How to Make Sunflower Seed Milk

by Leanne Vogel (Healthful Pursuit) on February 19, 2013

sunflower-seed-milk-intro

Today we’re learning how to make milk… sunflower seed style.

This recipe is awesome for anyone who who’s allergic to nuts, oats, rice, soy or any other ingredient that’s been transformed into a dairy-free milk.

… and if you’re allergic to sunflower seeds, have you seen my flax milk recipe?

… and if you’re allergic to flax… well, umm… let me know and I’ll see if I can create something for you. I’m always up for a challenge!

Benefits of sunflower seeds

If allergies aren’t your name of the healthy living game, I bet you’re wondering, ‘Why make milk out of Sunflower seeds?’ I’ll tell you why…

  • Because they’re high in vitamin E and vitamin E keeps our immune system rockin’ and our skin glowing. We all like glowing skin.
  • Also, they’re loaded with magnesium that helps keep our bones strong and our muscles chilled out and relaxed.
  • Lastly, you’ll find a bunch of selenium in these little guys, the trace mineral that’s believed to help repair our DNA.

Little power bombs, these guys are.

How to Make Milk Sunflower Seed (118)

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4.8 from 12 reviews

How to Make Sunflower Seed Milk
Author: 
Allergens: Vegan, Gluten-free, Dairy-free, Refined sugar-free, Yeast-free, Corn-free, Grain-free, Nut-free, Egg-free
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4
 
Creamy and delicious homemade vegan milk that’s just as good as almond milk… without the nuts!
Ingredients
  • 1 cup raw, unsalted sunflower seeds
  • 4 cups filtered water
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 1 vanilla bean or ⅛ teaspoon vanilla paste or ¼ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • Pinch sea salt
Instructions
  1. Place sunflower seeds in a glass container and cover with water. Cover and allow to soak on the counter for 8 hours. Drain water, rinse well and add to your blender along with 4 cups of clean, filtered water.
  2. Blend water and seeds for 3 minutes. If you have a vitamix, I like starting off on the low setting, then pumping it up to full power for the last 1 minute.
  3. Once complete, pour seed mixture into a nut milk bag or a new (unused) nylon sock over a large bowl. Gently pulse the seed bag with your hands until all liquid has been strained out. Set pulp aside.
  4. Rinse out your blender, add the milk back to it, add the maple syrup, vanilla and salt. Blend for 20-30 seconds.
  5. Pour into a milk jug or juice container and store in the fridge for up to 2-3 days.
Notes
For cereals and baked goods: use the recipe above.
For casseroles and other savory recipes, ditch the maple syrup and vanilla.
For a sugar-free version, you could use a couple of drops of stevia or sweeten with 2-3 medjool dates added to the blender with the vanilla and salt, pureed for 1-2 minutes.
Feel free to add cinnamon, all spice, cardamom or nutmeg for some added awesomeness!

Sunflower-Seed-Milk

I’m sure this recipe could be made with any type of blender. Just make sure that you soak the seeds and let the blender grind them up into the finest, fine powder… ever.

When its all blended, you need to separate the fiber from the milk. To do this, get yourself a nut milk bag (seriously, the best $7.99 you’ll ever spend).

Sunflower-Seed-Milk2

Once you’ve poured the milk in the bag, squeeze gently until all of the liquid has been removed. Make sure you don’t go all Rambo on the bag or the fiber from the seeds will get pushed through the mesh bag – or worse – out the top of the bag.

Not like I’ve ever done that or anything…

Sunflower-Seed-Milk-3

Wash your blender quickly, add the milk back to your blender along with vanilla, maple and salt. Blend for a 20 second or so, to combine well.

Sunflower-Seed-Milk-4

Pour into a pretty jar and sip right from the jar (no one will know), get yourself a glass and go to town, or chill for a couple of hours and pour over a bowl of cereal.

Sunflower-Seed-Milk5

Whatever you do, I know it wont go to waste!

How-to-Make-Milk-Sunflower-Seed

Speaking of waste, I’d love your thoughts on what I should do with this sunflower seed pulp. I don’t have the heart to throw it out!

