Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Homemade Hemp Milk

Making your own hemp milk is easier than buying it! Plus by making your own, you don't get any extra added ingredients, just pure creamy goodness. However, since there are no added flavorings, this milk tastes a lot like hemp seeds (as it should) so the flavor might be a tad stronger if you are accustomed to store-bought hemp milk. We buy Nutiva shelled hemp seeds in bulk through amazon.com. I like to store a jar of them in the refrigerator and the rest in the freezer to keep them fresh.

Use this milk for baking, in pancakes, as a dairy-free milk base for smoothies, poured over whole grain breakfast porridge, or just for drinking. It stores best in the refrigerator in a sealed glass jar or pitcher for 3 to 4 days. The small glass pitcher you see in these photos is from our local food co-op. I actually have two different sizes, both which have a really nice lid that screws on. I store my homemade almond milk and cashew milk in these glass pitchers as well.

Homemade hemp milk is also suitable for anyone following an Elimination Diet. It can be used in all phases of the diet! Hemp seeds are high in easily digested protein, if fact, they contain all 20 known amino acids!

Homemade Hemp Milk

I use a Vitamix to make this milk, I have not tried it using a regular blender so don't know how it would work. If you have made it without a Vitamix, could you please leave a comment so others can gain from your experience? I always strain my hemp milk using a nut milk bag, though others who commented on our Facebook page said they just blend the seeds and water and didn't mention straining.

1/2 cup shelled hemp seeds
3 cups filtered water
1 tablespoon maple syrup
pinch sea salt

Place all ingredients into a high-powered blender and blend for 60 to 90 seconds or until ultra smooth. Place a nut milk bag into a large jar or pitcher and pour hemp milk through the bag, squeezing out the milk, and leaving the pulp behind. I compost the leftover pulp. Store your hemp milk in the fridge for 3 to 4 days. Use it in recipes wherever milk is called for. Source: www.NourishingMeals.com

More Beverage recipes:
Dairy-Free Hot Cocoa 
Soothing Tummy Tea
Dandelion Root Chai Tea

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About the Author

Alissa Segersten holds a Bachelor's of Science in Nutrition from Bastyr University. She is the founder of Whole Life Nutrition, the mother of five children, a whole foods cooking instructor, professional recipe developer, and cookbook author. She is passionate about helping others find a diet that will truly nourish them, and offers elimination diet recipes, healthy gluten-free recipes, paleo and vegan recipes, as well as tips for feeding your family a nourishing, whole foods diet. Alissa is the author of two very popular gluten-free, whole foods cookbooks and guidebooks: The Whole Life Nutrition Cookbook and Nourishing Meals. She is also the co-author of The Elimination Diet book. Connect with her on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram!


  1. Will cheese cloth work the same to drain it through?

  2. Hi Ramona, yes I've used cheesecloth to strain out the pulp before I finally bought a nut milk bag. A clean bar dish towel (non-terry cloth) works well too.

  3. do you have any tips for those of us using unshelled hemp seeds?

  4. Could you use the pulp in cookies/cakes? Any ideas? I know its not totally wasteful to compost, but is there any reason not to use it? I'm not familiar with hemp at all, so I'm just being totally earnest in asking here.

  5. I love hemp seeds. I have all of the ingredients-yeah! Making this later this afternoon-so excited!

  6. Ali,
    Are the hemp seeds you buy on Amazon certified gluten-free? Do you subscribe and save on Amazon? If you do, is it working out good for you?
    I cannot wait to try this! Right now I buy So Delicious Unsweetened Coconut Milk, but I would much rather make something without all the extras in it.
    Still hoping you will post your coconut yogurt recipe! Thanks!!!! You are like part of our family - the kids will ask "Is this one Ali's recipe?" ;0) Too cute.

    1. Hemp seeds are gluten free gluten is wheat.

    2. Hemp seeds are gluten free gluten is wheat.

    3. From what I understand, hemp seeds can be cross contaminated by gluten & there are not currently any certified gluten free brands.

  7. I totally agree Ali - making hemp milk is the easiest! I use the Nutiva shelled hemp seed in a regular Oster blender (the old-time type) and I don't strain the hemp milk. It does result is a little black residue in the bottom of the jar but I just throw that residue away when the jar is finished. (maybe 1 tsp) I tried straining it the first time and spent a great deal of time trying to squeeze out the pulp through cheesecloth or a nut bag. Way too long for as little residue as it left.

