be beneficial to some nutrients. But why is it that, suddenly, after 100,000 plus years, phytic acid has suddenly become known as an "anti-nutrient". Yet somehow we have survived – through hunter-gathering and then farming. I have to question then, whether it is as detrimental to our health as portrayed. 

Phytic acid is an adjunct in preventing gallstones – and is often prescribed for this purpose. Peoples with high grain diets rarely suffer from this complaint – which is more frequent in a modern, Western diet.

Perhaps it scavenges the excess calcium and other metals we ingest?

Murray March 31 2015

Hi Nandano, Mike and Murray,

Thank you for your feedback and comments.

Activating nuts is definitely an interesting and sometimes controversial topic that many of us are not aware of. I certainly hadn’t until recently!

Phytic acid does have some benefit – such as potentially preventing gallstones – but where this is detrimental is when an individual relies heavily on grains and legumes to provide majority of nutrient needs. In this context, when an individual is already hard-pressed to get all the nutrients they need (such as iron and zinc), phytic acid can make already low nutrient bioavailability and mineral deficiency worse.

This article is simply to bring attention to this and I am certainly not saying we have to activate every nut or seed we eat! That would definitely be a bit nutty :)

In good health,


Customer Relations March 31 2015

Agree Murray, think the Paleo crew hop on this.

So much baloney out there and this site hops on much of it.

Mike March 31 2015

Activated nuts is complete nonsense and just plain nuts!

Nandano March 31 2015

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