Totally unrelated to sunflower seeds – the Healthful Pursuit Facebook Page hit 10,000 likes on Sunday night and I recorded a little video of gratitude for you when I heard the news. Getting to chat with each of you on a daily basis, cook my brains out and share my health experience is the bestest ever… and I owe it all to you!

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{ 72 comments… read them below or add one }

Liz

As for what to do with your leftover pulp:
Welllll, I’ve seen people make crackers, cookies, and granola out of their leftover almond pulp after making almond milk. And what about adding some spices, dehydrating it, and letting it serve as a salad topping, sort of like vegan parmesan. Since it’s already wet, I bet you could do a play on croutons with the pulp, letting the mix stay clumpy.
But, yes, please repurpose it into something delicious instead of throwing it out. That would just be criminal! :) (My family teases me about how I reuse and repurpose everything. My BF says I remind him of his grandmother from the Old Country and my mom says I remind her of my grandmother, washing out plastic bags and such. :) I make no apologies. :)

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Leanne Vogel (Healthful Pursuit)

Wow, you’re rockin’ the creativity today! I love the idea of croutons and Parmesan. I’ll definitely give it a whirl. Re-purposing is a skill. I’m sure that there will be a show on TLC for re-purposing smarty pants like yourself. And when that day comes.. your family will regret giving you a hard time!

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Shelby

You could probably use it like you use okara (soybean pulp left after making soy milk.) I use wet okara as a handy substitute for ricotta cheese or cottage cheese in many recipes. I make high protein pancakes (see More With Less cookbook for that recipe), filling for blintzes, put it in cheesecake, in savory dishes like spinach lasagna and quiche and also add a bit to bread recipes for a dough conditioner.

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Angela @ Eat Spin Run Repeat

Woop Woop! Congrats on the 10K!! That’s awesome, and so is this recipe. I meant to pick up a nut milk bag this weekend because i want to start making almond milk and sunflower seed milk, but totally forgot. As for the pulp, I bet you could make crackers like the flax ones we created. I wonder if they’d turn out like those Nut Thins that you can get at the grocery store. I think I feel a little experiment coming on!

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Leanne Vogel (Healthful Pursuit)

I make those crackers EVERY week and didn’t think to use the pulp for them. Fail! You have to pick up a nut milk bag.. get on it!

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Shel@PeachyPalate

Brilliant recipe! I’d use the pulp in cake!

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Leanne Vogel (Healthful Pursuit)

Thanks Shel! I like your idea of cake… you can’t go wrong with cake!

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Alissa N

Lovely!! I make cheaters versions of homemade milks, but I need to try the traditional way, looks awesome. Congrats on hitting 10,000 likes!! Yay!!!!!!!!!!

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Leanne Vogel (Healthful Pursuit)

Cheaters versions? I’d love to learn more!

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Aly

Great recipe (yet again) :) I love all your homemade milk recipes, however I wonder how many calories a typical cup of sunflower seed milk would contain? I realize that it’s an annoying thing to ask, but I’m always curious ;)

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Leanne Vogel (Healthful Pursuit)

Hey Aly – generally I include the nutrition information of all of my recipes, but I had a really hard time coming up with the nutrition facts for this one so I left it out. Sorry I’m not sure how to calculate it!

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Chef Amber Shea

Yum, I love “sunny milk” :)

Dehydrate the leftover pulp (or bake at a low temp for an hour or two, until dry), then crumble it in a food processor to make sunseed flour!

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Leanne Vogel (Healthful Pursuit)

That’s a great idea. Look at you being all crafty!

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Chris

Yum! I can have it!!! Is this how you would make hemp seed milk?

How do you calculate the nutrition information for homemade nut/seed milks? I do not know how to account for the lost pulp.

Also, are store bought milks better for you because of the added vitamins/minerals?

Last, please, please come up with a recipe to copy the Low Sugar Madagascar Vanilla Almond KIND bar (without grains and stevia sweetened). They are a great snack with a good does of healthy fat and protein. I’ve seen your chai grain free bars, which are good, but they are a bit heavy for a snack. Thanks!!!

