chocolate and toasted hazelnut milk

Like most people with at least a passing interest in foods made from recognizable ingredients, I’ve heard a lot about almond milk in the last decade. But my love of all things milk, cream, crème fraîche, sour cream, double-cream, triple-creme, dulce de leche, sweetened condensed milk and milk fudge (you know, just to get started) was such that I had little interest in making it a regular part of my life.

well-toasted hazelnuts
soaking in water overnight or longer

Plus, there was so much that I didn’t understand. First, most recipes call for raw almonds. Have you ever tasted a raw almond before? They taste, to me, terrible, like waxy nothingness. Why stretch this waxy nothingness into a glass of liquid? However, you know that flavor you get when you deeply toast almonds to a nice milky coffee (mm, milky coffee) shade, that incredible flavor which is amazing in pastries as it is on salads and even for a plain snack? Why weren’t we making almond milk out of toasted almonds — was it just the shade? Does beige “milk” unnerve people?

looking real murky the next day

rinsing the nuts
i admire their buoyancy
things get violent

And then — yes, I know, there’s more — I mean, I like almonds. I do! But I also love walnuts and pecans and hazelnuts. Where’s the pecan milk? Where’s the hazelnut milk? Where’s the chocolate-hazelnut omgnutellamilk.

[Insert sound of a needle scratching off a record.]

pouring into a tight cheesecloth-lined strainer
squeezing liquids from solids

Suddenly, I was very very VERY interested in vegan dairy products — although, typically, for all the wrong reasons, but it’s too late to change my ways now. I toasted hazelnuts so they were quite dark. I soaked them for most of a day in water. I blended them until as pureed as possible. I strained. I squeezed. And then I melted chocolate and whisked the toasted hazelnut milk in a little at a time. I chilled it. I poured it into tiny glasses and propped in bendy straws. And then my darling little kindergartener arrived home from his first day at school and I said “Mama made you a chocolate snack!” and he was so excited and I poured him a glass and he said, “No. I do not like this.”

this is toasted hazelnut milk. but we're not stopping here.
chopping chocolate, but chips work too

I suppose it should be noted that nut milks are probably an acquired taste — if you’re not crazy about almond milk, this may not convert you. But my husband and I loved it. It’s barely sweet (though you can add a little sugar if desired) and tastes spectacularly of chocolate and hazelnuts, without the dairy products muddling the flavor — it will not survive the weekend. It may not even survive this paragraph.

chocolate toasted hazelnut milk
chocolate and toasted hazelnut milk

One year ago: Bake Pasta with Broccoli Rabe and Sausage (this is so on our back-to-school menu)
Two years ago: Homemade Wheat Thins (and this)
Three years ago: Roasted Tomato Soup with Broiled Cheddar (and this)
Four years ago: Grape Focaccia with Rosemary
Five years ago: Melon Agua Fresca, Cubed, Hacked Caprese, Tomato and Corn Pie
Six years ago: Marinated Eggplant with Capers and Mint, Sour Cherry Compote and Cold-Brewed Iced Coffee
Seven years ago: Spicy Soba Noodles with Shiitakes

Chocolate and Toasted Hazelnut Milk

This is one of those recipes that I thought I came up with on my own (I mean, I did) but it turns out, I’m not the first one to have this inspiration because, obviously, chocolate hazelnut milk is a beautiful thing. You can see many other iterations here. Most I’ve seen either use raw hazelnuts, more water, sugar substitutes, cocoa or cocoa nibs. I opted instead for well-toasted hazelnuts for maximum flavor. I found that holding back the water slightly made it creamier, and with a good semi-sweet chocolate, it had a nice, mild sweetness (although children may not agree). You could add a teaspoon of sugar, simple syrup or your sweetener of choice to the mixture, or more to taste, if it’s not sweet enough for you.

I imagine this would be wonderful in an iced coffee drink or milkshake, but we just like it straight from the fridge in a glass.

Yield: About 3 3/4 cups chocolate hazelnut milk (or 3 2/3 cups toasted hazelnut milk, without the chocolate). We had 3/4 cup servings, so it serves 5.

2 cups (10 ounces or 285 grams) hazelnuts
3 1/2 cups (830 grams) water, plus more for soaking
1 1/4 cups (7 1/2 ounces 215 grams) semisweet chocolate chips or rough-chopped chocolate
Sugar or a sweetener to taste (optional)

Heat oven to 350 degrees F. Spread hazelnuts on a tray and bake for 10 minutes, then toss them around and return them to the oven for another 2 to 5 minutes, until they’re fragrant and golden brown under their skins. Let cool to lukewarm. Place in a large bowl or jar and cover with an inch or so of water. Let soak overnight or up to two days at room temperature.

Drain hazelnuts and rinse, then place in a food processor or blender. (If you have both, I’d opt for the blender.) Add 3 1/2 cups water and blend for longer than seems necessary to puree them. Set a mesh strainer over a large bowl. Line it with a fine-mesh cheesecloth such as butter muslin or nut milk bag or a lint-free dish towel, leaving overhang so that you’ll have enough cloth to wring the mixture out in a few minutes.

Pour blended hazelnut mixture through cloth; you can use a spoon to stir it and help it along. When you’ve got mostly semi-solids left in the cloth, pull up the sides and use it to wring what you can from the hazelnuts.* What’s in your bowl is now the toasted hazelnut milk.

