We’ve all enjoyed the taste of Nutella before, but I must confess I’ve never purchased it because of the 200 calories, 21 grams of sugar, and 11 grams of fat per just two tablespoons. My daughter has been wanting to make her own healthier version of Nutella for some time, so I said I’d spring for the hazelnuts if she’d make some tweaks to the recipe! Fair enough.
[Please excuse the terrible photos!]
- This version is much lower in sugar using only real maple syrup
- It is vegan, GMO-free, dairy-free, gluten-free
- It probably has half the calories
- It compares to the rich taste of the famous Nutella you find at the grocery. What makes this so amazing in our opinion is the Madagascar vanilla bean extract and touch of coconut oil. We think it actually gets better with age as the ingredients blend. It is marvelously satisfying on the tongue and in the tummy.
Ingredients (makes one jar):
- 2 cups raw hazelnuts
- 1/2 cup maple syrup
- 3 TBSP raw cacao powder, slightly rounded
- 1/2 cup warm water
- 1 and 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
- 1/2 tsp. sea salt
- 3 TBSP virgin coconut oil (melted) for extra smoothness, plus it keeps longer due to the antimicrobial nature of unrefined coconut oil
Note: I read other recipe’s comments and saw complaints of molding after 3 days, so I decided to use coconut oil, vodka-based vanilla extract, and sea salt. We did not find this to be a problem. Just to be on the safe side, plan to consume what you make within 5 days or freeze.
Roast hazelnuts for 10-14 minutes in pre-heated 375 F oven. Take less than a minute to rub them together by hand or in a paper towel to get most of the skins off. Don’t worry about leaving a few skins.
The delectable aroma of roasted nuts fills the house.
Once cool, place the hazelnuts in a food processor and blend for 8-10 minutes until they totally break down. Next, add the maple syrup, cacao and all the rest of the ingredients except the water. Blend again before gradually pouring in the water – it’s important that everything is properly mixed before you add the water though, since you may not need it all.
Soon you reach your desired consistency and can easily spread this amazing mass of delectable goodness!
Warning: We tripled the recipe, which definitely was a mistake. Lesson learned: we’ll do it in separate batches next time – we certainly would have achieved a creamier, more spreadable consistency. And it’s certainly gentler on your nerves and your equipment!
Second warning: Never leave your Nutella unattended 🙂 You just might tempt *someone* to steal a big scoop, necessitating a trial to find the guilty party.
Since we made a triple amount, we had a tantalizing, tasty treasure trove to tuck away for one of those times when you just want a nutritious treat as a pick-me-up with no fuss or you want to impress a guest!
Btw, our Nutella freezes well, but make sure you leave 1 and 1/2″ of head space for expansion.
What about on apple wedges or fresh strawberries?
What about spreading it on salty crackers?
I wonder what other ways we could use Nutella ~ to top pancakes? cake and cupcakes? to swirl warm Nutella into with vanilla ice cream? The list could go on…
What are your ideas?
Thanks for reading!