make your own: hazelnut milk.

March 2, 2016

make your own hazelnut milk | reading my tea leavesNut milk. I don’t know me anymore, either.

Just kidding. I’m not giving up on cow’s milk. I’m just widening my perspective on milk-like things and finding another excuse to eat hazelnuts and rich, creamy treats.

Growing up in a small New England town, about the biggest thrill my friends and I had in high school was piling into a car and driving to the Cumberland Farms gas station downtown to fill up on hazelnut lattes. They were the kind of sugary confection that dribbled out of a questionably clean machine after a fitful start. “Release the button before the cup is full,” the sign read. We sometimes followed the directions and we sometimes spilled. We’d get hazelnut lattes en route to play practices. We’d scald our tongues and get hyped up on sugar and caffeine and giggle uncontrollably while we rehearsed our lines. Rebellion or something that felt like it. 

I haven’t had a hazelnut latte for years—and I realize that the comparison to the gas station stuff might not be a strong selling point—but making your own hazelnut milk and drinking it with coffee is like enjoying a much, much better version of the hazelnut latte that you may have enjoyed in your own youth.

At my sister’s urging, I bought my first nut bag a few weeks ago. (I know.) And since then I’ve experimented with making milk from my one true love: hazelnuts. Making your own nut milk is super easy and super satisfying, which, you know, are my two requirements for all things DIY. 

Here’s the process for making the richest, creamiest nut milk out there:

make your own hazelnut milk | reading my tea leaves


I’ve been making fairly small batches of hazelnut milk, so I’ve been using a quart mason jar to soak my nuts in a ratio of 1 to 3, nuts to water. I’ve added a spoonful of honey and an inch or so (even more when I’m feeling flush) of vanilla bean to my nuts for good measure. I haven’t set a timer, but I’ve typically been doing an overnight soak, covering my nuts with water at night after dinner and blending in the morning before breakfast.

make your own hazelnut milk | reading my tea leaves


After soaking the nuts—which will be puffed a bit and their skins loosened—you blend them. (If you want a less earthy taste, soak first without vanilla or sweetener, rinse and pour off the loosened skins, and blend with fresh water, sweetener, and vanilla. I don’t do this step.) Use an electric blender on high until everything is well combined. 

make your own hazelnut milk | reading my tea leaves


Next, you strain. Or, as I like to say, you milk. If you’ve never milked a mammal, this might be the closet you’ll get. (I’m just guessing here.) Put your nut bag over a bowl, pour in the nut mixture and lift up the bag to allow it to drain. Gently squeeze and knead the bag to encourage the rest of the liquid out. (If you don’t have a nut bag, you can use cheesecloth. It works just as well it’s just not as easily reused.) (You can compost the nut meal that remains, or dry and save it to use in baked goods!)

make your own hazelnut milk | reading my tea leaves


Once strained, chill the milk for a refreshing drink. The nut milk will eventually separate a bit, but another whir in the blender, or a hearty shake, should get it back to golden. I’ve been adding it to morning bowls of oatmeal, afternoon smoothies, and, of course, coffee. 

make your own hazelnut milk | reading my tea leavesThe hazelnut milk—I’m tempted to call it cream—holds its own pretty well in our stovetop frother for a little fancy morning imbibing.make your own hazelnut milk | reading my tea leavesWhat about you guys? Forays into nut milking? Preferences? Tips? I’m all ears.

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  • Reply Ksenia March 2, 2016 at 7:50 am

    sounds perfect! been wanting to make nut milk for so long but always too lazy to do it 🙂

    • Reply Erin Boyle March 2, 2016 at 7:54 am

      i’m lazy! this is truly easy!

  • Reply Clair March 2, 2016 at 8:00 am

    Sounds great! Just so i am absolutely clear, when you make it, you use the water that the nuts have been soaking in to create the milk, by blending both the nuts and the water they were soaked in?

    I never realized it was so easy?
    Thanks for sharing….

    • Reply Erin Boyle March 2, 2016 at 8:08 am

      Yes: that’s what I do. A lot of folks prefer to dump the water the nuts have been soaking in and use fresh to blend the milk, but I don’t do that step!

  • Reply Kitty March 2, 2016 at 8:09 am

    I really like the idea of hazelnut latte. Could I ask what sort of stove top frother you have? I would love to have home made steamed milk but can’t justify a coffee machine when we make coffee in a aeropress! Love you blog here!

  • Reply Erin March 2, 2016 at 8:38 am

    So, apparently, I am the 13 year old here because I can’t stop giggling at nut bag, soaking nuts, and the general delicate treatment the nuts get. However, the 37 year old outer me is super intrigued by this and now wants a nut bag (giggle) of my own to try this myself.

    • Reply Erin Boyle March 2, 2016 at 8:50 am

      i mean, i know. it’s all a lot to take in with a straight face 😉

  • Reply Elizabeth March 2, 2016 at 8:47 am

    I’ve been doing cashew milk lately. Since it’s a softer nut, I find it doesn’t need to be strained! But perhaps I should branch out to hazelnut. It sounds delicious!