In a large saucepan or microwave-safe bowl, melt your chocolate halfway, then stir it off the heat until it it finishes melting. Whisk in 1 cup toasted hazelnut milk, at first one teaspoon at at time and then in a thin stream until you have a smooth chocolate-hazelnut sauce. Whisk this into the remaining toasted hazelnut milk. Chill until needed.

Do ahead: I’ve read that nut milks only keep for two days, but could this be true? I would have guessed a week. I will update this with a firmer estimate once I learn/experiment more.

* What to do with the leftover nut meal? I’ve seen suggestions to toast it in a pan to dry it out and then add the nut meal to baked goods and/or granola. Let me know if you have a creative use for it.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

New here? You might want to check out the comment guidelines before chiming in.

181 comments on chocolate and toasted hazelnut milk

  1. Deanna

    This looks amazing. My question though, is how does one convert it to a cocktail ala milk punch? Bourbon? Frangelico? Rum?

    These are the serious thoughts that will plague me next week, since this week is all about beer.

  2. Casey D

    Thought for the leftover nut meal: berry streusel/crumble topping. While it’s still barely summer, all those beautiful over-ripe berries out there are just asked to be baked!

  3. You are a genius, Deb. I can’t wait to try this. I’m not a fan of almond milk either but toasted hazelnut milk? I think I’m going to love it. Thanks for sharing your inventive recipes with us.

  4. There’s a profound mystery to me that American almond milk and soy milk tastes completely different, bland and tasteless, from Asian almond milk and soy milk which is deeply nutty and fragrant. Then I found out the Asian almond milk is actually made from a completely different variety of almond, much smaller and heart shaped, that tastes floral and fragrant even when raw. It’s the flavour you get from almond extract, except much more soothing, natural and yummy. It’s my favourite thing, and hope you’ll get to try it someday!

  5. Rosie

    Oh my goodness you need to eat an almond off the tree stat! We get really fresh ones in the scooping bins in Australian supermarkets and I find the flavour lovely. I had one straight out of the husk recently and it was amazing.

  6. Christine

    Well. I like almond milk well enough, to drink on its own, but it never did enough in coffee for me to buy it on a regular basis – and I usually only buy milk for coffee purposes. This though? Holy frijole. GAME CHANGER. My husband would be so so excited.

  7. Elena

    I make almond/other nut milk all the time as a lactose intolerant individual weary of all the additives in store bought nut milks. I usually use almonds in combination with another nut — hazelnut, pistachio, or macadamia. Adding a little bit of salt is helpful to keeping the milk and developing the flavor. I find that it normally keeps for about 5 days or so.
    Blending with honey, agave, or dates also helps add some sweetness. Adding vanilla also adds a little flavor.

  8. I just, and I mean, JUST, read an article this morning about almond milk and all the badness that comes with it. The title was something like, “Hipsters and their evil almond milk.” Of course, I have no idea where it is now. Something about the way almond milk is made — tons of water waste, and added vitamins. It wasn’t a very convincing article, to be honest. But hazelnut milk? My, oh my.

  9. Jenni

    While I’m most likely to use hazelnut meal for French macaroons to be sandwiched with Nutella, somewhere I have a recipe for hazelnut gnocchi that substitutes hazelnut meal for the flour. I haven’t tried it but as unexciting as gnocchi generally are it has to be an improvement right?

  10. The things that’s put me off nutella proper is the amount of sugar in it (the commercial showing it as a great healthy breakfast for kids cracks me up), but this. This works. Any suggestion on how one would manage blending the nuts with only an immersion blender or a food processor to work with? Would it work well enough even if the nuts aren’t very finely ground?

    Also, I just bought those glasses and that Weck jar (well, 4 of them) this summer! I needed something cute to serve Pimm’s Cups. Turns out the small glasses are also perfect for wine when I don’t feel like getting a real wine glass and it feels tres French :-)

  11. Ann

    Wow – this looks fabulous. Great timing with today’s sudden shift to autumnal weather in Colorado, too – such delicious synchronicity.

    I’m still reeling a little from the concept that Jacob is a kindergartener. Been following the blog since before he was born, always love the photos of him, and suddenly he looks so… kid-like, what happened to the squishy baby cheeks?! (He’s still adorable, obviously.) Regardless, congrats to all three of you on the milestone!

  12. Oh, I totally forgot about the Atlantic article. And I’ve been reading a ton of their stuff this summer. I have to say, more and more I am enjoying their pieces more than Slate’s, although yes to the dramatic flair on that one. I feel so spoiled with all the online options these days — even more so now that The New Yorker is online. Now I don’t need to pay a copay when I want to read one of their magazines.

  13. Berry

    As a complete side note, almond milk dates back to medieval times when it was used as a substitute for milk on meatless days. There are a bunch of tasty recipes that use it. After years of making my own for a medieval club, I was dreadfully amused when it hit the stores and my sisters started drinking it.

    1. deb

      Re, the price of hazelnuts — I get them at Trader Joe’s where they’re much, much, much less per pound than basically any other store I can get to. I want to say that they’re $6.99 a pound? Not cheap, especially for a few cups of milk, but a good price.

