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The Ultimate Plant-Powerful Dairy-Free Milk Guide

There truly are infinite possibilities when it comes to a plant-based diet and milk is no exception. While there are more and more pre-packaged options hitting grocery store shelves these days for non-dairy milks, nothing tastes as delicious, offers as much variety, or packs the additive/preservative-free, nutrient punch that homemade does. I have been pulling this post together for YU for a while now, and I hope that it inspires some fun and experimentation.

I’ve also included suggestions for what to do with leftover pulp and ideas for how to fancy up your milks…

All recipes below are gluten-free. Just make sure if preparing oat milk, that you use gluten-free oats, and that your vanilla extract and cocoa are gluten-free.

Tools:
Nut milk bag or cheesecloth*
Blender
Recycled glass jars for storage

* I own one nut milk bag and about 20 scraps of cheesecloth that I cut up from one purchase. You can definitely hand wash, machine wash and re-use these guys for years. Just find a fun jar like Darth Vadar below, to keep them in.

Darth Vadar cheesecloth storage

Ingredients:
See below, but try to buy everything organic. Here’s why.

Basic steps for all (unless otherwise specified):

Soaking Quinoa

Soak: soaking is necessary to release enzyme inhibitors and improve nutrient digestion/assimilation. Toasting does help, too (about 70%), while bringing out a rich, “toasty” flavor for milks. I have indicated below, what to do with particular ingredients, what they taste like, how long to soak for each and what add-ins would take these milks to the next level of deliciousness. Do not use your soak water for milk, all of your enzyme inhibitors are in here, so use fresh water.

Or Toast: while soaking is optimal from a nutrition standpoint, toasting brings out incredible flavor. When toasting any ingredients, use raw, unsoaked ingredients to toast. The dryness is what brings out that toasted flavor, and you won’t get that with pre-soaked, hydrated ingredients.

Rinse: rinse soaked ingredients well.

Pepita Milk (a.k.a. Pumpkin Seed Milk)

Blend together: using your highest setting, blend until as smooth as possible.

Strain: using your nut milk bag, or a cheesecloth, draped over a bowl or large glass, pour blended contents through fabric.

Poppy Seeds

Squeeze: twisting from the top down, squeeze all liquid from fabric…

Cheesecloth

… bottle it up.

Milks

Now, you can sweeten to taste, or blend/stir in any of the add-in suggestions below. I recommend trying these milks unsweetened first, so you can detect the differences in taste to see what you like best, and if you need any sweetener at all.

YU can use any of the following to create creamy, delicious, nutrient-rich non-dairy milks (try combinations, too):

YumUniverse Non-Dairy Milks

Almonds:
1/2 cup raw almonds
2 cups pure water (use coconut water for extra sweetness and electrolytes)
Soak time: 8-12 hours

Steps: prepare either soaked almonds (8-12 hours) or toasted almonds (7 minutes at 350°F). Blend together and strain through cheesecloth. Serve chilled, room temp or warm.

Taste/consistency: toasted is a rich almond flavor and raw is a creamy, neutral flavor that almost everyone loves. This is a tasty non-dairy milk for beginners as it is delish without sweetening and can be enjoyed on its own.

Add-ins: 1/4 tsp vanilla extract, 2 tsp raw wild-harvested honey or grade B maple syrup and pinch of fine ground sea salt.

Make it fancy: add cardamom and cocoa.

Nutritional bennies: almonds are some of the most alkalizing nuts around, and they have cholesterol lowering effects. They’re also loaded with antioxidant powerful vitamin E, immune-supporting magnesium and the electrolyte potassium, too.

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Amaranth milk

Amaranth:
1/2 cup raw amaranth
2 cups pure water (use coconut water for extra sweetness and electrolytes)
Soak time: 6-8 hours

Steps: prepare either soaked amaranth or toasted amaranth (5 minutes at 350°F) or popped (get instruction here). You will have to rinse any soaked amaranth through a cheesecloth, since they are so tiny. Blend together and strain the milk through the cheesecloth. Serve chilled, room temp or warm.

Taste/consistency: popped or toasted tastes a little like liquid popcorn. Very unique, nutty flavor.

Add-ins: 1/4 tsp vanilla extract, 2 tsp raw wild-harvested honey or grade B maple syrup and pinch of fine ground sea salt.

Make it fancy: blend with 2 tsp sucanat, 1/4 tsp vanilla extract and a pinch of fine ground sea salt for a “caramel corn” treat. Use that same combo but with molasses instead of sucanat for “Cracker Jack” flavor. Or serve blended with fresh lime juice, raw honey, a drop of vanilla and a pinch of cayenne. Or maple syrup, cocoa, 1/8 tsp cinnamon and a pinch of cayenne for a rich, Mexican treat.

Nutritional bennies: Amaranth contains more protein than any other gluten-free grain. Food scientists consider the protein content of amaranth of high “biological value,” similar to the proteins found in cow’s milk. This means that amaranth contains an excellent combination of essential amino acids and is well absorbed in the intestinal tract. It’s full of calcium, magnesium, fiber and iron.

