Homemade Nutella (Chocolate Hazelnut Spread)

I arrived quite late to the Nutella party (I only tasted it for the first time a few months ago), but I fell in love instantly. Despite the fact that the ingredients make me somewhat uncomfortable, I have still found myself eating it straight from the jar on more than one occasion.

I know I’m not the only one who loves the stuff. A couple of words in my facebook status bar to the tune of “I’m attempting homemade Nutella” got some of my friends really excited. So when my first batch didn’t go all that well (I over toasted the hazelnuts), I knew I had to try again.

I have successfully made this chocolate hazelnut spread a few times now. It’s super easy. I made one batch with maple syrup, and if you avoid sugar, you might want to try that. I personally prefer the consistency with the organic powdered (confectioner’s) sugar, but I like to remind you that there are options. You could also add a little vanilla extract or the scraped seeds from half a vanilla bean.

You start by toasting the hazelnuts on a cookie sheet.

Some recipes call for doing this at 400°F but this didn’t work out well for me (I over toasted them, remember?). I recommend 350°F for 10 minutes. It’s enough for them to become fragrant and for the shells to loosen, plus it ensures there won’t be any “burnt” flavor.

Once the hazelnuts are toasted, you need to rub the skins off. Kind of a pain, but it’s got to be done. You can use a towel, but I just use my fingers. If they don’t all come off, don’t worry about it. From there, you just whir the hazelnuts into a butter in your food processor and then add the rest of the ingredients. Process again until you’ve got a delicious chocolate hazelnut spread.

I’ll tell you right now that this does not taste exactly like Nutella. It’s not quite as sweet and it’s not as smooth (because it doesn’t contain as much sugar, questionable oils, or emulsifiers). But it’s pretty close. And it’s better for you.

I used raw and organic cacao powder, but any high quality, preferably organic, cocoa powder (like the Rapunzel brand) will do.

A little oil helps to make the finished product spreadable. I used organic coconut oil, but if you’ve got hazelnut oil, you could use that instead.

Note that you really need to use a food processor to make this recipe. I tried it in my Blendtec blender and it just didn’t work. I don’t like dragging my food processor out any more than you do, but I promise it’s worth it.

Recipe for Homemade Nutella
Adapted from The LA Times’ Hazelnut Chocolate Spread Recipe

Ingredients:

1 1/2 cup hazelnuts, toasted and skinned
1/3 cup organic, raw cacao powder (or organic cocoa powder)
2/3 cup powdered sugar, preferably organic
pinch of sea salt
2 tablespoons organic coconut oil, warmed if necessary so that it’s a liquid

Preparation:

1. Place toasted and skinned nuts in a food processor. Process until the nuts turn into a smooth paste (you may need to scrape the bowl a few times so all the nuts get ground up evenly…this takes a few minutes)

2. When the nuts have been processed into hazelnut butter, add the powdered sugar, cacao/cocoa and sea salt. Process again until smooth.

3. Add the oil and process once more. Your homemade nutella should now have a spreadable consistency.

4. Transfer your chocolate hazelnut spread to an airtight container. Storing it in the refrigerator will make it harden up and it won’t be easy to spread, but that’s the best place to store it if you want your homemade Nutella to last for a while. If you think it will get eaten up in a few days, you can store it at room temperature.

5. Homemade Nutella is great as a dip for fruit, spread onto your favorite bread, or, let’s be honest, eaten straight with a spoon.



This is a guest post from Winnie Abramson at Healthy Green Kitchen.  Winnie grew up in a restaurant family and is passionate about the connection between good food and good health. She has a graduate degree in naturopathic medicine and you can find more of her delicious recipes at Health Green Kitchen.

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