How to Make Nut Milk | The Ultimate Guide

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Make your own nut milk at home with this easy and comprehensive guide! Includes simple steps and a flavor review of 12 different nuts and seeds plus blender options.

Non-dairy milk is on the rise, and for good reason: it’s creamy, satisfying, and the perfect dairy replacement in just about any recipe. It’s also widely available in most grocery stores, which is a total win for the plant-based movement.

But wait! What if I told you that homemade nut milk is just as cost-effective and at least twice as delicious as store-bought? It’s a lot easier than you think…especially with this guide.

Make your own nut milk at home with this easy and comprehensive guide! Includes simple steps and a flavor review of 12 different nuts and seeds plus blender options. #nutmilk #nondairymilk #diy #vegan #plantbased | frommybowl.com

This blog post provides an in-depth review on how to make your own nut and seed milk at home. Looking for something specific? Check out these shortcuts instead:

How do I make non-dairy milk at home?

Quite simply by blending nuts, seeds, or another grain with water in a high-speed blender until smooth and creamy. You can also add in a pinch of salt, sweetener of choice, or any other spices/flavorings that your little heart desires.

Homemade nut milk tastes better because it’s fresh and simple. Store-bought nut milk typically contains other gums, thickeners, or additives (more on this later). It’s also flash-pasteurized to help extend its shelf life. Unfortunately, this process also takes away a lot of the nut milks flavor and gives it a bitter, almost soapy taste.

Equipment You’ll Need

blender, nut milk bag, and bullet blender on white background

To make homemade nut or seed milk you will need:

If you don’t have a high-speed blender, you can also use a bullet-style blender to blend some varieties of nuts and seeds. These seem to work better than weaker upright blenders, based on their construction. You can also make homemade milk in any blender by blending 2 to 4 tablespoons of any nut/seed butter with 2 cups of filtered water for 60 seconds. This method can be quite expensive, but does work in a pinch.

collage of nuts and seeds on white background

In terms of nuts, we recommend purchasing unsalted, raw, and organic whenever possible. Conventional nuts are still ok, and dry-roasted nuts are better than nuts roasted in oil. Heating nuts and seeds takes away most of their nutritional benefits, and can also cause them to go rancid when they are roasted in low-quality oil.

You can, however, choose to toast or dry roast your own nuts at home if you’d like to add an extra flavor element to your milk. This works especially well with pecans, hazelnuts, and coconut!

Soaking Nuts and Seeds

Soaking nuts, seeds, and grains helps to break down hard-to-digest compounds and can actually increase the bioavailability of certain vitamins. You can read more details on that in this review, if you’d like.

Soaking nuts and seeds can be beneficial, but isn’t necessary with a high-speed blender. I usually soak my nuts overnight in the fridge the day before I make nut milk. I’ve also totally forgotten to do this and used un-soaked nuts as well….and noticed no difference in flavor. So you do you!

If you do decide to soak your nuts, simply place them in a glass jar or bowl, cover them with double the water, and let sit in the fridge for 4 to 12 hours. Some nuts will release a “powdery” substance and cloud the water – this is normal! Just don’t forget to rinse your nuts well before adding them to the blender to make nut milk. The only ingredient I don’t recommend soaking is hemp hearts – they are already soft, and don’t need it.

Straining

Straining nuts and seeds through a fine-mesh nut milk bag or cheesecloth helps to give your homemade nut milk that smooth, store-bought consistency that we all know and love. I recommend straining any nut with a tough outer “skin”, like almonds, hazelnuts, pistachios, brazil nuts, and walnuts. It the nut has a relatively soft exterior (pecans, macadamia nuts, peanuts) straining is more optional. These nuts leave a fine “pulp” that gives a thicker texture to the milk. I personally do not enjoy this, so I choose to strain it out.

You do not need to strain cashews, pumpkin seeds, and hemp hearts. These ingredients have a very soft consistency and dissolve into the nut milk entirely. All homemade nut milk will separate in the fridge, so it’s always best to give it a little shake before pouring. Un-strained nut milks tend to separate a little more than their strained varieties.

hands twisting nut milk bag and straining into large glass bowl

Not sure what to do with your leftover nut pulp? You can throw it out, compost it, mix it into oatmeal or smoothies, or make some Banana Nut Pulp Cookies!

The Creaminess Scale

5 different jars of frothy nut milks

Store-bought non-dairy milk has a creamy and smooth mouth feel, but this is mostly because most non-dairy milks have added thickeners, such as guar gum, carrageenan, and gellan gum. There is some controversy as to whether these additives are actually good for us or not, but regardless – I much prefer my homemade, 2-to-3 ingredient nut milk!

