Since I've been following the soak and wash method for all my nuts, wow, I have been able to enjoy them again [principally almonds and walnuts, brazil nuts sometimes, and rarely for a treat, cashews]. So I bought a dehydrator for my family back in the States so my dad and my bro, who has nearly identical problems as myself, can also enjoy the clean, crunchy taste. Hurrah! After dehydrating the first batch, my dad started really chowing down on nuts [they are crunchy clean but break up much easier against his old teeth and dentures - which he loves - but the flavor is intensified and clean, which is wildly "nuts" about! So, he munches on them now instead of other sweet "goodies" and feels oh, so much better! I think the high protein in nuts has really helped him manage his Parkinson's tremors better; and btw, he was the first to say that :)
So, here's the method. The nuts first have to be washed in water until the water is colorless or debrisless. Walnuts are the nastiest nuts to wash, and will take several full immersions and rinses (10-15 times) to get clean. Almonds will color the water some but usually submerging and rinsing them at least 5 times will be enough. By the way, the almonds pictured below are the cleanest almonds I've ever washed. Usually the water is more discolored, sometimes murky even - and to think I used to make such huge demands on my liver by eating moldy, pesticide-packed nuts! [Also, because I want to eat my nuts with the highest enzyme count, I don't wash my nuts in water that is over 118°F - less is better - and the same applies for dehydrating them. I dehydrate at 115°F for usually 2 days, or until completely dry.]
The suggested soak time is as follows. The principal of soaking is to neutralize enzyme inhibitors in the skin of the nuts, particularly true of harder nuts like almonds, and to neutralize the phytic acid, which inhibits the absorption of minerals. Soaking also breaks down gluten [I want to study more about this] and facilitates the body in absorbing the vitamins. The harder the nut, the longer the soak time, and so here are some suggested soak times. For more info, read the Raw Food Living article although this article focuses on soaking nuts for sprouting, not eating immediately or dehydrating.
almonds ........... 8 - 24 hours
brazil nuts ....... 1 - 3 hours
cashews ........... 2 - 3 hours
flax seeds ........ 30 min - 6 hours
pumpkin seeds ..... 4 - 6 hours
sunflower seeds ... 4 - 6 hours
walnuts ........... 2 - 4 hours
Oversoaking, especially the white skinned nuts like cashews, macadamias, Brazil nuts, walnuts, make the nuts mushy and gross. Also, pour off the polluted soak water if making food with the soaked nuts or seeds - yes, the water is tasty, esp almond water, but it's loaded with nasty toxins, so throw it out!
After soaking the nuts for the proper time, pour off the water and rinse the nuts until the water again comes off colorless. [Using the same process for beans to be cooked in a slow-cooker equally applies.] Then, put the nuts to dry on drying racks in a dehydrator. Dehydrating will take about 2 days on 115°F, but of course the amount of time depends on how many dryer racks are filled. Once dried, store nuts in fridge to prevent mold reappearing and to maintain their now fresh, crunchiness! If not oversoaking or drying at high temperatures, you should have nuts rich in their respective Omegas 3 - 6 - 9 and full of vitamins and minerals that the body can more easily absorb.
Here's a pretty good guide to help with knowing how long to soak the specific nuts: