Homemade Flax Milk

This dairy-free recipes was inspired by my trip to India earlier this year…

While I was walking along the road in the small village of Kallikadu, a random Indian woman invited me into her home for a cup of masala chai. Generally I would have said no to a stranger… but I was in India and had the opportunity to chat with a local in their home, of course I said yes!

Her house was made of concrete with a metal roof and was no larger than my ensuite bathroom. Her possessions included a couple of pots, a slab of wood she called a bed and a fire to cook her meals.

We got to talking about my life at home, her childhood, food, family, why I traveled to India, religion, and if she’d ever gotten a chance to travel anywhere. She kept a bright smile stretched across her face, a warmness to her eyes and stayed present for the entire conversation.

It was easy to see just how happy she was to be alive. Beside her, I felt so poor. As if nothing I’d ever accomplished mattered.

How can I have everything I’ve ever wanted, but feel so empty? It just didn’t make sense and it ripped at me for the duration of my stay.

When I returned home, filling my life with stuff just didn’t seem all that important anymore. I’d learned that making connections would create far more happiness from within than relying on the physical things ever would.

I’ve begun spending more time with friends, getting involved in the community and have started to become mindful of the things I buy. Instead of just purchasing blindly, I’ve been asking myself… do I really need this rice syrup, or will the honey I already have do the trick? Maybe a weird example, but from a girl with about 518 different types of sweeteners in her pantry, this is a fair question to be asking.

One of the best things in all of this has been coming up with ways to simplify in the kitchen. I’ve been making my own cereal, sprouting seeds, and cooking pulses. All easy stuff, but I’m surprised at what a huge impact it’s made to our grocery bill and my feeling of self-sustenance.

The easiest and most rewarding change I’ve made in the kitchen has been experimenting with dairy-free alternative milk recipes. From homemade sesame milk, making my own hemp milk, almond milk; and most recently, creating this tasty flax milk recipe.

This milk couldn’t be simpler to prepare. Once complete, it’s great on it’s own and even better as a smoothie base. I only tried it with brown flax, but I’ve read that making flax milk with golden flax produces a milder flavor. So, if you don’t generally like the taste of flax, go with the golden seed instead.

The cool thing about making flax milk is that it’s completely unprocessed. You don’t need to worry about the milk being rancid as you would with the store-bought varieties. Not only that, but it’ll save you upwards of $4 when you make your own as opposed to purchasing it at the store!

Have I convinced you yet?

No?

I made step by step instructions… maybe that will?

;)

Homemade Flax Milk

Vegan, Gluten free, Dairy free, Sugar free, Yeast free, Corn free, Grain free

Make your own flax seed milk and get the benefits of the raw seed while saving a couple bucks!

Yield: 6 cups

Servings: 6

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Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup raw whole flax seeds *see note
  • 6 cups water
  • 5 pitted dates *see note
  • 2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

flavor boost: cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, cloves, pumpkin spice… any spice you want!

nutrition boost: add 6 servings of primal defense probiotic powder, bone meal powder or a fine protein powder like unflavored rice protein or egg protein.

Directions

  1. Place flax seeds in the jug of your blender and add water. Blend on high for 1 minute until all seeds have been broken down. You want the pieces to be still visible as they’ll be filtered out a bit easier.
  2. Pull a nut milk bag or the leg of (unused) pantyhose over the top of the blender jug and slowly pour mixture into a large bowl.
  3. Squeeze out all of the liquid being careful not to squeeze too hard allowing the seed fiber to come through.
  4. Once all liquid has been extracted, strain it again by pouring the milk back into the blender jug, covering the top with the second leg of pantyhose and pouring the milk into the bowl.
  5. Return milk back to the jug, add dates, vanilla and spices or supplements if using. Blend on high until dates are completely broken down, about 2 minutes.
  6. Remove the froth at the top by passing through a fine sieve or skim from the top with a spoon.
  7. Pour into an airtight jug. Will keep in the fridge for 3-5 days. Natural separation will occur, just shake it up before serving.

note: brown or golden flax will work fine. I used brown, but have read that golden will give off a much milder flavor.

note: feel free to use any date you have on hand or sweeten with honey, date syrup or rice syrup.

