Ultimate Plant-Based Nut-Free Milk Guide


What do you do if you don’t eat dairy and are allergic to nuts?

First of all, good for you about the dairy. We don’t need it.

As for the nuts, there’s tons of  plant-based, healthy nut-free ways to get your “milk.”

I typically use a lot of coconut and almond milk in my recipes since they are easy to find and taste great.

But I was reminded of the nut allergy thing the other day when my gorgeous friend, Monique  sent me a note about rebooting her body for a Hawaii trip.  She delved into Winter Renewal, excited and ready to go, but with one q:

I’m allergic to nuts (including coconut) so what are some good substitutes?

This is an extremely common question  so I’ve been working on an in-depth guide for you.  That way you don’t have to resort to some inflammatory milk (goats, cow’s, etc…)  for your oatmeal, smoothies, and even your soups.

Before you delve into the handy guide, I want to point out that it is best to make your own milks.  The reason is because you know exactly what ingredients you are using instead of reading a bunch of words on a label that you don’t know.  Plus homemade is always tastier  in my opinion.

nutfree milk

It’s pretty easy once you get the hang of it.  But no worries if you aren’t at that step  yet.  I have a list of safe on-the-shelf milks you can buy.

Okay, ready?  Here we go!

Here’s what I have on hand:

  • Vitamix (any blender will do but high-powered ones work best; I use the Vitamix and find I hardly need the cheesecloth)
  • Cheesecloth (I have tons of scraps I cut up and keep in the kitchen. You can wash them and use them over and over).  To strain the milk, you need to pour a bunch of the milk in cheesecloth, twist the top and gently squeeze milk into a cup.

*All the milk recipes are gluten-free. PLEASE use Bob’s Red Mill Gluten-Free Rolled Oats when you make the oat milk.

*You can add a little somethin’ somethin’ to your milks.  Try cinnamon, vanilla, cacao…just make sure all ingredients are organic.

*When using water, make sure it is pure, filtered water and not just from the tap.

*All recipes serve 1 and can be served chilled or at room temperature.

*Milks can be stored in fridge for up to 1 week.

Here’s the list of nut-free milks and recipes for homemade versions:



Make your own:


1/2 cup gluten-free oats
2 cups water

Directions:  I like to toast my oats (5 minutes at 300 degrees F).  You don’t need to soak the oats even if using raw.

Blend the ingredients and strain through cheesecloth if needed.

Want to add a little somethin’ somethin’?  Vanilla extract and raw honey are best with oat milk.

Oats are found to lower cholesterol, have tons of fiber, and protein (appr. 7-9 grams per glass of milk).

Oat Milk


Make your own:


1/2 cup raw hemp seeds
2 cups water
Directions:  You don’t need to soak the seeds, just blend ingredients together, strain through cheesecloth if you need to. Usually the seeds blend nicely.  Serve chilled.  If you have extra hemp seeds, store in fridge immediately as they can go rancid very fast.

Hemp milk has a buttery taste.

A little somethin’ somethin’:  cardamon and cacao go well with this milk.

Hemp protein contains all 21 amino acids which make it a complete protein.  It’s a superfood packed with tons of iron and omega-3.

Living Harvest and Pacifica are pretty good brands for hemp milk if can’t go the homemade route.

Hemp Milk

Hemp Milk


Make your own:


1/2 cup cooked quinoa
2 cups water
 Directions:  It will be best to rinse then soak your quinoa for 8 hours. Quinoa contains a waxy protective coating called saponin which makes it difficult to digest unless rinsed off and soaked before cooking.   Blend ingredients together and strain through cheesecloth.

Quinoa milk has a grass-like flavor that does well with grade B maple syrup and cacao for a little somethin’ somethin’.

Loaded with tons of protein (a complete protein actually in the plant-world) is also high in magnesium.

Quinoa Milk


Make your own:


1/2 cup whole flax seeds

2 cups water

Directions:  Blend ingredients and use cheesecloth to strain the milk.

A little somethin’ somethin’:  cinnamon, nutmeg and vanilla extract work well with flax milk

Flax is filled with anti-oxidants and omega 3 plus great for the heart.  Whole Foods 365 brand is recommended if you can’t go the homemade route.

flax milk

Brown Rice

Make your own:


1/2 cup cooked brown rice
2 cups water
Directions:  I prefer cooking the rice first then blending.  You will most likely need to strain through cheesecloth.  This milk is pretty creamy and mild flavored.

Want to add a little somethin’ somethin’?  A touch of sea salt and grade B maple syrup goes well with rice milk.