Another reason why store-bought nut milks use thickeners is to use less nuts (and cut down on cost). That being said, you will have to use more nuts in your homemade nut milk to get the same creaminess and mouth feel as store-bought milk. I see a lot of online recipes recommending 1 cup of nuts to 4 cups of water, but I personally think that 1/2 cup of nuts to 4 cups of water mimics the same mouthfeel and creaminess of store-bought milk. It’s also a lot more cost-effective, too! You can make your homemade nut milk as creamy (or not) as you’d like; here’s a scale for reference:

  • 1/4 cup nuts: (to 4 cups water) this ratio is the most similar to store-bought milk in terms of macronutrients, but has a thin consistency and slightly watery flavor
  • 1/2 cup nuts: (to 4 cups water) this is my preferred ratio, and most similar to store-bought milk in terms of mouthfeel. The nut milk is still creamy and drinkable without being overly heavy and can be used in coffee, tea, and any recipe that calls for non-dairy milk.
  • 1 cup nuts: (to 4 cups water) this ratio is commonly recommended in most online recipes. It does produce thick and creamy milk, but I personally find it to be a little too heavy for drinking straight out of the glass. It’s great to splash in coffee, tea, or smoothies though!
  • 2 cups nuts: (to 4 cups water) this produces thick and creamy milk and would be an ideal substitute for heavy cream or coffee creamer. However, I would recommend cutting the base recipe in half (so 1 cup nuts to 2 cups water), otherwise you will probably have some leftovers that will spoil.

Storage + Shelf-Life

homemade nut milks in different sized glass jars on white background

It’s best to store your nut milk in a clean glass jar with a sealable lid. If you do decide to use canning jars, I recommend purchasing some re-usable plastic lids, as the metal ones tend to rust.

Generally speaking, homemade non-dairy milk will keep in the fridge for 4 to 5 days minimum, as long as you only soak your nuts for 12 hours or less and blend for no more than 2 minutes total. If you don’t use very much of it, cut the base recipe (below) in half to make only 2 cups at a time. If you wind up with a surplus of milk you can freeze it in ice cube trays to use in smoothies, or thaw and use in any other recipe.

 

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Homemade Nut Milk

Make your own nut milk at home with these super simple and easy steps! This recipe will work for any nut or seed listed above or in the nut milk guide.

  • Author: Caitlin Shoemaker
  • Prep Time: 5 Minutes
  • Cook Time: 0 Minutes
  • Total Time: 5 minutes
  • Yield: 4 cups 1x
  • Category: Drink
  • Method: Blender
  • Cuisine: American

Ingredients

Scale
  • 1/2+ cup nuts or seeds, soaked* if desired
  • 4 cups filtered water
  • Pinch of salt
  • Optional add-ins: maple syrup, medjool dates, cinnamon, vanilla extract, or any other sweeter/spice to taste

Instructions

  1. Add the nuts, water, and a pinch of salt to the base of a high-speed blender with any additional add-ins. Blend on high speed for 90 seconds, or until creamy and frothy.
  2. Place a fine mesh nut milk bag over a large glass bowl and pour the blended mixture into it. Grasp the bag with one hand and slide it from the top of the bag to the bottom to create a small “ball”. Slowly twist the bag to release any additional liquid. Compost the nut pulp, save it for another recipe, or simply discard it.
  3. Pour the nut milk into glass jars, seal, and store in the fridge for 4 to 5 days. Extra nut milk can also be frozen in ice cube trays and used in smoothies, or re-thawed and used in other recipes.

Notes

  • Creaminess: 1/2 cup of nuts will create a creamy, enjoyable milk, but you can use up to 2 cups of nuts if you’d like your milk to be creamier (refer to the creaminess scale in this post / the nut milk guide)
  • Soaking: nuts/seeds can be soaked for 4 to12 hours before blending, if you so desire. If you do soak your nuts, drain and rinse them well before blending.
  • Straining: for the smoothest texture we recommend straining all milks except for cashew milk, pumpkin seed milk, and hemp milk. However, if you don’t mind some extra fiber in your milk, straining is not necessary.

