Although I will never say a permanent goodbye to cow’s milk, I find myself consuming a variety of alt-milks depending on the texture and flavour I want. And this fall, in addition to almond, soy, oat, and pea milk, pumpkin seed milk is another one I’m adding to my arsenal of alt-milks. Not only is it timely (we’re all about to carve pumpkins, thus releasing their seeds), it’s also light and creamy.
How to make pumpkin seed milk
The recipe for making milk out of pumpkin seeds, which came from the latest edition of The Joy of Cooking, is quite simple: Soak one cup of pumpkin seeds in water overnight. Then, drain off the water, and place the pumpkin seeds in a blender with four cups of fresh water, and blend until smooth. Next, strain out the solids, either using a nut-milk bag or a cheesecloth.
When I made a batch, I draped a cheesecloth over a sieve, letting gravity do its work, and then I squeezed out the last remaining drops of liquid. Depending on your preferences, you can add in some flavouring to the milk — Joy recommends a pinch of salt, 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla extract, and a bit of sweetener, such as maple syrup.
With alt-milks, the best use for each variety depends on the taste you want. This is a milk that retains the distinct flavour of pumpkin seeds, so you might pour it on granola, add it to a smoothie, or drink it plain. I was initially sceptical about how it might mix with coffee, but the flavours blended well in a glass of iced coffee. I tasted the coffee and the creaminess, but not the pumpkin seed flavour itself.
How to store pumpkin seed milk
Pumpkin seed milk can be stored in your refrigerator for up to one week. The contents will separate a little, so you’ll need to stir it before you use it. If you make too much, or if you have a surplus of pumpkin seeds you want to use, you can pour the milk into ice trays to freeze to add to your smoothies long after pumpkin season has ended.