Those seeds are the base for vegan cheese preparation.

In the process of experimenting with making my own vegan cheese, I am wondering whether soaking is equivalent to boiling in this context, since boiling oilseeds and oleaginous fruits for a short time (10 to 20 minutes) results in them having the same texture as when they have been soaked over night.

It makes me wonder if this process of boiling seeds (20 minutes only is really time efficient), is similarly effective as soaking them in cold water so as to wash the anti-germination enzymes away.

Also do their main vitamins suffer if exposed to heat?

2 Answers 2


The effect of cooking and soaking on vitamin/mineral content of foods

In general, boiling decreases the amount of vitamins and minerals much more than soaking.

Boiling can reduce the vitamin content of a food by 25-70%, but this can greatly depend on a food (NutritionData).

I haven't found data for oil seeds, but according to USDA Table of Nutrient Retention Factors, boiling of rice can result in 25% loss of vitamin C and B1 and 40% loss of folate, and boiling of nuts in much smaller loses.

In one study about potatoes:

Leaching alone did not significantly reduce levels of potassium or other minerals in tubers. Boiling tuber cubes and shredded tubers decreased potassium levels by 50% and 75%, respectively.

In seeds, the results could be different, but soaking would likely have a small effect.

In conclusion, I assume that soaking seeds would not result in any significant loss of vitamins and minerals and boiling them for 20 minutes in a bit greater but still relatively small loss.

The effect of cooking and soaking on the level of antinutrients in foods

According to this study: Effect of soaking and heat processing on the levels of antinutrients and digestible proteins in seeds of Vigna aconitifolia and Vigna sinensis (Food Chemistry, 1998), soaking for several hours and cooking for 30 minutes can be similarly effective in removing antinutrients.

In V. aconitifolia [moth bean] soaking in distilled water for 6 h and cooking for 30 min reduced the phytic acid content by up to 43%. Maximum reduction in the level of phytic acid (36%) was observed under distilled water soaking compared to cooking and autoclaving in V. sinensis [cowpea].

  • So I will soak them when I have the time, and boil them when I don't I have the time. That is great news, thank you very much for the information. Oct 3, 2019 at 14:36
  • One more detail, do you know about the anti-germination enzymes? Your answer is only about nutriments/vitamins, which is 50% of my question. Soaking overnight will wash wash the anti-germination enzymes away. I wonder if boiling will neutralize them, in which case that would be good: they are not good for the efficiency of our digestion. Oct 4, 2019 at 7:25
  • 1
    @StephaneRolland, I added one study in which cooking and soaking had comparable effects on the level of antinutrients in some beans and peas. It depends on the food, but I assume similar effects could be in oily seeds.
    – Jan
    Oct 4, 2019 at 10:18

If you are going to let a fermentation process develop, the bacteria "eats" the anti-germination enzymes anyway. There is no need to soak or boil! That is what I read, will try to find the citation later.

  • I assume this got forgotten about :-D Did you find the citation?
    – A. B.
    May 9, 2022 at 7:50

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