A few days ago, I tasted some hazelnut milk and instantly fell in love. The only problem was that I felt it was missing something...chocolate! I'm not sure if it's because of Nutella's ubiquitous presence in the world or because chocolate and hazelnut is just a classic combination, but every time I took a sip, my taste buds were calling for chocolate! I immediately went to recipe testing and soon discovered a wonderfully rich and decadent vegan (dairy-free) nut milk that only you would know it’s healthy.
I was tempted to call this post “Nutella Milk” because it literally tastes like liquid Nutella, but because there’s no actual Nutella in this milk and is instead a nut-based milk, I thought perhaps it would be a bit misleading. This recipe is similar to the chocolate “milk” I made a little while back. Instead of using almonds, I use hazelnuts in this recipe. Hazelnuts really add a robust and rich, nutty flavor. So instead of taking the backseat, they are the drivers of this recipe. You can really taste the hazelnuts in every sip. They are slightly bitter, so it works beautifully with chocolate. I decided to make this recipe vegan, raw, dairy free and refined sugar free.
To make this recipe only requires a handful of ingredients -- less than 5 to be exact! I start with hazelnuts that soak in water overnight. Like with any nut milk, this is a crucial step because it allows them to absorb water, plump up and soften. It makes them much easier to blend andwill yield a smoother and richer milk. Using a high-power blender is important for creating a silky smooth texture. To make the milk, blend together the hazelnuts and water. The texture will still be grainy, especially if you are using hazelnuts with their skins. To remove the pulp, use a cheesecloth to ring out the liquid. Place the milk back in the blender along with cacao powder, vanilla extract, salt, and medjool dates. I am using raw cacao powder, but you can use regular cocoa. I would suggest using a dutch-processed cocoa powder, it’s much richer and smoother in texture. Vanilla extract and salt enhances the chocolate flavor. Medjool dates add a natural and delightful sweetness. They have almost a caramel-like flavor. Paired with chocolate, they make for the perfect chocolate milk! You can use whatever sweetener you like, like maple syrup, agave, or coconut sugar, etc., but dates really compliment the nut milk and provide richness and fiber without overpowering the milk. The recipe calls for 4-6 -- use more if you prefer a sweeter milk, less if you don’t. I am using hazelnuts in this recipe, but you could really use any nuts you like! Cashews are super creamy and would be delicious, almonds, macadamia..you name it! You can drink this milk right away, but it’s best after it’s had a few hours to rest in the refrigerator. This really allows all the flavors to come together and enhance.
I was so happy with how with recipe turned out! I love making this chocolate hazelnut milk and have been on a chocolate-hazelnut kick ever since (hint hint: more chocolate-hazelnut recipes soon to come)! Between the hazelnuts, the raw cacao powder, and dates, this mixture is a rich, slightly bitter but sweet, chocolatey, caramel delight that is the perfect *healthy* chocolate milk! This recipe is vegan, gluten free, refined sugar free, and dairy free. Do you have a favorite dairy-free milk? Share your thoughts and comments below and on social media using the hashtag #friedparsley!
Begin by soaking the hazelnuts in water overnight or for at least 8 hours. Drain and rinse the hazelnuts. Add to a high-power blender, along with 2 1/2 cups water. Blend until smooth. In a bowl (preferably with a strainer on top), place on a cheese cloth. Pour the hazelnut mixture, in batches, onto the cheesecloth, making sure it doesn’t spill over. Ring out the liquid into the bowl. Either discard the pulp or use it for another recipe. Place the reserved liquid back into the blender, along with the cacao powder, dates, vanilla extract, and salt and blend until smooth. Pour into an airtight container and place in the fridge for up to 3-4 days. *I highly recommend chilling the milk for at least 4 hours in the fridge before serving* Enjoy!
Makes: 2 - 2 1/2 cups “milk”
Active Time: 20-30 minutes
Total Time: + 12 hours
1 cup raw hazelnuts, soaked in water overnight
2 1/2 cups filtered water
cheese cloth (or a nut milk bag)
3 tablespoons raw cacao powder
4-6 large medjool dates
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon salt