I was a bit of a milk-aholic during my childhood. When I was growing up, the first thing I’d do when I got home from school was — you guessed it — head straight to the fridge for a huge glass of milk. I’m talking an “everything’s bigger in Texas” sized glass. Gulp! Long gone are the days when I could throw back a tall glass of cold milk on a warm day. When I realized that I was lactose intolerant in my early adulthood, it seemed as though I was destined to walk through the rest of my life in a dark and milk-less daze.

Luckily, I was introduced to homemade nut milk and a ray of sunshine broke through the cloudy, lackluster days of living lactose-free. My life was forever changed.

It was so light, creamy, and smooth — the flavor was fresh and tasted radically different from store bought milk alternatives. From that moment on, I began my foray into nut and seed milk experiments. To my surprise, making homemade nut milk was an easy and straightforward process with very few steps.

More recently, I’ve been making seed milks to appease my own curiosity and the appetites of friends with nut and dairy allergies. One of my favorites is this recipe for vanilla sunflower seed milk. I like to call it Vanilla Sunshine Milk because of the light, sunny flavor of vanilla and sunflower seeds. It is is first and foremost delicious, with the added benefit of being a nutritious raw vegan drink!

Vanilla Sunshine Milk

What you’ll need:

High speed blender (Vitamix is my go-to)

Nut milk bag or cheesecloth

1 C Sunflower Seeds, soaked for 8 hours or overnight

5 Dates, pitted

1 tsp. vanilla extract

4 C filtered water


Place the sunflower seeds in a bowl large enough to cover with a couple inches of water. Allow them to soak for 8 hours or overnight for fresh morning milk. Drain and rinse the sunflower seeds, discard the soaking water, then combine all of the ingredient in the blender. Here’s where the magic happens! Blend on high until the consistency is very smooth, then strain through a nut milk bag into a medium bowl.

Make sure to ‘milk’ the bag/cheesecloth to squeeze out as much liquid as you can. Depending on how you like your milk, adjust the amount of water to reach your preferred consistency.

Serve fresh or transfer to an airtight container to chill. This milk will stay fresh for 2-3 days in the refrigerator but if you’re like me, it’ll be gone before the sun goes down!

Servings: Four 8 oz. glasses

Congratulations, you just milked a sunflower seed!

Are you the type that likes to dress to impress? Then you may be ready to take this sunflower seed milk to the next level. Blend the following ingredients to your batch of Vanilla Sunshine Milk that has been strained for a walk on the dark side. This chocolate milk with a hint of cardamom is sure to satisfy your cocoa cravings.

Chocolate Sunshine Milk:

2 Tbs. cacao powder

1/4 tsp. cardamom

1/4 tsp. cinnamon

1/4 tsp. vanilla extract

16 drops of liquid stevia

Servings: Four 8 oz. glasses

Have you ever made homemade seed milk? What are your go-to flavors when you make a batch? Share with us below and be sure to tell the nut free, dairy free, and free spirited folks in your life!