View nutrition info

Let’s break it down!

Set out all of your ingredients. I purchased the pantyhose at the dollar store for 50 cents. You can reuse it for future batches it’ll just take awhile to get clean.

Add the water and let the mixture blend. You want the pieces to be still visible as they’ll be filtered out a bit easier.

Cut off the legs of the pantyhose. They should be about 2 feet long.

Pull the pantyhose over the jug of the blender and pour into a large bowl.

Hold up the hose and let it drain.

Squeeze it gently.

Return the mixture back to the jag and repeat the straining process using the other leg of the pantyhose.

Return back to the jug, add in your dates and vanilla and blend until pulverized.

Remove the froth with a sieve or skim the surface with a spoon.

Tada! You now have a tall glass of flax milk waiting for you to enjoy.

*best served chilled*

…but that hasn’t stopped me from enjoying a fresh cup ;)

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Comments | Leave Your Comment

  1. Love this, Leanne! I made Sonia’s (The Healthy Foodie) almond milk a couple of times, and just made brown rice milk the other day… I never thought about using flax. I also love your idea of using pantyhose to strain the milk – the first time I made homemade nut milk, it was a huge mess… so I ended up buying a nut milk bag. Can’t wait to try this!

  2. Wow, Leanne, I love reading about your adventures! It’s amazing how travel can open your eyes to so many things – I’m discovering that myself as well!
    This flax milk looks fantastic – I never thought to use pantyhose as a nut milk bag, what a fantastic idea. Especially since I can’t find cheesecloths or nut milk bags anywhere in Sweden! You also mentioned making your own cereal, can we look forward to a recipe?

  3. You keep suprising me with new stories from India! And I’m sure you have plenty more. I can imagine how seeing how someone with so much less than you lives can really bring things into perspective, especially when they are happy. :) I’ve been waiting to see this flax milk and am excited to try it!

    • The thing about India is that a spiritually aware person is expected to have less and seen as someone close to mother earth and nature with minimum requirements maybe this bliss is real god. Hinduism is very accepting and not dogmatic. Maybe this simplicity is considered poor and confusing to some people who don’t understand we are all the same.

  4. I’ve just gotten more into making certain things from scratch as well and it’s been incredibly rewarding. I’ve tried a few different milks, ketchup, broths, and kombucha lately all from scratch. I have all these ingredients on hand so I will be trying this flax milk next! It’s hard simplifying in the kitchen sometimes- especially being a blogger and constantly wanting to try out the next cool product or make something unique and fun to share with readers, but this is a good lesson to live by.

    • Is kombucha hard? I thought I’d give it a try in a couple of weeks but I’m totally intimidated! You’re right, being a blogger and trying to live simply in the kitchen is a challenge… but I’m determined to find the balance!

      • Hi Leanne,
        I make Kombucha, I must say it is super easy, tasty & soooo good for you. All you need to start is a scoby. I joined a fb page on kombucha & found someone in Edmonton willing to give me a scoby. From there I got RO water from Polar Bear Health & Water. Then organic cane sugar from Planet Organic. I have black and green no name tea bags from superstore. I boiled 12 cups of the water, added 6 tea bags, removed from heat & then added sugar. Sugar is 1/4c /litre. I let it completely cool overnight.. Once completely cool I rinse my glass containers(I use 2L pickle jars) with vinegar so I know any bacteria is removed. Then I put 1-2 cups of previously brewed kombucha in jar, add sweeetened tea & then gently place scoby on top. (it may or may not sink). I cover with 2 unbleached coffee filters & secure with elastic. Then it is a waiting game!! I place my jars in a cupboard above the fridge (mainly so I don’t go looking or touching jars every day. I leave mine for about 2 or 3 weeks. I stick a straw in and take some buch out to see if it has gotten to the way I want it. Once it is ready, it can be consumed or a second ferment can be done. To do second ferment I juice some fruit of choosing, lately I have juiced ginger, pomegranate, cranberries & lime. I pour the buch into a wire bale type bottle & add a tbsp or more of the juice, then seal & leave on counter for up to 3 days. I burp bottle carefully each day. When it is a fizzy as I like I then place in fridge. Enjoy!!!
        Seems like a long process, but super easy actually. Look around to see if you can get a scoby from someone who makes kombucha as it always produces a baby scoby, so then there are two. Earth’s General Store in Edmonton also sells the starter pkgs for kombucha. I know they are having a kombucha workshop in November, class is about $25, and you get a starter kit.

