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Couples Hazelnut Hot Cocoa

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup whole preferably raw hazelnuts
  • 8 large honey dates
  • 2 ½ cups boiling or lukewarm water use lukewarm if you don't have a steam venting blender
  • 3 Tb raw cacao
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1 medium avocado
  • Optional: 1-3 tsp maple syrup or to taste
  • Optional toppings: cocoa nibs or cocoa to dust on top

Instructions

  1. Blend the hazelnuts, honey dates and water in a high-powered blender until smooth. Then, using a very fine mesh strainer or a nut bag (my preference), strain the remaining milk into a clean container. Retain the nut pulp for another use (like my Baked Oatmeal with Caramelized Pears and Cranberries, a modified version of my favourite fruit crumble or any other recipe where nut pulp could be used).
  2. Add the nut milk back to the blender, along with the sea salt, cacao and avocado, and blend until smooth. If using boiling water, be sure to use a blender that steam vents (like a Vitamix) so the heat can escape and you don’t accidentally burn yourself. If you don’t have steam vents on your blender, just blend the ingredients and then heat gently on the stove. Add maple syrup to taste if you like and serve warm or hot.
  3. ALTERNATIVE: If you don’t mind a grittier, more textured hot cocoa, simply blend all ingredients together (except for the optional ingredients), add maple syrup to taste if desired, and serve warm or hot!