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Chocolate Hazelnut Spread (aka "Nutella")

Updated: May 30, 2021

This creamy, dreamy, decadent spread is made with real ingredients: toasted hazelnuts, pure maple syrup, coconut milk, raw cacao butter, cacao powder, vanilla, and sea salt. No refined sugar, palm oil, or soy-based emulsifiers here!

Smear it on crepes with strawberries, add it to a smoothie bowl, spread it on pancakes or on a whole grain tortilla rolled up with sliced bananas – the possibilities are simply endless.

Recipe adapted from Eat what you love by Danielle Walker, page 307.


Where was life before heavenly Nutella? I didn't grow up with it as a kid, but I can't seem to remember my life without it – well, until now.


My recent dietary restrictions forced me to take a closer look at what I was eating as well as what was in some of my favorite foods. I was disappointed to learn that Nutella contains powdered skim milk, so it was now going to be out for me.


I also discovered that one of the very first ingredient listed was sugar followed but a lot of other stuff that sounded very processed and certainly didn't sound like anything I should be feeding to my family.


In my research to find a healthier replacement, I found it very difficult to find a recipe that didn't contain a ton of sugar – sometimes as much a cup – and one that didn't have the addition of vegetable oil or shortening.


This version is the perfect "healthier" solution. We are swapping out the granulated sugar or powdered sugar for a natural sweetener (maple syrup), and using raw, unrefined cacao butter (cocoa butter) – it makes this spread so incredibility silky without adding any extra oil. Also, by using full fat coconut milk, we add a creamy richness while keeping it dairy-free. Finally, by using a combination of cacao butter and cacao powder, we give this spread a deep, rich, natural chocolate flavor.


To get started, preheat the oven to 350 degrees.


Place the whole hazelnuts on a rimmed sheet pan and roast for about 10 to 15 minutes, just until fragrant and lightly brown. Be sure to watch them closely – they can go from perfect to burnt in less than a minute!


Pour the nuts onto a clean kitchen towel, wrap them up tightly, and let them sit for about 1 minute. Rub the nuts into the towel so most of the skins flake off.


Place the skinned nuts in the bowl of a food processor and process them into a smooth butter, about 2 to 3 minutes. Add the maple syrup, coconut milk, and melted cacao butter and continue to process until the mixture is very smooth and creamy, about 1 minute. Add the cacao powder, vanilla, and salt. Process again for 1 minute, until it is thick and creamy. Let cool to room temperature before storing in the fridge.


You can feel better about how this version is made, so go ahead and indulge a bit.


Store in a glass jar with a lid in the fridge for 2 weeks, or in the freezer for about 6 months.


Let's get cooking!

 

Ingredients

  • 1 cup hazelnuts

  • 1/2 to 3/4 cup maple syrup (add as much or as little to your liking)

  • 2 to 4 tablespoons full-fat coconut milk (add more if you want your spread to have a little thinner consistency)

  • 2 ounces raw cacao butter, melted

  • 1/4 cup unsweetened cacao powder or cocoa powder

  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla

  • 1/8 teaspoon fine sea salt

 

How to make

Please be sure to reference Eat what you love by Danielle Walker, page 307 for the complete recipe and instructions.

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

  2. Place the whole hazelnuts on a rimmed sheet pan and roast for about 10-15 minutes, just until fragrant and lightly brown.

  3. Pour the nuts onto a clean kitchen towel, wrap them up tightly, and let them sit for about 1 minute.

  4. Rub the nuts into the towel so most of the skins flake off.

  5. Place the skinned nuts in the bowl of a food processor and process them into a smooth butter, about 2-3 minutes.

  6. Add the maple syrup, coconut milk, and melted cacao butter and continue to process until the mixture is very smooth and creamy, about a minute.

  7. Add the cacao powder, vanilla, and salt.

  8. Process again for 1 minute, until it is thick and creamy.

  9. Let cool to room temperature before storing in the fridge.

  10. Store in a jar with a lid in the fridge for 2 weeks, or in the freezer for 6 months.

  11. Please scroll to the bottom to share your comments and feedback.


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