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Brazil Nut Milk

Brazil Nuts:
1/2 cup raw Brazil nuts
2 cups pure water (use coconut water for extra sweetness and electrolytes)
No soaking

Steps: no need to soak Brazil nuts because they don’t have any (or very little) enzyme inhibitors, but you can toast them (7 minutes at 350°F). Blend together and strain through cheesecloth (you way want to strain twice). Serve chilled, room temp or warm. This is hands-down one of my favorite milks for cereal, smoothies and tea. Store in the fridge, these guys tend to go rancid easily. Fresh Brazil nuts should be ivory, not yellow.

Taste/consistency: creamy, rich, unique Brazil nut flavor. Beautiful white milk. This is a tasty non-dairy milk for beginners as it is delish without sweetening and can be enjoyed on its own. Texturally, it is the most like traditional whole dairy milk— very creamy.

Add-ins: 1/4 tsp vanilla extract, 2 tsp raw wild-harvested honey or grade B maple syrup and pinch of fine ground sea salt.

Make it fancy: Add cardamom and cocoa. Or orange zest, a bit of orange juice, honey and vanilla extract. Mixed berries blended in are also amazing.

Nutritional bennies: help to promote heart health, offer up a solid serving of magnesium, and are packed with beneficial selenium (774% of RDA) which is essential for immune support and thyroid function.

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Brown Rice Milk

Brown Rice:
1/2 cup cooked brown rice
2 cups pure water (use coconut water for extra sweetness and electrolytes)
No soak necessary, but you can for 6-8 hours

Steps: I like to toast rice (without any oil) in a pot, stirring occasionally over medium-high heat for about 7 minutes before adding water and cooking. Blend together cooked rice and water and strain through cheesecloth. You may have to strain twice. This is a good milk for add-ins like cocoa, or sweeteners like honey, since on it’s own, I find it a bit on the starchy side.

Taste/consistency: creamy in a starchy way, with a mild, almost undetectable grittiness. Very mild, toasted brown rice flavor.

Add-ins: 1/4 tsp vanilla extract, 2 tsp raw wild-harvested honey or grade B maple syrup and pinch of fine ground sea salt.

Make it fancy: 1/4 tsp cinnamon, 1/4 tsp vanilla extract, raw honey and rosewater to taste. Or 1/4 tsp cinnamon, pinch cayenne, raw honey, 1/4 tsp vanilla extract and 2 tsp cocoa.

Nutritional bennies: great source of trace mineral manganese, and good source of selenium and magnesium.

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Buckwheat Milk

Buckwheat:
1/2 cup raw, hulled buckwheat groats—sprouted or toasted
2 cups pure water (use coconut water for extra sweetness and electrolytes)
Soak time: 8 hours

Steps: you can use raw, sprouted buckwheat or toasted for milk, but I don’t recommend cooked—you’ll get a gooey, gel-like texture. Toast buckwheat (7-10 minutes at 350°F). Blend soaked or toasted buckwheat together with water and strain through cheesecloth. Serve chilled.

Taste/consistency: raw, sprouted buckwheat milk tastes, fresh, light and delicious with a hint of grassy-in-a-sunny-way. A very fine grit. Toasting definitely brings out the unique flavor of buckwheat—cereal-like. This would be a great milk for add-ins or as a smoothie base.

Add-ins: 1/4 tsp vanilla extract, 2 tsp raw wild-harvested honey or grade B maple syrup and pinch of fine ground sea salt.

Make it fancy: Add cardamom, maple syrup and cocoa. Mixed berries blended in are also amazing—try blackberries and add a bit of fresh thyme, maybe lemon juice and raw, wild-harvested honey.

Nutritional bennies: contrary to what the name implies, buckwheat doesn’t contain wheat. It’s not a grain, but a seed! Buckwheat is gluten-free, a good source of protein, it contains eight essential amino acids and is known to balance mood, mind clarity and it even provides calcium, manganese and vitamins B and E.

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Cashew Milk

Cashews:
1/2 cup raw cashews, soaked 2-4 hours
2 cups pure water (use coconut water for extra sweetness and electrolytes)
Soak time: 2-4 hours

Steps: blend together ingredients and strain through cheesecloth (although straining is optional since cashews blend so well). Serve chilled, room temp or warm. This is hands-down one of my go-to milks for recipes like soups and puddings.

Taste/consistency: very creamy, almost buttery neutral flavor, great for add-ins and use in sweet and savory recipes.

Add-ins: 1/4 tsp vanilla extract, 2 tsp raw wild-harvested honey or grade B maple syrup and pinch of fine ground sea salt.

Make it fancy: add cardamom, cayenne and cocoa. Or orange zest, a bit of orange juice, honey and vanilla extract. Mixed berries blended in are also amazing.

Nutritional bennies: while it is referred to as a “cashew nut”, cashews are actually the seeds of the cashew tree. Cashews have a mild buttery flavor and they can be eaten whole, or ground into cashew butter. Approximately 75% of thier unsaturated fatty acid content is oleic acid—heart-healthy monounsaturated fat. Studies of diabetic patients show that monounsaturated fat, when added to a low-fat diet, can help to reduce high triglyceride levels. Everyone knows that calcium is necessary for strong bones, but magnesium is also vital for healthy bones—and cashews are a great source.

