Homemade Seed and Nut Milks

Nuts and seeds, especially seeds, are some of the most nutrient dense foods we can consume. That means lots of added nutrition with very low added volume. And for most tubie mamas, foods with that description are exactly what we’re looking for. For this reason, I often recommend a variety of nuts and seeds for blenderized diets. Nuts and seeds can be blended into a regular blend or they can be used to make various nut and seed milks that can be given separately or used as a base while blending food. I give seed or nut milk twice daily as part of Bradley’s snacks between meals, and I’ve seen a notable difference in his growth, skin health, and energy levels. For orally fed children, nut and seed milks are a great addition to smoothies. 

While you can buy nut and seed milks from the store, be aware that most of these milks contain very little actual nuts and seeds (after all, how do you think they can make a cup of almond milk with only 25 calories?), so the benefits of nuts and seeds cannot be found in these commercially made milks. Also, keep in mind that many of the higher calorie seed and nut milks in stores have a large amount of added sugar. Added sugar is not a beneficial source of calories. So, homemade nut and seed milks can be a fantastic way to give a nutritional boost.

A lot of information out there about nuts and seeds can be confusing. Some people say we should not eat them because they are high in fat. Fats are actually a necessity for the body to function,  and they provide our bodies with many benefits.  There are healthy fats and there are unhealthy fats. The kind of fats found in nuts and seeds are healthy fats that nourish the body. We tried the low fat craze, and the results were a disaster. The fat content of nuts and seeds are not something to worry about. Rather, it is one of the benefits of nuts and seeds. Of course, that does not mean you should eat giant bowls of nuts and seeds, but you do not need to in order to enjoy their many benefits.

Many seeds and nuts contain varying levels of phytic acid. This can be both good and bad. Foods high in phytic acid such as whole grains, beans, legumes, seeds, and nuts are also foods associated with lower risks for cancer, cardiovascular disease, and other serious medical issues. Some have surmised these risks may even be because of the phytic acid in these foods. But, no one knows for sure. 

On the other hand, phytic acid is an anti-nutrient, which means it can bind to minerals in the gut, preventing their absorption. Phytic acid can also be a GI irritant for some people. Yet, when phytic acid does bind to minerals in the gut, it prevents the formation of free radicals, which makes it an anti-oxidant. 

So, is phytic acid good or bad for us? The answer is that it’s probably a little of both. And that means taking an extreme response in either direction is probably going to put us on the wrong path. 

There are those that avoid all foods with phytic acid. But, this results in a diet lacking in many, many foods that provide great nourishment to our bodies and that reduce our risk of many serious illnesses. 

On the other hand, consuming very large amounts of phytic acid might cause more problems than benefits. 

And so, a middle ground seems to be the right answer. And a great start to the middle ground is to soak nuts and seeds prior to consuming them. When nuts and seeds are soaked, the amount of phytic acid is reduced. This increases the body’s ability to absorb the nutrients from the nuts and seeds and reduces any potential negative effects caused by consuming too much phytic acid. 

For this reason, some of the directions for homemade nut or seed milks include soaking the nuts or seeds. This is an optional step, but one that I recommend. A little salt is recommended to prevent bacterial growth during soaking. Always drain and rinse the seeds after soaking. Do not use the water you used for soaking because that is where the phytic acid went. I also recommend allowing a milk to sit for a few hours in the refrigerator prior to serving if you are using a high powered blender. I have been pretty astonished at the amount of volume reduction that happens after a milk has sat for a while due to air leaving the milk. Too much air in the tummy can contribute to reflux and GI discomfort. 

Most milks you make will yield pulp that can be disposed of if you wish, but can also be dried in the oven to make flour. For example, the remaining almond pulp can be dried and ground in the blender to make almond flour. Coconut pulp can be dried and ground in the blender to make coconut flour. These are expensive flours to purchase in the store, so this can be another wonderful benefit of making your own nut and seed milks. To dry the pulp, cover a baking sheet with parchment paper and spread the pulp as thin as you can onto it. Heat the oven to the lowest setting and leave the pulp in the oven with the door cracked open until the pulp is completely dry, checking on it frequently to stir and prevent burning. You can also use a dehydrator if you have one. 

To make a nut or seed milk, it helps to have a nut milk bag (in most cases), and you must have a blender. That’s it! They take little time to make and are so nutritious. As you can see below, there are so many choices, and I recommend rotating these milks rather than always giving the same milk every single day. Give it a try!

