A pro sets me right on sunflower milk

(Earlier ruminations on making nut milks here.)

I had dinner with my friends Wayne and Mark last night. They’ve been vegetarian longer than I’ve known them, and I was amused to notice mason jars of nut milk in their fridge. When Wayne said over his cooking, “I hope you don’t mind that I use homemade sunflower milk,” I nearly squealed, since I had set sunflower seeds out to soak before heading to their house.

I noticed Wayne’s milk wasn’t separated. I always have to shake mine before using because it separates fast. Here are Wayne’s secrets for easy, non-separating nut milks:

  • Two cups of soaked sunflower seeds will yield 3 mason jars of milk.
  • Add a pinch of salt (no more than half a teaspoon) and a touch of sweetener or fruit.
  • Blend soaked sunflower seeds using an immersion blender. You don’t need to use the full amount of water during this process, as the final liquid yield can be diluted as much (or little) as you like.
  • Wayne double strains using two size of metal strainer. I use a grain bag for steeping brewing grains.
  • Once the liquid is strained, and with the immersion blender on, add a small amount of xanthan gum. It acts as an emulsifier and keeps the milk from separating. Xanthan gum can be purchased at health food stores or online.

We both marveled at how much cheaper it is to make our own milks rather than buy them. Two dollars worth of sunflower seeds makes two or three weeks worth of milk, and the pulp left over at the end is tasty and edible and can be used in baking, soups, or even flavored and eaten as is. The whole thing idea of home made non-dairy milk is good stuff.

 

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