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Leanne Vogel (Healthful Pursuit)

Yay! A Chris-friendly recipe… woohoo! I guess you could calculate it by just removing the fiber from the nutrition facts? I wasn’t too sure so I didn’t include it in the post today.

Many store bought milks have a lot of unnecessary ingredients and preservatives so we don’t like to have them in the house as much.

I can’t do stevia, but I bet I could try to make bars with xylitol. Do you do xyliol?

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Chris

I would very much appreciate your expertise in the kitchen coming up with the KIND bar. Yes, I can do xylitol. I do not use it much, as I prefer stevia, but xyliotol would be fine

AS for the nut milk, not too sure about how to do the fiber thing. I don’t know how store bought versions calculate the nutritionals as homemade seems so much richer. I agree with all the added preservatives and ingredients, but I wonder about the nutrition benefits of the added vitamins and minerals. I am alwas concerned that if I make my own I will not be getting enough of the vitamins/minerals (e.g. magnesium, Vitamin D, B itamins, potassium).

Thanks!

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Leanne Vogel (Healthful Pursuit)

Hey Chris – the amount they add to the foods (they are fortified) isn’t all that fantastic. Also, the fortification process is pretty controversial. There is lots of info on it all over the web. I’ve never had a KIND bar but I’ve heard of it… I’ll do my research and try my bestest!

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Chris

Thank you! I will have to look for he information on the web…surprised I haven’t seen much of it.
Thanks for the KIND bar…I know you can do it…anything close will do :)

Suzanne @RollWithIt

Ooooo, I like the idea of making it into flour possibly for a cake or muffin or a gluten-free bread. Isn’t tahini made from sunflowers? I wonder if you could make it into a butter then use it as a spread or for a hummus. I also really like the idea of the crackers – I would probably do a savory garlic herb one. Oh! Isn’t this fun! The possibilities are ENDLESS!

It feels like just a couple of months ago you hit 6,000 hits on FB!?!?! Congrats on the 10,000! You are awesome and I am so happy to be a part of your community! Keep it up!

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Leanne Vogel (Healthful Pursuit)

Hey Suzanne – tahini is sesame… but great idea to perhaps turn it into a spread… you’re right, SO many options!

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Suzanne @RollWithIt

Yeah, should have googled that before leaving the comment!

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Leanne Vogel (Healthful Pursuit)

pppft no… it’s a common mistake!

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Jessica

You are so creative – I have never heard of Sunflower seed milk. Totally giving this a try asap.

As for the 10,000 people – I don’t think you should be surprised, I love your blog! :)

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Leanne Vogel (Healthful Pursuit)

You have now! BAM! haha thanks Jessica :)

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Brianne

I just read through the comments, and you’ve got some awesome suggestions already! I’m loving the crouton/salad topper idea, and using the dehydrated pulp to make sunflower flour. I tried making sunflower flour out of raw seeds recently, and it turned to sun butter!!! I don’t know if the itamix is just too powerful, but perhaps using dehydrated pulp would work better because it would have less moisture/oils??? I’m curious, and would love of you to experiment for us. :)

Congrats on the 10,000 likes!!! You deserve it.

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Leanne Vogel (Healthful Pursuit)

Me too… croutons is a great idea, right? I started the experimenting today… I’ll let you know if I get anything good out of it :)

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Lindsay

This is awesome, I just started to soak my seeds today. Being able to make all of these milks are so good for me esp since I can leave the sugar out and they don’t have nasty additives like carrageenan like all the store brands. Your blog has been a blessing for curing my leaky gut and on my current anti-allergy diet. I would be stick thin if I didn’t have all the alternatives you offer!! Please post a recipe if you find a good way to use the sunflower seed pulp! You are a wonder woman for how many recipes and tips you post here weekly! How do you do it?! I have been sharing your blog with everyone I know. You are truly, truly blessed to have found your talent and passion and be able to share it to better peoples lives every day.

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Leanne Vogel (Healthful Pursuit)

Hey Lindsay! Aw thanks so much for your comment… I’m smiling ear to ear! I’m so happy that you found me and that you took the time out of your busy day to leave such a nice comment :)

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a farmer in the dell

I just had sunflower seed milk for the first time recently and LOVED it. Thanks for the recipe! can’t wait to try it!

