Vanilla ‘Bean’ Milk (Dairy-Free, Nut-Free, Soy-Free)

Alternative milks are quite popular these days.

You can make a milk out of just about anything! Rice, nuts, seeds….how about beans?

Soy milk starts with soy beans, so I wondered if I could make milk from other kinds of beans. milk111

Turns out, you can!… AND it’s easier on your pocketbook. Check it out:

(These figures relate to Tucson, Arizona, where I reside, and what I personally purchase, so check your own health food stores to be sure!)

I figured out that there are about two cups (1,376) of beans in one pound, and three cups (432) of almonds in one pound. In short, you get about two cups of beans for $1.69, and three cups of almond for $4.99.

                     PRICE PER POUND              AMT. TO MAKE ONE MILK RECIPE        PRICE/RECIPE

Beans                   $1.69 (organic)                                      1/2 cup                                                           $0.42

Almonds             $4.99 (non-organic)                               1 cup                                                              $1.66


Most recipes (including mine) use one cup of almonds to four cups of water, equaling about five cups of milk. My bean milk, however, only requires 1/2 cup of beans to the same amount of water.

As you can see, making this bean milk results in huge monetary savings! It costs about four times as much to make almond milk as it does to make organic bean milk, and this doesn’t even reflect if you buy ORGANIC almonds, which I don’t.

Now, let’s take a peek at the nutritional stats of each:

                                                             BEANS                                           ALMONDS

CALORIES                                                350                                                      546

FAT                                                         1.6 g                                                     47 g

CARBS                                                    63.2 g                                                  20.6 g

FIBER                                                     25.4 g                                                  11.6 g

PROTEIN                                                23.2 g                                                   20.2 g

SUGAR                                                    4 g                                                        3.7 g

**Based on 1/2 cup of Navy beans and one cup of almonds.

There are significant differences in both fat and carbs, but in defense of the beans carb amount, they are slow absorbing (complex) carbs, and beans are a low glycemic food, which basically means they aren’t going to spike your blood sugar, they boast a decent amount of fiber, and they keep you fuller longer.

Dairy-Free, Nut-Free Vanilla 'Bean' Milk
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Serves: 4
  • ½ c. dried mild-tasting beans, Navy, Great Northern, and black are all delicious!
  • ½ T. lemon juice
  • 4 c. purified water, divided, plus more for soaking the beans
  • 2 t. vanilla
  • ½ t. salt
  • 1 T. maple syrup
  • 12 drops liquid stevia
  1. Place the beans and lemon juice in a bowl.
  2. Cover the beans with water, and let them soak for 12-24 hours.
  3. Drain and rinse the beans.
  4. Add the beans and three cups of water to a blender, and blend for about 2 minutes until it appears smooth.
  5. Strain the mixture through a fine sieve or nut milk bag, removing the bean pulp.
  6. Heat a pot over medium heat, and add the bean milk.
  7. Stirring constantly, warm the bean milk for 10 minutes. BE CAREFUL to not let the mixture come to a rolling boil, only a low simmer. Otherwise, the milk will scald, and it will have a burnt taste.
  8. Stir in the final cup of water, vanilla, salt, maple syrup, and stevia.
  9. Cool.
  10. Pour into a storage container, and store in the fridge.
  11. Use as you would regular milk!




This stuff is delicious!

milk222 My husband loves how thick it is, and claims he likes it better than any milk he’s ever tried! Husband approved! :-D Stored in my cute milk jug ($3.50 at TJMaxx!)…


I hope if you have dairy, soy, or nut allergies, you will give this wonderful alternative a try! It is my new go-to milk!

Have you tried making milk out of anything other than almonds?

I’ve personally made it out of sunflower seeds, hazelnuts, brazil nuts, and hemp seeds…next on my list is quinoa!

Shared with: Make Your Own Monday, Natural Living Monday, Slightly Indulgent Tuesday, Fat Tuesday, Allergy-Free Wednesday, Wheat-Free Wednesday, Gluten-Free Wednesday, Healthy 2day, Whole Foods Wednesday, Real Food Wednesday, The Pennywise Platter, Gluten-Free Friday





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Comments: 60

  1. Heather April 22, 2013 at 6:28 am Reply

    I hadn’t thought of doing this. have printed the recipe and am going to give it a try. Thanks.
    Heather recently posted..Nobody by Jennifer Lynn BarnesMy Profile

  2. Anna @ Your Healthy Place April 22, 2013 at 9:41 am Reply

    What an awesome idea! How did you find it..digested? :) No issues that can come up with beans usually?

    • Lauren April 22, 2013 at 10:21 am Reply

      Thanks girl! I had no issues with it, but soaking the beans beforehand is supposed to help, not to mention the fact that most of the flesh is taken out when you strain it.

