One of my favourite treats growing up was chocolate milk. However, I came to find out in my teens that I was allergic to dairy. At the time there were next to no good Dairy Free milks available. Needless to say, I went years without chocolate milk. Now that I can make it myself with healthier and less expensive ingredients than store bought, I make it regularly as a special treat for myself and guests. Using hazelnuts which are local to much of North America and Europe makes this a more sustainable choice of nut milk as well. Be sure to soak your hazelnuts for at least 6 to 8 hours to soften them. Using an Ellie's Best Nut Milk bag will make this whole process much easier and you'll get the most out of the hazelnuts. See link for a discount code under "Products and Places" section of my website.
Soak your hazelnuts by covering them completely with cold water for 6-8 hours. Drain the nuts in a colander and rinse. Place in a high powered blender. Add the water, soaked dates and their water, vanilla and sea salt. Whir in your blender a minimum of 2 minutes or until smooth. Pour through an Ellie's Best nut milk bag into a large container. Gently squeeze and knead to extract all the milk.
Compost the meal that is left over in your nut milk bag. Or you can incorporate the meal into other recipes. Return the milk to the blender. At this point you if you don't wish to make chocolate milk you will have a delicious plain hazelnut milk. Add the maple syrup and cocoa powder and whir in your blender until smooth and frothy, about 30 seconds. Store in a glass jar and shake well before drinking.