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Leanne Vogel (Healthful Pursuit)

I was surprised by it, too! I really didn’t think it was going to be all that great… but WOW!

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Tatiana

I just made that milk … I love the texture. It’s really really nice :) It taste a little too bitter for me, but I tried it with almond milk and cacao powder for breakfast, and it turned very out to be really good.

I’ll try it tomorrow with chai latte spices.

Thanks for all the great recipes

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Leanne Vogel (Healthful Pursuit)

Hmm too bitter… it could have been the seeds themselves. How long did you soak them for? Were they fresh? I found that the fresher the seed, the better and that maximum 8 hours of soaking works really well too. I love the idea of making a chai latte with it!

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Michelle

Yay for 10,000 Likes!!! :) Your video was so cute.

I made a sunflower & pumpkin seed version this on Monday night because my husband accidentally put pumpkin seeds to soak instead of sunflower seeds… I just used some warm water to speed up the soaking process for the sunflower seeds. Instead of a nut milk bag or cheesecloth, I used a metal fine mesh strainer which, admittedly, wasn’t the cleanest, easiest or efficient way, but it got the job done well enough. Then I used our NutriBullet to do the blending. Then I hugged and kissed my husband again for buying it – hey, if I can’t have a Vitamix just yet, this has got to be the next best thing! I used the pulp to make your Shaved Vegan Parmesan, which my husband started eating straight out of the oven like it was crackers!! Almost ate my whole pan’s worth up before I could abscond with some for my salad the next day. Twerp. I’m going to use the milk tonight to make cream of celery soup which I’ll probably use for a simple veggie casserole.

Another commenter may have mentioned this or you may already know (and if so, I’d like your thoughts). but a friend of mine who has made her own nut and seed milks for a long time suggested using paint bags from hardware or home improvement store – the ones I found online that are sold at Home Depot are nylon and cost about US$2.28 for a 2-pack of 1-gallon size bags. Figured I’d give that a go here soon – I’d like to make some plain sunflower with the maple and vanilla for cereal. Yum!

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Leanne Vogel (Healthful Pursuit)

Hey Michelle – pumpkin seed milk… eh? I like where you’re going with this… I’ve never heard of the paint bags. Can they be reused a lot? The picture of the nut milk bag in this post is of one that I’ve had for at least 2 years and I use it once a week. It’s in great shape and I bought it for $7. If the paint bags hold up, that would totally be a better option!

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Michelle

Alrighty – checked back with her. She said she does wash and reuse them several times, but when she first started, nut milk bags were a lot more expensive. So a $7 investment for one that’s held up that well is great! Maybe for someone new to the process (or friends who both just want to give it a try), the 2 for $3 paint bags would be a good option, but if you know you’re going to use it, invest in a real nut milk bag. :)

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sarolabelle

I tried your recipe for the vegan tuna with sunflower seeds before and found the sunflower seeds a little too hard for taste and not mush enough (despite 30+ hours in the water!) So maybe I’d take this pulp and make the vegan tuna with it.

Also, it looks like sunflower flour. Maybe there is a cake recipe or something?

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Leanne Vogel (Healthful Pursuit)

That’s a great idea, using the pulp for the tuna. I’m sorry that you didn’t like the outcome as much. Did you add the pickle juice? It’s a crucial step and does wonders to the final outcome!

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Meg

congrats on all of those FB likes girl!!!!!!!!!

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Leanne Vogel (Healthful Pursuit)

Thanks Meg!

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Sylvie @ Gourmande in the Kitchen

I love making homemade “milks” like this the taste is so clean and pure. As for the pulp, you can dry it out and use in crackers.

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Leanne Vogel (Healthful Pursuit)

You’re right, the clean and pure factor is WAY up there with homemade milks. They taste SO fresh!

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Gay

Yes you guys are all on the pulp. I would use it for onion bread or onion crackers.Love the idea of Sunflower Seed Milk! Can not wait to give it a try. Thank You

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Leanne Vogel (Healthful Pursuit)

So many pulp recommendations, right? Ah! I tried a bunch of them today and had pretty good success. I’ll never run out of sunflower milk… that’s for certain!

