I may receive a commission if you purchase through links in this post. I am not a doctor; please consult your practitioner before changing your supplement or healthcare regimen.
Fermented Nut or Seed Milks are great for many diets: Keto and Low Carb, Vegan, Paleo, Gluten-free, GAPS and Whole30.
You can even make these probiotic milks extra high in protein.
To start, choose the nut or seed you love best, and let’s make dairy-free milk!
This article also lists 10 benefits of making Fermented Nut or Seed Milk. Don’t miss the health benefits listed below!
Jump to Recipe
Ingredients in Nut & Seed Milks
You may choose almost any seed or any nut to make this non-dairy probiotic milk. (The only seed I don’t recommend is chia.)
The remaining ingredients are: water, probiotic yogurt OR whey (dairy-free is fine), a small amount of sweetener and sea salt.
In the next section, I talk about why a sweetener is used and needed.
How to make nut and seed milk ferment
The microorganisms used in making homemade yogurts thrive best when consuming the lactose in dairy milk as food energy. But they can consume and utilize other types of sugar as well.
The kind of sugar found in nuts and seeds is sucrose. While lactic acid bacteria can use sucrose as food energy, the yeasts present in a ferment tend to take over a ferment that has this easily available simple sugar.
Because we want the lactic acid bacteria to have an advantage over yeasts (which will throw off the ferment if in too great a ratio), we need to provide a sweetener for the bacteria to consume.
How to make nut and seed milk ferment the way we want it to? The answer is: Add sweetener.
Which sweetener to use
You can actually choose what sweetener you’d like to use: maple syrup, honey or cane sugar. Not a lot is needed, and you won’t end up consuming much of it yourself, because the bacteria will have already used it up.
For this recipe, I use maple syrup.
For Keto, don’t let the sweetener dissuade you. See the Notes section below the recipe for more information on making this low carb. The process is mostly the same.
The longer you ferment, the less sweet your milk will be. You can always add extra sweetener after fermenting if you want your milk sweeter.
How to make high-protein nut or seed milk
Perfect Supplements makes a pumpkin seed based protein powder (you can find it here), and sometimes I add this powder to my nut or seed milk recipes to increase the milk’s protein.
Because the powder is all seeds and nuts/legumes, it’s better to ferment it than not, to get all its nutrition.
My boys and husband use this high protein probiotic milk in their smoothies.
You can also make fermented seed milk from just the powder, no whole seeds or nuts. This is great if you don’t have a high-powered blender, or you don’t want to soak nuts or seeds overnight + the higher protein content.
See this option in the Notes section below the recipe.
Protein powder Fermented Pumpkin Seed Milk for extra protein in your probiotic milk.
What does Fermented Nut or Seed Milk taste like
This drink is a lot like kefir or drinkable yogurt, but it’s a little thinner, like milk. So the texture of milk, but the flavor of yogurt.
It’s naturally a little sweet. Some nuts or seeds produce a sweeter milk than others.
How to make Fermented Nut or Seed Milk
You will LOVE how easy it is to ferment nut and seed milks:
- First, you’ll make the milk itself. Basically, just blend soaked nuts or seeds with water. See the recipe below for exact directions.
- Then, blend in the remaining ingredients: yogurt or whey, sweetener and sea salt.
- Finally, pour the inoculated milk into any fermenting vessel, such as a jar or multiple smaller jars with lids, and place in a warm steady location. I like to use a seed mat (like this). Ferment overnight or up to 24 hours.
- Screw lid on tightly before shaking. Shake and serve, or refrigerate until you’re ready to enjoy.
Why to ferment nut and seed milks
A few reasons exist for fermenting your homemade nut and seeds milks, and making homemade:
- Both nuts and seeds contain anti-nutrients that limit the amount of nutrition we can get from our food: phytic acid and enzyme inhibitors. These anti-nutrients inhibit mineral absorption and are rough on our digestive processes. Fermenting neutralizes these anti-nutrients.