These milks are good for about 3 days, kept in the refrigerator. It is very difficult to establish an exact nutritional content because it really depends on how much nutrition is extracted from the nuts or seeds into the milk. I typically begin with the nutritional information of the nuts and seeds I’m using, and I reduce the nutritional content by just a little and then, divide that total by the number of servings to get an estimation of the nutritional content. I do not ever count fiber because I assume most of the fiber remains in the pulp. For this reason, rather than giving exact nutritional values like I typically do, I am providing the nutritional information of the nuts or seeds used in the recipe. Remember, most people, even tube fed people, do not need their nutrition very precisely calculated. It’s ok to use an informed estimate. Of course, you can also skip straining through a nut milk bag for tube feeding if you prefer. Most people strain simply because they prefer the smooth texture. 

Lastly, don’t forget that these nut and seed milks are good for you, too, and they are super delicious when added to smoothies! Enjoy!

Almond Milk

Almonds are a great source of healthy fats, vitamin E, manganese, biotin, and copper.

1 cup almonds = 828 calories, 30g protein, 71g fat, 30 carbohydrates, 18g fiber, 385mg calcium, 5mg iron

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup raw almonds
  • 8 cups water
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 dates (optional)

Soak the almonds and salt in 4 cups of water for 8 hours. Drain and rinse. Place the almonds and 4 cups of water (NOT the water you used for soaking) into the blender and blend on high for 2 minutes (3-4 minutes if you are not using an industrial strength blender). Pour through a nut milk bag, squeezing it carefully to remove as much liquid as possible. If using dates, return the milk to the blender, add the dates, and blend for 1 minute.

 

Pumpkin Seed Milk

Pumpkin seeds are a great source of healthy fats, protein, iron, zinc, phosphorus, magnesium, manganese, and copper.

1 cup pumpkin seeds = 721 calories, 39g protein, 39g fat, 13 carbohydrates, 7g fiber, 59mg calcium, 11g iron

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup raw pumpkin seeds
  • 8 cups water
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 dates (optional)

Soak 1 cup of pumpkin seeds and salt in 4 cups of water for 8 hours. Drain and rinse. Place the seeds and 4 cups of water (NOT the water you used for soaking) into the blender and blend on high for 2 minutes (3-4 minutes if you are not using an industrial strength blender). Pour through a nut milk bag, squeezing it carefully to remove as much liquid as possible. If using dates, return the milk to the blender, add the dates, and blend for 1 minute. 

 

Hemp Milk

Hemp seeds are an incredible source of protein and iron. They are also a great source of omega 3 & 6, vitamin E, phosphorus, potassium, magnesium, sulfur, and zinc.

1 cup hemp seeds = 885 calories, 50g protein, 78g fat, 13 carbohydrates, 6g fiber, 112mg calcium, 12g iron

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup hemp seeds
  • 3 cups water
  • 2 dates (optional)
No soaking! Simply add the hemp seeds, water, and dates (if using) to the blender, and blend for 1-2 minutes. That’s it! No need to strain with a nut milk bag.
 
 
Sunflower Milk
 
Sunflower seeds are a great source of vitamin E, iron, copper, vitamin B1, manganese, selenium, phosphorus, magnesium, vitamin B6, folate, and niacin.
  
1 cup sunflower seeds = 818 calories, 29g protein, 72g fat, 28 carbohydrates, 12g fiber, 109mg calcium, 7mg iron
  
Ingredients:

  • 1 cup raw sunflower seeds
  • 8 cups water
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 dates (optional)

Soak the sunflower seeds and salt in 4 cups of water for 8 hours. Drain and rinse. Place the sunflower seeds and 4 cups of water (NOT the water you used for soaking) into the blender and blend on high for 2 minutes (3-4 minutes if you are not using an industrial strength blender). Pour through a nut milk bag, squeezing it carefully to remove as much liquid as possible. If using dates, return the milk to the blender, add the dates, and blend for 1 minute. 

 

Oat Milk

Oats are a great source of fiber, manganese, phosphorus, copper, biotin, and vitamin B1.

1 cup old fashioned rolled oats = 307 calories, 10g protein, 5g fat, 54 carbohydrates, 8g fiber, 42mg calcium, 3mg iron

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup old fashioned rolled oats
  • 5 cups water
  • 3 dates (optional)
Combine the oats and water in a bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator for 8 hours. Pour the oats and water into the blender (do not drain and rinse) along with the dates (if using). Blend for 2 minutes. All done! No need to strain through a nut milk bag.
 
 
Coconut Milk
 
Coconut is a great source of healthy fat, fiber, copper, manganese, magnesium, and zinc.
 
