How to Make Chocolate Hemp Milk
Chocolate hemp milk is my absolute favorite vegan treat to drink. It is nostalgic, nourishing, and perfect on ice. My favorite variety, which may be yours, is Pacific - there's just one unfortunate catch. Pacific hemp milk (both the chocolate and vanilla) contains palm-oil, in the form of synthetic Vitamin A.
I've always wanted to recreate it but didn't think it was possible because, well, it tastes nothing like actual hemp milk. Don't believe me? Go make a glass of pure, unsweetened hemp milk and have a gulp. It genuinely and rightfully tastes like seeds. As my incredulous roommates would say, it tastes like houseplant. A delicious houseplant, but whatever.
So, I'm going to be forthcoming and say that this recipe is less of an ode to hemp and very much so an attempt to recreate what is, essentially, dessert in a glass.
Chocolate Hemp Milk
Yield: About a quart
1-1/4 cups hemp seeds
4 cups filtered water
3 tbsp cacao powder
1 tbsp cocoa powder*
4-5 tbsp brown rice syrup (See note)
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1. Pour your hemp seeds and water into the basin of your blender. Blend for thirty seconds.
2. Add in both your cacao and cocoa powder, as well as, your vanilla extract and brown rice syrup. This is where I might let the mixture sit for 20-30 minutes, but that really isn't necessary for hemp seeds in general, more so just the powder. Blend for 1 minute, either way.
Note → I prefer 4 tbsps of syrup but it will likely taste most like 'the real thing' with 5 tbsps total. Moreover, always remember to get pure vanilla extract. Cheaper imitation bottles often contain glycerin or propylene glycol derived from conflict palm-oil.
3. Strain your mixture and transfer the milk into an airtight, glass container. Refrigerate immediately.
Tip → This milk is great with oatmeal or on granola!
Unlike nut milk, this seed "milk" requires no soak time and does just fine with any type of blender you have at your disposal. The only thing I would say is really necessary would be a sturdy nut milk bag. I use Ellie's Best, which yields some pretty silky milk. There is a lot of potential for sediment here and if you don't strain it well, then your drink might feel a little grainy.
*Why Use Cacao and Cocoa?
Well, I'd love to use only cacao, because it is raw and unprocessed, it just doesn't lend that 'chocolate bar' flavor that we need. Pacific uses both chocolate and chocolate liquor (I've seen different labels at times) and to match that flavor best without making a tedious vegan syrup, we have to use cocoa powder.
What is cocoa? It's just cacao, but processed at very high temperatures. It has a deeper, more rich flavor and is basically exactly what you used to make hot cocoa way back when. Just make sure you buy pure cocoa powder, or else it likely won't be vegan due to added milk fats.