- Fermenting even improves the safety of conventionally grown nuts and seeds. If you can’t afford organic, and don’t dare eat the glyphosate so common on almonds, hazelnuts, macadamia nuts and other nuts and seeds, fermenting neutralizes these poisons. Beneficial microorganisms degrade glyphosate. Amazing, right?! A GREAT reason to ferment your milk.
- Fermented milks add probiotics and beneficial enzymes to the diet, enhance the digestive process and support the immune system. Fermented Nut & Seed Milks are even good for colon health where they improve that ecosystem and provide beneficial fiber.
- Store-bought nut and seeds milks have synthetic vitamins added, like A and D2, both toxic.
- Thickeners used in store bought nut and seed milks have been shown to cause inflammation.
- Tetrapaks, while deemed safe by most people, actually degrade and leach into the milk. The lining of this packaging is made up of 24% polyethylene plastic and 6% aluminum. (!!) Avoid tetrapaks. Of course, most nut and seed milks in the refrigerated section of the market are packaged in single use plastic, also to be avoided for health and environmental reasons.
- Making homemade milks saves money.
- Fermented Nut or Seed Milk lasts longer in the fridge than other milks, at least 7 days, and probably longer. Most homemade nut and seed milks last 3 days in the fridge, and store bought nut milks last 5 days.
- Fermenting reduces phytoestrogens in foods, so it’s ideal for certain seeds like flax, sesame and sunflower.
- Many nuts and seeds are contaminated with various kinds of mold. Fermenting kills mold, making nuts and seeds safer to consume.
Best uses for Fermented Nut or Seed Milks
- baking purposes (in pancakes, waffles, muffins) — By using a fermented milk, you have the opportunity to ferment any batter, which makes it an unofficial sourdough, gentler and more nutritious. Here are several recipes where I’ve done this, to give you examples, and places to use these milks:
- drink it plain
- over granola, oats, hot cereal or cold cereal
Do you need to use raw nuts or seeds to make fermented milk
It is ideal to use raw nuts or seeds. Once nuts or seeds are roasted, the sugar in them turns to starch, making it unavailable to the yeast and lactic acid bacteria.
Because we’re adding maple syrup to our recipe, you can actually get away with using roasted nuts or seeds.
But, it’s better to use raw.
Fermented Nut OR Seed Milk (any nut or seed | Paleo | Vegan)
- warm location, such as seed mat or yogurt maker
- 4 cups water for blending (Or 3½ cups water for a slightly thicker, creamier milk.)
- 2 to 3 cups water for soaking
- 1 cup nuts or seeds: blanched* almonds, hazelnuts, Brazil nuts, pecans, macadamia, walnuts OR seeds (pumpkin, sunflower, hemp; if you use flax, use only ½ cup seeds; if you use sesame, use the full 1 cup, but decrease the water to 3 cups), ideally raw and unsalted (By weight, this is about 150 grams, but varies with the nut or seed.)
- ¼ cup whey or yogurt (I use my homemade Oat Yogurt.)
- 2 Tablespoons maple syrup or preferred sweetener (This sweetener is necessary for the recipe to work. The lactic acid needs food to consume. See Notes below for Keto.)
- 2 teaspoons + ½ teaspoon sea salt divided
- Soak the nuts in 2 to 3 cups water + 2 teaspoons sea salt overnight.
- Drain and discard water. Rinse nuts or seeds well.
- Blend nuts or seeds with 4 cups water until mostly smooth, about 50 seconds on medium-high speed.
- Add whey or yogurt, sweetener and sea salt, and blend again briefly to incorporate.
- Strain the blended nut mixture, unless you use cashews or hemp seeds, using a nut milk bag or muslin/cheesecloth. (A tight-weave cloth is necessary, so you can twist it and squeeze out more milk.)
- Transfer to fermenting container of choice. Screw on lid. Place in warm location, such a heated seed mat or yogurt maker, for 20 to 24 hours.
- Shake and serve. Or refrigerate until ready to enjoy. Lasts in the fridge for 7 days.
- Note: If you're thrifty and like to use your leftover nut pulp, great. It can be fermented at the same time you ferment your milk, because it also contains the beneficial microorganisms. Then you may use it in various ways.
