Creamy Hazelnut Horchata (Raw, Vegan, and Paleo!)

 

Cinco de Mayo is just a few short days away! Which is a great excuse to get some friends together and whip up all of your favorite Mexican dishes. Mexican food is truly some of the most delicious on the planet (in our humble opinion of course...), and an authentic Mexican meal wouldn't be complete without a refreshing glass of ice cold Horchata. And if you like your Mexican food especially spicy, Horchata is the perfect cooling accompaniment. 

While Horchata is most well known here in the states as a sweet and cinnamon-y rice drink served at Mexican restaurants, its origins go all the way back to ancient Egypt where it was made from a base of water and Chufa nuts (also known as tiger nuts!), a highly nutritious, protein-rich tuber native to Africa and the Middle East. The original recipe spread to Spain, then soon enough to Mexico and Central America, where it was adapted to utilize ingredients more readily available - tiger nuts out, rice in.
 
Today Horchata recipes can be found using a multitude of ingredients: rice, barley, tiger nuts, almonds, sesame seeds, sugar, vanilla, and cinnamon. Ingredients are blended together with water and strained to create a frothy, pleasantly sweet and always cinnamon-y milk often served chilled over ice. 
 
We decided to make our very own version, leaving out the rice, and instead using a base of activated hazelnut milk. The addition of our Dastony stone ground cashew butter adds even more creaminess and richness, while a little slippery elm bark powder thickens the texture just a bit, similar to what rice starch would naturally do. We used low glycemic coconut sugar to sweeten - adjust the sweetness level to your own taste buds! Feel free to sub in a little stevia, xylitol or monk fruit if you prefer an even lower sugar option. 
 
We hope you learned something about the origins of this tasty beverage, and we especially hope you try out this recipe. Enjoy, and Happy Cinco de Mayo!

Creamy Hazelnut Horchata (Raw, Vegan, and Paleo!)

The Recipe 

Creamy Hazelnut Horchata (Raw, Vegan, and Paleo!)

Makes 2 cups

Ingredients

2 cups fresh hazelnut milk *see recipe below

3-4 Tbs coconut sugar (to taste)

1 full tsp ground cinnamon

3/4 tsp vanilla extract

1 heaped tsp Dasony Stone Ground Raw Cashew Butter

1 tsp slippery elm powder (can be omitted, but it helps to thicken the recipe)

2 pinches Himalayan crystal salt (to enhance the flavors)

Horchata Instructions

1. blend all ingredients until smooth and frothy. 

2. Keep chilled and serve over ice with an extra dash of cinnamon on top. 

 

Basic Fresh Hazelnut Milk

Makes 4 cups

Recipe

1 cup raw organic hazelnuts, soaked for 4-8 hours

4 cups of purified water

Nut Milk Instructions

1. First, soaked your hazelnuts for at least 4 hours, or simply soak overnight. Drain and rinse thoroughly.

2. Blend hazenuts with 1 cup of water until a paste forms. Then add additional 3 cups of water and blend again until completely smooth. Adding water in increments like this ensures that the hazelnuts blend thoroughly.

3. Strain mixture through a nylon mesh nut milk bag removing the nut fiber to create a creamy nut milk. 

Store extra milk in the refrigerator (preferably in glass) for up to 5 days.  

 Creamy Hazelnut Horchata (Raw, Vegan, and Paleo!)

Creamy Hazelnut Horchata (Raw, Vegan, and Paleo!)