2 cups unsweetened coconut = 566 calories, 5g protein, 53g fat, 24 carbohydrates, 14g fiber, 22mg calcium, 3mg iron
 
Ingredients:
  • 2 cups unsweetened coconut
  • 4 cups water
Heat the water to near boiling. I like to do this in a tea kettle. Combine the heated water and coconut in a bowl. Let it sit for 30 minutes. Transfer the coconut and water to the blender (do not drain and rinse), and blend for 2 minutes. Strain through a nut milk bag. Even if you do not strain your other milks, I strongly recommend straining coconut milk for tube feeding as the particles can clog a tube more easily.
 
 
Sesame Milk

Sesame seeds are an incredible source of calcium and iron. They are also a great source of copper, manganese, phosphorus, magnesium, zinc, vitamin B1, and selenium.

1 cup sesame seeds = 825 calories, 25g protein, 71g fat, 33 carbohydrates, 17g fiber, 1404mg calcium, 21mg iron 

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup raw sesame seeds
  • 8 cups water
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 dates (optional)

Soak the sesame seeds and salt in 4 cups of water for 8 hours. Drain and rinse. Place the seeds and 4 cups of water (NOT the water you used for soaking) into the blender and blend on high for 2 minutes (3-4 minutes if you are not using an industrial strength blender). Pour through a nut milk bag, squeezing it carefully to remove as much liquid as possible. If using dates, return the milk to the blender, add the dates, and blend for 1 minute. 


Flax Milk

Flax seeds are a great source of omega-3, vitamin B1, copper, and manganese. They are also full of antioxidants.

1/4 cup flax seeds = 220 calories, 7g protein, 17g fat, 12 carbohydrates, 11g fiber, 105mg calcium, 2mg iron

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup raw whole flax seeds (golden flax seed will yield a more mild taste)
  • 3 cups water
  • 2 dates (optional)
Place the flax seeds into a dry blender container. Blend, grinding the seeds into a powder for 30 seconds. Add the water and blend for 2 minutes. Pour through a nut milk bag. If using dates, return the milk to the blender, add the dates, and blend for 1 minute.
 
 
Cashew Milk

Cashews are an incredible source of copper. They are also a great source of healthy fats, iron, phosphorus, manganese, magnesium, and zinc. 

1 cup cashews = 831 calories, 27g protein, 65g fat, 45 carbohydrates, 5g fiber, 56mg calcium, 10mg iron

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup raw cashews
  • 7 cups water
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 dates (optional)

Soak the cashews and salt in 4 cups of water for 2 hours. Drain and rinse. Place the cashews and 3 cups of water (NOT the water you used for soaking) into the blender and blend on high for 2 minutes (3-4 minutes if you are not using an industrial strength blender). Pour through a nut milk bag, squeezing it carefully to remove as much liquid as possible. If using dates, return the milk to the blender, add the dates, and blend for 1 minute. 

 

Macadamia Milk

Macadamia nuts are an incredible source of healthy fats, fiber, and thiamin. They are also a great source of magnesium, manganese, zinc, and vitamin B-6

1 cup macadamia nuts = 962 calories, 10g protein, 101g fat, 18 carbohydrates, 11g fiber, 114mg calcium, 5mg iron

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup raw macadamia nuts
  • 7 cups water
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 dates (optional)

Soak the macadamia nuts and salt in 4 cups of water for 2 hours. Drain and rinse. Place the macadamia nuts and 3 cups of water (NOT the water you used for soaking) into the blender and blend on high for 2 minutes (3-4 minutes if you are not using an industrial strength blender). Pour through a nut milk bag, squeezing it carefully to remove as much liquid as possible. If using dates, return the milk to the blender, add the dates, and blend for 1 minute. 

 

Hazelnut Milk

Hazelnuts are an incredible source of vitamin E and fiber. They are also a great source of folate, manganese, potassium, copper, iron, magnesium, zinc, and selenium.

1 cup hazelnuts = 971 calories, 22g protein, 93g fat, 26 carbohydrates, 14g fiber, 185mg calcium, 6mg iron

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup raw hazelnuts
  • 7 cups water
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 dates (optional)

Soak the hazelnuts and salt in 4 cups of water for 8 hours. Drain and rinse. Place the hazelnuts and 3 cups of water (NOT the water you used for soaking) into the blender and blend on high for 2 minutes (3-4 minutes if you are not using an industrial strength blender). Pour through a nut milk bag, squeezing it carefully to remove as much liquid as possible. If using dates, return the milk to the blender, add the dates, and blend for 1 minute. 

 

Pecan Milk

Pecans are a great source of healthy fats, fiber, vitamin E, manganese, potassium, magnesium, zinc, selenium, riboflavin, niacin, thiamin, pantothenic acid, vitamin B-6 and folate.