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Coconut Milk

Young Thai Coconut:
Meat from 1 young Thai coconut (not to be confused with mature coconut)
Water from 1 young Thai coconut
No soaking

Steps: blend together ingredients and add a bit more pure water if you need to, to reach desired consistency.

Taste/consistency: very creamy, delicious, unique Thai coconut flavor. When used in heated recipes like soups the coconut flavor is more undetectable.

Add-ins: 1/4 tsp vanilla extract, 2 tsp raw wild-harvested honey or grade B maple syrup and pinch of fine ground sea salt.

Make it fancy: add cardamom and cocoa. Or orange zest, a bit of orange juice, honey and vanilla extract. Mixed berries blended in are also amazing.

Nutritional bennies: helps prevent heart disease, contains anti-inflammatory and anti-microbial properties, promotes weight maintenance and coconut water is a natural isotonic beverage filled with electrolytes. Coconut meat is also an excellent source of medium chain fatty acids, protein, fiber, vitamins and minerals.

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Shredded coconut

Unsulphured Shredded Coconut:
1/2 cup unsulphured shredded coconut
2 cups pure water (use coconut water for extra sweetness and electrolytes)
Soak time: you can soak about 2 hours to soften

Steps: Blend together soaked, raw or toasted ingredients and strain. For incredible flavor, toast coconut in an oven set to 350°F for 3 minutes before blending.

Taste/consistency: delicious undeniable coconut flavor for toasted, a bit more subtle in un-toasted.

Add-ins: 1/4 tsp vanilla extract, 2 tsp raw wild-harvested honey or grade B maple syrup and pinch of fine ground sea salt.

Make it fancy: Add cardamom and cocoa. Or orange zest, a bit of orange juice, honey and vanilla extract. Mixed berries = delish.

Nutritional bennies: helps prevent heart disease, contains anti-inflammatory and anti-microbial properties. Coconut meat is also an excellent source of medium chain fatty acids, protein, fiber, vitamins and minerals.

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Hazelnut Milk

Hazelnuts:
1/2 cup raw hazelnuts (a.k.a. filberts)
2 cups pure water (use coconut water for extra sweetness and electrolytes)
No soaking

Steps: no need to soak hazelnuts because they don’t have any (or very little) enzyme inhibitors, but you can toast them (7 minutes at 350°F) for incredible flavor. Blend together soaked or toasted and strain through cheesecloth. Serve chilled, room temp or warm. This is one of my favorite milks for cereal, smoothies and tea—divine.

Taste/consistency: creamy, rich, unique hazelnut flavor. Beautiful white milk. This is a tasty non-dairy milk for beginners, as it is delish without sweetening and can be enjoyed on its own. My pal Marta was over tasting with me one day, and said that toasted hazelnut milk was “off the freaking hook.” I can’t think of a more accurate description.

Add-ins: 1/4 tsp vanilla extract, 2 tsp raw wild-harvested honey or grade B maple syrup and pinch of fine ground sea salt.

Make it fancy: add cardamom and cocoa. Or orange zest, a bit of orange juice, honey and vanilla extract. Mixed berries blended in are also amazing. Serve warm with mint leaves and honey. Serve warm with fresh thyme, honey and vanilla.

Nutritional bennies: hazelnuts are loaded with key minerals like magnesium, phosphorous, zinc, copper, iron, manganese, calcium and selenium. Whew. They also provide vitamin K, potassium and vitamin E.

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Hemp Milk

Hemp Seed:
1/2 cup raw hemp seed (a.k.a. hemp nut)
2 cups pure water (use coconut water for extra sweetness and electrolytes)
No soaking

Steps: no need to soak hemp seeds, just blend together and strain through cheesecloth, although this is an optional step since they blend up nicely. Serve chilled or room temp. Store hemp seed in the fridge or freezer, they are loaded with fragile essential fatty acids and can go rancid easily.

Taste/consistency: looks a tad like a sesame seed and has a delicious, buttery, nutty flavor similar to that of a pine nut or sunflower seed. Very creamy, unique, pale green milk.

Add-ins: 1/4 tsp vanilla extract, 2 tsp raw wild-harvested honey or grade B maple syrup and pinch of fine ground sea salt.

Make it fancy: add cardamom and cocoa. Mixed berries blended in alone, or with cocoa and maple syrup are divine options as well. I love this milk blended with blueberries.

Nutritional bennies: hemp protein contains all 21 known amino acids (complete protein), including the 9 essential ones that adult bodies cannot produce. Hemp seeds are considered by leading researchers and medical doctors, to be one of the most nutritious food sources on the planet. Shelled hemp seed is 33% pure digestible protein and rich in iron and vitamin E (3x the amount in flax) as well as omega-3 and GLA.

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Macadamia Milk

Macadamia Nuts:
1/2 cup raw macadamias
2 cups pure water (use coconut water for extra sweetness and electrolytes)
No soaking

Steps: no need to soak macadamia nuts because they don’t have enzyme inhibitors. Blend together and strain through cheesecloth (you may want to strain twice). Serve chilled, room temp or warm. This is one of my favorite milks for cereal, smoothies and tea.