  5. Ive made homemade cashew and almond milk but flax milk is a new one to me and wow, it looks so good!

    And the pantyhose trick…I have read about this before but the pics are worth a 1000 words. Love the idea!

    After you actually did the pantyhose trick, do you feel that pouring it thru the metal strainer actually helped much (the holes look pretty big) and like the pantyhose would have been all you needed? I never strain things b/c the holes of any strainer I have usually are too large to really “grab” anything and then my really fine mesh strainer would take about 3 days for certain things to finally strain through :)

    • Cashew milk is SO good! I did the final strain to get rid of the bubbles at the top of the milk. You can do that or skim the top with a spoon, whatever tickles your fancy. I liked the skimming at the top a bit better.

  6. Your story brought tears to my eyes. Thank you for sharing. What an amazing gift you received from her, in more ways than one!

  7. oh no you diiiiin’t!!!!!!!! thanks for the great step-by-step instructions!!!!!

    also – great post <3

  8. I love the “unused” pantyhose comment. I do have flax seeds sitting around since I am not quite sure what to do with them. Now I do, thank you.

  9. Wow!! I have never heard of flax seed milk before! This sounds absolutely delicious, can’t wait to try it!!

  10. Wow what a moving story, and what an experience India was – I would love to do something like that and have some time for self-exploration and understanding. That’s a beautiful thing and I am so happy that you were able to do this!
    As for this flax milk, love it – need to make some asap!

  11. I LOVE your panty hose trick, awesome! I tried making flax milk the other day, I didn’t love the taste, but my 16 month old really dug it, so I keep making it for him :)

    It really is so satisfying preparing more things from scratch, isn’t it? I’ve been making all sorts of different milks, baking bread, making kefir, kombucha and kimchi – so much fun :)

  12. I make my own homemade almond and cashew milk all the time, but have never thought to make flax milk-brilliant! This recipe just made my day. Thank you so much-I’m off to the kitchen to find my flax now!

  13. The pantyhose idea is kitchen genius! The tales of your adventure in India are so wonderful to read. What an incredible experience. How beautiful that a total stranger invited you into her home and wanted to share her tea with you. I wonder what she learned from her time with you?

  14. This sounds so great, thanks for the great instructions! Do you think this would work in a regular blender — aka not a vitamix? I know when I try to put flax seeds in smoothies they never get broken down, so I’m thinking you would probably need a high speed blender? Also, love your finger nail polish!!!

    • Hmm, that’s a great question… I guess if your blender can’t break them up when they’re in smoothies, you may not have much success. Although you’re just blending it with water, so I think your blender will have an easier time. I’d say give it a shot! If you’re worried about wasting ingredients, you could just make half the recipe to see if it works.
      I’m so horrible at remembering to paint my nails! I LOVE doing it… but always forget about it. Such a fun accessory! Have a great Sunday, Jane.

      • Though a Vitamix is on my “want” list, I too only have a regular blender. I started off by putting all the seeds in and just barely covering them with water. Once they seemed fairly ground, I added the rest of the water. (Also, I cut up my dates before adding them.) This is sort of like how one works with cornstarch…by adding a little to water, then adding the mix to your soup/sauce.

