I've read here and there about the importance of soaking nuts over night and then dehydrating them because nuts become easier to digest therefore releasing more nutrients when metabolized. This all pertains to making nut butters or even eating raw nuts on a daily basis.
I make nut butters quite often (pecan, macadamia nut, walnut, almond, peanut, etc.), but I don't soak the nuts first.
I just buy the nuts raw or roasted from the store in the bulk section (preferring organic selections when I can find them) and take them home to turn into nut butters either using my food processor or Vitamix blender.
My nut butters always come out fine and I've never had any digestive issues after eating them. But I am concerned now about whether or not I DO need to begin routinely soaking nuts before preparing my butters. I wouldn't want to miss out on any important nutrients while eating my nut butters.
Anyone have any concrete info or knowledge on this? I've looked around online, but hard to find definitive information.
I've just done some research about soaking nuts and it turns out that it is pretty important if you eat a lot of nuts or want to give your pancreas a break. There is a naturally occuring compound in nuts that protects it in nature, it doesn't dissipate by roasting, only by soaking for 6 to 12 hours, ever heard of sprouted grains? Well, they're not actually sprouted, they're soaked to dissipate that compound so your pancreas doesn't have to work overtime producing enzymes to digest that compound, which can enlarge your pancreas causing permanent damage over time. I've tried it, not only are the nuts incredibly delicious, but I know that I am doing something good for my pancreas, if that matters to you. I googled "soaking nuts" and found a website with different topics, one of which was titled "give your pancreas a break".
Soaking and removes toxins from skins. Because you use alot of nuts in butters amd milks the toxins can concentrate causing discomfirt in those who have sensitive digestive tracts. You obviousley don't :) so don't worry about it. I sometimes soak almonds and walnuts just because I like the consistency.
I'm with you Airo. I have soaked almonds to remove the skin and then ground them to make macaroons - you end up with a chewy nut (preferable) rather than a crunchy one. And I once soaked cashews prior to making a butter and ended up with...well, chewy nuts that made a lousy butter.
I think that those who follow the Nourishing Traditions philosophy, digestion is the main problem - soaking nuts softens the texture which also affects the indigestible fiber. Nuts take a long time to digest and soaking them helps to break down the enzymes and fiber, making them easier to digest. Roasting worked well, too, but is a form of cooking which makes them 'not raw'. Raw foodies are big on the soaking as mush of what they consume is made of indigestible fiber.
But iff you aren't having any problems, don't worry about fixing what's not broken!