If you're making Almond Milk, and the almonds have skins on them ...*If your almonds still have skins on them, add them to boiling water for 1 minute; then pinch off the skins with your fingers.
Keto and Low Carb Fermented Nut or Seed MilkThe actual net carbs of various fermented nut or seed milks will vary depending on the nut or seed used, and how long you ferment the milk. For the lowest carb options, choose from the lowest carb nuts or seeds: pecans, macadamias, Brazil, almonds, walnuts and sunflower seeds. Use whichever sweetener you prefer (not low carb), and then ferment for the full 24 hours so all of the sugar is consumed. If you want your finished milk sweet, add your low carb liquid sweetener of choice after you're done fermenting, to taste. You'll likely end up with a milk that has about 2 grams net carbs per 8 ounce serving.
How to make Protein Powder Fermented Pumpkin Seed MilkFind Perfect Supplements Perfect Plant Protein powder HERE. Enter code BEAUTIFUL10 at check out for 10% off your entire order. Ingredients
- 3-½ cups filtered water
- 2 level scoops Perfect Plant Protein
- ¼ cup probiotic yogurt of choice (fine to use dairy-free) or whey
- 2 Tablespoons maple syrup
- ½ teaspoon sea salt
- Purée all ingredients in blender (doesn't need to be a high-powered blender) on medium speed for 15 seconds.
- Transfer to fermenting container of choice. Screw on lid.
- Place in warm location, such a heated seed mat or yogurt maker, for 20 to 24 hours.
- Shake and serve. Or refrigerate until ready to enjoy.
You can Pin Fermented Nut or Seed Milk here:
Does homemade nut or seed milk need thickening or emulsifiers
The protein found in nut and seed milk will not thicken like animal milk does, as it ferments.
Animal milk thickens when the acidity in the milk increases and affects the protein, causing the protein to solidify.
If we want to thicken your nut or seed milks, or have them completely smooth, it’s necessary to add a thickener. I’ve found that most nut and seed milks don’t really need this.
If store-bought nut milks were sold in clear glass jars, we’d see the separation that takes place even when an emulsifier is added.
Similarly, homemade Nut & Seed Milks will settle. You will see a layer of cloudy water and above it the creamy nut purée. This is normal.
Just shake your storage jar before serving, and skip any step that might include thickeners.
Similar recipes I think you’ll enjoy:
- Macadamia Nut Milk
- Vegan Bean Milk (any bean!)
- Tiger Nut Milk Yogurt
- Oat Milk Yogurt
- Cashew Yogurt
- Avocado Milk
- Keto Paleo Sourdough Bread (with nuts or seeds)
Thank you for one of the most informative pieces on fermented nut-seed milk that I’ve seen. It helps me focus and continue my efforts toward a clean diet when I can understand some food science behind preparation methods. We all need options and information about how to enhance the nutrition of foods that are hard to avoid. Thanks for giving us some of those!
Thanks so much for the encouragement, Molly. I agree; I love knowing the whys and hows of nutrition, foods and cooking. I’m so happy this article is helpful! ❤ 🙂
Almonds should definitely be organic and unpasteurized too which means finding them on a raw food web site or Italian or Spanish almonds. Anywhere else in the US, they will be pasteurized, which means they won’t sprout.
Right, Suzanne. We don’t need them to sprout in this recipe, but it is better to use raw. I typically steer away from almonds for the reasons you mention, and I go into more detail on the issues surrounding almonds in this article: https://eatbeautiful.net/why-most-almond-butter-is-bad-for-you/ Thanks for raising awareness. Also, for those lucky enough to live near a local almond farm that doesn’t spray, small farms aren’t required to pasteurize.
For fermentation sweeteners, how about coconut sugar? I haven’t found it to work great in making kombucha by itself, for example, but have not tried it in dairy or non-dairy milk ferments. Your experience? Thanks!