Taste/consistency: creamy, rich, buttery flavor. Beautiful white milk. This is a tasty non-dairy milk for beginners as it is delish without sweetening and can be enjoyed on its own.

Add-ins: 1/4 tsp vanilla extract, 2 tsp raw wild-harvested honey or grade B maple syrup and pinch of fine ground sea salt.

Make it fancy: add lime zest, raw honey and vanilla extract. Mixed berries blended in are also amazing. Cocoa powder, vanilla extract and maple syrup make for an incredible, rich dessert milk.

Nutritional bennies: a good source of vitamins like thiamine, riboflavin, niacin, vitamin B6 and pantothenic acid. Also rich in minerals like manganese, calcium and potassium.

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Millet Milk

Millet:
1/2 cup millet (sprouted, cooked or toasted)
2 cups pure water (use coconut water for extra sweetness and electrolytes)
Soak time: 8-12 hours

Steps: Blend together and strain through cheesecloth. Serve chilled, room temp or warm.

Taste/consistency: nutty, almost corn-like in flavor, touch of bitterness (but went away after a day). Lovely taste when sweetened.

Add-ins: 1/4 tsp vanilla extract, 2 tsp raw wild-harvested honey or grade B maple syrup and pinch of fine ground sea salt.

Make it fancy: raw wild-harvested honey, a pinch of cayenne and fresh lime juice and a pinch of fine ground sea salt is delish. You can also enjoy it with fresh lemon juice, honey, vanilla extract and a pinch of fine ground sea salt.

Nutritional bennies: millet contains a range of beneficial phytochemicals (a.k.a. phytonutrients) and is known to reduce the incidence of stomach ulcers, protect against cardiovascular disease, diabetes and even help protect against childhood asthma.

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Oat Milk

Oats:
1/2 cup raw, gluten-free oats
2 cups pure water (use coconut water for extra sweetness and electrolytes)
No soaking

Steps: you can toast your oats (7-10 minutes at 350°F) or use them raw (no soaking). Blend together raw or toasted and strain through cheesecloth (you may want to strain twice). Serve chilled, room temp or warm.

Taste/consistency: oat-y but neutral enough, a bit starchy, fine grain texture. Makes a good base for add-ins like honey and cinnamon.

Add-ins: 1/4 tsp vanilla extract, 2 tsp raw wild-harvested honey or grade B maple syrup and pinch of fine ground sea salt.

Make it fancy: 1/4 tsp cinnamon, 1/4 tsp vanilla extract, raw honey and rosewater to taste. Or 1/4 tsp cinnamon, pinch cayenne, raw honey, 1/4 tsp vanilla extract and 2 tsp cocoa.

Nutritional bennies: a good source of fiber (soluble and insoluble), oats are also one of the best sources of compounds called tocotrienols. These are antioxidants which together with tocopherols form vitamin E. The tocotrienols inhibit cholesterol synthesis and have been found to lower blood cholesterol.

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Pine Nuts

Pine Nuts:
1/2 cup raw pine nuts
2 cups pure water (use coconut water for extra sweetness and electrolytes)
No soaking

Steps: no need to soak pine nuts, but you can toast them (7 minutes at 350°F). Blend together raw or toasted, and strain through cheesecloth. Serve chilled.

Taste/consistency: beautiful white milk, creamy, buttery, pine-y and a smidge bitter. Delicious with sweetening and toasted.

Add-ins: 1/4 tsp vanilla extract, 2 tsp raw wild-harvested honey or grade B maple syrup and pinch of fine ground sea salt.

Make it fancy: add cardamom, honey, cinnamon and cocoa.

Nutritional bennies: pine nuts are a good source of iron, magnesium, potassium and protein. And they are the only source of pinoleic acid which helps stimulate hormones that suppress appetite. They are also protectors of the heart since they are high in oleic acid.

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Poppy Seed Milk

Poppy Seeds:
1/3 cup poppy seeds
2 cups pure water (use coconut water for extra sweetness and electrolytes)
Soak time: 4-5 hours

Steps: blend together and strain through cheesecloth—you will have to rinse soaked poppy seeds through a cheesecloth, too, since they are so tiny. Serve chilled, room temp or warm.

Taste/consistency: beautiful pale purple milk, creamy, light, fresh and delicious.

Add-ins: 1/4 tsp vanilla extract, 2 tsp raw wild-harvested honey or grade B maple syrup and pinch of fine ground sea salt.

Make it fancy: add cardamom and cocoa. Or orange zest, a bit of orange juice, honey and vanilla extract. Mixed berries blended in are also amazing.

Nutritional bennies: this milk is especially good for treating inflammation, joint pain and insomnia thanks to their beneficial amounts of magnesium and calcium.

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Quinoa Milk

Quinoa (KEEN-wah):
1/2 cup sprouted, toasted or cooked quinoa
2 cups pure water (use coconut water for extra sweetness and electrolytes)
Soak time: 8-12 hours

Steps: ideally, you will soak and either sprout, or cook quinoa for this milk. You can also toast it (7 minutes at 350°F). Blend together and strain through cheesecloth. Serve chilled, room temp or warm.