Keywords: homemade nut milk, how to make almond milk, almond milk recipe, cashew milk recipe, walnut milk recipe, how to make seed milk, homemade nut milk, homemade nondairy milk, nondairy milk guide, homemade nut milk no blender

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Flavor Comparisons

Not sure which nut or seed you want to “milk”? Don’t worry, we tried 12 different contenders and took notes on the process, creaminess, and flavor. So read on, pick your favorite nut and get to blending! Also, feel free to mix and match your nuts and find a nut (or seed) milk blend that most speaks to you 🙂

The Common Contenders:

These nut milks are the most common flavors found in grocery stores and have the most neutral flavors – making them perfect for a wide variety of applications!

glass bowls of almonds, walnuts, and cashews

Almonds
  • Blender(s): high-speed only (77g per 1/2 cup)
  • Straining: yes; high pulp
  • Creaminess/Consistency: 4/4; has a thick, full, and creamy consistency
  • Flavor Notes: has a satisfying almond flavor, very different from store-bought milk – in a good way. Could use in any drinking, baking, or cooking situation. Sometimes we like to soak our almonds for ~24 hours to bring out an “almond extract” flavor that’s great in sweet applications. Note: some people choose to stay away from almond milk because almonds are a high-water crop; read more here
Cashews
  • Blender(s): high-speed or bullet blender, if soaked (75g per 1/2 cup)
  • Straining: not necessary
  • Creaminess/Consistency:  4/4; has a thick, full, and creamy consistency
  • Flavor Notes: pretty neutral tasting with a subtly sweet and nutty flavor. Could use in any drinking, baking, or cooking situation. You can also use roasted cashews for a fun, deeper flavor twist!
Walnuts
  • Blender(s): high-speed only (56g per 1/2 cup)
  • Straining: yes; low pulp
  • Creaminess/Consistency: 3/4 rich and creamy, but not as full of a mouthfeel
  • Flavor Notes: has a satisfying, almost buttery flavor. Slight bitter undertones, which is typical of walnuts in general. Could be used in most cooking applications, but would be especially good in baked goods and smoothies. May not work with all coffee and tea flavors.

Fun Flavors:

These nut milks have a distinct flavor, but that’s not a bad thing 😉 While they’re not as versatile as the common contenders, they’re just as yummy and useful in specific applications.

glass bowls of pecans, hazelnuts, and peanuts

Pecans
  • Blender(s): high-speed only (67g per 1/2 cup)
  • Straining: recommended; minimal pulp
  • Creaminess/Consistency: 3/4 rich and creamy, but not as full of a mouthfeel
  • Flavor Notes: has a buttery taste like walnut milk but without the slight bitterness. The creamy, nutty flavor is very satisfying and has subtle undertones reminiscent of toasted oats and/or pretzels. Would be great in coffee and most teas, hot chocolate, and most baked goods.
Peanuts
  • Blender(s): high-speed only (75g per 1/2 cup)
  • Straining: yes; low pulp
  • Creaminess/Consistency: 2/4 creamy, but felt a little lacking
  • Flavor Notes: this essentially tastes like liquefied peanut butter; it’s still satisfying, but probably feels less creamy because we are used to eating plain, natural peanut butter which is obviously more thick. This is a great, budget-friendly milk option and would be great in oatmeal, smoothies, hot chocolate, and some baked goods. Just be sure to purchase dry roasted, salt-free peanuts.
Hazelnuts
  • Blender(s): high-speed only (73g per 1/2 cup)
  • Straining: yes; medium pulp
  • Creaminess/Consistency: 3/4 rich and creamy, but not as full of a mouthfeel
  • Flavor Notes: hazelnuts are commonly paired with chocolate and sweeter desserts, so this naturally tasted a little sweeter and chocolate-y to us. Although there is a strong hazelnut flavor, this is a very versatile milk and compliments most sweet flavors (especially chocolate) as well as some savory (think fall/winter squash and hearty herbs like rosemary and thyme). Would be great in coffee, smoothies, and most teas.

 

(Pricey) Treats:

While all of these nut milks are absolutely delicious, the nuts themselves are on the more expensive side, and/or require a little extra work in the kitchen.

glass bowls of macadamia nuts, pistachios, and brazil nuts

Pistachios
  • Blender(s): high-speed only (63g per 1/2 cup)
  • Straining: yes; low pulp
  • Creaminess/Consistency: 3/4 rich and creamy, but not as full of a mouthfeel
  • Flavor Notes: strong and distinct pistachio flavor, would pair especially well with citrus or rose-infused baked goods, smoothies, or teas. This milk is delightfully satisfying, but would be more of an occasional treat for us. Pistachios can be quite expensive, plus it tastes a long time to individually shell each nut.
Brazil Nuts
  • Blender(s): high-speed only (76g per 1/2 cup)
  • Straining: yes; low pulp
  • Creaminess/Consistency:  4/4; has a thick, full, and creamy consistency
  • Flavor Notes: this nut milk felt very indulgent and satisfying, but had an eerily similar taste of toasted oats, which we found surprising. This would be great in a wide variety of applications – coffee, tea, baked goods, and most savory applications. Just don’t drink too much at once, because it can lead to selenium poisoning.
Macadamia Nuts
  • Blender(s): high-speed only (73g per 1/2 cup)
  • Straining: recommended; minimal pulp
  • Creaminess/Consistency:  4/4; has a thick, full, and creamy consistency
  • Flavor Notes: this nut milk has a buttery flavor with crisp undertones; sort of a cross between pecans and cashews. There is a subtle sweetness to it, and it would work especially well when paired with tropical fruit or warming spices (think golden milk). That being said, it would still be great in coffee, tea, and baked goods.

