Are you including sunflower seeds in your diet? Try making raw homemade sunflower seed milk as a delicious way to enjoy these nutritionally dense seeds. As with the homemade almond milk, cashew milk, macadamia milk, hazelnut milk, Brazil nut milk, coconut milk, rice milk, and pumpkin seed milk recipes I have posted, this raw homemade sunflower seed milk recipe is as easy as SOAK, BLEND, and DEVOUR, and makes a fabulous base for smoothies, ice creams, and desserts, and is a really interesting addition to savoury recipes like curries and stews.
If you live in the U.S, sunflower seeds are local treasures. Sunflower seeds are the fruit of the sunflower that is native to North America and enjoyed by Native Americans for years. They are available as whole in-shell seeds or dehulled kernels, and the sunflower seeds are small flat beige kernels which are covered in a black or grey striped shell. They have a mild nutty flavour and a tender texture that blends up really well into "mylk".
Sunflower seeds are a wonderful alkaline seed that is loaded with nutrients. They are a good source of fibre, protein, essential fatty acids, Vitamins B, calcium, iron, zinc, magnesium, potassium, manganese and selenium. They contain large amounts of Vitamin E. In fact, ¼ cup takes care of ½ of the recommended daily requirement. They also contain significant amounts of tryptophan like pumpkin seeds, and may help with depression and anxiety. Sunflower seeds have been linked to lowering cholesterol, blood pressure and promoting heart health, as well as The Vitamin E provides antioxidant and anti-inflammatory benefits.
Sunflower seeds have a high oil content and are subject to rancidity. Always purchase from a health food store with a high turnover to ensure maximum freshness and quality, and store in a sealed glass container in the fridge. I always soak and sprout, or dehydrate them to activate their full potential. You can always make sprouted sunflower seed milk by using sprouted sunflower seeds. What an AMAZING health boost.
Just like the pumpkin seed milk and rice milk recipes I have posted, this homemade sunflower seed milk is a lifesaver for those people dealing with nut allergies. This milk has a small amount of texture. You don't really need to strain it. In fact, you will get more nutritional benefit if you don't strain it. However, it is very thick and creamy. I find it a bit too full-on, so I typically strain it for use in raw smoothies, vegan puddings and desserts. Use the smooth pulp for use in crackers, savoury balls, crusts etc. I actually like to add some salt and just eat it with a spoon!
I will say that sunflower seed milk does have a fairly distinctive "seedy" flavour. I like to sweeten it with non alcoholic liquid stevia and add a bit of vanilla extract to heighten the flavours. It tastes delicious with some raw cacao powder for chocolate milk, some fresh or frozen berries for strawberry milk, some cinnamon and other spices etc. Play around and find a taste balance that works for you.
I like to get as much nutritional diversity into my diet as possible, and so I blend up different plant based milks every couple of days. This sunflower seed milk recipe is a great one to add into the rotation. Enjoy :)