Seed Milk Recipes You Don't Need to Strain / by lee tilghman

Making your own milk is easier than you think.

Let me give you some backstory on my relationship with DIY milks. I started making nut milk in high school at my job at the local raw vegan smoothie bar in my hometown. We made a lot of nut milk for our smoothies. Quarts and quarts of it a day.  Almond, Brazil, you name it. And I was in charge of it all. I felt like I was always either soaking, peeling, blending or straining. But the benefits of my childish labor paid off. The milk was freakin' delicious (and honestly enjoyed best warm out of the blender, plain) but the most tedious step was having to strain endless bags of almond milk pulp a day, squeezing until every last drop was out and my fingers were numb. 

 Seed milk party. 21+, please.

Seed milk party. 21+, please.

A few years ago, I was out of homemade almond milk and in my determination to make a quick smoothie on the go, I had to think on my feet. I had some hemp seeds on hand and had recently heard about hemp milk, so I popped a cup of hemp seeds into the blender with a a few cups of filtered water. I got my nut milk bag out, ready to strain the milk like I was used to, but the hemp seeds had completely blended into the milk. There was nothing to strain! I realized you don't need a nut bag. It was a miracle moment for me.

Luckily, there are many different seeds you can make milks with without the straining. So I wanted to show 3 different easy 1 step recipes for making seed milks. The below recipes can be used in anything from morning matcha to afternoon smoothies, or even as a base for a night time adaptogenic potion. I also encourage you to play around with the different flavors- try adding cinnamon to one, cacao powder to another, turmeric, matcha, or even blend the two and make a sunflower-pumpkin seed milk. 

No soaking or straining needed, so you are one less step away from achieving your seed milk dreams. They all last in an air tight container in the fridge for up to 3 days. Just give 'em a nice shake right before you enjoy. More benefits of homemade seed milks below!

Cost Friendly

Buying nut milk at the store can get expensive. Especially if you are trying to go to for the higher quality, organic and unsweetened ones. When buying nut milks, you are paying for the shipping, production, and packaging. Cut out the middle man and do it yourself! Some of the ingredients I use below are significantly cheaper than other nuts, with sunflower seeds averaging out at about $2.99/LBS and pumpkin seeds at $7.99/LBS.

Nutritional Value

Keeping seed fiber in your milks increases the nutritional value and fiber content of your milks. Also, when you make your own milks you'll know exactly what's going in it. No weird additives, stabilizers, or funky sweeteners. 

Less Wasteful

Keeping the pulp and not straining is less wasteful.  You don't have to discard the "pulp" or frantically search online for a "nut milk pulp recipe". We've all been there. đŸ˜‚

Better for the Environment

There is a pretty big debate going about almond milk and just how sustainable it is for our planet. 80% of almonds come from California, and because California has drought-like tendencies, almond milk is not always the most sustainable choice, though it seems to be the most common non-dairy alternative. If you are not living in California, and want to be more conscious of your carbon footprint, keep in mind you're drinking something that comes from pretty far away and takes up a LOT of water to grow. You could argue the same for other ingredients (do hemp seeds grow in NYC?) but the almond industry is under much more distress. Did you know that it takes 384 liters of water to make 1 liter of almond milk (source). LISTEN, I'm not saying to stop eating almond butter and almond milk just this instant (because I sure as heck am not!) but I do encourage you to try the below milk alternatives, which will save you time, money, and stress.

Why I Don't Soak 

You are more than welcome to soak your seeds in filtered water for 8 hours or overnight before making the below recipes. However, I don't soak mine. Soaking nuts and seeds prior to consumption can help in removing phytic acid, which in excess can cause intestinal distress. I don't have a problem with nuts and seeds, but if your tummy or gut is especially sensitive to them, I would recommend soaking them. Just be sure to leave yourself enough prep time if you will be soaking. 

 Pumpkin, sunflower, and hemp seeds make amazing nut milks without the straining step. 

Pumpkin, sunflower, and hemp seeds make amazing nut milks without the straining step. 

Sunflower Seed Milk

     Seperation is totally normal  AND  encouraged! It means the fiber is still in tact, making your milks more filling and upping their nutritional value. 

    Seperation is totally normal AND encouraged! It means the fiber is still in tact, making your milks more filling and upping their nutritional value. 

    • 1 cup raw, unsalted sunflower seeds
    • 3 cups filtered water
    1. Combine ingredients and blend on high for 3 minutes in a high speed blender like a Vitamix. You may use a different type of blender, but will find the best results from a high quality blender that can really macerate the seeds. 
    2. Store in airtight container for up to 3 days in the fridge. Separation will occur. Shake before each use to mix ingredients.

    Hemp Milk

     Check that foam though!!

    Check that foam though!!

    • 1 cup hemp seeds
    • 3 cups filtered water
    1. Combine ingredients and blend on high for 3 minutes in a high speed blender like a Vitamix. You may use a different type of blender, but will find the best results from a high quality blender that can really macerate the seeds. 
    2. Store in airtight container for up to 3 days in the fridge. Separation will occur. Shake before each use to mix ingredients.

    Pumpkin Seed Milk

     the prettiest of the 3, pumpkin seeds offers a sea foam green tint

    the prettiest of the 3, pumpkin seeds offers a sea foam green tint

    • 1 cup raw, unsalted pumpkin seeds
    • 3 cups filtered water
    1. Combine ingredients and blend on high for 3 minutes in a high speed blender like a Vitamix. You may use a different type of blender, but will find the best results from a high quality blender that can really macerate the seeds. 
    2. Store in airtight container for up to 3 days in the fridge. Separation will occur. Shake before each use to mix ingredients.

    What are some of your favorite seed milk recipes and flavors?