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How to Soak Pecans for Digestion

Soaked Pecans | Buttered Side Up
Soaked Pecans | Buttered Side Up
Soaked Pecans | Buttered Side Up
The first thing you might be thinking is: why would I ever want to soak my pecans?

Pecans are a great source of vitamins and minerals. They contain vitamin B1, Copper, Magnesium and Manganese, Zinc, and much more. However, like other nuts and seeds, pecans contain enzyme inhibitors, tannic acid, and phytic acid. These substances can mess with your digestion and absorption of nutrients. Thus the healthy properties in nuts are kind of negated.
What’s a health-conscious girl to do?

By soaking your pecans in a briny solution you can deactivate the negative properties. The salt in the soaking water also activates enzymes in the nuts that neutralize the enzyme inhibitors.*
Once your pecans are soaked for the proper amount of time you can dehydrate them to make them a lovely, crispy texture. 
You can read more about the benefits of soaking nuts in this great blog post by Kimi of The Nourishing Gourmet. She also gives methods for soaking other nuts here.
Note: It’s important to dehydrate your nuts at the proper temperature. If you go higher than 150 degrees F (65 C), the beneficial enzymes that you activated by soaking can be destroyed. My oven only goes down to 170. Next time I’ll leave my oven door open a tad to lower the temperature.

Soaked and Dehydrated Pecans

Ingredients: (can increase amounts as needed)
  • 1 cups of pecans
  • 1/2 teaspoon real salt
  • Filtered water to cover nuts

Place the pecans and salt in a glass or stainless steel bowl. Add enough filtered water to cover. Stir. Place a kitchen towel on top and leave in a warm part of your kitchen for at least 7 and up to 12 hours. 
Drain in a colander, spread on a stainless steel cookie sheet (or dehydrator trays) and place in a warm oven (105 to 150 degrees) until the pecans are nice and crispy, stirring occasionally, about 12-24 hours. 
Store in an airtight container in a cool place for a few months, or longer in the refrigerator. 

Note: Some links are affiliate. As always, all opinions are my own.


Friday 15th of December 2023

Having just found you I'm looking at your sourdough recipes. I soak nuts as well. Been a Sally Fallon follower with her book for several decades now. I soak a variety of nuts and dehydrate them since my husband uses them almost daily in our homemade yogurt and whatever mixture he combines. Looking forward to making this Banana Bread.

Margaret Newell

Friday 18th of November 2022

when pecans are roasted by producer, does this take care of phytate problem?

Erica Kastner

Friday 18th of November 2022

I'm not sure how much phytates would be removed just by roasting. I'm under the impression that if you soak the pecans first and then dehydrate them, that neutralizes more of the phytates, but I would like to do some research and see how much can be minimized just by roasting!


Wednesday 20th of January 2021

Do organic chopped pecans require this kind of attention as well?

Erica Kastner

Wednesday 20th of January 2021

Yes! They won't have pesticides and herbicides, but organic pecans still contain phytic acid.


Monday 16th of March 2020

My oven also only goes down to 175 degrees F. I turn the oven light on and place a tiny space heater inside, it keeps it just at 148 F. Perfect!

Erica Kastner

Tuesday 17th of March 2020

Thanks for the tip, Z! So is it a battery operated space heater?

What I Ate Wednesday While Pregnant! (9-5-2018) - Buttered Side Up

Wednesday 12th of September 2018

[…] 2 Brazil nuts for selenium. I soaked and dehydrated them as described in my How to Soak Pecans […]