Nut-Free Options:

Nut allergy? Not a problem 🙂 You can still make your own non-dairy milk at home using Hemp Hearts, Pumpkin Seeds, or Shredded Coconut!

glass bowls of hemp hearts, pumpkin seeds, and coconut

Hemp Hearts
  • Blender(s): high-speed or bullet blender (no soaking for either); (78g per 1/2 cup)
  • Straining: not necessary
  • Creaminess/Consistency: 3/4 rich and creamy, but not as full of a mouthfeel
  • Flavor Notes: this creamy “nut” milk is our go-to for allergy-friendly drinking, cooking, and baking. Hemp Hearts have a relatively neutral taste and creamy texture, but do have a slightly earthy undertone, especially in the aftertaste. This milk is great because you can make it in any blender, but does settle quickly and requires a good shake before serving.
Pumpkin Seeds
  • Blender(s): high-speed or bullet blender, if soaked (71g per 1/2 cup)
  • Straining: not necessary
  • Creaminess/Consistency: 3/4 rich and creamy, but not as full of a mouthfeel
  • Flavor Notes: this milk has a distinct green hue, which may be off-putting for some people. However, it’s still a great nut-free option and works well in coffee, tea, and baked goods. It does has a slightly metallic taste when consumed plain, but this fades when mixed with other beverages. Plus, it’s only because pumpkin seeds are a good source of manganese, zinc, and ironNote: you must use pepitas for this milk, which are not the same as pumpkin seeds found in traditional pie pumpkins and fall/winter squash.
Coconut
  • Blender(s): high-speed only (27g per 1/2 cup)
  • Straining: yes; low pulp
  • Creaminess/Consistency: 2/4 creamy, but felt a little lacking
  • Flavor Notes: this is a nice option with a distinct coconut taste and subtle undertones, but we would probably stick to canned coconut milk if we are looking for a rich and creamy mouthfeel. We would recommend using twice the volume of coconut as other nuts for a creamier milk, or blending some coconut with a different nut for more depth of flavor. You can also toast the coconut before blending for a deeper flavor!

 

About the Author

Hey there, I’m Caitlin! I make easy-to-follow, wholesome, and budget-friendly vegan recipes that are mostly gluten-free and refined sugar-free. I’m also an avid yogi, love the great outdoors, am chocolate-obsessed, and enjoy eating almond butter straight off of the spoon.

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homemade nut milks in different sized glass jars on white background

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Comments

  1. What an awesome article! I’ve been researching making my own plant-based milk and your article was by far the most informative. Thank you! Do you have a recipe for flax milk? Your link for the glass jars didn’t work either. There are so many to choose from on Amazon…do you have a recommended one (or two)?

    1. Hi Aimee, you can try this link for the glass jars.
      We have not published a recipe but you can make flax milk easily this way:

      You’ll need just 2 ingredients
      ½ cup flax seeds
      4 ½ cups water

      Step 1: Blend flax seeds and water in a blender on high for 1 minute; allow to rest for 2 minutes. Blend again on high for 1 minute; allow to rest for 5 minutes.
      Step 2: Pour milk through a nut bag or a strainer lined with cheesecloth into a pitcher or glass container; press solids with back of a spoon to extract liquid.

  2. Thank you for these recipes. I LOVE your recipes! I have one of the older metal Vitamix and love it. It’s been awhile, but I have made almond milk and the pulp was so very fine that I was able to drink it with the milk. I found it tasteful. I think I will try it your way and use the pulp in a recipe, but just wanted to basically say thanks.
    Suzanne

  3. Hi,

    I really dislike the straining process when making plant-based milk. It’s messy and I don’t like having leftover fiber. After reading your post I was inspired to make some almond milk without straining it … and it came out much to my liking. I used 1/2 cup raw almonds (with skins) and soaked them for about 6 hours before blending. I blended them with 4 cups water, a little salt, a little cinnamon, a little vanilla, and 2 tblsp of maple syrup. Great. I drank a glass with cocoa powder mixed in (and a little extra maple syrup), used some with oatmeal, and made smoothies with the rest. All great.

