Sunflower milk recipe

I’ve been searching for a good sustainable homemade nut-free vegan milk. I do not like how regularly we purchase vegan milks in dubiously ‘recyclable’ tetra packs, how resource-intensive commercial nut production is, or how far almonds and cashews travel to get to the UK market. Using nuts as part of our diet will not change right now, but increasing the volume of nuts we purchase so that we can make them into nut milk is not environmentally or financially sustainable either. I also want a homemade nut-free vegan milk so I can send it to school with Sunshine.

I tried oat milk recently and it was not appreciated by my family! I used standard porridge oats and it ended up with a strange consistency. I read that steel cut oats are likely to yield the nicest milk, which ruled it out for us in terms of affordability and availability of gluten-free steel cut oats.

I finally tried sunflower milk again. Just like cashew milk has a strong cashew flavour, the sunflower milk flavour is quite strong when drinking it on its own. For me, this is in the best possible way. When I first tasted it (having not liked it when I made it 5+ years ago), I wanted to gulp it down.

I’ve tested it cold, and in tea. In tea, it separates but doesn’t clump so doesn’t feel or taste any different. My son has also now consumed it on various days and approves so we definitely have a winner. My plan is to make several large batches, freeze the extra, and use the pulp to make a fermented ‘cheese’ product.

The recipe:

  • 1C (pre-soak volume) hulled, raw sunflower seeds, soaked in water all night or through the day
  • 3 Cups water
  • Pinch of salt, to taste
  • 1 Tb coconut sugar, to taste.
  • Discard the soak water then place all ingredients (including a full 3 cups of water) into a power blender and blend. Strain and serve!

A lot of recipes call for both vanilla essence and a sweetener. I wasn’t going to sweeten it, but then decided to add the coconut sugar. I find that it adds a lightly caramelised sweetness that rounds out the flavour without being overpowering.

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