Taste/consistency: uncooked quinoa has a strong grassy flavor that is either loved or detested by those that try it. I prefer to sprout and then cook the grain for this milk because I lean towards the former. It’s worth a try though, because this milk is tasty with add-ins like maple syrup and cocoa.

Add-ins: 1/4 tsp vanilla extract, 2 tsp raw wild-harvested honey or grade B maple syrup and pinch of fine ground sea salt.

Make it fancy: add cardamom and cocoa. Mixed berries blended in are also tasty.

Nutritional bennies: quinoa—not as a grain, but a seed from the goosewort plant (cousin of spinach and chard)— is a complete protein source and also high in magnesium.

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Sesame Milk

Sesame Seeds:
1/2 cup raw sesame seeds
2 cups pure water (use coconut water for extra sweetness and electrolytes)
Soak time: 6-8 hours

Steps: blend together soaked or toasted (7 minutes at 350°F) seeds and strain through cheesecloth. Serve chilled, room temp or warm.

Taste/consistency: delicious toasted sesame flavor, rich, creamy milk.

Add-ins: 1/4 tsp vanilla extract, 2 tsp raw wild-harvested honey or grade B maple syrup and pinch of fine ground sea salt.

Make it fancy: Add cardamom and cocoa. Or orange zest, a bit of orange juice, honey and vanilla extract. Mixed berries blended in are also amazing.

Nutritional bennies: not only are sesame seeds a very good source of manganese and copper, but they are also a good source of calcium, magnesium, iron, phosphorus, vitamin B1, zinc and dietary fiber.

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Sunflower Seed Milk

Sunflower Seeds:
1/2 cup raw sunflower seeds
2 cups pure water (use coconut water for extra sweetness and electrolytes)
Soak time: 4-6 hours

Steps: you can toast seeds for extra flavor (7 minutes at 350°F). Blend together soaked or toasted and strain through cheesecloth. Serve chilled, room temp or warm.

Taste/consistency: fresh mildly green, floral (almost undetectable), creamy taste—like pure sunshine.

Add-ins: 1/4 tsp vanilla extract, 2 tsp raw wild-harvested honey or grade B maple syrup and pinch of fine ground sea salt.

Make it fancy: add cardamom and cocoa. Or orange zest, a bit of orange juice, honey and vanilla extract. Mixed berries blended in are also amazing.

Nutritional bennies: supplying significant amounts of vitamin E, magnesium and selenium, sunflower seeds are also loaded with phytosterols, which are compounds found in plants that have a chemical structure very similar to cholesterol. When present in the diet in sufficient amounts, phytosterols are believed to reduce blood levels of cholesterol, enhance the immune response and decrease risk of certain cancers.

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Walnut Milk

Walnuts:
1/2 cup raw walnuts
2 cups pure water (use coconut water for extra sweetness and electrolytes)
Soak time: 8-12 hours

Steps: you can toast walnuts for extra flavor (7 minutes at 350°F). Blend together soaked or toasted and strain through cheesecloth. Serve chilled, room temp or warm.

Taste/consistency: earthy, very walnut-y flavor when toasted, creamy, subtle grit. Raw walnut milk is a bit more mild, but creamy and a pale, pale purple.

Add-ins: 1/4 tsp vanilla extract, 2 tsp raw wild-harvested honey or grade B maple syrup and pinch of fine ground sea salt.

Make it fancy: add cardamom and cocoa. Or orange zest, a bit of orange juice, honey and vanilla extract. Mixed berries blended in are also amazing.

Nutritional bennies: walnuts have more antioxidants—and better-quality antioxidants—than most popular nuts. They are loaded with vitamin E, they can lower cholesterol, reduce the oxidative stress caused by the free radicals, and decrease unhealthy inflammation. And listen up fellas, walnuts could improve sperm quality.

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Pecan Milk

Pecans:
1/2 cup raw pecans
2 cups pure water (use coconut water for extra sweetness and electrolytes)
Soak time: 8-12 hours

Steps: you can toast pecans for extra flavor (7 minutes at 350°F). Blend together soaked or toasted and strain through cheesecloth. Serve chilled, room temp or warm. This is one of my favorite milks for cereal, smoothies and tea, especially in the winter months.

Taste/consistency: toasted is a rich, pecan-y flavor and raw is more mild—both are creamy and delicious.

Add-ins: 1/4 tsp vanilla extract, 2 tsp grade B maple syrup and pinch of fine ground sea salt.

Make it fancy: blend in maple syrup and cocoa for the best chocolate milk you ever had.

Nutritional bennies: a good source of protein and rich in vitamin E, pecans are a natural antioxidant (reducing risks of cancer and heart disease). They contain monounsaturated fatty acids, the type of heart-healthy fat (lowering bad LDL cholesterol and raising good HDL cholesterol), and pecans are also a good source of folic acid, niacin, magnesium, selenium and zinc.

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Pepita Milk

Pumpkin Seeds:
1/2 cup raw pumpkin seeds
2 cups pure water (use coconut water for extra sweetness and electrolytes)
Soak time: 6-8 hours

Steps: you can toast pepitas (7 minutes at 350°F) for a more “popcorn-y” flavor. Blend together soaked or toasted and strain through cheesecloth. Serve chilled, room temp or warm.