  3. Kinzie April 22, 2013 at 10:11 am Reply

    right, as in… did it make you MUSICAL? :)

    • Lauren April 22, 2013 at 10:19 am Reply

      Haha, nope! Soaking the beans beforeh.and is helpful, and a lot of the flesh is lost during straining. :-)

  4. Kathryn April 22, 2013 at 11:35 am Reply

    Definitely gonna have to try this out this week – I’m running low on store-bought milks and have been considering just making my own! Really excited to see how it turns out :D
    Kathryn recently posted..findvegan:

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  5. Stephanie @Good Girl Gone Green April 22, 2013 at 12:44 pm Reply

    Interesting.:) I have some white beans and will give this a try! I make almond milk, but making your own is still cheaper than buying it at the store. I buy my almonds in bulk from an organic raw company and I get them for 5.00lbs. I was paying 8.99/9.99lbs for organic almonds at whole food while living in the USA. That does seems expensive for almond milk. You could also try sunflower seed milk which is cheaper, and nut-free! :) However, this bean milk does look tasty!! Thanks for sharing!
    Stephanie @Good Girl Gone Green recently posted..How to Brew KombuchaMy Profile

    • Lauren April 22, 2013 at 3:34 pm Reply

      Hi Stephanie,
      I actually have a recipe on here for sunflower seed milk, but find that it definitely DOES taste like sunflower seeds. This how a much more subtle taste that I find blends well in smoothies, on cereal, or even by itself. :-)

      • Stephanie @Good Girl Gone Green April 22, 2013 at 3:45 pm Reply

        I will definitely let you know how it goes. My husbands has already told me “no bean milk for me.” I will make it and tell him it is almond milk! I am sneaky like that. LOL
        Stephanie @Good Girl Gone Green recently posted..How to Brew KombuchaMy Profile

  6. Deanna April 22, 2013 at 12:58 pm Reply

    What a great idea. My next door neighbor makes her own soy milk and it tastes completely different (and better) than the store bought stuff. But, I can’t handle soy. I’ll have to try the white bean approach!
    Deanna recently posted..Your Stories Are a GiftMy Profile

  7. Gabby @ the veggie nook April 22, 2013 at 2:12 pm Reply

    Wow this is SO unique! I am in awe of your creativity right now :)
    Gabby @ the veggie nook recently posted..warm butternut squash, cabbage and dill saladMy Profile

  8. Matt Tabor April 22, 2013 at 4:25 pm Reply

    Love this idea!

    I really like coconut milk and hemp milk as an alternative to almond.
    Matt Tabor recently posted..Mini #Whole30My Profile

  9. Mary Frances @ The Sweet Tooth Life April 22, 2013 at 4:53 pm Reply

    Wow. This is incredibly creative. I have dairy free friends and I am going to send them this link. So creative, in fact I’ve never seen anything like this! So easy and so much better for you! How much more genius can you get?! You said it was thicker, but is the taste noticeable different?

    • Lauren April 22, 2013 at 7:59 pm Reply

      I find it’s comparable to soy milk. The heating of the milk reduces any ‘bean’ taste to a great extent. My husband and I both love it!

  10. freshlifefindings April 22, 2013 at 4:53 pm Reply

    I’ve never tried this before! And you make it sound delicious! Before I try this I still have to try making your homemade almond milk :)
    freshlifefindings recently posted..Weekend Re-Cap: Tay Swift, Weddings & More!My Profile

    • Lauren April 22, 2013 at 8:00 pm Reply

      Aw, thanks girl!!

  11. Michelle @ Eat Move Balance April 22, 2013 at 5:08 pm Reply

    You are so creative! I haven’t even tried making my own almond milk!
    Michelle @ Eat Move Balance recently posted..Love Caramelized Onions!My Profile

    • Lauren April 22, 2013 at 7:59 pm Reply

      Haha….really?? It’s so much tastier than store bought, you’ve got to try it!

  12. Hannah@Mindrunningwild April 23, 2013 at 5:37 pm Reply

    I’m so glad you did this- I’ve often had the same thought myself and just haven’t gotten to do it yet. I tried quinoa milk, which came out nice, if a bit thin, but always thought that bean milk would go over well. SO glad it does and that you’ve taken the guess work out for me! I’m going to try it soon.
    Two things: 1. Does it taste bitter at all due to the dried beans?
    2. Do you recommend using a vitamin/high powered blender to blend the beans once soaked, or would a regular blender suffice?

