The main nuts I have worked with are almonds and cashews. I love almond flour for baking and cashews for recipes where I need to make something creamy. I’ve tried making almond milk. One of the downsides is you must strain it and you get lots of almond pulp. (For recipes using almond pulp, there are several at http://elanaspantry.com/.) That’s more work than I’m interested in at this time. However, when cashews are blended they totally dissolve into the liquid which leads to a creamy dish. I use them for many dishes including ice cream and fermented vegan cheese.
Nuts and seeds contain enzyme inhibitors that allow them to wait to sprout and grow until environmental conditions are just right. However, some people find these enzymes upset their digestion. The solution is to soak them in water. Depending on the nut this can be done in 2 to 8 hours. The harder the nut, the longer it needs to completely soak. Some people feel nuts and seeds are more nutritious when sprouted (this is why I sprout seeds for my chickens.)
If I have time, I will soak cashews prior to using them. However, since my family’s digestion doesn’t seem bothered if I don’t soak, I don’t worry if I decide to make a dish at the last minute and don’t have time to soak the nuts.
I have not soaked other nuts or seeds. If you find that your stomach is a bit upset after eating nuts and seeds you might want to research this further.