  14. Jess

    Could you use the soaking water as part of the blending water? Seems like there would be less waste and more toasted hazelnut flavor. (I know water’s cheap but why waste flavor??)

    1. deb

      Jess — I asked the same of friends before writing this. I wanted to use it as it seemed like it had so much flavor. The science on it is mixed, but there are a lot of people who argue that the water is hard to digest (that it has removed hard to digest enzymes from the nuts) — many others disagree and I, myself, am skeptical but no food science expert either. In the end, I opted to drain it because 1. It looks murky and rather gross the next day, to be honest. 2. Without doing an exact before and after measure, you won’t know how much water has absorbed, and therefore how much of the next 3.5 cups you need to add. I’ve asked some science-minded friends to jump into the comments with more information — hopefully more later.

  15. Costco. They have a very good price, per pound, on hazelnuts. I also get my pecans there. I dreamed about going to Costco last night. Because apparently that’s how I want to spend my sliver of free time on the weekends. Eating samples for lunch and buying nuts in bulk.

  16. Danny

    This looks right up my alley – I’ll say that first. :)

    But for those interested in keeping it vegan, be sure the chocolate you put in is vegan, as not all of them are!

  17. Liz

    Commercial almond milk (U.S.) has some chemical processing that is “bad” …

    “Carrageenan is an additive derived from seaweed and is used as a stabilizer and thickener. Although it is considered safe by the FDA, some scientists have raised questions about the potentially harmful effects of widespread carrageenan consumption”

    So…depending how you feel about what’s been written about carrageenan …

    Someone above asked about using the soaking water. Nuts have a natural compound on them (phytic acid) that protects them… BUT, it also interferes with the human body digesting them.

    I didn’t know this until recently and I wonder why natural food stores don’t have some info.

    Anyway, the soaking water probably should not be used.

    Additionally, even nuts you eat – I’m talking raw nuts – need to be soaked and then dried.

    I’ve made “milk” from a variety of nuts and the hazelnut definitely has the most flavor. BUT, I make cashew cream a lot and have had success subbing it for heavy cream in everything I’ve tried – even caramel. You don’t save calories, but you do get more nutrition. I did a comparison at the bottom of this post:

  18. I am a big lover of nut milks so I was very excited to see this on the blog today. I have made almond milk in the past and I use the left over nut pulp in a lot of baking dishes, but my favorite is in banana bread. It gives great flavor and texture.

  19. Lauren

    You not only feed our bodies, but our minds also. I refer to comment #20 from you in which you provide not one but THREE articles worth reading. Smitten Kitchen ROCKS in so many ways. Thank you Deb for allowing us to be well READ as well as well FED. You are amazing.

  20. I have dried the leftover nut meal and then toasted it with a little garlic/parsley/butter and used it as a very passable breadcrumb substitute. It’s toasty and crunchy and goes on anything savory!

  21. Deb, you and your funny aversions! Raw almonds are grand! It’s ok; I know you’ll come around one day, like you have with kale and halibut. I love roasty nuts too, but there’s also something to raw almonds – a fresh, apricotty ammarettoness…no? You’re not getting that? You will. Give it time.

  22. Deb, I tell you, as soon as I saw where you were going with this, I yelled OH MY GOD! I have already added hazelnuts to my weekly shopping list and I am making it THIS weekend!
    I have never tried almond milk either, but I do like soymilk from time to time (most of my family members are lactose intolerant – thank god it skipped me!)
    Love this!

  23. Your son’s reaction is classic. I have a 9-year old and he has always been brutally honest. Well…now that he’s a bit older, I do sense his desire to be a bit more tactful. It’s funny but I’m almost sad about it. Kids seem to love nuts one minute, hate them the next. My son loves Nutella and almond flavored desserts but frowns at the idea of crunching down on a nut. Sorry – enough about my son! : ) I am pretty certain I would love this milk. Great fun!

  24. JP

    Almond “milk”? I know you can milk a cow or a goat, but an almond? This term always amuses me. I guess those who want to sell this item can not come up with a better name. However, for those of us who like all thing dairy milk, I guess this could be made with regular whole milk? Or even 2%?

  25. Santiago

    Hi deb. I think you are doing it in the wrong order. Soaking the nuts in water should make them start to germinate (it makes them easier to digest), but if you toast them first that won’t happen. Next time you should try to soak first, toast second and tell us how it tastes!

  26. Whoa. That looks amazing! I love almond milk, but I find it a bit thin in coffee and not very flavourful. But that looks like it would make an amazing addition to coffee. Nutellamilk, that’s got to be the best milk ever!

  27. Laura

    re: nut meal
    I like to use cashew meal or almond meal to thicken Indian stews (eg. chicken makhani). I’d imagine most any nut meal would behave similarly.

  28. Gyorgyi

    I use wet nut meal straightaway, or very soon. Keep in the fridge in a closed container, and just add 1-2 spoonfool to my morning cereal, the rest I use to make flourless muffins, or replace part of the flour with the nut meal.