    • Lauren April 23, 2013 at 9:33 pm Reply

      Hi Hannah! I haven’t noticed any bitter taste at all! I would actually liken it soy milk. I use a 600 watt blender for all my nut/bean milks and smoothies, which is nooooo Vita Mix!…but it gets the job(s) done well! I hope you enjoy it if you try it. :-)

  13. Mary @ Fit and Fed April 23, 2013 at 9:07 pm Reply

    What a great idea! It’s interesting to know that the navy beans made such a mild milk. And I would think that being bean-based it would have more protein than almond milk and other alternatives like rice milk (which has barely any protein at all).
    Mary @ Fit and Fed recently posted..Vegetarian StroganoffMy Profile

    • Lauren April 23, 2013 at 9:35 pm Reply

      Thanks Mary! It actually has a comparable amount of protein to almond milk, though far less fat. I used to drink rice milk, but prefer something a bit thicker. :-)

  14. […] was like eating melted ice cream! I used my bean milk, cocoa powder, almond butter, stevia, and ice to create what could have been the best smoothie […]

  15. Amber April 25, 2013 at 5:39 pm Reply

    Could I use regular sugar instead of stevia? How much? :)

    • Lauren April 25, 2013 at 6:45 pm Reply

      Sure! 8 drops is equal to about 1 tablespoon, so about a heaping tablespoon? :-)

  16. […] used my bean milk that I made using black beans. It makes it so thick and […]

  17. Anne, Texas April 26, 2013 at 2:42 pm Reply

    Is the lemon juice a must in the soaking process. I have.beans in the freezer already soaked for 24 hrs I’d like to use.
    Thanks looks great I’m ready to try it

    • Lauren April 26, 2013 at 3:00 pm Reply

      Not at all. It just helps with digestion. Let me know what you think! :-)

  18. Em @ Love A Latte April 26, 2013 at 6:57 pm Reply

    This is crazy awesome!!!
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  19. Joyce April 26, 2013 at 10:01 pm Reply

    Oh wow! I have never ever heard of doing this before, but, duh… soy beans are used, so why not another bean?! I am so so excited to make some. Wow, wow, wow!
    Thank you Lauren. You sure know how to MILK-OUT greatness and goodness. Where have I BEAN? Again… thank you! I am truly grateful!

  20. Hi Lauren–I think this idea is simply brilliant! I shared it on my gfe Facebook page after you posted. Readers loved it! Those of us who want to eat/drink dairy free need as many delicious options as we can get. :-) I just learned a new way to make almond milk (which I shared on my gfe blog). Wonderfully, it seems like there are quite a few options now. Some of my friends make their own hemp milk, too.

    Thanks so much!
    Shirley @ gfe & All Gluten-Free Desserts recently posted..Avocado-Lime Pie from Delectably FreeMy Profile

    • Lauren April 27, 2013 at 5:09 pm Reply

      Thank you Shirley! I just tried hemp milk last night and thought it was delicious! It’d be a bit pricey for me to make that all of the time, so this recipe definitely helps in that regard. :-) Thanks again for sharing!

  21. April 28, 2013 at 7:16 pm Reply

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  22. Marya April 29, 2013 at 4:57 pm Reply

    Pure genius!!
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  23. Renata Octaviani (VegVida) May 1, 2013 at 7:54 am Reply

    I use oatmeal a lot for a quick vegetable milk and for recipes when I want a real thick texture, like a cream. However, I still haven’t found nothing like almond milk for my baking fillings.
    I’ll try this one, bu I’m tempted to boil the bean for 10-15 minutes before blanding, so I can avoid the burnt risk.

    • Lauren May 1, 2013 at 8:56 am Reply

      Almond milk is in a class all its own! I’ve been having trouble lately with nuts, so that’s why I created this. Do you also make milk out of vegetables? I tried avocado milk once and it was AWFUL!

  24. Cindy (Vegetarian Mamma) May 1, 2013 at 7:04 pm Reply

    Lauren, this is great! I can’t wait to try this for my nut free boys! :) Thanks for linking up at our Gluten Free Fridays party! I have tweeted and pinned your entry to our Gluten Free Fridays board on Pinterest! :)

    Be sure to stop by to see who the winner of our So Lucky GF Basket is! We are ALSO having a fantastic giveaway this week to kick off Celiac Awareness month! :)

    Cindy from
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  25. […] Vanilla Bean Milk via Oatmeal with a Fork […]

  26. Kathryn May 2, 2013 at 6:16 pm Reply

    I literally JUST made this – it’s still warm – but i’m in love! It does have a very mildly ‘bean’ flavor, but it’s SO mild that it makes no difference. I took what didn’t fit into my container, whisked in some cocoa, and had chocolate milk that tasted amazing! I also used dates as my only sweetener – worked perfect, though there are wee date pieces throughout now :p

    • Lauren May 2, 2013 at 7:20 pm Reply

      That’s great Kathryn! When I posted it, I wondered if it would be an acquired taste like olives or something, so I’m happy to hear you enjoyed it. :-D Love the idea of adding the chocolate too!!