  8. Thank yoU!!!
    I have to try this! I quit using hemp milk because it got so expensive and almond milk was so much cheaper but I really need the Omega-3's in the hemp in my diet especially during these gray Seattle winters. Off to check the price on Amazon.

  9. I just made it in my Kitchenaid blender and it's beyond easy! I strained it, but next time I'm just going to let the pulp fall to the bottom. I didn't add any maple syrup and it tasted fine to me. DH said he'd use it in his protein shake. I will definitely use it in baking too. DS #2, who has never been a milk drinker, drank it w/o any fuss! I'm sure DS #1 won't notice any difference in his cereal or chocolate milk either!
    Does anyone know if I can make yogurt from it?

    1. I don't know if you can make yougurt, but you can certainly make kefir with hemp milk.

  10. Can you use unhulled seeds if you soak them first?

  11. Can you use unhulled seeds if you soak them first?

  12. I've made a similar hemp milk recipe using a regular old Oster beehive blender, and it worked great. No straining needed. I think the hemp seeds are soft enough for a regular blender. I may have to try using maple syrup instead of agave! Vanilla bean also gives it a good flavor without using flavored extract.

    Hello, by the way! New food blogger here. :-) I've been reading your blog for a while and really love your recipes. They fit my dietary restrictions quite well and are easy to adapt, so thanks!

  13. So any idea how many batches you get out of a 5# bag of hemp seed?

  14. Thanks everyone for the comments. We love making hemp milk and I am glad I finally got around to sharing my recipe!

    To those of you who asked about using unhulled seeds, I really don't know as I have never tried it before. If you do, could you please leave a comment to let others know? Thanks! :)

    You could definitely add the pulp to cookies/muffins/breads though I only get a tablespoon or two so usually compost it.

    I buy Nutiva hemp seeds (and chia seeds). I contacted the company and both of those seeds are processed in a gluten-free facility, though, unfortunately their virgin coconut oil is not processed in a GF facility!

    Cynthia - Although I do buy the 5 pound bags from amazon, we use hemp seeds for other things, not only for making milk, so don't know how many batches a 5 pound bag would yield. You could weigh out a 1/2 cup of hemp seeds and then do the math to figure out the cost per batch. Let me know if you figure it out, would love to know! :)

  15. I use an Oysterizer blender, it works great for the hemp milk and other smoothies, plus love the fact that the blender jar is glass, which makes cleanup simpler too. I do not strain my hemp milk either, it may have some residue, which I can just discard. I also add a 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla, and some cinnamon and I try to only use spring water too. This stuff is beyond delicious, I have lost my taste for milk - got some?!

    1. I made mine with vanilla too, because I don't have maple syrup, and now all I can think about is adding cinnamon and maybe some nutmeg, lol. I can easily drink this, so yummy.

  16. I am interested in finding the great glass pitchers you use to store your nut milks /hemp milks in. I am not in your locale so do not have access to your co op. Is there any brand name on the pitcher? Maybe I can find it that way.

    1. You can also get these pitchers at Container Store.

  17. Anon - The glass pitchers are made in Italy but you can find them on Amazon. The one pictured here is a 1/2 liter size - perfect for a small amount of nut/seed milk. I have another larger size as well.

  18. I'm also interested in hemp milk yogurt. Anyone?

  19. I just made the hemp milk, I've never dealt with hemp seeds only the powder...are they a little bitter or spicy or something? I used raw honey as I am out of maple syrup. I tastes like maybe 3c of water is too much but I am getting a bitter or spicy taste. Am I crazy? Lol!

  20. Hey! thanks for this great recipe, my collective loves it! aswell do i! A tip for leftover pulp: I use the leftover pulp to make spread/hemp butter. It works quite well and is still delicious even though its already been blended. It might not hold as much nutrition as before, but its still a delicious spread :) Cheers!

  21. Hi, I have a question about measuring. If your recipe calls for a half cup of the hemp seeds, should the top of the measuring cup be leveled off, or should it be like the picture shows? Thank you for your wonderful recipes!!!

  22. I get my hemp seeds from http://www.EatSeed.com , they seam to be the cheapest, fastest and best quality. I've never made my own milk so I'm loving this post! Thanks

  23. Thank you for your post! Do you know if this hemp milk recipe has as much fat as store bought hemp milk? I will be switching my baby from breast milk to hemp milk when she's 1 and she needs the fat in her diet.

