Raw Vanilla Bean Sunflower Seed Milk is a 100% raw, plant-based non-dairy milk that you can make at home in just under 5 minutes once your sunflower seeds have soaked. It contains no sugar, sweetener, or additives of any kind—just sunflower seeds, dates, raw vanilla bean powder, water, and a lot of love! 🙂
Sweet and light, this milk is perfect to use in any smoothie, cup of tea or coffee, or bowl of porridge just like you would use other types of non-dairy milk. I’m absolutely in love with it, and I think this is my new favorite homemade non-dairy milk to make so far.
I’ve made homemade, raw oat milk and instant, raw cashew milk, and I’ve made almond milk before in the past too. But I’ve never ventured into seed-based milks despite always being intrigued to do so and knowing how beneficial seeds are for our health.
I’m using Bob’s Red Mill Raw Sunflower Seeds in this recipe because although they aren’t organic, Bob’s Red Mill products are one of the finest brands you’ll find, guaranteed. They are a non-GMO company and all their products are made in the United States, not imported from other parts of the world (such as China) where many other nuts and seeds used in other brands are.
Plus, these sunflower seeds are completely raw, unsalted, and they smell amazing as soon as you open the bag. Plus, sunflower seeds are a great alternative to other non-dairy milk products and also an affordable one to make. One bag of Bob’s Red Mill sunflower seeds will make at least 10 servings of this recipe which can help save so much money over the long-haul!
Now, let’s talk about the benefits of sunflower seeds …
They’re one of the best sources of monounsaturated fats, which are a type of unsaturated fat linked to preventing obesity, managing blood sugar levels, and improving heart health. Other sources include avocados, macadamia nuts, almonds, and believe it or not, raw cacao! Although most all foods have traces of mono-unsaturated fats, few have substantial amounts to provide such benefits as those listed above.
Sunflower seeds are also wonderful sources of magnesium which is important for bone and nervous system function, thiamin which is a B vitamin crucial to brain health and metabolic health, and zinc which is a mineral important for optimal blood sugar levels, clear skin, and preventing wrinkles and fine lines. Zinc, magnesium, and thiamin are also involved in the metabolism of thyroid hormones and it can improve your mood and energy levels.
Sunflower seeds even offer iron, protein, and they’re one of the best sources of Vitamin E, a nutrient that’s important for a healthy heart and cardiovascular system.
Last but not least, sunflower seeds are even a great source of fiber, making them wonderful to add to your diet to reduce high cholesterol in accordance with a healthy, plant-based diet.
Raw foods have never been heated or cooked, which means they retain all their nutrition and all their living enzymes. Enzymes help us digest and metabolize our food properly, and they can ease digestive stress. I soak all my nuts, seeds, and even my raw oats sometimes to help increase the enzyme activity found in nuts, seeds, and grains. This process makes them not only easier to digest, but also more nutritious and better for the body.
I don’t get too obsessive about it, but when I can, I try to soak my grains and nuts. If not, that’s okay too! However, you’ll need to soak your seeds before making this recipe simply because otherwise, it will be bland and they won’t blend up as well. The flavors need time to release which is another benefit of the soaking process.
I’ve always been passionate about raw vegan food and have always eaten a higher ration of raw uncooked foods to cooked foods, (just by preference), but non-dairy milk is one of those things I tend to just buy at the store because I don’t keep raw nuts and seeds on hand all the time to make my own.
However, this Raw Vanilla Bean Sunflower Seed Milk has really changed my mind and I’m now going to experiment with making this more regularly. It’s incredibly light, just sweet enough, and can even be made unsweetened if you leave out the two dates I used (which I don’t recommend, but it’s an option).
Plus, once you heat (or roast) raw nuts and seeds, the fats they contain are damaged and no longer as beneficial for you in the same ways as they are raw (Peanut butter is the exception to this rule since it is a legume—not a nut— and should never be eaten raw.)
How to Make Raw Sunflower Seed Milk: The Easy Steps!
All I did to make this was soak some sunflower seeds overnight, then gave them a quick rinse in a strainer the next day. I then blended them with cold filtered water, vanilla bean powder (extract would work as a substitute), and 2 raw pitted dates. Just blend, strain in a nut milk bag (this one is my favorite since it’s extra large) or a cheesecloth over a large jar, “milk” the bag, and that’s it!
It will keep for 3 days in the fridge or you can freeze it into ice cube trays if you like too.
- 1 cup raw, sunflower seeds- I used Bob's Red Mill plus 1.5 cups water to soak in
- 4 cups cold, filtered water (or distilled)
- 1/2 tsp. raw vanilla bean powder or 1 tsp. alcohol-free vanilla extract
- 2 Medjool dates (or 2 regular dates) - I buy the pitted variety
- A blender
- A nut milk bag or cheesecloth bag
- Large jar (such as a 24-ounce mason jar or glass milk jug)
- First, soak the sunflower seeds for at least 8 hours in 1.5 cups of water and keep covered on the counter or in the fridge (You can do this overnight or in the morning and make the milk when you get home.).
- When ready to make the milk, strain the seeds and rinse in strainer or colander. They will have absorbed most of the water but should still be rinsed well to rinse off any soaking water which won't taste too great.
- Next, add the rinsed and strained seeds to your blender. Add in the dates, vanilla, and the 3.5 cups cold, filtered or distilled water.
- Put the lid on the blender, and blend on medium speed for a few seconds, then progress to high speed for at least 15 seconds to allow the seeds and dates to blend well.
- Turn the blender off, remove the blender jar from the blender base, and set aside.
- Next, place the nut milk cloth or cheesecloth bag over your large mason jar or milk jug. Secure the bag tightly at the neck by tying it in a knot.
- Now, hold onto the bag around the base of the jar while you pour the blended mixture into the bag with the other hand. Do this slowly so all the milk can slowly filter through.
- As you do this, you'll need to "milk" the bag by slowly squeezing the bag just enough to release any milk still contained in the bag. Once you're done pouring the milk from the blender in, squeeze until no more liquid comes out of the bag into the jar.
- Once you're done, give the milk a good stir in the glass or jar with a wooden spoon or a spatula, and enjoy. You can store it in the fridge, use it in a smoothie, or add it to oatmeal, etc.
- Scrape the pulp out from the bag into a glass container and store for later use, up to 3 days or discard.
- *Makes 4 cups of milk
- *Soaking not only helps make the seeds easier to digest once you make the milk, but it also releases their flavors more. If you don't soak, the milk will be quite bland and flavorless; it will also be less nutritious. Alternatively, if you have a raw sunflower seed butter on hand, you could blend 1/2 a cup of that to make the same amount of milk as 1 cup of raw seeds would make.
This is a question many people have who make homemade nut, seed, and grain-based milks for the first few times. Luckily, you can blend the leftover pulp that you have in the bag with 1/4 cup of the milk in a food processor to make your own homemade sunflower seed butter, discard it, or add a tablespoon or two into smoothies and oatmeal for a boost of fiber.
You can even freeze the pulp flat in little baggies and reuse it later however you want. And, if you have a dehydrator, feel free to make your own homemade raw sunflower seed crackers. You have lots of options for ways to use the pulp! 🙂
Have you ever made homemade sunflower seed milk?
What’s your favorite kind of dairy-free milk?