Aguonu Pienas Recipe - Vegetarian Lithuanian Poppy Seed Milk

Aguonu Pienas

Aguonu Pienas Recipe - Vegetarian Lithuanian Poppy Seed Milk
Region / culture: Lithuania | Preparation time: 4 hours | Servings: 4 | Vegetarian diet


Aguonu Pienas
Aguonu Pienas

Aguonu Pienas, or poppy seed milk, is a traditional Lithuanian beverage that is both unique and rich in flavor. This delightful drink is made from poppy seeds, water, and honey, offering a sweet and slightly nutty taste. It is often enjoyed during the Christmas season but can be a refreshing treat at any time of the year. This recipe guide will walk you through the steps to create your own Aguonu Pienas, along with providing insights into its history, nutritional information, and various tips to enhance your cooking experience.


The tradition of making Aguonu Pienas dates back centuries in Lithuania and is deeply rooted in the country's culinary heritage. Originally, it was a part of the Kūčios meal, consumed on Christmas Eve, which consists of twelve meatless dishes. Poppy seeds are believed to bring prosperity and peace, making Aguonu Pienas more than just a beverage, but a symbol of hope and joy for the coming year.


How to prepare

  1. Pour boiling water over poppy seeds to cover.
  2. Let them set for 4 hours.
  3. Drain the poppy seeds.
  4. Process the scalded poppy seeds in a food processor, food mill, or grinder.
  5. Pour the quart of boiled water over the processed poppy seeds.
  6. Add sugar or honey and stir until the sugar dissolves.
  7. Chill the milk.
  8. The dish can be served strained or unstrained.


  • For a vegan version, ensure that the honey is replaced with a plant-based sweetener like agave syrup.
  • Add a pinch of cinnamon or vanilla extract for an extra layer of flavor.

Cooking Tips & Tricks

To ensure the best flavor and consistency for your Aguonu Pienas, consider the following tips:

- Use freshly ground poppy seeds for a richer taste.

- Adjust the sweetness according to your preference by adding more or less honey.

- For a smoother texture, strain the mixture using a fine mesh sieve or cheesecloth.

- Serve chilled for a refreshing experience.

Serving Suggestions

Aguonu Pienas can be enjoyed on its own as a refreshing drink or used as a base for smoothies. It also pairs well with traditional Lithuanian pastries and desserts for a complete cultural experience.

Cooking Techniques

The key technique in preparing Aguonu Pienas is the proper grinding of poppy seeds to release their flavor and nutrients. Soaking and boiling also play crucial roles in achieving the right consistency and taste.

Ingredient Substitutions

If honey is not available, you can use sugar or maple syrup as a sweetener.

- Almond extract can be used in place of vanilla for a different flavor profile.

Make Ahead Tips

Aguonu Pienas can be made ahead and stored in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. The flavors will continue to meld and develop over time, often resulting in a richer taste.

Presentation Ideas

Serve Aguonu Pienas in clear glasses to showcase its unique texture. Garnish with a sprinkle of ground poppy seeds or a drizzle of honey for an elegant touch.

Pairing Recommendations

This beverage pairs beautifully with light pastries, such as Lithuanian poppy seed rolls or honey cake. It can also complement savory dishes that feature root vegetables or legumes.

Storage and Reheating Instructions

Store Aguonu Pienas in an airtight container in the refrigerator. It is best enjoyed cold and does not require reheating. Stir well before serving, as separation may occur.

Nutrition Information

Calories per serving

A single serving of Aguonu Pienas contains approximately 250 calories. The majority of these calories come from the healthy fats in poppy seeds and the natural sugars in honey.


A serving of Aguonu Pienas contains approximately 20 grams of carbohydrates. The primary source of these carbohydrates is the honey, which not only sweetens the drink but also provides quick energy.


Poppy seeds are a good source of healthy fats, particularly omega-6 fatty acids. A serving of Aguonu Pienas contains about 14 grams of fats, most of which are unsaturated and contribute to heart health.


This beverage provides a modest amount of protein, with about 5 grams per serving. Poppy seeds contribute to the protein content, making Aguonu Pienas a more nutritious choice than many other sweet beverages.

Vitamins and minerals

Poppy seeds are rich in several vitamins and minerals, including calcium, magnesium, and iron. Aguonu Pienas can contribute to your daily intake of these essential nutrients, supporting bone health and energy production.


The main allergen present in Aguonu Pienas is poppy seeds. Individuals with a history of allergies to seeds should consume this beverage with caution.


Aguonu Pienas is a nutritious beverage that offers a good balance of carbohydrates, fats, and proteins, along with essential vitamins and minerals. It is relatively high in calories, so it should be consumed in moderation as part of a balanced diet.


Aguonu Pienas is a traditional Lithuanian beverage that offers a delightful blend of flavors and nutritional benefits. This guide provides everything you need to know to prepare, enjoy, and experiment with this unique drink. Whether you're celebrating a special occasion or simply looking for a nutritious refreshment, Aguonu Pienas is sure to impress.

How did I get this recipe?

I remember the sense of wonder I felt when I first saw this recipe for Aguonu Pienas. It was handed down to me by my great-grandmother, who was known for her delicious Lithuanian dishes. As a young girl, I would watch in awe as she effortlessly whipped up traditional meals that filled our home with mouthwatering aromas.

One day, as I sat at her kitchen table, she handed me a tattered recipe card with faded writing that detailed the ingredients and instructions for Aguonu Pienas. She explained that it was a cherished family recipe, passed down through generations, and now it was my turn to learn how to make it.

I eagerly took on the challenge, determined to master the art of making Aguonu Pienas just like my great-grandmother. I carefully studied the recipe, taking note of each ingredient and step. The recipe called for simple and wholesome ingredients: fresh milk, sugar, vanilla, and of course, walnuts.

I vividly remember the first time I attempted to make Aguonu Pienas on my own. I gathered all the ingredients and set to work in the kitchen, following the instructions with precision. As the milk simmered on the stove, filling the air with a sweet and comforting scent, I felt a sense of pride and accomplishment.

The final touch came when I added the crushed walnuts to the milk mixture, creating a creamy and decadent dessert that was both comforting and indulgent. I couldn't wait to share my creation with my family, eager to see their reaction to this traditional Lithuanian dish.

As I served the Aguonu Pienas to my loved ones, I watched as their faces lit up with delight. The creamy texture and rich flavor of the dish brought back memories of childhood and family gatherings. My great-grandmother smiled approvingly, knowing that her recipe was in good hands.

Over the years, I continued to perfect my technique and make Aguonu Pienas for special occasions and holidays. Each time I prepared the dish, I felt a sense of connection to my heritage and the generations of women who had come before me. The recipe became more than just a dish; it was a symbol of love, tradition, and family.

As I look back on my journey with Aguonu Pienas, I am grateful for the gift of cooking and the wisdom passed down to me by my great-grandmother. Her recipe has become a treasured tradition in our family, a link to our roots and a reminder of the importance of preserving our culinary heritage.

And so, I continue to make Aguonu Pienas with love and care, honoring the legacy of those who came before me. With each creamy spoonful, I am reminded of the power of food to bring us together, to nourish our bodies and souls, and to create lasting memories that will be cherished for generations to come.


| Beverage Recipes | Lithuanian Recipes | Lithuanian Vegetarian | Poppy Seed Recipes |

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