Hi Molly, such a great question. Coconut sugar is 70-80% sucrose, and most of the remainder is glucose, so it presents more of the same sugars that yeasts love and that are already present in nuts and seeds. What is better is to use a sugar with a higher glucose content. All of the syrup options have about 60% glucose, so those are good options. If not maple, then rice or barley syrup. Coconut sugar also has a high mineral content and produces a very acidic ferment, so unfortunately it is not the best choice for ferments, including nut and seed milks, although I, too, love how convenient and affordable it is. Honey and cane sugar are other good options for this purpose.
Jean Choi says
Such great information on fermented nut milk! I’ve made kefir before, but never knew you can ferment nut or seed milk, so I’ll definitely be trying this out. I bet it’ll be wonderful for making healthy smoothies!
I’m so glad it’s helpful, Jean. I’m excited for you to taste how yummy the milks are and yes, good in healthy smoothies for sure. Thanks for your kind words.
Stacey Crawford says
Thanks for the detailed instructions on how to make fermented nut milk. I never knew nut or seed milk could be fermented. Does it have a similar taste to kefir?
You’re welcome, Stacey. Yes, very similar to kefir or thin drinkable yogurt. I like it in a glass as well as over granola, so it is yummy.
Wow, this has so much information and I definitely want to try this. And I never knew that about tetrapaks! Ugh! So frustrating! Can’t we trust anything anymore?
I know, Donny, right? It is frustrating. Our modern food system has evolved towards convenience and away from safety. The only good part of that is it makes us reclaim cooking and the joy of doing things in our own homes, gardens and kitchens.
I am hoping for a little more information – in that in your article you state – “If you can’t afford organic, and don’t dare eat the glyphosate so common on almonds, hazelnuts, macadamia nuts and other nuts and seeds, fermenting neutralizes these poisons. Beneficial microorganisms degrade glyphosate. I understand that soaking and fermenting degrades/neutralizes many anti nutrients – but from what I have been able to find on glyphosate – research says neither fermenting or cooking reduce or neutralize glyphosate. So am confused. Can you offer a link to more information that you have found that fermenting neutralizes glyphosate? Thank you…It would be most helpful!
Hi Judy, sure. This has been a topic I’ve been aware of for years because of loving fermentation. Some of my sources are from years ago, and it would be hard to locate, but it’s basically from the WAPF community, discussions about sourdoughs and sauerkrauts being able to perform this action. I believe both Sally Fallon and Dr. Natasha discuss this action. So those would be places to look if you’d like, in Nourishing Traditions and Dr. Natasha’s first GAPS book. For sources here, here are a couple. This topic is discussed in the farming community as far as degrading glyphosate for future land use: “When it’s bound, it persists to be released at a later time, when it becomes unbound it is accessible to bacteria to be degrades…beneficial bacteria…break down glyphosate” This article discusses how certain bacteria can break down and neutralize glyphosate in farm soil: https://deepgreenpermaculture.com/2021/04/21/how-to-neutralise-glyphosate-roundup-herbicide-contamination-in-soil/ You can also add humic acid to your fermenting nut or seed milk to encourage this process: https://www.researchgate.net/publication/258852349_Neutralization_of_the_antimicrobial_effect_of_glyphosate_by_humic_acid_in_vitro I plan to write more about humic acid soon.
Thank you for your reply – it is helpful. I am familiar with Sally Fallon and Nourishing Traditions and Dr. Natasha – I will dive deeper with them – from what I have already done. Interesting take on the soil degrading of glyphosate and how that might also apply to diet. I Organic garden and make my own compost – so am familiar with humic acid….so find these links interesting – will investigate further there as well! Thank you again – it is very generous of your time in doing so.
Sorry, I got interrupted, so continuing, my favorite study on this topic is this one: https://sfamjournals.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1472-765X.2004.01633.x Here, bread fermentation with just one strain of yeast (S. cerevisiae) was shown to degrade glyphosate by 21% is just 1 hour! So, we can imagine what a 24 hour ferment would do, and also what other beneficial micro-organisms would do, such as may be the case with our fermented nut milk. I hope that helps!
