Chocolate hazelnut milk is a super healthy dairy free nut milk made with toasted hazelnuts, cacao powder, and just a couple of dates to sweeten the deal ~ YUM!
chocolate hazelnut milk ~ a vegan milk to love
It’s rich, it’s thick and creamy, it has the lovely flavor of hazelnuts and chocolate, all just barely sweetened with a couple of dates. This is a drink to be savored, for sure. You can drink it straight, make it into a smoothie, use it on your morning cereal, or make one heck of a milkshake.
You’ve probably had almond milk, but virtually any nut can be ‘milked’, and they’re all unique and amazing. I have to say, this chocolate hazelnut milk is especially rich and complex ~ it’s an experience!
the 3 ingredients you’ll need
At first it might seems a little strange…like, how can anything made with nuts come close to being milk? It’s fascinating when you get into the science of it, and turns out that nut milk and dairy milk aren’t all that different! They’re both composed of water, protein, fat, carbohydrates and vitamins and minerals. Cows essentially turn grass into milk, and you can do the same with nuts!
- raw whole hazelnuts ~ find them in better supermarkets, specialty, gourmet, or natural food stores. Whole Foods and Trader Joe’s sells them.
- cacao powder ~ this is chocolate in its purest form and simply the raw cocoa powder that has not been roasted. It’s unsweetened, unprocessed, and incredibly nutritious. Look for unsweetened cocoa or cacao powder in your store.
- dates ~ make sure they’re pitted! I use these to bring out the flavors, and give my milk the merest hint of sweetness. Please note that this isn’t a sweet milk by any means, it’s definitely more savory than sweet.
making chocolate hazelnut milk ~ how it’s done
STEP 1 ~ toasting the nuts
Put the nuts on a dry baking sheet and toast at 350F for 12-15 minutes. Give the pan a shake once or twice during baking, and watch carefully at the end so that they don’t burn.
STEP 2 ~ removing the skins
Once the nuts are toasted the bitter skins will slip off easily. Just wrap them in a clean kitchen towel or napkin and vigorously rub the nuts together to remove most of the skins. It’s fine if some of the skins remain, it’ll add to the flavor!
STEP 3 ~ soaking the nuts
Cover the nuts in fresh water and let them soak for at least an hour, but preferably overnight.
STEP 4 ~ blending the nuts
Drain the nuts and blend with fresh water. This is the time to add sweeteners like dates or flavorings like cocoa powder. Blend on high for about 30-45 seconds in a high speed blender like Vitamix, or until smooth and creamy.
STEP 5 ~ straining the nut milk
Once the nut milk has been blended you’ll need to strain out the nut solids. A nylon nut bag is ideal, but you can use fine cheesecloth set over a mesh strainer as well. Squeeze, squeeze, SQUEEZE until all the moisture gets through.
hazelnut milk FAQs
It sure is. Nut milks are generally lower in fat than dairy milk, and higher in monounsaturated ‘good fats’. They’re generally lower calories, too and low carb. Hazelnuts also contain powerful antioxidants which help the body fight free radicals that can lead to cancer.
I love Elmhurst brand nut milks, they’re pricey, but high quality. If you want to make a semi-homemade version of this chocolate nut milk, just substitute store bought milk for the homemade, and blend in the extras.
I toast the nuts for my hazelnut milk for two reasons: toasting brings out great flavor in the nuts, and it also allows me to slip off the bitter skins easily.
The soaking is an important step that hydrates and softens the nuts so that they will blend up into a creamier milk.
Actually, no, you don’t have to if you like a thicker, more textured milk, then use it without straining. If you’re not going to strain your milk you can thin it with more water, if you like.
If you like, you can, hazelnut skin is very nutritious (it contains the highest concentration of anti-oxidants.) The only downside is that it has a bitter flavor. If you like that, go for it!
make a chocolate hazelnut shake!
Blend your chocolate hazelnut milk with vanilla or chocolate ice cream, and a big dollop of Nutella ~ yum! Spike it with a shot of Frangelico (hazelnut liqueur) for a super duper adult treat.
more chocolatey hazelnut goodness
- Nutella Sandwich Cookies
- Chocolate Hazelnut Torrone ~ 3 ingredients!
- Outrageous Chocolate Hazelnut Blondies
- Dreamy Nutella Mousse Pie!
- Nutella Tiramisu
- Nutella S’mores Bars
Chocolate Hazelnut Milk
- nut bag or cheesecloth for straining
- 1 cup whole raw hazelnuts
- 2 dates, or more to taste
- 2 Tbsp cacao powder (aka unsweetened cocoa powder.)
- Preheat the oven to 350F
- Put the hazelnuts on a baking sheet and toast in the oven for 12-15 minutes. Give the pan a shake once or twice during cooking. Be careful not to let them burn.
- Put the nuts in a clean kitchen towel and rub together vigorously to remove the skins. Note: Don't worry if some of the skins remain, that's perfectly fine.
- Put the skinned hazelnuts in a jar or bowl and cover with clean cold water. Let soak for at least 2 hours, or, preferably, overnight.
- Drain the nuts and put them into a blender. Add 2 cups filtered water, the dates, and cacao powder. Blend on high until smooth and creamy.
- Strain the milk through a nut bag, or several layers of cheesecloth, squeezing firmly to get all the liquid through. Discard the remaining nut solids or use in a smoothie.
- Your chocolate hazelnut milk will keep in the refrigerator for at least a week.