  29. Liz

    Deb my Marine is coming back to the USA in a month and cannot eat any dairy products. This will be a perfect surprise for him and just the kind of thing he likes. I bet it would be great on breakfast cereal. He even likes soy milk and anything tastes better than that.
    Your son is hilarious, thanks for the funny quote

  30. Sage

    Something to keep in mind as you try to use the leftover nut meal: it’s not the same thing as hazelnut flour, since various compounds have been lost to the milk. I’ve been making almond milk from the above mentioned NYTimes recipe, and found in using the meal in baked goods that it was a lot … well, drier, than a normal nut flour would be.

  31. Holy Moly that looks good! Amazing! This seems like just the thing to drink while doing homework or as part of an afternoon snack. I will definitely have to try this!

  32. You can use the nut meal in smoothies, too…you don’t even have to dry it first. I like to soak a couple dates with the nuts and blend them in for a little sweetness.

  33. Hi Deb! Oh man, I so wanna try this! One question, though: do you peel the hazelnuts skins at some point? I can see from the pictures that some of them have the skins on and others don’t. Thank you!

    1. deb

      Marina — Nope, no need to. Now, if the taste bothers you, after you toast them, it should be pretty easy to rub them off. (I did a little.) But you’ll be straining out all solids in the end, so it’s fine to not worry about the bits that are still attached.

      Cate — Yes, many suggestions in this comment section (I asked too).

  34. Joanne

    There’s a recipe over on Food Babe for biscotti made from nut pulp-the recipe isn’t well written like yours (feel free to read my comments on it and post a better version if biscotti is your thing!) but they turned out really well the two times I made them. She doesn’t drain her pulp so make sure to add more liquid to compensate.

  35. Katie

    this sounds fantastic. I make almond milk a lot and I dry the meal out in a low heat oven, put it in a bag then stick it in my food processor after I’ve gathered a few batches. Presto! Almond flour (a big dryer than normal so you have to adjust liquids in recipes). Cookies, pancakes, bread crumbs for chicken nuggets… and you KNOW its JUST NUTS.

  36. Pam

    If you don’t want to wait for the roasting, filtering, etc, Pacific Foods has been making hazelnut milk for awhile now. In plain and chocolate. Both are sweetened, the chocolate a little too sweet for my tastes, so I add extra baking cocoa and depending on my mood, a little of the plain and extra baking cocoa, and I’m good. It’s my favorite non-dairy base for ‘hot chocolate’.

    Disclaimer: I do not own stock in Pacific Foods, none of my relatives or friends work for Pacific Foods, and I don’t live in Oregon. It’s the only commercial brand of hazelnut milk that I’m aware of. And I am much too lazy to make it myself.

  37. You can reuse the hazelnut meal to make another batch of milk in the future. Just store in the refrigerator covered with water. You can also spread on a cookie sheet and dry at a low temperature (150 degrees) and use the nut meal in bake goods.

  38. Allie

    Last time I made almond milk, I used the leftover pulp in brownies. No need to dry it out first. I don’t remember if I cut other ingredients or just mixed it in….I think I just aimed for a brownie batter consistency and they came out great!

    1. deb

      Rochelle — Duralex, Picardie line. They come in all sizes and are almost unbreakable. (Believe me, I try daily.) These are the 8 ounce glasses. I think when we replaced our mixmatched glasses last year, we bought two of these sets, but from Amazon.

  39. Liza

    May I just say that I think you are a genius! I have no idea why we don’t toast nuts that go into our milk(s), but your post opens totally new horizons. Many thanks for that, Deb!

  40. Ali

    I made hazelnut milk earlier this week (with raw hazelnuts but I imagine roasted would be miles better – next time!) and it did leave quite a bit of pulp. I blended the leftover pulp with 1c soaked+softened dates, 1/4c coconut butter and about 3tbsp cocoa powder for some lovely Ferrero Rocher esque healthy truffles. I honestly would not have anticipated quite how delicious they are, like little balls of nutella. They freeze well, too – perhaps it’s from the soaking that their texture is wonderful and ice-creamy soft even when eaten straight out of the freezer. Coffee creamer and dessert/snacks for the next few days, sussed!

  41. Dear Deb,
    YUM! I´m really not a sweet tooth but I love hazelnuts AND almond milk.
    It´s such a fine combo.
    And talking about veg/vegan I have to tell you how I adapted your beef chili into a big TVP soja chili pot for a party of thirty! A huge success, most of the girls couldn`t believe they were not chewing on meat (and this in Germany) and my fist mini catering engagement, a good omen. (P.S. I USED TO BE a veg. so I´m easy in the adapting business)
    Definitely appearing in my next cook book, it will be the third one. In German and in german speaking countries….mentioning of course the inspiration source….thank you!
    P.S. My blog is still under construction, I´m not so fit with it….yet.
    I´m trying to learn a little more :) XXX to NYC, my absolute favourite place in the world!

  42. Tina

    This looks amazing! I want to try it….. I have been following zour recipes for about 2 zears and have tried quite a few!! Really great and such wonderful pics!!
    BUT: can you make it easier to `Pin`the recipes. I have pinned some before, but always struggle to find the icon.. like on this recipe I just can`t find it :(

    1. deb

      Tina — Yes, it’s coming. I’m in the midst of the slowest redesign, ever (mostly my fault) but it’s definitely on the agenda. In the meanwhile, there is (I know, not the easiest to find) a “Pin” link at the bottom of each recipe that will take you to the bookmarklet.