    • Reply M. March 2, 2016 at 10:10 am

      My neighborhood corner store had the same Hazelnut Latte machine. It was a latte in name only but I drank a lot of those and then fell asleep in a sugar coma afterwards. I make cashew milk a lot. If you soak cashews overnight and then whazz them up (highly technical term here) there’s no straining required. It’s good to go for at least five days if it lasts that long. It can also be used to thicken roux if you want to go gluten free or acts as a binder in baked goods if you’re egg free or forgot to go to the store (I’ve never had that happen, nope). I’ve read that brazil nuts make fabulous nut milk too, but I haven’t been brave and tried that yet.

  • Reply Anna March 2, 2016 at 9:04 am

    I love using a mix of almonds and macadamias but I think I’ll have to try hazelnuts instead! (Or a mix of hazelnuts and macadamias. Yum). I use medjool dates as a sweeter (they soften so much during the soak that they blend straight into the milk) and it is so delicious.

  • Reply Hilary March 2, 2016 at 9:09 am

    I can’t recommend cashew milk enough! It is so delicious and creamy. Also, since it doesn’t have to be strained you still get all the good fiber and fat.

    • Reply Amanda March 2, 2016 at 11:14 pm

      I suppose the protein as well? That is one thing that has kept me hesitant about nut milks. Other than some micronutrients its just flavored water. All of the healthy macronutrients in nuts are lost when turned into milk so it seems like an incredible waste.

      • Reply Erin Boyle March 3, 2016 at 7:24 am

        We’ve been saving our nut meal and using it in baking! So fun and zero waste!

  • Reply Emilie March 2, 2016 at 9:37 am

    …. oh does this sound delicious and something I will try! Thank you, Erin. Several years back I tried a recipe for Almond milk. It was somewhat similar to yours, although it called for removing the skins after soaking, and using maple syrup vs. honey. But, this really sounds heavenly with coffee!

  • Reply Anna March 2, 2016 at 10:23 am

    This sounds delicious! I’ve tried making almond and cashew milk, but have yet to try hazelnut milk. Tempted to make it and mix in some melted chocolate or hot cocoa powder for liquid nutella.

  • Reply Laura March 2, 2016 at 12:36 pm

    You can also freeze the leftover nut blend after you’ve drained the milk and use it for baking. Just a pro tip. There are some great paleo cookie recipes out there that use nut flour, and I’ve found that this stuff works very well.

    • Reply Erin Boyle March 2, 2016 at 12:38 pm

      Nice! I dried mine out a bit in the oven and just incorporated them into some breakfast bars I made!

  • Reply Angela March 2, 2016 at 12:38 pm

    If you are like me, and you don’t have time to make nut milk (2 hours of commuting + full time demanding career + graduate school + other homemade goods making the priority list), you can order nut milk from the NotMilk sisters.

    Delicious milks, adorable sisters, great small business and easy pick up in Cobble Hill/Carroll Gardens.

    • Reply Erin Boyle March 2, 2016 at 12:46 pm

      Sounds lovely, thanks for sharing! (Though I feel compelled to say that the active time on this is about three minutes and is something that I’ve been able to incorporate into my own demanding schedule with little to no effort!)

  • Reply catie March 2, 2016 at 12:56 pm

    cashew milk is what i’m good at – no straining necessary!

    here’s my post i did about it:
    and here’s the recipe:
    1/2 cup raw cashews {soaked until soft}
    2 cups water
    2 teaspoons agave
    1 1/2 teaspoon melted coconut oil
    1/4 teaspoon vanilla
    a little cinnamon

    start by soaking the cashews in water
    for an hour or even overnight.
    drain the cashews.
    add everything to the blender
    & blend until completely smooth.

  • Reply catie March 2, 2016 at 12:58 pm

    p.s. sometimes i drain them & start with fresh water ~ sometimes not.
    much easier and colder not to ♥

  • Reply laura March 2, 2016 at 1:55 pm

    How much do you yield with the recipe? I tried ye old nut bag before but I was disappointed by how much it made! I’d love to try hazlenut though. Yummmm.

    • Reply Erin Boyle March 2, 2016 at 2:06 pm

      I’ve used a quart mason jar every time I made it, and each time I get enough milk to fill it back up 3/4 of the way! (I did really squeezed the @#$% out of the bag…but I haven’t been disappointed!).

  • Reply Melanie March 2, 2016 at 2:20 pm

    I always wondered about the whole “nut” milk concept!! Wow this sounds so cool and Omg must be delicious!! =)

  • Reply Sarah March 2, 2016 at 3:11 pm

    When my son was diagnosed with a dairy intolerance years ago we were forced to turn to milk alternatives, which always left something to be desired (too much sugar, funky ingredients, funkier flavor). Learning to make our own nut milk was a revelation. A nut bag, which prompts funny looks when mentioned in mixed company, is the key. We have used macadamia nuts, almonds, hazelnuts, and cashews (soaking is a must with cashews) and have had great results every time. I throw everything in the blender pitcher overnight and hit the button in the morning. It’s the only milk my son will drink by the glassful and making it from scratch is a rather satisfying endeavor.