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Tatiana

They may have been soaking for more than 8 hours. I’ll try it again with new seeds (they sit in my kitchen for several weeks) and let you know if the milk turn out differently.

Thanks for your advice.

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Leanne Vogel (Healthful Pursuit)

Great! I’d love to know how it goes for you after your second try. You could attempt sesame seed milk, too. It’s a lot more creamier with less risk of the bitterness.

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Adina | Gluten Free Travelette

Perhaps bake it into small cookies for your pups? That’s what I’ve been doing with my almond pulp!

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Leanne Vogel (Healthful Pursuit)

That is flippin’ BRILLIANT! Thank you, Adina :)

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Jorge

Hello,
I have never done sunflower seed milk, but I do brown rice milk about once a week, I feel the same way about the leftover pulp, I just dont want to throw it away. So I usually freeze it. I add some to stir fry, soups and/or mix it with my dog’s food -he seems to love it. Too be honest, I never notice a difference in stir fry or soup, but at least it’s not going to waste. ha!
Thanks for the recipe and congrats on your blog.

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Leanne Vogel (Healthful Pursuit)

Hi Jorge – thanks for the recommendation! And I love the idea of freezing it. Smart!

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Jen

Hi there, Leanne!

I discovered your blog the other day and I am looovin’ it!! I, myself, have got some “wonderful” dietary restrictions [dairy+gluten], and you have some great ideas and recipes that you are just too kind to share with us!

In the Paleo-Primal-Low Carb community, the majority of baked goods are made with almond flour, but this gets to be REALLY pricey if you happen to be a student or on a tight budget. I’ve found that personally, sunflower seed flour/meal does the job just as well, plus is loaded with tons of vitamins + minerals, is safe for folks with tree nut allergies, and is a fraction of the cost of almond flour!

After you make your milk, you can spread out your pulp into a thin layer and dry it out in the oven or a dehydrator and use as your would in place of almond flour.

Thank you so much for your hard work and dedication!
Jen

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Monica Duran

Hi!
For your leftover sunflower seed paste, you can blend it with your favorite spices, herbs, salt, and some citric juice, make a paste, wrap a couple of tablespoons it in sea weed sheets and dehydrate it overnight (sometimes it takes up to 24 hours to be crunchy, depends on the texture you like)….its the best snack, i do it mexican style with chives, cilantro, jalapeno, sun dried tomato, lime juice, and celtic salt, and wrap it as a “taco”…enjoy!!

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gerisa

this is pretty awesome! i just found sunflower seed milk at the 99 cent store! never in a million years did i imagine i would!

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Naoma

Thank you for the recipes! I’m in the process of transitioning to vegan due to health issues and food allergies and having one heck of a time with it! I can’t do gluten, dairy, eggs, meats, mushrooms, tree nuts and should avoid soy! What a challenge. You’re a life saver! Thank you!

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Donna

I make crackers with mine. I’ve also made hummus.

I learned how to do loads of different seed milks and how to dehydrate left-over seed pulp into fabulous yummies – when I attended a course at the Ann Wigmore Institute in Puerto Rico. http://www.annwigmore.org/

Keep on making great food! :-)

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Debbie Katz

Loved reading through all the comments here and the recipe!! Awesome tips & ideas.
I made cashew milk and walnut milk yesterday and am in LOVE with them. I’m saving the walnut pulp to add to my smoothies. Simple and easy!
Next up- sunflower seed milk!! Thank you for your ideas!

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Allyson

mmm ! Walnut Pulp Chai Pumpkin Smoothie !!!!

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Tiffany

Made the milk today, ended up adding some Trader Joe’s everyday seasoning to the pulp, mixed it up and baked on 250 till dry. Tastes delicious and will be a great salad topping!

I came across your site as I was searching for a recipe for sunflower seed milk. I will peruse now that I’m here!