Taste/consistency: toasted is unique, rich flavor while soaked is a bit more mild, but still uniquely pepita. Creamy, beautiful pale green milk.

Add-ins: 1/4 tsp vanilla extract, 2 tsp raw wild-harvested honey or grade B maple syrup and pinch of fine ground sea salt.

Make it fancy: Add cardamom and cocoa. Or orange zest, a bit of orange juice, lime juice, honey and vanilla extract. Delicious with just honey and lime, too.

Nutritional bennies: also known as “pepitas”, pumpkin seeds are an edible seed of a pumpkin or other cultivar of squash. They are a good source of essential fatty acids, protein and the essential minerals iron, zinc, manganese, magnesium, phosphorus, copper and potassium. The oil and seeds are used to treat enlarged prostate, Irritable Bowel Syndrome, Interstitial Cystitis and various digestive ailments. The high tryptophan content makes pepita of interest to researchers studying the treatment of anxiety disorders, too.

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Almond Butter

Nut & Seed Butters:
You can use 1 tbsp of nut/seed butter like pumpkin seed, almond, tahini or cashew per 1 cup water. Just blend, and most times, straining isn’t necessary.

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Sweeteners to try:
Honey
Sucanat
Molasses
Maple Syrup
Brown Rice Syrup
Dates (blended with almond milk makes a great foam for Rooibos Chai Tea)

Add-ins to try:
Maca
Chia
Berries (blend in or just add juice)

Berry Milk

Pomegranate juice
Lemon zest (blend)
Orange juice (try blood orange)
Orange zest (blend)
Lavender (blend)
Rosewater
Lemon juice (try Meyer lemon, too)
Lemon zest (blend)
Lime juice
Lime zest (blend)
Cinnamon
Cardamom
Nutmeg
Vanilla Bean or extract
Cocoa (serve warm for hot cocoa)

Chocolate Pecan Milk

Cayenne
Turmeric
Fresh mint (blend)
Fresh thyme  (blend)
Chia seed (add post blend, they will plumpen like tapioca pearls)

Add-in combos to try on all:
Cocoa & Cayenne
Cocoa, Vanilla & Cayenne
Honey, Lemon & Lavender
Vanilla & Orange Juice
Vanilla & Rosewater
Vanilla, Cinnamon & Rosewater
Honey & Cayenne
Cinnamon, Vanilla & Cardamom
Cinnamon, Vanilla & Nutmeg
Vanilla & Strawberry
Vanilla & Raspberry
Vanilla, Lemon & Blackberry
Vanilla & Blueberry
Fresh Thyme & Mint
Rosemary, Lemon & Vanilla
Vanilla & Thyme
Vanilla, Strawberry & Basil
Vanilla, Blueberry & Thyme

What can YU do with leftover pulp?

What do I do with nut milk pulp?

Lots of lovely things…

Pulp Cereal

Make a cereal:
1/2 cup pulp
2 tsp maple syrup
1 tsp unrefined coconut oil
1/8 tsp fine ground sea salt

Pulp Cereal

Steps: just stir together all ingredients…

Pulp Cereal

… and spread onto a parchment-lined cookie sheet.

Pulp Cereal

You can take the rustic route and just spread cereal about 1/4″ high in no shape at all (and break with hands apart post-baking), or use a silicone spatula or knife to shape a rectangle.

Pulp Cereal

Take the sculpting that much further by laying a knife into your cereal vertically…

Pulp Cereal

… and then horizontally…

Pulp Cereal

… to create pre-cut shapes that you can release once baked.

Pulp Cereal

Bake at 350°F for 20 minutes, then flip and bake for another 10 minutes. I flip by placing a piece of parchment on top of baked cereal, then flip. You can also dehydrate for 6-8 hours, or until dry, to maintain more beneficial enzymes.

Add-ins: before baking, add 1 tbsp cocoa…

Pulp Cereal

… for a chocolate-y cereal,

Pulp Cereal

or add 1/4 tsp cinnamon and 1/8 tsp cardamom for a spiced cereal. Minced ginger is delicious with cardamom and orange zest, too. Just sayin’.

Fold-ins: add some gluten-free crisp brown rice, gluten-free oats, sprouted, dehydrated buckwheat and dried fruit like unsulphured blueberries, currants, cherries, cranberries, apples, strawberries, pineapple or mango for a healthy un-boxed cereal.

Store in an airtight glass container in the fridge. You will notice that you will become satisfied with a smaller bowl of cereal that you may be used to. This is because you are feeding your bod maximim nutrients, so it will say “I’m full” sooner than it would with a processed box cereal. These are delicious without milk, too. Add them to trail mixes, or munch on them plain.

Make a Chocolate Mousse:

Nut Milk Pulp Chocolate Mousse

1/2 cup pulp
1-2 tbsp non-dairy milk
2 tsp maple syrup
1 tbsp cocoa powder
1/8 tsp fine ground sea salt

Steps: just stir together all ingredients. For extra smoothness (you will need to make a larger batch), process in the food processor until you reach desired consistency.

Fold-ins: add some chia seed for beneficial EFAs, some fresh fruit for antioxidants or toasted nuts/seeds for crunch.

Store in an airtight glass container in the fridge.