  27. Produce on Parade May 21, 2013 at 5:02 pm Reply

    Oh my, I must try this. I make my own almond milk and coconut milk. I tried oat milk once but it was rather slimy…so I am excited to try the white bean milk! Almonds are expensive up here in Alaska….
    Produce on Parade recently posted..Lemon Blueberry Oat MuffinsMy Profile

  28. I_Fortuna June 14, 2013 at 5:20 pm Reply

    I boil the soy beans first using Dr. Ben Kim’s method from his site. Boil them for 15 minutes after soaking, add water, blend, drink. It is that easy. It is not that time consuming except for cleaning up. I make oat milk using organic live miso and it is never slimmy. It is clean and fresh and a little salty from the miso. I add sweetener to it. I use hatcho miso from natural Import Company. You can use any live miso. They have all kinds of organic foods. I cook 2 cups of oatmeal in 5 to 6 cups of water,let cool to room temp, stir in 1 to 2 tablespoons of miso, stir until miso dissolves, and let sit overnight.. Strain, refirgerate, drink. Easy and no slime. Strain your miso in to your oatmeal through a strainer to make sure it mixes well with the oatmeal. The oatmeal will begin to break down while you are stirring and that is normal. It will be mostly liquid in the morning.

  29. foodienewz July 4, 2013 at 11:57 pm Reply

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  30. […] originally found this recipe here. When I first saw this recipe my initial reaction was, “Ew!”. But after I thought about […]

  31. Angel S. July 22, 2013 at 4:57 am Reply

    I think I going to try it without the sweeteners and vanilla, I don’t really care for sweetened and flavored milks for cooking and I can’t have maple syrup. Hope it works, it would be so much less expensive than almond milk!

  32. Robin July 24, 2013 at 3:32 pm Reply

    While this is a great option for those allergic to almonds, I would hesitate to make it due to the phytic acid content of beans. I try to stay away from beans as much as I can but sometimes some black beans and rice just call my name. :)

    • Lauren July 25, 2013 at 8:05 am Reply

      Do you stay away from beans even when they are soaked? As I learn more about phytic acid, it actually has a lot of benefits! I’m doing some research on it right now, and am finding that it has a greater affinity for toxic heavy metals than minerals.

  33. Katie September 5, 2013 at 4:02 pm Reply

    What is the purpose of heating the bean milk after it has been strained? Do you have to do that step?

    • Lauren September 5, 2013 at 4:08 pm Reply

      Yes! If you don’t, you’ll get a nasty ‘raw’ bean taste. This heating cooks that taste out, so be sure to do it for the full time.

  34. Jennifer Cummings September 26, 2013 at 1:00 pm Reply

    Could you cook the beans before blending? Because the smell is very bad as I was straining and cooking it. Made me sick to my tummy. Also what do you do with the bean pulp? I have been making almond and coconut milk for 2 years and I use the almond and coconut pulp in baking for gluten free baking.

    • Lauren September 26, 2013 at 1:56 pm Reply

      Hi Jennifer,

      I’ve never tried cooking the beans first. The problem with that method would be straining the pulp out, as it would get mushy and probably wouldn’t separate out as well.

      The smell dissipates once the beans are simmered though. I usually just throw the pulp away, but perhaps it could be used in something?…

  35. Tammye October 13, 2013 at 10:53 am Reply

    I had this ingenious idea to make bean milk but decided to google the concept first then WHAM!!! I found your website! I made the milk using white northern beans and, yes, there was a strong beanie taste. I will cook the milk next time as you instructed but on very low temperature to not kill the nutrients. Thanks Lauren!!!

  36. Tammye October 13, 2013 at 10:56 am Reply

    OH!!! Use the pulp to make hummus or some other creative dip!!! Waste not!!!!

    • Stephen May 26, 2014 at 4:52 pm Reply

      Agreed. I wonder how much of the bean nutrition is lost when the pulp is discarded?

  37. […] Vanilla ‘Bean’ Milk […]

  38. Ashley December 6, 2013 at 10:52 am Reply

    I have never made any of my own milks, but I definitely would like to give it a try! Can you recommend a good nut milk bag?

    • Lauren December 6, 2013 at 1:12 pm Reply

      Diana Stobo makes the best one I’ve found (it lasts the longest). I usually buy it on Amazon. :-)

  39. AJ January 3, 2014 at 10:37 am Reply

    This is brilliant. Just discovered your wonderful blog and already have a batch of your snicker doodles in the oven! Now i need to make some ‘milk’ to go along with the cookies!! I only have canned beans (black, white, and great northern) on hand, do you think any of those would work if I rinsed them? Should I rinse and soak them for a bit in water and lemon first?

    • Lauren January 3, 2014 at 1:02 pm Reply

      Thanks AJ! Unfortunately, you can’t use canned beans here, as you want the beans to be hard and raw in order to separate the pulp from the milk. I hope you enjoy the snickerdoodles though, and thanks for your sweet comment! :-)

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