I'm all about nut spreads, but aside from the whole competition factor I have other reasons for keeping my kids off of this scrumptious hazelnut chocolate spread. First and foremost, Nutella is full of sugar. In fact the first ingredient in Nutella is sugar, which is pretty surprising it takes a lot of hazelnuts to make a but butter. And when you have kids that are as sugar-deprived as mine, when something that's super sweet comes into the equation they develop an automatic obsession. The second ingredient is palm oil and again, I'm still surprised that it's not hazelnuts, which have a lot of oil in their own right.
Hazelnuts (or filberts) are a pretty nutritious nut in their own right, and really taste delicious with chocolate. Similar to almonds they have tons of vitamin E, along with copper and manganese, iron and calcium and they are are a great source of protein.
So I decided to make my own, unapologetically lower sugar, no added oil Nutella. Just to warn you, make sure that you process your hazelnuts for about 5 minutes before adding your other ingredients, otherwise you'll end up with a gritty mess (I learned this one the hard way). Second add your water at the very end to make the spread smoother, so it's not a stiff mass of fudge (again, another mistake I made).
So here's an easy, fool-proof way to harvest all the powerful nutrients of hazelnuts without all the sugar. Enjoy!
Homemade chocolate hazelnut spread
Cook time: 10 minutes
Processing time: ~10 minutes
Makes: 4 ounce jar
1 cup hazelnuts
1/4 cup cocoa powder
3 tablespoons honey
1 tablespoon vanilla
1/4 teaspoon salt
2-3 tablespoons water
Preheat oven to 350F. Then roast hazelnuts on a baking sheet for 10 minutes. Remove from oven and put in a towel. Rub the hazelnuts around in the towel to remove most of their outer skin.
Put hazelnuts into a food processor while they are still hot. Process for ~5 minutes, until they release their oils and become a butter. Then add your cocoa, honey and vanilla. Process until combined, another few minutes. Finally drizzle in your water while the processor is still running, the total amount dependent on how smooth you want the spread. Remove and put in a jar. Refrigerate til cool before serving.