1 cup pecans = 684 calories, 10g protein, 78g fat, 15 carbohydrates, 10g fiber, 76mg calcium, 2mg iron

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup raw pecans
  • 6 cups water
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 dates (optional)

Soak the pecans and salt in 4 cups of water for 2 hours. Drain and rinse. Place the pecans and 2 cups of water (NOT the water you used for soaking) into the blender and blend on high for 2 minutes (3-4 minutes if you are not using an industrial strength blender). Pour through a nut milk bag, squeezing it carefully to remove as much liquid as possible. If using dates, return the milk to the blender, add the dates, and blend for 1 minute. 

 

Walnut Milk

Walnuts are a great source of omega-3, vitamin E, copper, manganese, and biotin.

1 cup walnuts = 765 calories, 17g protein, 76g fat, 16 carbohydrates, 7g fiber, 115mg calcium, 3mg iron

 Ingredients:

  • 1 cup raw walnuts
  • 7 cups water
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 dates (optional)

Soak the walnuts and salt in 4 cups of water for 6 hours. Drain and rinse. Place the walnuts and 3 cups of water (NOT the water you used for soaking) into the blender and blend on high for 2 minutes (3-4 minutes if you are not using an industrial strength blender). Pour through a nut milk bag, squeezing it carefully to remove as much liquid as possible. If using dates, return the milk to the blender, add the dates, and blend for 1 minute. 

 

Pistachio Milk

Pistachio nuts are a great source of healthy fats, fiber, thiamin, vitamin B-6, phosphorus, copper, and manganese. 

1 cup pistachio nuts = 689 calories, 24g protein, 55g fat, 33 carbohydrates, 13g fiber, 129mg calcium, 4mg iron

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup raw shelled pistachios
  • 8 cups water
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 dates (optional)

Soak the pistachios and salt in 4 cups of water for 6 hours. Drain and rinse. Place the pistachios and 4 cups of water (NOT the water you used for soaking) into the blender and blend on high for 2 minutes (3-4 minutes if you are not using an industrial strength blender). Pour through a nut milk bag, squeezing it carefully to remove as much liquid as possible. If using dates, return the milk to the blender, add the dates, and blend for 1 minute. 

 

Brazil Nut Milk

Brazil nuts are an incredible source of selenium. They are also a great source of vitamin E, thiamin, magnesium, phosphorus, copper, and manganese. 

1 cup Brazil nuts = 876 calories, 19g protein, 89g fat, 15 carbohydrates, 10g fiber, 213mg calcium, 3mg iron. 

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup raw almonds
  • 7 cups water
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 dates (optional)

Soak the Brazil nuts and salt in 4 cups of water for 3 hours. Drain and rinse. Place the Brazil nuts and 3 cups of water (NOT the water you used for soaking) into the blender and blend on high for 2 minutes (3-4 minutes if you are not using an industrial strength blender). Pour through a nut milk bag, squeezing it carefully to remove as much liquid as possible. If using dates, return the milk to the blender, add the dates, and blend for 1 minute. 

 

Pine Nut Milk

Pine nuts are an incredible source of manganese. They are also a great source of healthy fats, vitamin E, vitamin K, magnesium, phosphorus, copper, and zinc.

1 cup pine nuts = 909 calories, 18g protein, 92g fat, 17 carbohydrates, 5g fiber, 22mg calcium, 7mg iron.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup raw pine nuts
  • 7 cups water
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 dates (optional)

Soak the pine nuts and salt in 4 cups of water for 6 hours. Drain and rinse. Place the pine nuts and 3 cups of water (NOT the water you used for soaking) into the blender and blend on high for 2 minutes (3-4 minutes if you are not using an industrial strength blender). Pour through a nut milk bag, squeezing it carefully to remove as much liquid as possible. If using dates, return the milk to the blender, add the dates, and blend for 1 minute.  

 

Peanut milk

Peanuts are a great source of healthy fats, vitamin E, niacin, folate, and manganese.

1 cup peanuts = 828 calories, 37g protein, 71g fat, 23 carbohydrates, 12g fiber, 134mg calcium, 6mg iron

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup raw peanuts
  • 8 cups water
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 dates (optional)

Soak the peanuts and salt in 4 cups of water for 8 hours. Drain and rinse. Place the peanuts and 4 cups of water (NOT the water you used for soaking) into the blender and blend on high for 2 minutes (3-4 minutes if you are not using an industrial strength blender). Pour through a nut milk bag, squeezing it carefully to remove as much liquid as possible. If using dates, return the milk to the blender, add the dates, and blend for 1 minute. 

Advertisements