Yes – I read that as well. But the article was unclear as to if the degradation topped off at 21% – or IF it degraded further with an even long time frame. I have made sourdough for decades – and gluten free sourdough for the last 7 years….all with long fermentation times. Just was unsure if that applied to the fermented milks – as yeasts take a longer time to develop. I will dive deeper there too. Thank you again – you are so generous and kind in doing so – it is appreciated!
Hi Judy, I don’t think they let the experiment go any longer, which is too bad; but I think it’s safe to assume knowing all we do about fermentation that one hour is very little for that degree of degradation and that longer would yield complete degradation, which is just so encouraging. Amazing that more and similar tests have not been done and published, but I think this shows us where the money is coming from for testing. You’re welcome, and happy to help! 🙂
This is great! Excited to try out this recipe. I’m a bit of a newbie when it comes to fermentation. Would any regular glass jar with a tightly screwed on lid do for the overnight fermentation?
Hi Gee, yes, any glass jar will work, and you don’t need to screw the lid on tightly, until the next step, after fermentation, when you want to shake it well to serve. 🙂
Thank you so much for this recipe! I was wondering and this may be a silly question but what whey are we to add in the recipe? Where do we source it? Is it the by-product whey from chesse-making from cow’s milk or from nut milk? Thank you in advance.
Hi Jasmine, not a silly question at all. 🙂 Whey can be acquired from any store bought yogurt; that’s the easiest way for most people. You can purchase any yogurt that fits your diet, so dairy or non-dairy, just a small carton. Place it in a coffee filter, nested in a colander, over a bowl, overnight. In the morning, all the liquid will drain from the yogurt: leaving behind “yogurt cheese” in the top, and in your bowl, you’ll have whey! This whey is then used to inoculate ferments, as it’s full of probiotics.
Hi, I really enjoy reading your fermentation recipes! Thanks to all of your research and study. I’m wondering if I could make almond milk from almond meal? Because you mentioned that blanching almonds before soaking them… I’d like to hear your opinions. Thanks!
Hi Eiko, I’m so glad you enjoy the fermentation recipes; thank you! So, by almond meal, do you just mean ground up almonds? If so, then yes, you can puree this with water to make almond milk. If not, what do you mean by almond meal?
Hi Megan, thanks for your quick reply! I just noticed:) Oh! Okay, here in Australia, we have ground up whole almonds called almond meal. So, it contains skins, too. In your instructions, whole almonds need to be branched. Could I ask why you branch them before soaking? Does it still work with whole ground almonds? If so, I do still soak them before puree them, don’t I? Thanks.
Okay, got it. So yes, you can use almond meal; you just won’t get as smooth of an end product, but you can strain it through a nut milk bag for that. I do personally soak and pop the skins off my almonds, but it is not necessary. Yes, they get soaked in water overnight, whole, just room temp water, and then the skins pop right off. I don’t personally blanch my almonds; but they can be purchased this way. They do not need to be blanched and soaked, just one or the other, if you wish to remove the skins. (One other benefit to doing this is that it removes the antinutrients, which are found in the skins. But fermenting will also remove them.) I hope that helps! It is okay to use almond meal if that’s better for you. 🙂
Okay, got that! I thought the fermentation process will remove antinutrients in the skins, too. I don’t necessary need to use the almond meal but it’s sitting in my cabinet and I do like to use and eat them if there are more digestible ways to do it. Perhaps, I could use the soaked ground almond for my baking, too. Instead of making milk. I’ll keep experimenting! Thanks for your advice:)
Sounds good. Happy to help! 🙂
All right, Great! I’ll try it out. I guess I can use the soaked almond meal for baking, too. I had a bag of almond meal sitting in my cabinet. So, I thought it would be nice if I could use it in more digestible ways! Thanks for your advice:)
Happy to help!
Can I use whole milk greek yogurt for this recipe? Or woud I need to make major adjustments to the recipe if I introduce dairy?
Hi Sara, what you could use is whey, from strained yogurt. This is a common method of inoculating ferments, but you don’t want the yogurt solids as part of the process.