  43. Madfortulips

    I have been making my own nut milk for about a year because of a food sensitivity to cows milk. Encouraged to make my own milk by Clean program because of all the” junk” in commercial nut milks.Great web site for nuts is, 5lb bag of nuts delivered to your a freebie in every order to try..cashews, figs, almonds, are the ones I’ve tried , all delish! I use the milk in tea, baking, smoothies and the meal I dry out on cookie sheet in oven( usually after I have been baking and it is cooling down) then when thoroughly dry I pulverize in food processor to fine and use in my GF baking.

  44. Cheryl Kane

    Stir the left-over nut meal into peanut butter and honey, add chocolate chips, and roll into balls for a high-energy, healthy snack or dessert, or make a delicious, gluten-free pie crust.

  45. Beth

    I’ve been making nutmilks for years. I love raw hazelnut milk, and making it raw maintains the enzymes in the soaked nuts…but I suppose I can try toasting. I add cinnamon, cardamom and freshly grated nutmeg with a spoonful of honey to my nut milks, and they are fabulous. A fresh batch, made from raw nuts lasts 4 days. The pulp is hard to use. It’s difficult to totally dry out, and even when it is, it makes baked recipes very heavy. Look for recipes for almond pulp, and you’ll see what you can do with it. I make these, and they’re a great snack:
    When I make nutmilks I squeeze every last drop of the liquid from the nut pulp (I really squeeze) and I put the pulp into a zip-top freezer bag and freeze it until I’m ready to use it.
    Lately, I’ve been making lots of cashew milk, because it doesn’t need to be separated from the pulp (no squeezing), and it’s really creamy and delicious. Same flavorings.

  46. Ginger

    Yay! Walnut and peanut milk are staples where I lived in China, and I made the BEST pancakes from buckwheat and walnut milk. I wonder if this would be good in pancakes…

  47. Ella

    I’ve made homemade almond milk many times! I got a nut milk bag for straining at whole foods and it’s wonderful. I usually don’t bother sweetening it, I’ll just add some cinnamon and a scraped vanilla bean! I love to cook oatmeal in it, it makes it so much creamier. I’ve kept mine for up to about 4 days, I think. I love the idea of adding chocolate!

  48. So if it worked with toasted hazelnuts, might it work with toasted almonds, pecans, etc? I drink a lot of almond milk, but I honestly feel sort of like your son about it. It’s not that good. Maybe I’ll try a toasted version (also – I have Weck-milk-jar-envy! Where’s you find that?)

  49. leigh ann

    I will have to try this. Yum! I make plain toasted almond milk weekly, and I find that it keeps for 4-5 days easily, but I do add a little salt. My boyfriend makes pecan milk with chocolate and molasses. It is delicious!

  50. Deb, you consistently inspire me with your ingenuity and willingness to experiment. I adore your honest writing and your ability to transform even the most intimidating kitchen techniques into recipes that are accessible and delicious. This chocolate and toasted hazelnut milk looks spectacular, as always. Thanks for being awesome!

  51. “No. I do not like this”… adorable! He’s pretty cute : )
    I would love to try this once I’m home… I’m going to bookmark it for a rainy day. Thanks for the outside-the-box recipe! I always check your blog before going to bed, or when I have a chance and want to drool over good food, and it’s always something interesting. LOVE IT!

  52. Jane

    I find the almond milk I make with dates and vanilla a completely different beast than the store bought carrageenan thickened stuff. I used it to make the Sqirl brown rice pride with hazelnuts and jam recently in Bon Appetit, which took most of your steps plus an hour of of gentle simmering and stirring, but my children, too, were completely unimpressed. I happily ate it for breakfast for a week. I wanted to say, too, thanks for your Rome notes. We enjoyed espresso granita con panna from Tazza D’Oro today and I have you to thank!

  53. Deb, articles like that one about the high water cost etc of growing almonds always massively confuses me.

    My parents live in Spain, in a region were almonds and olives are the main things people grow – it’s a dry, hot, hilly area where rosemary is one of the main wild plants that grows (aside from the wild cannabis that seems to pop up everywhere like a weed) and all the hills are marble under the earth. Almond trees grow and produce constantly and yet I have never, not once, heard of anyone over there watering their trees once established or needing to do anything fancy with water systems to get them to grow or produce. They seem to do just fine with what rain the area gets – my mum’s place has about 100ft by 300ft of land and her trees produce around 7000kg each of brown and white almonds and oil olives every year. The olives actually have two fruiting seasons a year!

    I also laughed because… well, I’ll give you three guesses which state in which country the almonds from that area of Spain are mainly exported to.

    Not saying the trees aren’t going to put a strain on the environment – anywhere you encourage a monoculture woodland you’re putting a strain on the area – but I cannot for the life of me imagine how on earth almond trees are supposed to require a gallon of water per nut. My understanding was that the water crisis in California was more down to the fact that most of the bottled water in the US (some of which is bottled from tap) comes from there, because bottled water is much more commonly drunk than tap water over there?

  54. Also, if you like toasted nuts… have you tried toasting brown almonds in a little extra virgin olive oil and sprinkling them in salt, then eating while they’re still warm? Mmmmmmmm…

  55. @Deanna – how to turn this into a cocktail? Put ice in a glass, pour in some frangelico, top off with nutella milk. Done. :)

    @Jess – the water that you soak the nuts in, well, it smells kind of funny. Not at all appetizing.