  24. Ashley, I don't know the answer to your hemp fat question but I do know that in addition to hemp milk, home made brazil nut milk is great for weaning a baby off breast milk. You make it similarly to this hemp milk recipe, but you definitely want to strain it.

    1. Brazil nuts are delicious and a wonderful source of selenium. However I would be concerned about anyone using strictly brazil nuts for their milk. I think it would be good to throw a few in every batch of hemp milk or other nut milk. They are so rich in selenium that if you made your milk out of strictly brazil nuts you may develop a toxicity. Two per day are enough to meet the daily recommended intake.

  25. I used a simple metal mesh tea strainer - the kind that sits along the brim of a mug and has a little mesh basket the tea sits loose in below - kind of like a tea colander. Anyway... I used that to strain my hemp milk into a regular canning jar and it worked perfectly, so easy!
    Thanks for the recipe!!

  26. Hi, I make hemp milk regularly, love it. I am curious to know the nutritional value with details of a glass - 300 ml - of hemp milk. I have been googling for it but have not found anything.
    I use 1 cup of Nutiva shelled hemp seeds in 6 cups of filtered water with a little bit of maple syrup.

    Thank you

    Hanneke ~ Australia

  27. The only nutritional info I've found is here and here.

    Same as Ali's recipe --
    Nutrition (per cup):
    221.3 calories;
    53% calories from fat;
    13.1g total fat;
    0.0mg cholesterol;
    174.7mg sodium;
    0.0mg potassium;
    11.8g carbohydrates;
    1.3g fiber;
    3.8g sugar;
    10.5g net carbs;
    14.7g protein

    900mg omega-3 fatty acid
    2800mg omega-6 fatty acid

  28. A few things I've figured out so far (and a few things I haven't):

    -- I'm getting 1.3 liters of strained hemp milk from 1.4 liters water. So, 5.5 cups of milk from 6 cups of water. So, 92%. (I'm doubling this recipe and using a flour sack towel to strain.)
    -- 1 cup of seeds weighs 4.8 ounces.
    -- That's 13 liters / 55 cups of milk from a 3-lb bag (10 cups) of seeds, or 21.7 liters / 92 cups from a 5-lb bag (16.67 cups) of seeds.

    per cup:
    -- Nutiva homemade: $0.63
    -- Manitoba Harvest homemade: $0.44
    -- Pacific original: $1.44
    -- Tempt unsweetened: $1.51
    -- Cow's milk(if $3.50/gallon): $0.22

    Prices are from Amazon. More on my cost calculation:
    The 3-lb bag of Nutiva is $35 on Amazon, or $0.73/oz. 1 cup of seeds weighs 4.8 oz, so 1 cup costs $3.50. My yield from that cup of seeds is 5.5 cups of strained hemp milk. $3.50/5.5 = $0.63 per cup.
    If you're yielding 6 cups of unstrained milk, that would cost $0.58 per cup.

    The two cheapest options I found:
    -- 3-lb bag of Nutiva on Amazon (.73/oz) ... yes, slightly less than the 5-lb bag
    -- 5-lb tub of Manitoba Harvest on Amazon (.51/oz) ... but lots of complaints that the tub has too many gravel-hard husks

    -- Don't soak shelled hemp seeds. They don't have the phytic acid / enzyme inhibitors that other nuts and seeds have, which requires soaking to remove.
    -- Random individuals online mention soaking unshelled hemp seeds for a few hours, apparently to make the protein easier to digest, but those people aren't blending the seeds.

    -- I can't really tell a difference in taste between the hemp milk from my old-school Osterizer and the Breville 605 I just bought.

    -- For those who don't strain, are you still shaking the container each time you pour? If I don't shake it, a half-inch of cream+pulp accumulates at the bottom of the jar, and I feel like I'm missing out on nutrients and yield.
    -- I'm curious whether straining with a nut-milk bag rather than a flour sack towel would improve my yield.

    1. Thank you so much Tracy for all the time you put into this and for sharing it!

    2. I strain it in a metal strainer and what ever is left in the jar I shake it so I can have all the nutriments, I just don't know what to do with the left over pulps, any suggestions? ( I don't bake much)

  29. This was great. I have previously tried to make homemade almond milk but failed. This is so easy and my no-so-powerful blender worked just fine. We are just starting to venture into clean eating so it is saying a lot that even my son liked it. I guess it is never too late to start :) Now if I can just get the hubby on board!

