A Guide to Homemade Nut & Seed Milks:
5 different flavours

A glass jug of homemade almond milk on a black and white checkered napkin, surrounded by scattered almonds and a silver bowl of almonds

I recently joined the scene of homemade nut and seed milks, but for a long time I tried to fight it. I thought it would mean more time in the kitchen, more mess, more dishes… But the reality is that making your own homemade milk is so easy. And the best part? It’s tastier then anything you can buy in a carton. So heed warning: once you start making your own nut and seed milks, you’ll never want to buy anything from the store again.

There’s a lot of variety when it comes to making your own milk. The base can be any soaked nut or seed, or even some grains like rice and oats. You can play around with the flavour too by adding different unrefined sweeteners and spices, or even salt to enhance the natural nutty flavour. What you choose to make is based entirely on your palette and dietary needs and what’s in stock in your pantry.

No matter how it’s prepared, homemade nut and seed milk will always be more delicious than a store-bought brand. And it’s healthier too, with no added sugars or nutrient-void (and often gut irritating) emulsifiers and stabilizers like carrageenan, lecithin and xanthan or guar gum.

array of different vessels containing milks of different colours

(Photo from Crowded Kitchen)

Things You Will Need

A Few Tips

  • Always remember the ratio of 1:4. One cup of nuts or seeds to 4 cups of water will yield about four cups of milk.
  • Most nut and seed milks can last for 3 - 5 days in the fridge.
  • If your milk has been sitting for a while, give it a good shake or stir as it will separate.
  • Nut and seed milk can be frozen! Once thawed, just remember to stir or blend it up again to re-emulsify the milk.
  • Some nuts and seeds like hemp hearts, sesame seeds and cashews create minimal to no fibrous pulp and don’t require straining. These are great options when you’re in a rush and want to avoid the few extra minutes of straining time.

Ingredients for All Nut & Seed Milks

  • 1 cup unsalted, raw nuts or seeds
  • 4 cups filtered water
  • Small pinch sea salt
  • Optional sweeteners: pitted dates, honey, maple syrup or other sweetener of your choice, to taste
  • Optional add-ins: vanilla, cacao powder, spices (such as cinnamon and cardamom)

Instructions

  1. Soak the nuts/seeds for the soak time indicated below. Drain and rinse well.
  2. Add nuts/seeds and any additional ingredients to a high speed blender and blend until completely smooth, at least 60 seconds.
  3. Line a large jar or bowl with a nut milk bag or cheesecloth and our the mixture through to strain out the pulp. Once most of the liquid has strained through into the jar/bowl, gather the bag around the remaining pulp and squeeze to extract any remaining milk.
  4. Refrigerate milk in a sealed glass jar.

Tip: Don’t waste that pulp! It can be baked into treats such as cookies, cakes and granola or mixed into your oatmeal and smoothies for some extra fibre — use it immediately or freeze and thawed when needed.

Hemp Milk

Soak time: nill!

Straining: you can choose to strain, but it’s not required.

Of all the nut milks in all the kitchens, hemp had to walk into mine. And I’m thrilled! I was surprised by how much I enjoyed this milk as hemp hearts have such an earthy and “green” taste, which remains even in milk form.

The moment I tasted hemp milk I knew it would be a perfect match for hot chocolate. Hemp hearts add a layer of earthiness that’s so delicious and complex you don’t need to overly sweeten the beverage. Of course, you can always get creative with add-ins, like in this creamy and spicy hemp milk hot chocolate.

Oat Milk

Soak time: 20 minutes, followed by a healthy rinse

Straining: yes

It’s always a good idea to rinse any ingredient you’ve been soaking, but this step is integral to a good oat milk. Without it, your milk will come out with a slimy consistency.

If I’m being honest, oat milk was my least favourite. I couldn’t get past its thick viscosity and I felt like I was drinking oatmeal (which, to begin with, I never really liked). So, oat milk tastes a lot like oatmeal. Go figure.

That being said, oat milk has become a hot topic for many in the world of dairy-free milks. Its thicker consistency gives it a greater likeness to cream, which is perfect for those who prefer cream in their tea or coffee. If you’re feeling extra decadent, give strawberry oat milk a try.

Intro to Homemade Nut Milk - The Joya Life - Wee Little Vegans
(Photo from Wee Little Vegans)

Cashew Milk

Soak time: 2 - 3 hours

Straining: no

If you’re new to nut milks, whether homemade or not, cashew milk is a great place to start. It’s creamy and neutral tasting with a mild sweetness. It has the most mellow flavour of all the milks on this list. If you crave just a simple glass of milk every now and again, this is the milk for you.

Of course, that doesn’t mean you can’t dress cashew milk up in something fancy. I’m talking cardamom matcha lattefancy. Cashew milk can do it all. 

Almond Milk

Soak time: 8 hours

Straining: yes

As someone who has been buying store-bought almond milk for years, homemade almond milk was a pleasant surprise. It has an incredible nutty sweetness unlike anything coming from a carton, and it was creamier too. The soak time for almond milk is on the longer side, but it’s worth it.

If you’re craving extra sweetness, dates are a fabulous way to add a caramel-y flavour. Dates can be tossed into any nut milk, but I’ve always been fond of them in almond milk, especially when it’s spiced upwith some cinnamon.

Intro to Homemade Nut Milk - The Joya Life - Oh She Glows
(Photo from Oh She Glows)

Sesame Seed Milk

Soak time: 8 hours

Straining: no

Seeds may be tiny, but they always pack a punch. Similar to hemp milk, the flavour of this seed remains potent in liquid form. If you’re a tahini lover, then this is the milk for you. Just make sure you really blitz the sesame seeds in the blender. Of all these milks, I found this batch took the longest to blend up — about 2 minutes. (I told you sesame seeds were tough!)

This milk is definitely more on the bitter side. If you’re uncertain about the taste, add some vanilla and maple syrup. It helps to mellow out the flavour and turn it into a real treat.

Other nuts and seeds to experiment with: macadamia, hazelnuts, pistachios, Brazil nuts, walnuts, pecans, sunflower seeds and pumpkin seeds!