  • Reply Amber March 2, 2016 at 4:17 pm

    When you say vanilla bean, are you referring to vanilla extract?

    • Reply Erin Boyle March 2, 2016 at 4:31 pm

      I’ve actually been using a piece of a whole vanilla bean in my milk! (If you wanted to use vanilla extract instead, you could!)

  • Reply Joanna March 2, 2016 at 10:21 pm

    I stumbled onto your book at my local Barnes and Noble and read it in just a couple of nights. At the beginning of this year I wanted to find some new books on home organization and decorating. Your book fit my mood perfectly and I really loved it. It is now proudly among my other favorites on my homemaking bookshelf. 🙂

    • Reply Erin Boyle March 3, 2016 at 7:26 am

      So so glad to read this here! So grateful that you took the time to write and totally honored that my book has a place on your shelf!

  • Reply Lissa March 3, 2016 at 6:41 am

    Nuts are so expensive in my experience. Does the cost of the more nutritious milk work out to be about the same as the nut milks? Loving this series.

    • Reply Erin Boyle March 3, 2016 at 7:26 am

      Can’t speak to the nutritional value of one kind of milk over another, and it’s true that nuts are sometimes expensive, but making nut milk has such a fun thing and delicious thing for us to do!

  • Reply Lydia March 3, 2016 at 9:11 am

    I’ve never done this because I’ve never had a blender that I felt did the job well… :/ Definitely grew up with those coffee machines though! The co-op where I took high school classes was held in a church and they had one downstairs…in the dark…closed part of the church we weren’t supposed to go to! I’d find two quarters and go and BREAK THE RULES! 🙂 (p.s. up there you’ve got “closet” where you meant “closest” to milking, heh. one fast typer to another!)

  • Reply Shelly HW March 3, 2016 at 7:28 pm

    First it was hazelnut butter, now it’s hazelnut milk. I am going to put more hazelnuts into my diet with these two recipes. Here in Oregon they are called filberts. I live in the Willamette Valley and everyone is always crazy about filbert season!

  • Reply Britt March 3, 2016 at 8:09 pm

    I’ve been making nut milk steadily for a few months now. I’ve been wanting to try it with hazelnuts, sound delicious! A personal favourite of mine is walnut milk with a pinch or two of nutmeg and a bit of maple syrup. Deeeelish!

  • Reply angel of berlin March 6, 2016 at 2:24 am

    I love making my own milk but was always scared that my blender would get destroyed in the process. I have now come across a nut milk maker from the uk (which you can use für soups and smoothies as well) and I really love it: Try cashew milk with dates, sesame, cinnamon and vanilla. It’s awesome. Plus the nut milk maker does all by itself, so that I can do something else in the meantime :).

  • Reply Lydia Lienhart March 11, 2016 at 3:13 am

    What a great idea!
    I love that you don´t refer to hazelnut milk as a a total replacement to cow´s milk but rather an addition to your diet 🙂
    You have a great writing style!

    Yours, LifeLovingLydia

  • Reply Diane April 3, 2016 at 8:35 am

    I always thought you HAD to dump the water…awesome!

  • Reply Michelle April 5, 2016 at 9:27 pm

    Hi Erin! I love your blog (my daily read over coffee before I start work) and I love your book 🙂 I was wondering what brand your cups are – although I do not expect to find them in Australia! The size looks perfect.

  • Reply becky August 3, 2017 at 2:59 pm

    I’m late to the conversation but read and then forgot I read this over time! I wasn’t ready for nut milking but now I am!!! Previously I was a go to soy milk believer when I decided to skip drinking milk and icecream. It sounds awful but my skin reacts with an agry attitude but then I learned about phytoestrogens and my skin did the same with soy. Now I can hardly stand the the thought of soy in most prepackaged food.
    I prefer almond milk but have tasted some amazing cashew milk.
    I came across hazelnut milk at the grocery store from a dairy company that has stated producing nutmilk. OMG it was a amazing and I can’t find it since!!!
    So I’ve started making my own. Its not the same as the one i found but i love it. The first batch was okay. The second batch I mixed with diy cashew milk. It tastes better. Hopefully I’ll improve over time!
    I’ve come to the conclusion that I need a nut bag, cheese cloth is okay but there needs to be an easier way.
    Thanks so much erin!!

  • Reply Linda April 18, 2018 at 4:50 am

    Hi, I make hazelnut milk and add cacao and a little maple syrup, its like adding nutella to your breakfast. But i now need to know the calorie content of home made hazelnut milk, i use a cup of hazelnuts to 2 cups of water. Do you know how i can work out the calorie content given that i throw out the flour

    • Reply ERIN BOYLE April 18, 2018 at 11:36 am

      Honestly, no idea! Not a calorie counter!


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