How to make Sunflower Milk


This recipe for Sunflower Milk is the first installment in my homemade Sunflower Yogurt recipe, which will be up next. Gotta make the milk first, to get to the yogurt! These recipes were developed in response to a reader request for a homemade dairy-free, soy-free, nut-free yogurt recipe.

I first tried making rice milk yogurt with store-bought rice milk. No go. I tried store-bought rice milk with hemp seeds added (yogurt seems to need protein and carbohydrates to grow). That worked a tiny bit, but tasted gross. Then I tried rice milk with a little rice protein powder added. It tasted like, well, like protein powder, and it didn’t really thicken. I tried using coconut milk. Again it didn’t work. I tried using hemp milk. Nope. And then, I finally realized that most of the vegan yogurt recipes out there rely on homemade cashew milk. Great… except, I can’t use nuts. This is an allergy-friendly recipe.

So this left me back at the drawing board. Until I realized, I could make my own seed milk. Sunflower seeds, and pumpkin seeds are both mild, and protein rich. One of the two just might work. So, I set about making homemade seed milk. Read on below to learn how to make your own Sunflower Seed Milk and come back next week to get the recipe for yogurt!

Sunflower Seed Milk

(vegan, nut-free, gluten-free)


  • 1 cup raw sunflower seeds (or pumpkin seeds)
  • water

1. Place seeds in a bowl.

2. Cover with water to soak, being sure to completely submerge them, with at least an inch of water to cover. Soak at room temperature 8 hours.

3. Drain seeds. Discard soaking water. Add seeds to blender.

4. Fill with water to 4 cup mark. Blend to liquefy. It will take a few rounds.

5. Place a strainer or sieve over a bowl and pour seed milk through gradually, using a wooden spoon or spatula to coax out all the liquid. Press down on the seed pulp, pressing every last drop through the strainer. Discard pulp.

6. Keep seed milk tightly covered in the fridge until ready to use. Sweeten with a little sweetener of choice if you wish. Come back next week to see if it makes yogurt!

Sunflower Seed Milk
 2010 by Cybele Pascal

(Please note that all my recipes are completely free of all top allergens (wheat, dairy, soy, eggs, peanuts, tree nuts, sesame, fish, shellfish, and gluten), so as many people as possible can enjoy them. Additionally, all the ingredients are available at Whole Foods, and online at If you have trouble finding something, let me know and I’ll help you find it.)

SAFETY NOTE: Because each person’s food sensitivity and reaction is unique, ranging from mild intolerance to life-threatening and severe food allergies, it is up to the consumer to monitor ingredients and manufacturing conditions. If manufacturing conditions, potential cross contact between foods, and ingredient derivatives pose a risk for you, please re-read all food labels and call the manufacturer to confirm potential allergen concerns before consumption. Ingredients and manufacturing practices can change overnight and without warning.

For more vegan milk recipes you might like, try:

how to make cashew milk at The Spunky Coconut

how to make rice milk at Vegan Reader

homemade coconut milk at The Nourishing Gourmet

20 Responses

  1. Celia says:

    I’m looking forward to your yogurt recipe! I can’t use soy or dairy yogurt here, and I don’t like rice yogurt at all. Just made pumpkin seed milk today, but I’ll have to try sunflower milk next!

  2. Kim Lutz says:

    This is such a great idea. I also tried making my own rice milk yogurt, and it was a disaster!! I’m very excited to try your method, plus having a new “milk” beverage option would be great. Thanks for figuring out the science behind all of this!

  3. Laurel says:

    That stuff is yummy. It makes great yogurt too. But don’t discard the solids, add them to muffins, or meat loaf or lasagne, honest.

  4. Cybele says:

    Hi Celia:

    I like both pumpkin milk and sunflower milk, but i find the sunflower a bit milder, and creamier. Hope you enjoy!


  5. Cybele says:

    Kim, what did you use in your rice milk yogurt disaster? We can start compiling a “don’t” list between my screw ups and your story.

  6. Adding a tiny bit of xanthan gum to your finished product and blending in the blender will thicken it, making a yogurt like consistency. In fact I made sour cream the other day by taking some coconut milk kefir(so delicious brand) and adding a pinch of xanthan gum and a pinch of salt, very yummy!

  7. Tiffany says:

    What a great idea to make sunflower milk!

  8. Cybele says:

    Great idea, Jennifer. Also come back next week for the sunflower yogurt recipe, with actual good yogurt bacteria! but maybe I should add xanthan to the yogurt to help thicken more. thanks for sharing!

  9. SarahB says:

    Very clever Cybele! I am in the midst of my own coconut yogurt drama, and am determined to get it working somehow. (Can’t do seeds here.) I know others have had success with coconut and my last round wasn’t a complete failure, so one of these times it’s bound to work! 🙂

  10. Jessica says:

    I just made this tonight! Very yummy! I added a pinch of salt and some agave. My 3 yr old was so excited that she begged me for a glass! She drank it all up! SUCCESS!

    My husband and I were wondering about the solids..hate tojust grow good stuff away. Tx for the idea Laurel!

    Has anyone tried making hemp milk?

  11. […] than any other recipe so far. It’s been kind of thrilling working through the obstacles (see last weeks post ), and I’m so happy to have learned a new skill. I’m a perpetual student (I spent 22 years in […]

  12. Cybele says:

    Sarah B,

    please let us know when you’ve done it, and share! Would love to try a homemade coconut milk yogurt.


  13. Cybele says:

    Jessica, so happy your daughter liked the sunflower milk. Yes, I too like Laurel’s tip. Thanks Laurel!

  14. […] 1 cup rice milk (or hemp milk, or try my Sunflower Seed Milk) […]

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  17. Mary says:

    I tried making sunflower milk with the whole unhulled seeds yesterday and I like it even better than with the hulled seed! You need to use more seeds per water, of course, and you can’t use the pulp. Try it and see what you think!

  18. tina says:

    What brand of sunflower seeds do you use? I need to avoid cross contamination with all nuts (among other things).

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