  15. Thanks so much for the recipe- excited to give it a try! If I could make a suggestion to you…when you blend the whole flaxseed in a blender you are adding heat to the flax which starts oxidation which could cause it to become rancid faster. Our true cold milled flaxseed does not use heat and so it will be milled for you already and if you just let it soak with the water or mildly shake it you won’t be adding the heat the way the blender does and it may give you a much longer shelf life. Hope that helps :) You can check us out at http://www.premiumgoldflax.com Thanks so much for your blog and unique easy recipe.

    • Hi there, thanks for your comment. I believe the linseed oil in flax is good up to 350F for up to 2 hours. Am I incorrect in thinking so? I’m not sure if shaking the flax in water would give the same result, but I’d be open to trying it!

  16. You’re right in all of that, usually when we recommend to people who like to grind their flaxseed fresh we tell them to grind it in a coffee grinder no more then 5 days in advance, and put it in the fridge, because of the fact that to grind it you are adding heat. So I would say if you are looking at a 5 or so day shelf life and it is refrigerated you would be just fine. I think if you use a product that is already cold milled so the oxidation has started (anytime the shell is cracked oxidation can start) but no significant heat was involved to act as a catalyst you can expect a much longer shelf life. I would imagine even if you still used the blender to pulse it to mix it wouldn’t have much affect on that process….hopefully that helps and maybe I’m over analyzing but if you run into a problem with rancidity too quick this may extend it a bit for you without loosing any benefits of the flaxseed. Thanks again for your blog its always fun to see how people are incorporating flax into their daily health.

  17. Thanks so much. I plan on trying it out in the next day or so. I have been advised to soak the seeds in water overnight…then drain the water prior to blending. Apparently, that process aids to speed the “shell cracking”. Any thoughts?

    • If you have a weak blender, you can definitely soak!

        • Hi Sharonne – flax gets very gelatinous when it’s soaked. No worries though, just throw it in the blender, add more water, and have at ‘er!

  18. Awesome! I was looking for a way to make my own flax milk, this was extremely easy. I had previously bought a half gallon carton at my local health food store, now I will make my own, at a fraction of the cost! I used 8 cups of water instead of 6, and I used a little splenda and cinnamon. This tasted great.

    • Glad you liked it, Peter! Love that you added cinnamon, mmm!

  19. I used rice syrup to sweeten and a bit of coconut oil in the final product-shaken really well-which makes it really creamy!
    I actually didn’t add enough water at first, but made a double batch, so I just put the liquid in ice-cube trays and small freezer containers, so I can pull out just a bit at a time, reconstitute it, and enjoy.
    It’s REALLLY yummy! Thanks!
    PS, with chocolate hemp ice cream it makes a great shake, and I have tea on now to try chai :)

  20. Mmmmm yummi!
    I was searching for an easy flax milk recipe and I’ve found your blog. Thanks a lot! I’ve prepared it straightaway and now I am enjoying a cup of this lovely cruelty free milk:))
    Gonna add some to my porridge!

    Thanks:)

  21. I just tried this milk.
    I’m not in love with it, but it’s OK. I do prefer almond milk.
    I’ll give it another try with dates (which I did not have today).

    Thank for all the recipes

    • Hi Tatiana – thank you for your honest opinion of the recipe. I encourage you to add a bit of sweetener – honey, coconut nectar, whatever you have, as that can drastically change the taste! The milk is great for smoothies, just fabulous!

      • I used agave syrup and vanilla extract.
        But I can’t wait to try other recipes from your blog. I actually found it while looking for a flax seeds milk :)

        Cheers from France

  22. This sounds great Leanne… I happen to enjoy ground flaxseed in my vegetable juice. I’m curious, though. Why are you suggesting that we need to strain “all” of the flaxseed from the milk? I grind the flaxseed and put all of it in my vegetable juice, and enjoy the texture. Let me know your thoughts. Thanks.