Make Crackers:

Cashew Cheese Spread

1/2 cup pulp
1 tsp unrefined coconut oil
1/8 tsp fine ground sea salt

Steps: just stir together all ingredients and spread onto a parchment-lined cookie sheet. You can take the rustic route and just spread about 1/4″ high in no shape at all, or use a silicone spatula or knife to shape a rectangle. Lay a knife into your rectangle vertically and then horizontally to create pre-cut shapes that you can release once baked. No patience for that? Just break up with your hands post-baking.

Bake at 350°F for 20 minutes, then flip and bake for another 10 minutes. You can also dehydrate for 6-8 hours, or until dry, to maintain more beneficial enzymes.

Add-ins: before baking, add any combination of fresh, chopped thyme, sage, rosemary, basil, oregano, marjoram and/or lavendar. Try folding in 1/4 tsp minced garlic and/or 1 tsp onion. Or add some cumin and coriander.  Experiment and have fun.

Fold-ins: golden raisins and pecans (especially tasty with rosemary and/or thyme).

Crumble on top of salads for crunch and protein. Enjoy spread with a bit of unrefined coconut oil and a pinch of sea salt for a snack. Top with Cashew Cheese Spread—yum.

- – -

Storage: 
Store in recycled glass jars—just give ’em a shake before serving. All milks will keep for about 7-10 days if you don’t drink them up first.

- – -

Well, that should cover pretty much all of the bases. I hope YU all find this helpful and share it with others.

Now, I want to hear from YU. What are your favorite non-dairy milks? Tell me with a comment below.

- – -
Do you like this article?
Be a doll and Tweet about it, Pin it and/or share it on Facebook
(I bet some folks out there in the world will be thankful you did).
Sharing rules and I sure do appreciate it.

And because I love YU…


- – -

References: WebMD, Livestrong, The World’s Healthiest Foods 

Read the comments or add yours.

Comment Rules

  1. Lisa

    Thanks! I just ran out of sunflower hemp milk from the Thrive Foods book and was looking for other non-dairy milks to try at home. This is very useful, I love that you have useful recipes for the pulp as well :)

  2. Wow Heather! This is SO great! Thanks so much. I’ll be sharing it all around as you requested.

  3. Wow – thanks for taking the time to compile this all! I’ll be done with all the almond/coconut milk that I had in the fridge in a couple days and then I’ll be ready to make homemade! Sounds super easy!
    I do have cheesecloth – not a nut bag – should I use one layer of cheesecloth or would you suggest 2, 3, or even 4 layers?

    • Heather Crosby

      Rachel~
      So happy you are gonna give homemade a go! I usually can get away with one layer of cheesecloth, but you will know once you strain the first time—if it’s not super smooth with one layer, run it through again with a doubled-up or tripled-up cheesecloth. Have fun.

  4. This is brilliant! Thank you so much. The nut milk bag I ordered just arrived so this is great timing. Especially grateful that you’ve included ideas for using the pulp too as wasting it was a concern of mine.
    Can’t wait to get experimenting!

    • Heather Crosby

      Well, that is perfect timing! I wanted to share my tips for using the pulp because nuts and seeds aren’t always cheap, and it would also be a shame to waste those beneficial nutrients. So happy that you appreciate those extra recipes. Have fun ;)

  5. Lilu Apple-b

    Why would we ever buy nut milk again…
    And thanks for all the wonderful ideas for what to do with the pulp!

  6. Kerry

    Wow! I had no idea you could make milk out of so many different nutritious ingredients. I can’t wait to get started. One of my goals for the YU 30 challenge is to cut back on (and eventually eliminate) the processed, packaged, store bought foods, and this will definitely help me get there. Making my own nut milk is something I’ve wanted to try for a while, but I put it off because I didn’t know what to do with the pulp. The cereal recipe looks perfect, and it will help me replace the boxed stuff too! Thanks for all the great recipes and ideas.

  7. Hi Heather–this is a seriously epic post! Thank you for sharing such a concise, abundant amount of inspiring information. I’m SO excited about trying these new recipes. I especially appreciate your detailed descriptions of the flavor profiles of each milk–so helpful to see whether or not it’s something I really want to try. :) Of course, about 99% of them sound amazing, so I will be trying a new one each week at least for the rest of the year! :) THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU!

    • Heather Crosby

      YU are so very welcome, Miriam. And if I may recommend: Brazil nut, hazelnut and macadamia are divine. Toasted pecan with cocoa and a bit of maple syrup tastes like—as my grandfather would say—that “you died and went to heaven.” Enjoy!

  8. Kelly Farris

    Hi Heather,

    Thank you for posting such a wonderful article. It is so helpful, beautiful and inspiring. Under the amaranth section there are 3 different soak times, does it matter how long you soak it for?

    Thank you,
    Kelly

    • Heather Crosby

      Thank YU, Kelly—it was such a huge post to pull together, I was hoping something didn’t get away from me like that ;) All fixed. xx

  9. Ryan

    Fantastic post! So much delicious and lovely information here. Thanks :)

  10. Wowzers! This post of various plant-based milks is so comprehensive. Thanks for the tips, and beyond them, the cereal made with the leftover pulp looks fabulous.

