How I Buy and Store Organic Nuts and Seeds

Written by Max Goldberg on July 5, 2012. Follow Max on Twitter: @livingmaxwell.

I buy a good amount of organic nuts and seeds each week. Not only do I always take them with me when traveling, but I use them to make nut milk smoothies quite often for breakfast.

Here is some information about how I buy, prepare, and use organic nuts and seeds.

BUY RAW

Although I am not a 100% raw foodist, or even remotely close, I only buy organic nuts and seeds that are raw. Why?

When a nut is heated or roasted, it loses some of its minerals, enzymes and nutrients.

Furthermore, I never buy salted nuts.

If I wanted salted nuts, I would buy them unsalted and then put my own, high-quality salt on them. There is no such thing as “certified organic salt”, and most of the salt out there is of very, very low-quality.

Lately, I think this Himalayan pink salt is fantastic.

BUY IN BULK

When possible, I almost always buy nuts and seeds in bulk rather than buying them in plastic containers. I find that the bulk bins are less expensive and also are more fresh.

STORE IN THE FRIDGE

As soon as I get them home, I immediately put them in the fridge, ideally in an air-tight, glass jar. If I don’t have an air-tight, glass jar, I’ll put the bag of the nuts or seeds into the fridge.

Storing them this way will keep them fresh longer and will help prevent them from going rancid.

SOAK IN THE FRIDGE

When I make nut milk smoothies, I always soak my organic nuts and seeds. The primary reason to do this is because the soaking process removes the enzyme inhibitors. This allows us to absorb the maximum amount of enzymes from the nut or seed.

The general rule I follow is 2-8 hours of soaking time or soaking them overnight. I used to soak the nuts or seeds in water sitting on the kitchen counter but now I am soaking them in an air-tight container in the fridge. Once the soaking is finished, I wash them off with water several times.

It is my understanding that Brazil nuts (above, on the left) do not have to be soaked.

If I am simply eating nuts right out of the bag, I won’t soak them, mostly because I don’t have a dehydrator.

MAKING NUT/SEED MILK

As I mentioned, one of my favorite things to consume in the morning are nut milk smoothies. (A concoction that I came up with lately and absolutely love are black sesame seed milk smoothies.)

Once you have the nut or seed milk, you can then put it back in the blender and then add bananas, coconut palm sugar, maca, cacao, chia seeds, berries, or any other ingredient that you wish.

Below is a video on how to make nut milk, and I never let my nut milk sit in the fridge for more than one day. Some people leave it up to four or five days but I like to play it safe and give it only 24 hours.

When making nut or seed milk, the general rule of thumb is to use a 5:1 ratio of water to nuts/seeds to water (5 cups of water to 1 cup of nuts), then make adjustments based on how thick you want it.

Never made nut milk before? Below is a video on how to do it and this is the super-fine mesh strainer that I am using.

 

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23 Comments

  1. I also store my nuts in the fridge but if they don’t store it that way in the health food store – hasn’t the damage been done? Especially if they keep them under hot store lights.

    I run into this when I buy hemp seeds, chia, walnuts, etc. the store keeps them under hot lights and I feel like it compromises the quality.

    Written by merel on July 5, 2012 @ 4:45 pm
  2. Hi Merel,

    The way that the nuts are stores is going to have an impact but that would not stop me from always putting them immediately in the fridge. You’ll be able to extend the shelf life of the nuts/seeds vs. not putting them in the fridge.

    Also, if you’re not happy about the way that the store is handling them, buy them somewhere else or online.

    Live well,
    Max

    Written by Max Goldberg on July 5, 2012 @ 5:03 pm
  3. Great tips! I also love to add some celtic or himalayan salt to my raw nuts. Btw most cashews and californian almonds are not considered truly raw – they have been roasted to remove the shell or steamed (in case of almonds from California). So nutritional quality is compromised.

    Written by Kat Goldstein on July 6, 2012 @ 7:53 am
  4. Thanks Kat! I knew that about almonds from California but not about cashews. I will definitely look into that and I appreciate your letting me know.

    Live well,
    Max

    Written by Max Goldberg on July 6, 2012 @ 10:56 am
  5. Nice video! I learned from the Cafe Gratitude’s book, I am Grateful that Brazil nuts and hazelnuts are the only nuts without the enzyme inhibitor; they do not need to be soaked before eating or making nut milks. The other nuts do, if you like.

    all the best,
    Leslie Cerier, The Organic Gourmet

    Written by Leslie Cerier on July 10, 2012 @ 10:44 pm
  6. Hi Leslie,

    Thanks so much and I am glad to come across another Cafe Gratitude fan!! That place is the best.

