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How to Make Milk from Sunflower Seeds: An October Unprocessed Recipe

sunflower seeds

I’ve made my own almond milk many times but my friend Justin mentioned a while back that he made milk from sunflower seeds. Here’s how you can make your own!

One of the toughest parts of this challenge so far has been ditching the cartons of soy and almond milk. Store bought vegan milks often contain all kinds of additives, thickeners, and preservatives, so they’re not exactly October Unprocessed-friendly. What better time to develop my own recipe than during October Unprocessed, right?

This recipe is based on my homemade almond milk recipe, but I made a much smaller batch, since I wasn’t sure how I’d like it. Sunflower milk has an earthier flavor than almond milk. It’s tasty in tea and coffee – the bitterness covers up the earthiness – but I’m not mad about it on its own.

Sunflower seeds are very inexpensive, so if you’re mainly looking for a non-dairy milk to use in cooking and to lighten drinks, this is probably your most economical option. If you want to make more milk, you can double or triple this recipe, but I kind of enjoyed making a small batch. It came together quickly and cleanup was a breeze!

Why is There Sugar in this Recipe?

I use a little bit of maple syrup in this recipe. Cow’s milk actually contains natural sugars, and I’ve found that adding a little bit of sweetener to homemade vegan milk makes it taste a bit closer to the dairy milk it’s replacing. Most store brands of vegan milk contain at least some sweetener for this reason. If you’re trying to cut back on your refined sugars, though, leave this out. You can always add it later, if you feel like it needs it after all.

Ready to make some sunflower milk? Let’s do this thing!

sunflower milk

Sunflower Seed Milk

Yield: about 1 cup

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup raw sunflower seeds, soaked in plenty of water, then drained
  • 1 cup water
  • 1-2 teaspoons maple syrup, optional
  • blender or food processor
  • cheesecloth or a fine mesh strainer
  • funnel
  • glass jar to store your sunflower milk

Cooking Directions

  1. Combine the seeds, water, and maple syrup in your blender, and blend until nice and smooth.
  2. Carefully strain your milk through the strainer or cheesecloth into your container. This is where a funnel is very handy. You’ll be glad you used one when it’s time to clean up and your counters aren’t covered in sunflower milk! If you’re using cheesecloth, give the leavings a good squeeze when they stop producing milk to get the last of the liquid out. With a strainer, just use the back of a soup spoon to press as much liquid out of the seeds as you can.
  3. Store in your glass container. Your sunflower milk will keep for up to a week in the fridge.

Have any of you guys made non-dairy milks at home? I’d love to hear your ideas in the comments!

Image Credits: Sunflower Seeds photo via Shutterstock, Sunflower Milk photo by Becky Striepe