    • Hi Jeffery – it depends on what you’re looking for. For this specific recipe, I wanted to make milk similar to flax milk purchased at the store so I strained it. Feel free to keep it in there though!

  23. Thanks for this recipe. Recently, I saw flax milk in some stores. I tried it and it was good but it had lots of other ingredients like carageenan, canola oil etc. which makes it not as natural as it should be. I will try this and see how it goes. Do you think instead of whole flax seeds we can try using flax seed powder?

  24. I need to make my own milks due to my son’s many allergies. I have a question…. do you need to soak the seeds first for a while? A few websites have this on their recommendations and a few don’t…. just wondering. I just made this recipe as is and will try the soaked one as well and see how it goes.

  25. Leanna, very well written article. The story was great and the photos perfect. I can relate to you. I have had every material item I have ever wanted and now at 63 years young all I want is good health.

    • And health you will have (I’m sure) especially if you’re making your own flax milk! Hope you’re having a fabulous day, Brock :)

  26. Awesome! Glad I found your recipe. It looks delicious. I’m also looking for non-milks without all the extra junk. Thank You Thank you Thank You

    • I’m glad that you found me, too! Hope you’re having a fabulous evening!

  27. Awesome! Glad I found your recipe. It looks delicious. I’m also looking for non-milks without all the extra junk. Thank You Thank you Thank You

  28. Hi! I started the new year with a desire to eat more raw foods. I have succeeded quite well (especially compared to my past attempts) and have purchased a juicer and have smoothies and raw juice every day. I just ordered a home seeder and am excited to start that adventure. I stumbled onto your page and love this recipe. This is next on my list. Thank you!

    • Wow, good for you, Kelle. I can’t wait to hear how your journey goes. Be sure to check in once and awhile and fill me in! Enjoy the milk :)

  29. You are amazing….. I stumbled across your blog and couldn’t believe what I found ………. I love to make my own ‘milks’ in my Vitamix and cannot wait to try this one! Looking forward to following your blog, Thank you muchley, Tix :)

    • Hey Tix! Thanks for stopping by and introducing yourself :) I’m so happy that you found me! Hope you’re having a fabulous weekend!

  30. Hi Leanne
    Does this go to you personally or on the website like the other comments above?
    Carole

    • Hi Carole – your comment gets posted on the blog, but if you want to send me a private message, feel free to send an email to: leanne {at} leannevogel.com

  31. Thanks for this recipe! I have been struggling to find an affordable milk recipe to make at home.

    If I used honey as a sweetener, about how much would be equivalent to the dates? I’m not good at figuring out sweeteners. Thanks!

    • Hmm I would start off with 1 tablespoon. Max at 2 tablespoons. I hope that helps!

  32. Leanne, thanks for the recipe. I went full steam ahead before looking for a recipe. Based on ratios with nut milk, i used a full cup of flax seeds, but could only fit 12 cups of water to it in my container. It just didn’t taste right. Somewhat oily. (Perhaps I blended them too long as well?) So glad to have found your site, and to find out that I actually need 24 cups of water for a full cup of seeds! What a great ratio, and how much less expensive than store bought. I love store bought flax milk, and wanted a homemade one with out the stabilizers, etc. Hmm…wondering if I can freeze half of it since we won’t go through 24 cups in 3-4 days. Thanks again! I’m looking forward to browsing through your blog!

  33. This looks like a wonderful recipe and the picture instructions are a great help ; )
    Thank you!

  34. Thanks for sharing your recipe. I’m switching from store bought almond to home made flaxseed milk but why is it okay not to soak before grinding it? I am giving this to my 1 year old since he has allergies. Thanks!

    • Hi Louise! when you soak flax seeds they get really gummy… and I wasn’t sure whether or not that would affect the final result, so I didn’t soak them. Feel free to give it a shot and let me know how it works out!

