Sunflower seed milk has so many things going for it. It is high in vitamin E, B vitamins, and lots of other good things; but what I like the most is it’s easy and cheap. I like almond milk, but it can be pricey, soy milk, but it takes forethought, the soaking and all, rice milk, but you have to cook it first. So we drink a lot of sunflower seed milk.
We grew and harvested our own sunflowers and since they were still hanging up I thought it would be a good time to take them down and hull and shell them and make some milk. It sounded easy enough, right?
I used my bare hands (I would suggest maybe wearing some gloves, it can be hard on the fingers) and going in a circle starting on the outside I rubbed the seeds free. This didn’t really take to long to harvest a decent amount, but in the future I will search for another method.
I took the whole mess, hulls, leaves, bits of the seed head, outside and tossed it up and down letting the wind take it away (we have used this method in the past when harvesting grains), I lost a few seeds but over all I was happy how fast it cleaned up.
Then came the shelling, I suppose I could have just shelled each seed by hand, I mean it’s only a 1/4 c., but I wanted to find a faster method to share with all of you. So I started thinking….and searching. In the past I had read about using a grain mill with the grinding wheels set at 1/8″ apart, for more on that click here, but I didn’t have a grain mill handy, so I kept searching. I saw one person say you could put the seeds in a single layer in a bag and roll a rolling pin over them. I tried, I rolled and I rolled, then I pounded, needless to say this method did not work for me. So I got to thinking, maybe my oat roller, nope. I even tried my pasta roller, nothing worked. But in the back of my mind (maybe I saw it somewhere) I thought maybe if I could pulse it in the blender and separate the shells with water. I used my bullet and pulsed the seeds. Maybe I put too many seeds at once, a couple seeds were shelled and intact, but I had to keep going because there was more in the bullet. As I continued more opened, but the already opened ones became pieces, oh well I was going to be blending them for milk any way. When almost all of them were open I added the water, swirled it around, and poured it into a strainer. I had to repeat this process quite a bit, but eventually I was happy with how clean they were. Here is the results.
If anyone out there has a tried and true method, they have personally had success with please leave a comment and let me know. I will keep searching, if I find a better method I will let you know, until then, I may be using most of my sunflower seeds for micro-greens, and continuing to use my store bought seeds to make this recipe, but it was fun , and in a pinch I could definitely shell enough sunflower seeds to make this recipe.
- ¼ c. sunflower seeds
- 4 c. water
- 2 dates
- ¼ tsp. sea salt
- 3/32 tsp. NOW Better Stevia Powder or 1 Tbsp. maple syrup
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
- 1/16 tsp. ground lecithin granules (optional)
- Place all the ingredients, in your blender and blend on high until silky smooth.
- If you find the milk too thick add extra water 1 cup at a time to desired consistency.
- I kept the portions small with this milk because it is best used fresh (as it separates and darkens with time, if you don’t mind that you can just re-stir it).
In this recipe for sunflower seed milk, I used stevia, I have tried many brands but Now Better Stevia Powder is my favorite, and all I use now. There is no filler, it’s pure, and non-GMO and organic. If you don’t have any, feel free to use honey or maple syrup.