Brown rice is a great source of trace minerals like manganese, selenium and magnesium.

Rice Milk

The next milks are seed-based. Many times if you are allergic to nuts you won’t have an allergic reaction to the following seeds BUT check with your doctor and get tested just in case.

 Sunflower Seeds

Make your own:


1/2 cup raw sunflower seeds
2 cups pure water (use coconut water for extra sweetness and electrolytes)
Directions:  I like to toast the seeds for an extra boost of flavor (5 minutes at 300 degrees F.) Blend together soaked or toasted and strain through cheesecloth.

Sunflower seed milk is mild and creamy.  Raw honey and vanilla extract work well for the extra somethin’ somethin’. Even a zest of orange can lighten up the milk.

Sunflowers have amazing amount of trace minerals (selenium and magnesium) as well as vitamin  E. 

sunflower seed milk

Pumpkin Seeds

Make your own:

1/2 cup raw pumpkin seeds
2 cups water
Directions: I prefer to toast the seeds for a popcorn-like flavor (5 minutes at 350 degrees F).  Blend ingredients and strain through cheesecloth.

Pumpkin seed milk is rich, creamy and green (my favorite color!).

Add in a lime and some honey for a little somethin’ somethin’.

Pumpkin seeds are a great source of protein and essential minerals (zinc, copper, phosphorus, magnesium, manganese, and iron).  Wonderful for digestion and research points out the seeds are good for easing anxiety.

Pumpkin Seed Milk

Sesame Seeds

Make your own:


1/2 cup raw sesame seeds
2 cups water
Directions:  Soak the seeds for 5-8 hours before blending.  Blend ingredients and strain through cheesecloth.

Sesame seed milk is creamy and rich.  A touch of cacao or honey will be delicious somethin’ somethin’s to add.

Sesame seeds have tons of calcium ( more than cow’s milk!), fiber, and tons of minerals such as copper, iron, manganese, magnesium, zinc and iron.

Sesame Seed Milk

Last but not least, you can go for soy, but I’m not a big fan.

If you use it, possibly 2-3 times a week at most. Why? Soy is highly genetically modified in the US so you’re not really getting the high nutrient-dense, fermented soy as you would in a good miso or tempeh from the East. Plus soy is controversial with it’s link to thyroid issues, fibroids,  infertility, and yeast (yes, candida).

We often tend to over consume foods that our touted as health foods such as having tofu scramble for breakfast, a Boca burger for lunch, and pad thai tofu for dinner all in one day (I’ve been guilty of this!).    Traditionally, Asian cultures eat no more than 2 tsp. of fermented soy a day which has shown to be health promoting but more than that shows to be problematic.

Soy products contain high levels of phytoestrogens that mimic the body’s natural estrogen hormones so if you’re already struggling to break down what you’re already producing, adding more to your system and making things worse.  So I advise avoiding if you can or using small amounts a week.

What do you say?

It’s your turn…what are some of your favorite plant-based nut-free milks? Tell me by leaving a comment below.

Love the nut-free milks? Try them in your smoothies by taking The 21 Day Green Up Smoothie Challenge.

Did you like this post? Feel free to share it with your friends. I know they’ll be glad you did! Thank you with all my heart. 🙂

4 Comments on “Ultimate Plant-Based Nut-Free Milk Guide”

  1. Hi Lisa,
    Wow! I love this. Some of these I have heard of before but others are completely new to me I can’t wait to try… I started soaking some sunflower seeds just now, they are my favorite to eat and I’ve never made milk with them before but do use organic sunflower lecithin in my milks sometimes which just adds a little bit of a malted flavor and thickness, very yummy and creamy. Cardamom is one of my favorite spices to add into almost any milk I make. I imagine some of these would make for amazing soup bases as well. Have you tried it with any of these? Again thanks so much, this really rocked and I loved the pictures.



    1. Robin, I love your “milky” ideas! Soaking the seeds is a great way to boost flavor as well as promote healthy enzymes. I experimented with all the milks to find out what works best with add-ins and that cardamom has to be one of my favorites, too. I used the hemp milk in my soups because I like that creamy, nutty flavor. I tried the flax and rice in the soups but I’m not a fan. It’s all about experimenting! Enjoy the guide. Big hugs!

  2. Wow! Thanks Lisa! These are great. Just getting into making my own milk. Waiting to get a Vitamix. Though that’s probably no excuse. 🙂 I only use nut based milk these days and it will be great to switch out to seeds now and then.

  3. these are fantastic!! I’ve been a vegan for a year and am newly experimenting with raw, I just tried the hemp and LOVE it, i can not thank you enough!!

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