      • Leanne, I tried to soak it first and it was kinda hard to squeeze bec. as what you said-gummy. I will try not soaking it next time but Is there any inhibitors in the seed?

  35. I have heard from a food scientist that soaking flax seed in a cold liquids is extremely unhealthy. Flax seeds have two chemicals inside the seed, when the seed is broken an enzyme acts on these chemicals and they become poisonous. Since the enzyme needed to break down these chemicals is a protein, the enzyme breaks down in hot temperatures (like proteins do). The only way to prevent the chemical reaction is to therefore “kill” the enzyme by boiling flax seeds, or soaking the, in hot water. It is only true for seeds that are broken, or in this case blended. When the seed is left intact, the reaction won’t happen.

    I really want to try this recipe but I’m a little hesitant after hearing this from a scientist.

    • Hi Anna – I haven’t heard that… which is strange, because they say that flax seed shouldn’t be heated because of the highly unstable oils in them. Sorry, I’m not sure what to tell you!

  36. It’s tasty but doesn’t it seem a bit thick for a milk replacement? Any suggestions to thin it up a bit?

    • Hi Rick – it’s the same consistency so you should be good to go!

  37. Hi,I just finished making that flax milk , it taste quite good. Now , what am I to do with that slimy pulp?
    Please advise, thanks Vera

    • Hi Vera, I have just tried the flax milk for the first time & have frozen the left over pulp in ice cube trays. I use flax as a thickener at times so thought I would try this. Please let me know if anyone have any thoughts for or against this idea. Thanks for the recipe Leanne, I enjoyed my first drink & have been looking for an alternative as I do not like the taste of soy milk. Also thought this might make a nice hot choc drink in the winter. :-)

  38. I’ve been trying out a lot of your recipes in the past two months Leanne – thank you for running this amazing blog! Just stumbled across this one and I have a question: while with almond/cashew/sunflower seed milks we first soak the product, here you use the flax seed dry. I thought the soaking stage jumpstarts some sort of a ‘fermentation'(?) process; if you just blend raw flax and wash it with water before tossing large amount of it in pulp, is that still as nutritious? What about soaking the flax seed first (I know it becomes jelly-like but that shouldn’t matter, no?)? Thanks in advance! -Eme

  39. I just made this for the forth time, but this time I used cran-strawberries instead of dates. Still forgot a seive and pantyhose which made sifting it very time consuming. The other times I didn’t bother sifting it because all I had was a coffee filter mesh. It smells just like strawberry milk!

  40. Anyone have any ideas for the leftover flax meal that this recipe creates?

  41. Hey! Looks absolutely great! I’ve been dairy free now for a year and have been looking for alternatives to almond milk. Since seeds and nuts have a lot of fat, does that mean the milk will have a lot of fat?

  42. So I have also read about the phytic acid coating on seeds and
    how we should soak them.
    and heating is problematic as far as the idea of hot water soaking.so
    I wonder if the seeds were soaked overnight in a LARGE amount of water and
    then strained before adding to the blender.
    the mucilage might perhaps be quite a bit thinner and not so gummy.
    by the way -I was a high fiber girl for years and now need to keep it very low.(insoluble fiber fermenting in the colon causes inflammation) so I will try this
    with a large water bath beforehand. thank you for this recipe it’s genius!
    So for me this ‘milk’ is the answer to getting all the goodness of the flax without the fiber.

    • I’m not too sure, likely similar to what would be in flax seed. I hope that helps!

  43. Hi Leanne, I love this idea of making flax milk. I havnt made milk before. I tried yr receive today and encountered a few glitches. First it was thin n tasteless. I added more dates n vanilla essence n cinnamon. A little better taste wise but although I strained it a few times it is still separating. Any ideas??
    Maggie

    • Hi Maggie! Depends on the flax. Sounds like the separation is still from fibers from the flax. What kind of blender do you have?

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