    @Deb and others looking for nut pulp uses – I absolutely think it can be used as a substitute for nut flours in various recipes, but as others reference above, you’d likely have to adjust the liquid content in the recipes. My scientific self would need to do some serious recipe testing to determine some ratios and options.

    My first attempt to use the leftover pulp was making these chocolate chip nut pulp cookies today, and I must say, I was really surprised by how good they were. Super chocolately, definitely sweet, and far fudgier than they look…I was guessing they’d be more on the shortbread side from how they baked, but no, nice and chewy. (oh – it’s not listed in the recipe, and I wasn’t sure how much a cup of nut pulp was, whether it was loosely or tightly packed, so I guessed and did 112 grams, which seemed to work out splendidly)

  56. Theresa

    A little bit of vanilla extract will actually intensify the flavors, as will a pinch of salt. Biggest mistake many people make when making chocolate desserts is omitting the vanilla. Makes all the difference in the chocolatey-ness of the finished product!

  57. sarah

    Would you believe a corner store by me sells locally made pecan milk? Our neighborhood is pretty much nothing but pecan trees, but that’s the first time I ever heard of pecan milk.

  58. Ulrike

    Hi Deb, this sounds delish: we use to make the warm kind in autumn with storebought hazelnutmilk. Just add a few spices (chili, cinnamon) and warm it slightly, and its the most comforting hot beverage.
    as mentioned before, nut pulp can be use to make hummus. Here is a recipe for leftover nut pulp:
    and I bet, even though I did not tried it, you can replace the nuts in this recipe with nut pulp:

  59. Anything with chocolate and hazlenuts is sure to be a success! Just like the chocolate and hazlenut cake you posted a while back.

    When I make homemade nut milk, I find it keeps for about 5 days before it gets a little… funky. I imagine if you sweeten it, it would last a bit longer, but I’m not entirely sure.

    As for what I do with the nut meal; if I don’t dry it out it keeps for 2 days and I add it to granola recipes, oatmeal, smoothies, or I put it into ice cube trays and freeze it for future use. If I do dry it out I add it to cookies, grind it even finer and make macarons, make homemade crackers with it, nut butter, or I use it as a breading for chicken or fish.

  60. Fae

    I just finished making this, and damn, is it good. I used the leftover pulp to make some smoked paprika crackers (pulp + 2 flax ‘eggs’, 1 tbl tahini, spices) – they’re baking now and smell amazing.

  61. Andrew

    I will definitely make this once I get to the store for hazelnuts. As for the left over hazelnut meal, I would say put it in smoothies. That’s a great way to take a breakfast that is mostly fruit and a little dairy and give it more substance. It would probably be really good added to a bread recipe too.

  62. So far, my nut milks have lasted the better part of a week in an airtight container. They do separate, but that’s nothing a few shakes of the bottle can’t fix. I don’t make big enough batches to last longer than a week, but I imagine that would be pushing it.

    As for the almond pulp (leftover meal), you can certainly use it wet, as in this recipe from Against All Grain: Or, you can dehydrate it on a cookie sheet in the oven at 200 degrees for a couple hours. Then, as others have said, you can use it in crisps, crumbles, and some baked goods. It is not a good replacement for almond meal in recipes because it’s missing all the fats, so you would need to add some sort of fat to make up the difference. BUT, I actually used some of my leftover almond meal in a riff on your strawberry rhubarb breakfast bars (here:!

  63. par_parenthese

    Homemade almond milk is surprisingly delicious despite the terribleness of raw almonds. I was suspicious, but warm, with honey, or made double-strength and poured over fruit, it is just beautiful.

  64. Kristina

    I am a commercial almond grower (and a member of Blue Diamond, which is a grower-owned cooperative). I make homemade almond milk all the time, natch, and my chickens go crazy for the nut mash that results. I’m thrilled to see so many links here to recipes that use the leftovers for human consumption, though my chickens will sure be disappointed. I always make raw nut milk, but I think next time I make almond butter, I will save some toasted almonds to make this gorgeous recipe. Should work, right?

  65. I’ve read this entry three times now…and have come back to stare at this pictures more times than I can count. “omgnutellamilk” is right. Nutella is one of those things I’m typically banned from buying – mainly because I’ll splurge and eat half the jar on one night of bad decision making. But…in milk form…certainly I can have that! Deb, you just changed my life. Again. haha

  66. Katarina

    I am one of those non lover of vegetable milk…just like your boy. Do you think it would be tasty with cow milk? Using the same method…would it make any sense…sort of like nutellamilk…wholemilk, toasted nuts and chocolate?

  67. Jude

    Toasted or roasted almonds lose a lot of their enzymes and are more prone to rancidity. GROSS. If you are using nut milk for the taste not for the health benefits then you might as well save yourself the energy and drink cow’s milk. If you’re doing it as a healthier alternative then you need to use raw nuts … I love the taste and don’t find it bland at all … it’s like creamy almond extract – and it’s a gamechanger in smoothies with blueberries. Having them toasted or roasted just seems like a waste to me.

