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Two Seed Milks – swell

Two Seed Milks

Straining Pepita Milk
Black Sesame Seeds
Chocolate Chai Sesame Milk
Vanilla Pepita Milk

So apparently it’s been awhile, yet again.  My new two-jobs thing hasn’t left me a lot of free time, it seems, and while I had every intention of blogging about the magical fiddlehead fern a couple weeks ago, turns out I cooked some that had gone bad and I got my first bout of food poisoning.  So I don’t think I’ll ever bring myself to try them again after that experience.  But I’m recovered now, and I’m here to talk about seed milks!

I don’t always make my own non-dairy milks, usually because I don’t eat a lot of cereal or do a lot of cooking or baking that requires it, but sometimes I really want to drink a cold glass of something creamy.  Which is weird, because I never really liked drinking cow’s milk straight up.  But add a little vanilla, or the right mix of spices, and I’m happy to oblige!

Most of the time you hear about nut milks, which I’m also a really big fan of (especially almond or brazil nut milk).  Given their relatively steeper price, however, I started experimenting with recipes using less expensive ingredients as well as bases that might offer a different nutritional profile.  The two I’m sharing today contain pepitas (or pumpkin seeds) and sesame seeds, which, in addition to having some protein, boast other awesome health properties.  Sesame seeds are a great source of copper, magnesium, and calcium, the latter being of special importance to a vegan diet (though you’ll also find loads of calcium in leafy greens!), while pepitas are  a good source of magnesium, manganese, iron and zinc, among other things, and both are thought to lower cholesterol in humans.  Hooray!

When making any nut or seed milk, you want to use raw or untoasted sources for the best results.  I’m sure toasted will still yield something edible and possibly delicious, but toasted sesame milk doesn’t really float my boat :)   I’ve had plenty of luck with unsoaked sesame seeds, and pumpkin seeds only need to be soaked for 30 minutes (or longer if you like) to yield a creamy result, which is great news for those of you short on time.

These are both “sweet” milks, though you can adjust sweetness to your liking (I’m a less-sweet kind of gal) and are good for drinking plain, as smoothie or shake bases, or in the case of the Vanilla Pepita Milk, a good stand in for baked goods or desserts requiring a vanilla-flavored milk.  If you don’t want a sweet milk, just omit the extra spices and sweeteners, and try adding a pinch of salt, though it might not be as “drinkable” as the sweet version.  The water content variation accounts for the creaminess of your resulting milk – if you want something really creamy and thick, use less water.  As with all homemade milks, some separation will occur as they sit since they don’t contain stabilizers as many store-bought milks do, but this is easily rectified with a good shake or stir.  Drink up!

Vanilla Pepita Milk

This is my personal favorite, since I began looking for ways to add some extra zinc to my diet.  Delicious straight up, or added to a smoothie or dessert-type shake – yum!

1 cup pepitas (raw pumpkin seeds)
5-6 cups water
1 vanilla bean (split and scraped if not using a high-speed blender), or 2 tsp vanilla extract
4-5 pitted dates, or liquid sweetener of choice to taste

Soak the pepitas for at least 30 minutes, then drain, discarding soak water.  Add all ingredients to a blender jar and blend on high for about 2 minutes, or until smooth.  Strain with a nut milk bag or cheese cloth if desired, and store in the fridge.

You can keep the pepita milk pulp and dehydrate it to make “flour” or add other spices and mix-ins to make raw cookies.  I’ll post a recipe for the latter in the future.

Chocolate Chai Sesame Milk

This combination came about when I only had black sesame seeds at home and I didn’t want gray-colored milk.  If you have regular white sesame seeds, you can make a simpler milk like the Vanilla Pepita, or this one here.  It’s a real energy booster, so stick with carob if you want to avoid the caffeine, and use less sweetener for regular cocoa powder, which is sweeter than raw cacao.

1 cup sesame seeds
4-5 cups water
2-3 tablespoons raw cacao powder (or cocoa)
6 pitted dates, or to taste
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 teaspoon cardamom
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon ginger
a pinch of cloves

Blend all ingredients in a blender until smooth.  Strain if you want a smoother consistency, although this milk tends to be somewhat smoother than the pepita milk.  Serve chilled, or blend with ice for an extra-cool treat (a la Lisa’s creation!).

11 Responses to “Two Seed Milks”

  1. veganlisa says:

    A swell vegan post. I’m so excited!
    I will be trying the Chocolate Chai Sesame Milk. It sounds amazing. Thank you another amazing recipe.

    I’m happy to hear you’ve recovered. I had a bad reaction from a fiddlehead-mishap last summer while testing for Ripe From Around Here. I won’t for be foraging for them anytime soon. I enjoy enough other greens :)

  2. Kait says:

    Sounds so delicious, especially right now, with this crazy hot weather. I think I might have a spare cup of pepitas!

  3. Mihl says:

    I am very sorry to hear about your food poisoning. Wishing it fas the first and only experience of this kind.

    I never liked cows milk and I think nut ans seed milks are so much better! And there’s so much variety. I’ve tried sesame milk once and really liked it and I am a huge fan of pepitas, too.

  4. Jes says:

    Pepita milk?! What a great idea! I’ve never made my own milks before, but those just sound too cool.

    And ugh with the food poisoning–glad you’re better, though awful that it came from something so lovely as a fiddlehead. I hope you can figure out how to get time for yourself carved out while working 2 jobs–it’s so hard sometimes!

  5. kala says:

    I’ve never made my own nut milk before, I might have to change that…

  6. jessy says:

    sadface on the food poisoning, A-K. food poisoning = no fun. i had it once (back in my omni days) and ooooooooh, boy – it knocked me down and out for about 4-5 days. it was awful. i’m glad you’re better and i’m glad you posted about seed milks, too! while chia seeds and i don’t get along, i think i can sub in something else ’cause i love the idea of using sesame seeds, and pepita milk = brilliant! we’ve even got a nut milk bag and some vanilla beans at home and i always have raw nuts & seeds tucked away in the freezer….. now all i’ve gotta do is get off my lazy bum and make this. ah ha ha!

  7. alcatraz says:

    i ate fiddlehead ferns one time and felt like i was going to barf for the rest of the day! there actually is something toxic about them…

  8. Mandee says:

    Both of these milks sound delicious. I definitely would like to try making some seed-milks, I wonder if chia would work too?

    • A-K says:

      My instinct would be that chia would gel up quite a bit; or rather, that you’d possibly have to increase your water to chia seed ratio. It might be quite tasty though…lemme know if you try it out!

  9. Kelly says:

    These look delish! Thanks for posting these. I have been wanting to try out making my own dairy free milks at home.

  10. PhotogLady says:

    I’m excited to be finally posting online after all these years. There really is no mystique (sp) about it, is there? I just dropped by your blog and had to write. I’m a recent college grad, journalism major if you must know, and I absolutely love the art of photography. I’ve got my website up but it’s nothing to boast about yet. None of my stuff’s been posted. Soon as I figure out how to do that, I’ll spend the afternoon posting my best shots. anyways just thought I’d drop a line. I hope to return with more substantial stuff, stuff you can actually use. SPG

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