Have you ever tried making homemade nut or seed milk? If you do, I am pretty sure you will never ever go back to those store-bought cartons!
I used to think that making my own nut/seed milk would be quite a time-consuming process. Boy, was I wrong! The only issue there is that you need to plan ahead. You have to remember to soak the nuts or seeds overnight and that really is the hardest part! If you find that to be a deal breaker, however, fret not! I have a solution for you, which I will share at the end of this post 😉
Once your nuts or seeds have been soaked for 7-9 hours (or even up to 24 hours), all you have to do is rinse and drain them, throw them into a blender with fresh water and spices – plus natural sweeteners if you wish – and blend. That’s it! You don’t even have to strain your homemade nut/seed milk if you’re just adding it to porridges or smoothies. If you prefer a smooth milk for coffee or other beverages, then running the milk through a mesh bag or cheesecloth and squeezing out all the liquid doesn’t take longer than 5-10 minutes. Not too bad, eh?
If you do decide to strain your milk, you will be left with nut/seed pulp, which you can use in cookies, bliss balls, macaroons, crackers, smoothies, etc. I already have a bunch of recipes with pulp, such as these Chocolate-Dipped Coconut Almond Cookies, Almond/Hazelnut Blondies, Almond Pulp Macaroons, Almond Pulp “Bounty” Chocolate Bars, and today I’m sharing another one of my favorites, Sesame Fig Bliss Balls, below.
If you have ever tried homemade nut/seed milk you know the flavor is not even comparable to the store-bought versions that often taste like carton (Not that I’ve ever eaten carton, but I think you know what I mean 😛 ). The best part to me though is sparing yourself all the additives and preservatives, such as carrageenan, lecithin, xantham gum, “natural” flavors, and synthetic vitamins like vitamin A palmitate, and vitamin D2 that are added to “fortify” these drinks and increase their shelf life. The Organic Consumers Association warns that isolated synthetic vitamins cannot be recognized or metabolized by the body in the same way as the natural versions and can lead to imbalances over time.
I like to switch up the nuts and seeds every so often to provide the body with a variety of nutrients since each one has its own unique nutritional profile. I have an old post on how to make almond milk and today I will share my sesame seed milk recipe. The ingredients and methods are pretty much the same and you can use this blueprint to make any kind of nut/seed milk your heart desires! So far besides almond and sesame seed milk, I’ve tried walnut, cashew, hazelnut, pistachio, and hemp milk and they are all distinctly delicious and nutritious. Among all these options, hemp milk is the easiest since it doesn’t require any soaking at all! So even if you forget to soak the nuts or seeds the night before, you can still whip up hemp milk in a matter of minutes. Plus it doesn’t require straining either and is a great source of complete plant-based protein, essential fatty acids, and fiber.
Have you ever tried making your own nut/seed milk? What do you do with the pulp? Leave a comment below and let me know. XO
Sesame Seed Milk Recipe
Yields 4-5 cups
- 1 cup raw sesame seeds, soaked for 7-9 hours
- 4 cups water
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla bean powder or vanilla extract
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom (optional)
- 2-3 dates (optional)
- Cover sesame seeds with warm filtered water and let them sit on the counter overnight or for 7-9 hours
- Drain and rinse the seeds using a fine sieve. Then add them to a blender with 4 cups of water and spices or sweeteners if desired
- Blend for 1-2 minutes until the seeds break down. You can drink the milk as is or strain it for a smooth texture
- TO STRAIN THE MILK: Pour milk into a nut milk bag, a cheese cloth, clean pantyhose, etc. Squeeze the bag as much as possible to get all the milk out. Set the leftover pulp aside to use in the recipe below (or add it to soups, stews, crackers, salad toppers, etc.)
- Pour the milk into a bottle and store in the fridge. Keeps fresh for 4-5 days
Sesame Fig Bliss Balls*
Yields 6-7 balls
- Sesame pulp from making sesame milk (about 1/3 cup)
- 2 dried figs (or dates)
- 1 tablespoon tahini
- 1 teaspoon raw honey or pure maple syrup
- 1 teaspoon lemon or orange zest
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- Optional for coating: sesame seeds, crushed pistachios, other nuts, seeds, or superfood powders
- Add all ingredients (except for coating) to a food processor and blend until a sticky mixture forms. If you don’t have a food processor, you can chop the figs into tiny pieces and combine all ingredients in a bowl
- Scoop a spoonful of the dough, roll between your palms into a ball and set aside. You can roll the balls in sesame seeds or other toppings of choice to coat. Store in the fridge for 4-5 days
*Adapted from a recipe by Sara Gebriel