Creamy Chocolate Hazelnut Milk

(courtesy of Aimee Eiguren. Makes about 4 to 5 cups)

3 to 4 cups warm, filtered water (for soaking)

1 tablespoon sea salt

2 cups raw hazelnuts (skin on or off is fine)

4 cups cold, filtered water

½ cup raw cacao nibs

3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder (not Dutch process)

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

¼ cup pure maple syrup (Grade B)

Sea salt

First soak nuts, as follows: Combine four cups warm water and sea salt, stirring until salt is dissolved. Add raw hazelnuts, making sure nuts are covered with water completely. If needed, add more water. Cover and let soak at room temperature for at least eight hours and up to 24. Drain nuts and rinse with cool water. Proceed with recipe.

Prepare fine sieve or colander by lining with cheesecloth and placing over large bowl or use nut-milk bag.

In large blender, combine soaked hazelnuts with four cups fresh filtered water (not same water you used for soaking), cacao nibs, cocoa powder, vanilla extract, and maple syrup. Purée in blender until completely smooth (about one to three minutes in standard blender, less if using high-speed blender such as Vitamix).

Pour puréed mixture through sieve, using a spoon to push liquid through. Strain well, squeezing cheesecloth at end to expel all liquid. Taste and add additional sea salt or maple syrup as desired. Transfer to glass jar and store in refrigerator for up to four days.

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