Almonds are a great nut to add to any dish. But did you know that you need to wash them first? Get the details on how to wash almonds here!
I used to just pop open a bag of fresh almonds and toss them into whatever dish I was making. They were delicious, and I really didn't think anything of the practice.
But when we starting making our own almond milk I realized that I had been doing it wrong all along!
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How to Wash Almonds
You wouldn't think so by just looking at them, but almonds are actually pretty dirty straight out of the bag. Don't feed yourself and your family dirty food when the task of cleaning them is such a simple one.
1. Remove from bag and place in a bowl at least two times larger than the amount of almonds you wish to wash.
2. Start to scrub them together in the water and watch as the dirt comes off easily!
3. To scrub them, simply grab them in a fist and kind of grind them together for a few minutes. This uses the almonds themselves to clean the others!
4. Then rinse the almonds in fresh water until it runs clear.
How to Dry the Almonds After Washing
Just as the washing process is simple, so is the drying process!
Once they are washed, you can use them right away for almond flour, almond milk, homemade granola bars, or any other recipe that will be baked.
If you want to have them around for snacks, or just to put back into storage, just place them on a baking sheet and put them in the oven on 175° until completely dry and crisp again. That way they are not a mold risk from the moisture of washing.
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Does this go for ALL almonds?
Since writing this post, I've had quite a few people email me asking if organic almonds also need to be washed.
We have been using almonds of all varieties and from all different places for about a decade now and I can say that ALL of the almonds I have ever purchased (since finding out that they need to be washed) have been dirty.
I am sure that it's having to do with the packing process or something, however, the fact remains that they are dirty. Like, literal DIRT.
The reason I discovered the issue was because out almond milk was grainy the first time I made it from scratch... after some investigation I of course discovered that the culprit was our dirty almonds!
Save yourself the pain (and dirt filled mouth, yuck!) and go ahead and wash your almonds first!
Does this go for ALL nuts?
Another question I have been getting is whether all nuts should be washed.
While I really only have extensive experience with almonds, the process of washing nuts is easy enough. So try washing your other snack nuts and just see if anything comes off in the water! :-)
I’m shaking my head at this article a little but…okay I live in the middle of one of California’s largest almond producing regions; I too am a small-scale grower. Almonds are machine-harvested from trees under normal operations and processed by the hundreds of thousands of pounds in large facilities with the machinery needed to accomplish such things. The harvest process as well as the hulling and shelling generates incredible amounts of dust. In summer it’s hot and arid in California; it goes with the territory. The industry has gone to great lengths to ensure sanitation in all aspects of harvest. However, whether it is almonds, beans, rice or wheat, there is simply what I think of as “ordinary residues” left on most agricultural products. I would hesitate to call it ‘dirt’; I’ve eaten countless thousands of nuts off the ground and I’m doing just fine. If it makes you happy, go ahead and rinse the nuts, it certainly harms nothing. Just as it harms nothing to consume them as they are. In my opinion we worry a little too much about every last imagined germ, and yet I weigh this against the knowledge that anything that has passed through our commercial food supply chain always has at least a chance of having a serious pathogen that could cause a foodborne illness. Almonds raised under accepted conditions are a safe and wholesome food; the only times almonds have ever sickened people were directly linked to unapproved orchard practices (application of raw manures to an orchard prior to harvest)–something no one in their right mind would do now that there is a far wider awareness of good agricultural practices. Hope this helps a little.
Great insight Deborah! I don’t actually think they are germ infested or anything. But the grit we have on our almonds was prohibitive to the enjoyment of the food we were creating with them.
So that’s why we wash them :-) You are completely right, our society does obsess over germs far too much. We don’t go that way at all! Germs help build a healthy immune system!
That being said, I will continue to wash my almonds because I can’t stand the grit in my food. <3
I'm so jealous of your trees! I wish we could grow them here! Maybe someday. Thanks for stopping by!
John Anthony Gonzales says
Hey Victoria, I for one appreciate your advice being that at a Sprouts market I witnessed kids and adults poping nuts from barrels of bulk into their mouths and kids furthermore running thier hands through these variety of nuts and spilling them on the floor then tossing them back in.I was researching how to clean and wash. I will wash and dry in the oven. Thanks a bunch lady.
Thank you so much for your comment John Anthony! Though I do have to say I gagged a little at your description of the way people treat food that they don’t then buy… Gross. Ha!
Good thing it’s so easy to wash them! Enjoy!
It is not safe to assume that this article is being read by only people who live in developed countries where hygiene is a priority in food based industry. India imports almonds from California and are consumed by millions of people here. Store owners receive big sacks and their employees (without wearing gloves and often using their mobile phones in between – which are full of all kinds of germs) shift them to smaller packs and seal them using bare hands. Washing hands with soap is still not a well known phenomenon among the labour class in India.
Washing almonds with water alone is not sufficient in that case. I am thinking of soaking them in soapnut solution which I have just started to use to soak my greens.
I was just wondering how long I keep the almonds in the oven just to dry them for future use & not for roasting?
Hey Tamara, good question! It’s hard to give an exact time, because it varies depending on how long you soak the almonds, and how many you are drying at a time. Generally, at such a low temp they are just drying.
Roasting occurs at a higher temperature, like 300°+. Because of that, you don’t have to worry about them roasting and can just check them after an hour or so. If they are not completely crisp all the way through, then keep drying until they are!
I’ve never had any almonds get too dry during this process, so you should be good at such a low temp! I’m sorry I can’t be more specific! Hopefully that helps :-)