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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!
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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)