    Thanks for the inspiration.

    1. Thank you for this tutorial and the incredible detail! I did the math and realized how much money I could save my just… Making my own but milk. With your help I made my first almond milk ever today, and had it in some hot cocoa this evening. Amazing! I can’t believe how easy it was, and now I want to experiment with other varieties and oat milk.

  4. Very interesting! Thank you so much! I was curious about the Cow milk machine and you certainly presented all aspects, and other people too mentioned other advantages fir traveling. I am so glad that I read your review. I have been making oat milk for over a year now and I found my perfect combination for my taste. After really looking at many posts, I ended up with these portions for oatmilk, so creamy and good, even my non vegan husband loves it… so buying no more milk has not been a problem. So here it is: 2 cups of oat (sprouted rolled oats, One defree organic, bought at Costco, Canada, great taste and price), 1/2 cups hemp hearts Kirkland (Costco), dash of salt, 2 tablespoons melted refined coconut oil, 8 cups of water. I make it in my Vitamix then strain it in my nutseed bag. I also started making soy milk lately. And becauze I am using the left puree (okara) to make other recipes and dry it to add to my breads recipes and other baking recipes and smoothis, I will not buy the Almond Cow because the puree keft is too liquid, okara is really something very nutritious that I love using. Also, I buy organic soybeans in bulk, 25 kg, at a cimmercial tofu making company that also sells to the public… the cost of 1 liter of soymilk is 0,26 $ (Canadian$)…,this is great!!I I cook the soymilk in my Ninja Foodie (nonstick container so that it sticks less) checking it very closely as it can boil over very quickly… it happened, not fun cleaning the Ninja. But the taste is so so good. Also because I started making tofu with the soymilk I make (0,52 $ for over a pound of tofu… Yes! And the taste, wow! Most recipes will be using 1 cup of soybeans for 8 cups of water, but the recipe I am using is 1 1/3 cups soybeans, this is what we like. Also, I have read that if you make tofu, you need at keast 1 cup of soybeabs for 8 cups of water. I make my tofu with nigari (coagulant). Anyway, I am not an expert, only one who tried a few recipes for nutmilk and tofu to find the one we love. I also cook wiith plant milk, no more cow milk nor cream. Thank you so much for the review and recipes!

  5. this is the best tutorial on making your own nut milks but maybe a grain milk section might be in order now!!! I love your recipes and my absolute favorite is your scrambled not eggs (tofu) OMG!!!

  6. Excellent recipe. Highly recommended. I feel like I wasted money buying the carton milk when this is a healthier and easy way to do nuts milk.

    1. Glad you found it helpful! Store bought nut milk is still a great alternative, but homemade can be so much more fresh!

    1. It’s been a while but we’ve tried it before! Don’t have any specific recommendations but generally speaking mixing two of your favorites usually works out well!

    1. Awesome! Let us know how it goes! Also if you ever get the chance to try oat milk you may enjoy that as a good option to drink on it’s own. It’s an especially good option for those transitioning to vegan or just trying it out!

  7. Hi Caitlin! Thanks for all this great info; it’s helpful to see it all in one place. My question is about which nut/seed milks separate (especially when added to coffee) – any idea which do, and which don’t? And why some only separate sometimes, and not all the time? I have been frustrated enough with this to more or less give up on making my own non-dairy coffee creamer 🙁

    1. Hmm, that’s hard! I actually don’t know that answer. It definitely depends on the nut, but I also think it depends on the amount of milk added and the temperature of the water

  8. Thank you for inspiring me to start this journey of making my own nut milk! Can you please say how you would make brown rice milk?

    1. Hi Tere! I’ve never tried that, though it does sound interesting. I imagine you would need to soak the rice first, but could follow the same instructions for nut milk

  9. Thanks for this comprehensive and very useful guide, Caitlin! You have convinced me to take the plunge into making my own nut milk. One question, though: What about oat milk? How does it rank on your creaminess scale? Is homemade oat milk as creamy as Oatly? Thanks!!

    1. Hi Hanusia! I’ve tried to make my own oat milk at home, but it always ends up slimy – i don’t know how the pros do it, but mine never comes out tasting very good, and gets really gummy when i heat it up

    1. Oat milk is made from a different process (that I have not mastered yet, haha) so I left it out 🙂

  10. This guide is super helpful and incredibly well structured! Thank you so much for sharing all your knowledge with us, I can only guess how much time and effort you put in this post to make it as comprehensive as it is. Also, love the pictures! Great job Caitlin 🙂

      1. Thank you so much for your thorough reviews of all of these options. I just bought the Almond Cow and needed this review to help me figure out what nuts to buy.