  30. Be aware that when you make food items or drinks using hemp protein powder, hemp seeds etc. you do have the possibility of testing positive for drugs. My nutritionist cautioned me on this.

  31. Costco carries a 28 Oz bag of Manitoba Harvest shelled hemp seeds for under 20.00.

  32. Lynda, you need a new nutritionist. If you are buying from a reputable company like Nutiva, out of Canada, they have strict rules as to how much THC can be in their products. Unless you are smoking weed in conjuncture, there's no way a person consuming a normal amount of powder, oil, milk, or otherwise could test positive. Even a large amount would not be a problem. Any reputable nutritionist would know that.
    And thank you Tracy for the breakdown. Very helpful!

  33. Has anybody tried making hemp milk using hemp butter? Thanks ;)

  34. I make hemp and nut milk using a very old ordinary blender..works great!

  35. Never give up on treating your cancer for there is a cure and my wife was once a cancer patient, am Joe living in the us. Two years ago my wife suffered from kidney cancer and the doctor told us that nothing could be done, I was so frustrated and the thought of loosing my wife was so unbearable that I lost all hope.

    One faithful day my daughter told me that she had found a cure for cancer and she found it on the internet, she ask me to watch Rick Simpson's video with her. Although i didn't believe her I watched it anyway just to please her and after watching it I discovered that it brought my hope back and i wanted to give it a try.

    I and my daughter started searching for legitimate source that could provide the Rick Simpson's hemp oil that would cure my wife. We read a lot of testimonies online of how a lot of doctors has helped a lot of patients cured their cancer with hemp oil and it was on one of this sites we found Dr. George, we contacted him Via his Email contacthospital_eastern.george@yahoo.com which we found in the testimony we read about him.

    Dr. George's hemp oil is the best ever, I followed his instruction and now my wife is healthy and I am so excited.

    Thanks to Dr George for helping my wife cure her cancer with his hemp oil and for also making life worth living once again.

  36. I just started making Hemp milk. I have both of your cookbooks (which I recommend to everyone I know). I noticed that the recipes for nut/see milks in your first cookbook says to use either Dates or Maple Syrup. But your 2nd book (and this blog post) only mentions Maple Syrup. I'm wondering if you've made a conscious decision to move away from dates in your milks and if so, why? Or was this change just a way to simplify the recipes?

  37. Gretchen- Yes, just to simplify. It makes the blending go faster. You can use either. We definitely still consume dates! :)

  38. I just saw my allergist today (I have eosinophilic esophagitis) and he said hemp milk could be a problem for me, anyway, as many with my condition react to it in the same way as wheat. I don't know if that's common with other inflammatory conditions, though, but I thought I'd mention it here since you say it's good for an elimination diet.

  39. BIG question - regarding nut and seed milks. I've made several different 'milks', my current favorite is pumpkin seed - but what to do with the left over solids? Do you have any recipes or recommendations of what can be done with this stuff?


  40. here is a link i found for using the leftovers from plant based milks :) http://yumuniverse.com/plant-powerful-dairy-free-milk/

  41. I used a nutribullet, which left a lot of solids (definitely more than the tsp previous poster mentioned). Maybe it was the length of time blending, maybe the machine, not sure.

    Fortunately, I was able to handily strain with my mesh grocery produce bag from Earthwise. Love those! It worked really well. Just throw them in the laundry and they're clean for next time :-)

  42. You can also strain any nut milk/seed milk using knee high panty hose. the mesh is very fine, they cost about $0.99 at my local CVS and you get about 5 batches out of each one before they begin to break down. A very convenient alternative.

  43. really, really looking forward to doing this. I notice Costco has hemp. Has anyone compared prices with Amazon?

  44. I use nylon paint strainer bags for nut milks. Amazon has them in packages - read the comments to find out which ones hold up well to repeated use. Easy to rinse and quick drying. Last a long time.

  45. Isn't this SUPER EXPENSIVE or am I missing something? 8oz (which is only ONE cup needed for the recipe) is $10!! So that means that is you're making a 6 cup batch, a bit over a quart, it's almost $10!!! I MUST be missing something...I hope

  46. I use nylon bags and they worked just fine for the job. Bought them form amazon


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