  11. Beth McVay

    Holy Guacamole! Cardamon, cocoa almond milk? Get outta town! Hell yes!

  12. Amy

    I was wondering.. Do you soak the toasted amaranth? would that be silly? ^_^;;
    Amy

    • Heather Crosby

      That’s not a silly question at all, but you don’t soaked the “popped” amaranth or toasted, just raw.

  13. Fiorella

    So many superb sounding non-dairy milks to be made! May be silly to ask but do you need to refrigerate the milks?

    • Heather Crosby

      Fiorella~
      Yes, refrigerate them all—have fun!

  14. Kim

    I read through various blogs almost daily and yours is one of my favorites. I’m delighted to have stumbled upon your recipes. Thank you so much for the tremendous time you put into the information you share. It’s awesome and appreciated!!
    You’re funny to boot :)
    It’s like icing on the cake
    Thank you!

    • Heather Crosby

      Aww Kim, thank YU so much for the great feedback. You’ve made my day. xx

  15. Charlotte Blak

    Hello Heather, I stumbled upon you on youtube, when I was looking for a good way to grow alfalfa sprouts, and afterwards I had to visit your site. I’m glad I did: can’t wait to make the different “milks” AND the delicious pulp food as well :) happy greetings from Denmark

    • Heather Crosby

      Charlotte~ So glad you have stopped by! Welcome and have fun ;)

  16. Evie

    Just made my first batch of homemade almond milk last night! What fun this is! Can’t wait to make crackers with my leftover pulp this afternoon :) Thank you!! I also have your black bean soup with sunflower cream up on the docket for dinner tonight…

  17. Brittany

    Just made both the toasted and raw almond recipes… Super good! I’m so glad someone has all the knowledge of nearly all the milks you could possibly think of and has put them in one place! So, I’m curious, I noticed pistachio milk is not on the list… Have you made it before? Do you know if it would require pre-soaking? That’s a green milk I would love to try :)

    • Heather Crosby

      I’m so happy that you are finding this post helpful! The only reason I don’t have pistachio (or peanut) milk on the list is because of the high alflatoxin (carcinogenic mold) content of these ingredients. I just don’t personally use them, or have them on hand in the kitchen these days :) I bet a pistachio milk would be gorgeous though—just make sure you buy from trusted sources (and send a pic of any final products ;)

  18. Majestic! This is one of the best blog posts I’ve read in a long time! Thank you very much for all this wonderful information! Cheers :)

  19. mahmood ahmad

    I always wanted to experiment with the nuts.. this is great way of trying new stuff.. :)
    heather thanks alot…

  20. Rachel P

    Best dairy free milk post I’ve ever seen, so much excellent info! I just started making milks at home. I’m trying every possible nut, seed, & grain I can! Have you heard of using Yacon syrup? A cookbook I have at home mentioned it, I thought I might order some. I also like using coconut nectar. Can I suggest you make flax milk? It tastes really strongly of flax, but the texture is excellent. I did not soak my flax seeds. I used only 1/2 cup seeds, but 4 cups of water (it gets thick). Some other milks I will try making- red rice, black rice, wild rice, spelt berry, rye berry, black barley, black quinoa, red quinoa, teff. maybe even tapioca?, farro, kamut, kaniwa, wheat berry, maybe oat bran and wheat germ, chia seed, triticale berry, peanut, pistachio. For good flavor, I might add tart cherry extract or purple aronia berry extract (in place of a sweetener, because these extracts are like thick syrup themselves and quite tart,), and/or soak them with fresh lemon verbena leaves (for extra grassy lemon notes). I might try combo milks, too! A good combo might be soaking raw cacao nibs along with the nuts or adding them in when blending. Heck maybe they can be made into milk too
    Thanks for this awesome post hope I’ve planted some ideas in your mind!

  21. Rosa N.

    Thank you soo much, this is mad useful!
    I do however have a question, could you go more in depth on the millet milk. Can the millet just be soaked for 8-12 hours or does it have to be cooked? I’ve been making mine from just soaked (not sprouted) millet (usually combined with almonds) and have been getting good results. I just don’t know if it’s bad to be drinking raw millet? Any thoughts on this would be helpful.

    Thanks,
    Rosa N.

    • Heather Crosby

      Rosa,
      So happy that YU have found this post useful and keep doing what you’re doing! You can absolutely use soaked millet to make milk. Soaking is a great way to increase nutrient assimilation. I suggest cooked in the post to create a tasty texture. I found dry or soaked millet to be a tad chalky and grainy, but mixed with almonds, I bet it’s creamy and delicious. Thanks for sharing the idea ;) H

  22. Elena H

    wow, this is the most fantastic and helpful ‘recipe’ ever, i think!
    thanks so much for all this tips and inspiration!

  23. Heather – This guide is THE BEST!!! Thanks for sharing it.
    I keep medjool dates on hand and throw 1 or 2 (without the pits) into the blender when I make milk. It doesn’t really make the milk sweet – just sort of mellow.
    Thanks again for your dairy-free milk guide. I’m gonna share it like crazy!

  24. Cheryl

    OMG this is an amazing page, thank you!! Also one can make power bars from milk pulp!

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