Since I’m always looking for the best ways to do things (like enjoy delicious, healthy food without a huge time investment), it should come as no surprise that I’ve made a few changes recently to my homemade nut & seed milks process.
I know that the time required is a huge deterrent to making your own homemade sprouted milks. And although there are some great carrageenan-free options these days, I still feel that homemade is the healthiest for keeping your gut happy.
This post is intended to provide some quick and simple dairy-free milk solutions for everyone, but especially those with compromised gut health who may also have nut allergies. (Note: this post is not sponsored.)
I came across the Go Raw brand of sprouted seeds a few months ago on Thrive Market. I tried their salted Sprouted Pumpkin Seeds first and was blown away by how light and crispy they were (great for snacking). And since I was out of my favorite Dastony brand Sprouted Pumpkin Seed Butter, I wanted to see how smooth of a homemade version I could get. And what about blending with water for a dairy-free milk?
The result was amazing.
The perfect occasional addition to my morning Bulletproof Cacao. Mixed in with Righteously Raw RawCholatl or Blue Lotus Herbal Instant Chai (two of my favorite “treat” drinks). And even delicious on its own.
Super creamy and smooth with barely any noticeable pieces remaining. And as much as I love the Dastony brand, you can’t beat a cheaper option that takes all of 3 minutes to put together.
Enter: brainstorming changing up my dairy-free milks regimen once again. I’d been blending store-bought nut and seed butters since discovering the Dastony-brand products, but honestly it can get a bit pricy (depending on how you go about it, see “Fastest Method” below). I still do it from time to time but I’ve started spreading out that method with the more affordable option of making my own seed butters using pre-sprouted/dehydrated seeds.
Keep reading for the various methods and how to find the one that meets your needs best.
Blend pre-made nut or seed butters with water for instant dairy-free milk. I switched to this method about 6 months ago and have loved the consistency of the results. I prefer using sprouted nut or seed butters (my favorites: almond, pumpkin, sunflower or any of these by Jem). But I’ve found the method works almost as well with any super-creamy raw almond butter, which can make the process a little more affordable since sprouted butters are often about twice the cost. So far, I’ve found that getting a raw butter is important, as it makes for a more smooth and emulsified milk than with roasted butter options. We usually have Trader Joe’s brand in the pantry.
For those less concerned with time and cost, stick to using homemade sprouted nut or seed butter from scratch blended with water. Starting with homemade butters will ensure you are using completely raw, untreated/unfumigated nuts and seeds (I talk in more detail about this here) and sprouting them gives the best access to nutrients. Beth over at Tasty Yummies has an excellent tutorial on making a variety of sprouted nut and seed butters for those who need direction. These will keep in the fridge for ages and can be used the same way as storebought, blending in with water to create instant milks. I keep a jar of homemade sprouted almond butter in the fridge but due to the length of the process, it’s not my go-to. The entirety of the process takes well more than 5 minutes but once the butter is made, you can still blend up the milk in a matter of minutes.
CHEAPEST METHOD (my new favorite)
For those who crave quick + affordable + healthy all in one, turn pre-sprouted seeds into nut butter before blending into water. This only works with seeds since I have yet to find a good source for already sprouted & dehydrated nuts (I’m sure we’ll see one come along soon). One reason I love this method is that with a history of gut permeability, I’ve found my body has zero reaction to seeds, but nuts can be a bit hit or miss (almonds are actually the only one I feel 100% safe with). These sprouted seed milks are just as satisfying, if not more, than nut milks. So if you can’t do nuts, this method is for you!
I prefer the Go Raw brand, as mentioned above, and they have quite a few sprouted seeds to choose from. I’ve tried making butters from their sprouted pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, and even watermelon seeds! While the watermelon seeds are a bit strong, the pumpkin seeds (mildest) and sunflower seeds (a bit nuttier) work really, really well for homemade milks, depending on your flavor preference. And because they’re already sprouted and dehydrated for you, they cream up really quickly. The butter plus the milk can be made in just 5 minutes, I’ve timed it! Full directions can be found in the recipe below.
[[ If you’re interested in a cost breakdown for this “Cheapest Method,” one 1-lb. bag of sprouted pumpkin seeds yields approximately 2 cups total sprouted pumpkin butter. With only 1 tablespoon of seed butter needed for 32 oz. of milk, you’ll get 1,024 oz. (8 gallons) of milk out of one bag. If you buy your sprouted pumpkin seeds from Amazon ($16), the cost per ounce would be $0.02. If you buy the seeds from Thrive Market ($11), the cost per oz. is just over $0.01. Compare this to Califia Farms Almond Milk at $6.50 per 48 oz bottle on average, it’s $0.14 per ounce. While not the same exact product, this popular dairy-free store-bought option is 7 times more expensive! ]]
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Quick Super-Smooth Seed Butter (via “Cheapest Method”)
Yields: approximately 1/2 c. seed butter
1 c. sprouted seeds of choice (see sources above)
1 tbsp. avocado oil or other neutral flavor oil
Add the seeds to a high-powered blender (if you have a Blendtec, the Twister Jar is ideal for this application). Blend until the seeds are ground into a thick paste. When the blade begins to struggle to catch the seeds (they’ll gather around the sides of the jar), add the tablespoon of avocado oil and stir it in with a spatula.
Blend again on low speed to mix the oil in fully, then gradually increase the speed until reaching high speed for at least 30 seconds. You may want to stop once or twice to scrape down the sides. The seed butter will get a bit warm but this is good because it will help the resulting butter be smoother. Store your seed butter in the refrigerator for up to a month.
5-Minute Nut or Seed Milk (any of the 3 methods)
Yields: 4 cups milk
3 1/2 c. filtered water
1 tbsp. nut or seed butter of choice (see sources above via the 3 different methods)
2 tbsp. maple syrup or honey (optional)
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
1/2 tsp. almond extract (optional for when you use almond butters)
1/4 tsp. sea salt
Add the filtered water, nut or seed butter, maple syrup, vanilla extract, almond extract (if using), and sea salt to a blender (any blender should work). Blend on high speed until smooth. Allow the milk to rest for 2 minutes and blend again on high for at least 15 seconds. Store the milk in a glass jar in the refrigerator for up to one week.
Note: if you don’t have a high-powered blender, you may need to blend for a longer amount of time.