    1. deb

      Jude — Wait, why can’t we drink a nut milk just for the taste? I am sure there are a lot of people who either don’t drink cows milk or wish to drink it less that will enjoy this. If you’re toasting the nuts and using them right away, it seems unlikely the rancidity would be an issue. Finally, I mean, I bet you know this but I really try to encourage everyone to have meaningful conversations here that get us thinking more about cooking. Saying “GROSS” doesn’t actually contribute anything worthwhile, just judgement to people who don’t agree.

  68. Adrianne

    Is the soaking part just to soften the nuts for the milk? I’m guessing depending on the blender that this may not be necessary (such as for a vitamin)? I’ve read several places (here’s one – that roasting them helps diminish the phytic acid in the nut, so you wouldn’t need to both roast and soak from a nutritional standpoint. I make almond milk all the time, because we can’t have dairy, and it is definitely WAY better home made than from the store. I like to almost sprout the nuts (because it’s easy – just have to plan), and add a little vanilla and pure maple syrup to the milk at the end. I’ll have to try this version with hazelnuts – sounds delicious!!!

  69. Dear Deb,

    I was feeling nostalgic this morning, so I came to visit your blog. I used to be a very avid reader until I aligned my actions with my beliefs a few years ago and cut out all animal products from my diet (what is the difference between a dog and a cow, a cat and a chicken? Why do we eat one and love the other?). How funny and how wonderful to come to your site and find you exploring a vegan recipe and wondering about other vegan milks and the environmental impact of almonds!

    I hope that now that you have asked these questions, you will notice all of the different types of animal- and planet-friendly milks available in stores today. Cashew, hazelnut, oat, rice, coconut, hemp, sunflower, quinoa, flax!

    I also hope you will notice the environmental impact of producing animal products. Yes, almonds can be a water intensive crop, but cows’ milk is worse! It takes 23 gallons of water to produce one gallon of almond milk, but it takes 30 gallons of water to produce one gallon of cows’ milk. A stick of cows’ milk butter requires 109 gallons, and a pound of beef requires 2,464 gallons… And this is just water. We also need to pay attention to the amount of land needed, the carbon emissions generated, and the fossil fuels used.

    Please get in touch with me if you have any questions about these topics (seriously, any – especially if it comes in the form of “But what about…?”). I would love to support you should you choose to explore these questions, and I would REALLY love to see you develop more vegan recipes. You are such a genius!

  70. Chad

    I can’t help but notice your new beautiful Staub oval roaster in two (back to back…) posts. I was just thinking about ordering that exact pan from because I need a great casserole dish. I am guessing you are enjoying it? I would love to hear your opinion on the product. It seems to brown well and cook evenly based on your photos.

    Thanks for the great site and book. It has helped me so much over the years. Cheers!

    1. deb

      Chad — It’s not new, but I do use it a ton. I bought it several years ago after stalking it for a while, hoping the price would come down. I finally found it for a bit under $100 from … Zappos. I have no idea why a shoe store had it, but it showed up in the Google results with the lowest price and I ran with it. Haven’t seen it there since. Anyway, what you see is the 2 quart roaster. I use it all of the time. It’s enameled black so it doesn’t need all the fussy care that uncoated cast iron does. It does a good job of browning.

  71. Lisa M.

    Yes!!! Bring on the nutella milk! I LOL’d on that one when I read it. Love your posts :0) I’m still getting used to your new countertop in the pics, so used to the one from your other apartment. Hope you’re unpacked and settled in!

  72. StephanieR

    My mother and I made this today and it was fantastic! I love how well the flavor of toasted hazelnuts comes through in the drink. Because it’s cold and rainy here, we heated up the finished product and drank it like hot chocolate. What a winner!

  73. Jude

    Fair call Deb re: ‘GROSS’. Sorry, I also hate comments like that and don’t know why I bothered to comment at all – I was hangry at the time. I’m really looking forward to your next easy-peasy but best-thing-ever pasta, brunch, or muffin recipe. I hope it’s a-coming.

  74. Angelica

    Here in Ireland, you can get hazelnut milk on the shelf (always a nice brown toasty colour). When I make my own nut milks (and you can add seeds too…!) I emulsify some coconut oil into it while in the blender. Some of it emulsifies, some doesn’t, but if you give it a good shake before you pour, you get a bit of all of it. The coconut oil makes it a bit richer, adds to the wonderful smell, and is meant to be good for you (is it? I don’t know, but it tastes great…)

  75. Kathryn

    In Austria you can get good soy, almond and hazelnut milk on the shelf (as well as oat, multigrain, rice….). One thing with almond milk that I love is “almond milk soup with sago” – sago cooked in lots of almond milk & then served in a hollowed out papaya or mango…

  76. Liz

    A great trick – all nut milks can be frothed using a Nespresso Aeroccino! It’s not cheap, but works great for hot coffee drinks and chai.

  77. Lydia

    So glad I found this recipe. I’d just starting soaking my hazelnuts when I saw this recipe. My favorite use for leftover almond meal is to put it in your dutch baby recipe. It doesn’t puff up quite like the original, but it does add great flavor and texture. Can’t wait to try that with hazelnut meal!

  78. Alice

    This turned out great! I weighed out dark chocolate chips and a few squares of an 85% bar. The melted chocolate seized even though I added the liquid slowly while stirring. I played around with stirring for a while longer and then dumped it all back into the Vitamix for a spin. Problem solved very nicely. This has a very rich flavor, like Nutella but even better. Thanks for another winner!

