Soaking cashews is an essential step in making creamy dairy-free recipes. Most recipes will have their own soaking process, but it may not always work for your schedule. I’ve compiled the 3 easiest ways to soak cashews, quick, slow, or in-between, you choose the method that works best for you!
But, before processing the raw nuts into a creamy cashew-based recipe, they usually need to be soaked first.
The 3 best methods for soaking raw cashews are:
- Hot water soak
- Soak overnight
Choose the quick boil method if you are in a hurry or soak overnight if you have the time.
All three of these methods will soften the nuts so they can easily be processed into creamy vegan recipes.
I'm starting with the boiling method because it's the quickest and easiest way to soak cashews. It only takes about 15 minutes for them to soften in boiling water.
- Add the cashews to a pot and fill it with enough water to fully submerge them. Bring the water to a boil.
- Once the water is boiling, lower the heat and simmer for about 15 minutes.
- Pour cold water into the pot to cool it down. Then drain and rinse the softened cashews before processing them.
If you’re in a hurry this is the quickest and best way to soak cashews.
The hot water soaking method is also quick and easy. The cashews can soak anywhere from 30 minutes to 1 hour. This method is best when you have a little extra time.
- Start by bringing a pot of water to a boil.
- Once it reaches a roaring boil turn off the heat, toss in the cashews, and cover the pot.
- Soak for 30 minutes to an hour.
- Drain and rinse.
While they soak, it's a great time to get started on dinner.
Tip: If you have the time, leave the cashews to soak in the hot water for the full hour. They will become even softer for a smoother and creamier recipe.
Soaking Cashews Overnight
This overnight method takes the most time because the cashews are soaked in room-temperature water. However, the cashews will remain raw and retain their full nutritional benefits.
If you have the extra time and want to keep your dressings and sauces raw then this method is for you.
- Add the cashews to a deep bowl or lidded jar. Fill with enough water to cover the nuts. Then cover the bowl.
- Allow them to soak overnight at room temperature or in the refrigerator.
- Drain and rinse.
If you are planning ahead for dinner, the cashews can also be soaked during the day for at least 5-8 hours.
Tip: If you're soaking the cashews for more than 12 hours it's best to store them in the refrigerator.
Can you soak cashews too long?
If cashews are soaked for too long they acquire an unpleasant taste and texture and need to be tossed out.
If you notice the water they are soaking in becomes slimy or gel-like it's best to toss them out. They have been over-soaked in the same stagnant water for too long.
To avoid over-soaking, change out the water every 6-8 hours and soak no longer than 36 hours.
What are the best cashews to use?
Raw unsalted cashews are what most recipes use. They produce the creamiest and smoothest texture when soaked.
Roasted cashews have a noticeable roasted flavor so it is best to use raw cashews when called for.
But, if roasted cashews are all you have available they can be soaked and used as a replacement. Use them in dishes where you may not mind the roasted flavor.
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- Add the cashews to a pot and cover with enough water to fully submerge them. Bring the water to a boil.
- Once the water is boiling, lower the heat and simmer the cashews for about 15 minutes or until softened.
- Add cold water to the pot to cool it down before draining. Thoroughly rinse the cashews.
Hot Water Method
- Bring 3-4 cups of water to a boil.
- Once the water is boiling, turn off the heat, add in the cashews, and cover the pot.
- Soak the cashews in the hot water for 30 minutes to an hour.
- Drain and thoroughly rinse the cashews.
- Add the cashews to a bowl and fill with enough water to fully cover the nuts. Then cover the bowl.
- Soak overnight or for at least 5-8 hours. The cashews can be left to soak at room temperature on the counter or in the fridge.
- Drain and thoroughly rinse the soaked cashews.
- To avoid over-soaking the cashews, change out the water every 6-8 hours and soak them for no longer than 24 hours.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 1 Serving Size: 1 cup cashews
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 640Total Fat: 48gSodium: 551mgCarbohydrates: 32gSugar: 8gProtein: 20g
**Nutritional info is provided as an estimate based on 1 cup raw organic cashews and ¼ teaspoon Himalayan pink salt. This nutritional information is for convenience and as a courtesy only.**