As a life long morning cereal eater, usually my homemade toasted muesli and mostly avoiding dairy, it’s been all about soy when it comes to milk choice. That is until recently, when procrastination about grocery shopping resulted in a shortage of milk, of all kinds in our house.
Nut milks are not new to the foodie scene, but in recent years the trend towards healthier alternatives, the increase of food intolerance and the increase in power in our domestic kitchen equipment has made homemade nut milks become a quick, cow milk alternative. As to the cheapness of making nut milk, cow milk in Australia at least has been driven down so much that a fair comparison against it is unjust, however if you purchase bulk nuts you can get them fro a great price. As with anything food related, quality matters so if you can grab the freshest, organic and locally grown nuts where possible.
For those that have never thought, heard or contemplated the idea of nuts into milk, there is an amazing creaminess that can be extracted from the simple nut and depending on the nut you use the “nutiness” of flavour can vary. Cashews create a high creamy to nutty ratio, whereas the hazelnut is creamy and very “hazelnutty”. It is this “hazelnutty” flavour I was after, the flavour is strong but not overpowering and works well with fruit and the dry spiced flavours of the muesli.
The process of making nut milk is almost not even a recipe. All you need is a blender/liquidizer and the 2 ingredients.
Nut milk is not only great for a cow milk alternative, it can also make traditionally dairy filled desserts into a dairy free dream. Look out for the Hazelnut and chai creme brulee recipe which features the Hazelnut milk in an upcoming post.
1 1/4 cup Hazelnuts
Boil the water and allow to cool slightly
Place the hazelnuts in your blender.
Pour over the water and allow to steep for 5 minutes.
Blend on high for 2 – 4 minutes or until everything is well blended and frothy.
Line a sieve with a muslin and place over your bowl.
Pour in your hazelnut mix and allow to strain fully.
Once strained place the milk into the fridge to cool.
Use as you would milk. Keeps for a few days
Don’t disguard the pulp left in the muslin. Lay flat on a tray and allow to dry out fully and use where Hazelnut meal is required.
Here are some recipes for hazelnut meal:
Muslin is a fine weave fabric used in the kitchen to strain liquids from solids. Purchase from a fabric shop, it;s much cheaper and you can get bigger pieces.