  79. miss catherine

    Tried this and enjoyed it. A very strong hazelnut flavor! I did get a nut milk bag, which made the process smooth and easy. I must admit, more than the milk, I fell in love with your weck jar and immediately ordered one and adore it. So much to love here!

  80. Katie L

    Made this today and actually found it to be very, very chocolatey– this coming from a self-professed chocoholic. Kind of the liquid equivalent of a flourless chocolate cake. Completely delicious but intense! Great for diluting in coffee or a dessert-type drink, but for more general consumption I think I’d start with 3/4 or 1/2 the amount of chocolate next time.
    Hazelnut flavor was beautiful, and I think any additional sugar would make this too sweet, especially using the full amount of chocolate.
    Thank you for the delicious recipe!

  81. Lillie

    I regularly make almond milk and I agree with the other posters regarding its shelf life–it should stay for good for 5-7 days in the fridge. I added some of my wet almond meal to the chocolate spread in your better babka recipe! It was great!

  82. Elle

    Hi Deb,

    First time commenter! I wanted to make this tomorrow (about to start toasting the hazelnuts) and was wondering if I can use the leftover hazelnut meal to make the hazelnut brown butter cake recipe you have on the site. It looks like that recipe has you remove the skins, so I’m assuming I should do that for the milk as well…? Is there any reason this recipe doubling up wouldn’t work? or any modifications I should make?

    Thanks so much!


  83. Erin

    My word! I finally took the time to make this and omg it’s beyond amazing!! Is it possible i’m too good at blending the toasted nuts with the water as the consistency was that of a very heavy cream, or melted ice cream even. I tried straining it through both cheesecloth, a nut milk bag and my sieve but the (insanely smooth and creamy) pulp made its way through each time. I figured, whatever, how bad could it be extra thick. (Answer: it is the opposite of bad.) This may well be the most exciting beverage i’ve ever had. And this is including anything with bourbon (or any booze for that matter) as well as the drinking chocolate at both Ghirardelli in San Fran and Xoco in Chicago!
    (I’m not even telling my kids I made this, no way)

  84. Jo

    What about not straining the nut meal out of the “milk” and just making it into a thick hazelnut milk chocolate “shake” ? Might appeal to your little guy a little more, and you wouldn’t be losing the health benefits of the nut meal..

  85. Lauren

    I don’t know if you can buy packaged hazelnut milk in the States, but you can in the Middle East and parts of Africa, and it is my go-to milk for hot chocolate. Mmmmmmm Nutella Cocoa.

  86. Emily

    I looooove this recipe. I use the leftover nut meal to make amazing cookies that also happen to be vegan and gluten free. I add in oats, maple syrup, flax seed, chocolate chips, salt, baking powder, and whatever else i feel like experimenting with and they are incredibly delicious every time.

  87. We have hazelnut milk here (in Ireland.) It’s pretty common, along with soy, almond, rice, and (my favorite because it’s thicker) oat milk. Its sold at most grocery stores.

  88. Nichole

    Is there any reason to drain the water the nuts were soaked in and then add new water? Could you blend them with the soaking water?

  89. Michelle Jersey

    I make almond milk all the time, and it’s good for a solid week. I would think hazelnut milk would be the same. This recipe looks fantastic!

  90. This sounds totally yummy. I would add a shot of Frangelico liqueur to the mix. OMG!! 😍 As for the leftover nutty mash– mix it into Greek yogurt or vanilla ice cream, pour chocolate syrup over it and -& voilà: Nutella inspired dessert. I’m drooling. I better stop. 😏

  91. Holly

    OMG. Too chocolately and not enough hazelnut. Given that I’m a total chocolate fiend, can’t believe I’m saying this. I need to try making this again, maybe with a more balanced, less intense, less fruity chocolate (used Tcho bittersweet baking chocolate 66%). The hazelnut milk by itself was amazing. Wondering how I should finish this. Cut it with more hazelnut milk? Make a milkshake out of it?

  92. Brittany

    Made half a batch because I snacked too many before I soaked, oops, but it made just the right amount to replace the water in a batch of Ina’s chocolate sorbet for nutella sorbet and delish!!! Perf for the dairy free among us!

  93. mtexpat

    Just made this for a bit of lockdown treat- fantastic!
    Added a little salt and halved the chocolate per some comments above. Sweetness just from the 60% “Edelbitter” I used was perfect for my taste.
    Someone several years ago asked if it would be ok made with a stick mixer: was totally fine.
    Also heated a little of the milk to melt the chocolate in, as ganache basically, to make it mix in more smoothly (probably not necessary but just method I’m used to for chocolate if it’ll be added back to something creamy)
    Super simple, definitely will be making again!

  94. Cherylynn

    Sounds much more flavorful than almond milk. I’m with you, almonds are so bland and just sort of stick in your throat with a terrible aftertaste.
    I did see on Downshiftology’s web site where she was making oat milk that it can be refrigerated for up to a week, so I’m assuming this would last a week too. She mentioned that it may separate in the fridge but just give it a shake or a stir before drinking and you’re good to go. Hope that helps with the storage issue as I would hate to think people would forego making this due to a short “life” span.