    Have you seen this workbook? http://livingmaxwell.com/the-abounding-river-book

    I am on my 2nd go-around now.

    Live well,
    Max

    Written by Max Goldberg on July 11, 2012 @ 11:20 am
  7. Thanks for showing how simple the milk is to make. The text on the nut/water ratio is backwards, should be 5 cups water to 1 cup of nuts.

    Healthy Eating!
    -Kim

    Written by Kim on September 28, 2012 @ 6:27 pm
  8. Hi Max! I’ve been reading your blog for a while now, I feel like I’ve learned so much! Quick question – do you recommend a good place to buy nuts in Manhattan? Thank you!

    Written by Kathy on September 29, 2012 @ 8:43 pm
  9. Hi Kathy,

    Thank you so much! Lifethyme Market on 6th Avenue and the bulk section in Integral Yoga Natural Foods on 13th street in the WV both have very good nuts. I have been happy with what I have bought there.

    Live well,
    Max

    Written by Max Goldberg on October 4, 2012 @ 11:04 am
  10. Hi Kim,

    Thanks for pointing out that mistake, I’ll go and fix it. If you ever see any other errors, please don’t hesitate to let me know.

    Live well,
    Max

    Written by Max Goldberg on October 4, 2012 @ 11:15 am
  11. What are the benefits of making this as opposed to just eating the nuts? Also what is left in the strainer when your finished and can you use it for something?

    Written by Joanne on February 7, 2013 @ 6:13 pm
  12. Hi Joanne,

    It is more of a decision about how you want to prepare your food. Do you want to eat nuts or do you want to make a drink out of it. I like to do both.

    The pulp in the strainer: A lot of people ask this. You could dehydrate it but I don’t use a dehydrator. So, I just end up composting it.

    Hope this answers your questions.

    Live well,
    Max

    Written by Max Goldberg on February 7, 2013 @ 6:17 pm
  13. Can you briefly explain why you soak nuts to avoid enzyme inhibitors? Thanks.

    Written by Mary Beth Huffman on February 7, 2013 @ 7:57 pm
  14. Hi Mary Beth,

    You do this to remove or neutralize the enzyme inhibitors. Why do you do this? To increase the amount of enzymes, minerals, and nutrients that your body will be able to absorb and extract from the nut/seed. The amounts are very, very significant (2-20x) and it well worth your time to do this.

    Live well,
    Max

    Written by Max Goldberg on February 8, 2013 @ 12:05 pm
  15. Hi Max,

    Just another clarification about soaking nuts. Are you saying to do that, even if you are going to eat them? Or do you just mean that you soak them in preparation for producing the milk?

    Written by Laura on March 9, 2013 @ 10:31 pm
  16. Hi Laura,

    Ideally, one ought to soak nuts and dehydrate them before eating. Do I do that? No. I don’t have a dehdrator and it is a long process.

    For nut milk, I do it because I don’t have to dehydrate them.

    Hope this helps.

    Live well,
    Max

    Written by Max Goldberg on March 10, 2013 @ 1:41 am
  17. When you say you don’t keep the nut milk for more than one day to play it safe, do you mean from it going bad/contamination? I am making it 2x/wk so I am storing it roughly3 to 4 days. Wondering if this is bad…

    Written by Katie on June 6, 2013 @ 10:40 am
  18. Hiya, is keeping them in the freezer ok? Thanks! :)

    Written by Lil on June 6, 2013 @ 11:32 am
  19. Hi Katie,

    Yes, that is what I mean. I don’t have any hard science/data to back this up but make sure yours is kept in the fridge immediately. I just like to play it safe and not keep it for any extended period of time.

    Live well,
    Max

    Written by Max Goldberg on June 8, 2013 @ 5:05 pm
  20. Keeping them in the freezer damages food from an energetic perspective. Everything in life is energy and vibration, and freezing damages that.

    Live well,
    Max

    Written by Max Goldberg on June 8, 2013 @ 5:06 pm
  21. Thanks for the reply. ill keep them in the fridge from now on. :)

    Written by Lil on June 8, 2013 @ 5:42 pm
  22. Is there a reason you need to sterilize the strainer afterwards vs washing with soap and water? Sorry, newbie here just trying to make some nut milk for my kid for the first time :)

    Written by Laurie on August 8, 2013 @ 10:27 pm
  23. Hi Laurie,

    Washing with soap and water doesn’t sterilize it, especially if you are using a sponge that is filled with germs. Hope this helps!!

    Live well,
    Max

    Written by Max Goldberg on August 10, 2013 @ 2:01 pm

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