September 18, 2013 by Ann @ The Coconut Frontier
I thought after I discovered how delicious homemade pumpkin seed milk was, my days of searching for the perfect non-dairy substitute were finally over. That is…until I remembered the hazelnut.
Oh, hazelnut. How perfectly nutty and delectable you are. Why didn’t I think about making you into milk sooner?
As you may have noticed from my pumpkin seed milk recipe, I always soak my nuts and seeds before eating them, due to their high levels of phytic acid. Phytic acid is the storage form of phosphorus found in many plants, and especially in the bran or hull of grains, and in nuts and seeds. The three major downsides of phytic acid are:
- Humans cannot digest it.
- It binds to minerals in our food, thereby blunting our body’s own absorption of these minerals (diets high in phytic acid have been shown to cause mineral deficiencies).
- It interferes with the enzymes required to digest our food (including pepsin, needed for the breakdown of proteins in the stomach; amylase, needed for the breakdown of starch; and trypsin, needed for breakdown of proteins in the small intestine).
Because you are very smart, you’re likely asking yourself, “If the majority of phytic acid is found in the bran or hull of the seed or nut, does nut milk even contain a significant amount of phytic acid?” And the answer is: No! It most likely does not contain any amount to be worried about. Which is a great thing! Nevertheless, I still soak my nuts and seeds regardless of whether or not I’ll be using them to make nut milk. This way, I can easily use the leftover pulp to make a more digestible, lower phytic-acid-containing cookie or cracker for my treat loving husband.
As a side note, this hazelnut milk pairs perfectly with a scoop of cacao powder for a heavenly chocolate milk treat.
- 1 cup raw organic hazelnuts
- 2.5 – 3.5 cups of pure, filtered water for the milk (more if you like “thinner” nut milk) + additional water for soaking nuts
- teaspoon of unrefined salt
- nut milk bag
- blender (if you really want to impress the neighbors, I highly recommend this one)
1. Place the hazelnuts in a bowl and cover completely with water (they will float a little, so just push them down)
2. Add unrefined salt into water, stir, and cover with a cloth
3. Allow nuts to soak for at least 7 hours or overnight
4. Rinse nuts thoroughly and put into blender
5. Add water to blender and a pinch of quality, unrefined salt
6. Blend on high until liquified (if using a Vitamix, start on variable 1 speed, bring it up to variable 10, and then flip on high for about 20-30 seconds)
7. Strain mixture through a nut milk bag to separate the pulp from the milk. Don’t throw out the pulp! It can be used for making treats, like cookies or crackers.
8. Enjoy in this delicious hazelnut milk in a smoothie, ice cream, or naked!