In Morocco, shakes like this one are a common mid-afternoon treat. The most popular is made with almonds or a mixture of nuts and dried fruits. Being the good Moroccan that I am, I perpetually have a cornucopia of nuts in my pantry.
I was enjoying a quiet afternoon today with John when I suddenly felt the urge to make a drink we could converse over.
“Hazelnuts? They’re my favorite nuts,” said John while finishing up some late work on his computer.
“Perfect, they’re mine too,” I replied.
Propelled by our common liking, I skedaddled to the kitchen, toasted some hazelnuts, and blended them with a good measure of almond milk. I sweetened my shake with honey but I have to say I was tempted by the jar of Nutella sitting right next to the bottle of honey on the second shelf of my cupboard. I ended up going for the honey. But you could use Nutella to sweeten your shake as well as give it some extra oomph if you feel so inclined, and only if you do.
Toasted Hazelnut Smoothie Recipe
1/4 cup hazelnuts
1 cup almond milk
1 tablespoon honey, or to taste
1/8 teaspoon unsweetened cocoa powder (not Dutch), for color
Heat a small skillet over medium heat. Toast the hazelnuts, stirring occasionally, until fragrant, 3 to 5 minutes.
Using an electric blender, blend the hazelnuts with the rest of the ingredients until perfectly smooth. Serve in your favorite glass with or without a straw, with or without ice.