05.23.2016

DSC_1088

We are on day 23 of an elimination diet. What have we eliminated you ask? Dairy, beans, grains, sugar, and alcohol. In general, it has been a really good experience that has forced to me to cook even more then I normally do and question every bite of food before putting it into my mouth. That said, one of the toughest parts for me is morning coffee. Nick teases me that I drink a cup of cream in the morning with a splash of coffee in it (hey, cream is really freakin’ delicious) and he’s right – I am somewhat a slave to my morning creamer. This month I have replaced cream with a variety of store-bought plant milks. I’ve tried everything from coconut milk to hemp, cashew, and almond. They have all been fine but tend to be watery and bland. I knew a richer, more flavorful nut milk was possible so I decided to make my own hazelnut creamer. The results are delicious – rich, thick, and perfect in a tall glass of iced coffee.

If you are new to making nut milks at home, this is a great place to start. All you need is a blender and piece of cheesecloth. In the end, you’ll have two cups of hazelnut milk made simply from hazelnuts and water (plus any flavorings you like).

DSC_1069

DSC_1072

Hazelnut Creamer

makes 2 cups

1 cup hazelnuts

4 cups water, divided

Splash of pure vanilla extract

1 cheesecloth

Sweeteners (optional, see below)

DSC_1075

DSC_1093

First, pour the hazelnuts into a large jar and add in 2 cups of water. Let the nuts soak on the counter for 12 to 24 hours. When ready to make the milk, drain the nuts (discarding the soaking water), and pour the soft hazelnuts into a blender.

Add 2 cups of water to the blender and blend, on high, for 3 minutes. Powerful blenders do a really good job here but if you know your blender does not do well with tough foods then let it go even longer than 3 minutes.

Set a cheesecloth over a large bowl or pitcher and pour over the hazelnut puree. Let the liquid drain through then, using clean hands, squeeze the pulp in the cloth to release all remaining liquid. Stir a splash of pure vanilla extract into the smooth creamer.

If you like sweetened coffee, you can also whisk in honey, maple syrup, agave or cane sugar here (I prefer it plain). Store the hazelnut creamer in a lidded jar in the fridge to enjoy in coffee, smoothies, and over granola.

DSC_1078