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Mallie

Hi! Thanks for the great recipes! My 1 year old is allergic to all the typical allergen foods, so your milk recipes have been helpful for brainstorming! Did you ever find a good use for the leftover pulp from this or from the flax milk? or from oat milk? If so, will you post a recipe? :) If you haven’t already.
I can’t wait to try this recipe as soon as I find some unsalted sunflower seeds!
I used raisins in the flax milk recipe since my little guy hasn’t tried dates yet, and they worked fine to sweeten. The flavor went nicely… But the milk was a little thin, so I added more flax. I’m guessing dates make it thicker! I’ll have to test dates on my son so I can use them in the next batch.
I’m planning to try your charms cereal soon… Seriously, your blog is the inspiration I need in the kitchen right now!!!

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Ann

Hi I just read this recipe and want to suggest using the pulp in a crust for a dessert! Thank you so much for sharing about the milk. I have been searching from store to store but had not been able to find. You rock!

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Nichole

I would use the leftover pulp in some muffins or bread…

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Leanne Vogel (Healthful Pursuit)

Great idea, Nichole!

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AJ

a paint strainer bag from the hardware store is a fraction of the price of a nut milk bag and works just as well!

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Leanne Vogel (Healthful Pursuit)

Thanks for the tip, AJ!

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Allyson

Make Seed Crackers with Poppyseed and Sunflower and Herbs !!!

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Kaleidoscope

Thanks for posting this recipe. But I have a question for this or any other nut, seed or grain milk… How do you calculate the nutrition for it (fat, calories, sodium, etc.). The added sugars and salt are easy as long as you know the volume of liquid you have and are willing to crunch the numbers. But I haven’t figured out how to calculate the other nutrition when you strain out all of the solids. Thank you for your thoughts on this.

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Sarah-Jane

I made this sunflower seed milk yesterday. It turned out great (I used 3 medjool dates to sweeten it). I am posting because I discovered something to do with the grinded up pulp: put it in a bowl (still kinda wet), added 1 baked and mashed sweet potato, 4 tablespoons cocoa, 3 more squished up dates and a handful of semi-sweet chocolate chips. I mixed really well and then shaped the whole “thing” in a square baking tin lined with parchment paper and in it went to the oven for 30 minutes (375′C). Let it cool, turn out onto a plate, spread sunflower/flax seed butter on top, cut into squares. It was so good, my four boys devoured it (and they HATE sweet potatoes)! It didn’t last 2 days in our house—vegan, no nut, no gluten, no wheat, no extra oil, double chocolate Brownies! (Oh and I have never made any kind of brownies before)

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Adam@U-RAAW!

Thanks for the post! We made almond, hazelnut, and pumpkin seed milk last weekend, and are going to try sunflower seed and Brazil nut milk tomorrow. Also note that 1 tbsp of raw cacao powder is a nice addition if you are a fan of chocolate. We also added xylitol for a sugar free version and it turned out well.

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X-Man

Tried your sunflower milk this week. Great taste. Is separation normal? It became 2 distinct parts. One white, one clear. Is this safe?
Thanks for your time!!

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Leanne Vogel (Healthful Pursuit)

Totally, that’s normal! Just shake it up and you’re good to go!

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Spirit Wolfs at

I bought two paint strainer bags at Home Depot and use those for straining all my milks (almond milk and oat milk so far). They work great!
Also, I don’t make anything out of any of the pulps because my husband refuses to make anything I’ve tried to make with them so far. So for my part I would suggest composting the pulps. Do your garden or a community garden a big favor this way. :)

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Nadine

Hi,
I have been making a ricotta style cheese out of the cashew milk pulp I have left over and for the amount in your recipe you could add around 1tblsp olive oil 1 tblsp lemon juice, salt and pepper to taste and herbs like thyme rosemary to make it a bit more special. You can even add a pinch of turmeric for that cheesey color and an extra health boost.

Would make a good base for a vegan nut free terrine :)

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Jake

Thnx for the recipe! I like making cashew milk, but shipping cashews to Canada doesn’t seem very sustainable. Sunflower seeds are a local crop. I’m definitely going to give it a try. Re: paint bags…are they made of a food safe material? It would be a shame if something leached into a nice natural product, no matter how much of a bargain they are.

Cheers,
Jake

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