Americans are great inventors; we are innovative, imaginative and resourceful. Besides all the BIG things like, cars, planes and computers, Americans also invented jeans (!) dental floss (!!) and chocolate chip cookies (!!!). I am an inventor too; light bulbs are constantly going off over my head. The only thing is, the things I invent… have already been invented. Or halfway invented. Sometimes I think that I must be running my mouth too much and people overhear my ideas. Or maybe, what is that saying – great minds think alike.This is how it works -- the other day a friend of mine was sitting on her couch eating Nutella out of the jar with a spoon and I thought “Dang girl, want me to get you a straw for that?”
My mind starts racing. Nutella Chocolate Milk. Nutella Hot Chocolate. Nutella Lattes. Yummm, wait a second Rhiana, you hate milk it’s for babies and it gives you a tummy ache. It’s ok; just make it with soy milk or almond milk or (gasp) HAZELNUT MILK. Chocolate Hazelnut Milk, liquid Nutella, I am a GENIUS!! But then, a few days later, I was wandering in some random DC neighborhood when I stumbled upon a tiny organic market. I am perusing the shelves, shuffling through black soap, oregano extract and chia seeds, when what do I see: CHOCOLATE HAZELNUT MILK. Do my eyes deceive me, could it be a coincidence?? Here are my instructions to make your own hazelnut milk. It is an excellent source of protein and a perfect cholesterol free, dairy free, soy free, vegan alternative to cow’s milk. Melt a little chocolate and stir it in with some honey and you’ve got liquid Nutella, the hippie version. I still consider myself the inventor of this scrumptious combination, even if one or two people thought of it first. I mean, if Christopher Columbus gets credit for discovering America, can’t I have this!?
Hazelnut Milk Ingredients
Makes 2 Cups of Milk
3 Cups Raw Hazelnuts
(You can substitute any kind of nuts for cashew, almond or pecan milk)
About 5 Cups water
Bourbon Hazelnut Steamer Ingredients
Makes 2 Servings
2 Cups Hazelnut Milk
1 Cinnamon Stick
2 TB Honey
3 Oz. Bourbon, divided
Hazelnut Milk Directions
Spread three cups of Hazelnuts onto a baking sheet ensuring they fall in a single layer. Toast in a 400° oven, until fragrant and the skins start to split, this usually takes about 12 minutes. After you allow the nuts to cool place in a large bowl and cover with water. Soak them overnight and change the water when you wake up, then leave to soak for a few more hours. Now you have a decision to make, here you can either peel the nuts, which will be fairly easy because they have been soaking, or you can leave the skins on. I left the skins on. Pulse nuts and soaking water in a blender or food processor, add more water if needed. Strain through a mesh strainer, pushing any liquid through with the back of a spoon. Now you have Hazelnut milk!
You can keep the Hazelnut meal to bake with later. (BONUS! Multi Grain Muffins maybe??)
Bourbon Hazelnut Steamer Directions
Warm 2 Cups of Hazelnut Milk and Cinnamon Stick over low heat, stirring in honey. Once warm, pour into mugs with bourbon, removing the cinnamon stick; top with Fresh Whipped cream and shaved nutmeg. Warm up with one and share with someone you love.