A Healthy ‘Nutella’ recipe with more nuts and less sugar. Chocolatey and creamy… Rich and decadent… Easy to make. Optional Vegan. Chocolate Hazelnut Spread.
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Healthy ‘Nutella’ Recipe – More Nuts, Less Sugar & Insanely Good
This Healthy ‘Nutella’ recipe is insanely good. It’s also seriously addictive. Not just for its deliciousness, but because it is so easy to make. From nut to jar in under 30 minutes, it’s as much as you can do not to set up a daily ‘make and eat’ production line.
Why We NEED Heathy ‘Nutella’
The ‘fine tuning’ of the real recipe apparently resulted in Nutella having an even higher sugar and fat content and fewer hazelnuts… An outrageous and surprisingly out of step shift, given concern about obesity rates and sugar addiction. Nutella already shockingly contained a whopping 55.9% sugar, so the increase to 56.3% seemed totally at odds with the ‘western’ obesity crisis.
Just in case percentages are difficult to visualise… try this for context. A standard (440g) jar of Nutella contains nearly 60 (yes… 60!) cubes of sugar. Plus… Did you know that (according to Mental Floss) one jar of Nutella is sold every 2½ seconds throughout the world.
And let’s not even start on the ‘palm oil’ in Nutella…
Time for radical action… My Homemade more nut, less sugar Chocolate Hazelnut Spread… Delicious, gluten free and even optional vegan.
What goes into Healthy Chocolate Hazelnut Spread?
It all starts (as it rightly should) with hazelnuts… Which are really easy to buy in the supermarket. Ultimately you want them to be skinless, but if all you can find are hazelnuts with skins, they are easy to remove. I’ve included instructions in the printable recipe.
I count myself as extra fortunate however. At least in the Autumn.
Living in Kent (aka the ‘Garden of England’), we are lucky to have cobnuts (or filberts)… a local variety of hazelnut. A few years ago we bought a cobnut tree for the garden, because it seemed the thing to do. Although it still has a way to go before it yields a truly great harvest, it is so cool to see a few more nuts ripening each Autumn. It may still be a race to get to them before the squirrels, but the excitement of eating them is way off the scale. And they are divine in chocolate hazelnut spread.
Whatever the hazelnut source however, make sure you roast or toast your hazelnuts when you make ‘Nutella’… The intensity and depth of nuttiness are more than worth the extra step.
I originally trialled for a Vegan ‘Nutella’ recipe which used just cacao or cocoa powder. It worked… Just. But it was thick and grainy and (frankly) not that nice to eat. While I am happy to enjoy a little coarse nuttiness in my chocolate hazelnut spread, I draw the line at powdery and grainy.
This recipe does keep a small amount of cocoa for depth of flavour, but the bulk of its chocolate decadence comes from the addition of real melted chocolate. Trust me. You want creamy ‘Nutella’? You need chocolate.
For the healthiest version, use dark (or very dark) chocolate. The recipe below however, has a balance of dark and milk chocolate for the slightly less ‘grown-up’ amongst us.
For Vegan ‘Nutella’
To be certain your healthy ‘Nutella’ is Vegan, simply make sure all the chocolate is dairy free and plant-based. All the other ingredients are good.
Homemade ‘Nutella’ needs a little oil
Although hazelnuts already contain some oil, homemade ‘Nutella’ still needs a little more… If you actually want to be able to spread the stuff, that is.
I used walnut oil (which is what I had available). But if you can get hold of actual hazelnut oil, so much the better. Or use an alternative mild and complementary oil such as coconut or an alternative nut oil. I would avoid using olive oil or other varieties used for cooking. They are simply too strong and jarring against the delicate nuttiness.
How do I make Chocolate Hazelnut Spread?
Because it’s so easy, I’ve made a little video to show you the highlights…
What equipment do I need to make this Healthy ‘Nutella’ recipe?
Very little equipment is needed, although you crucially need a high-powered, robust blender. If you don’t have one, you won’t be able to get your homemade ‘Nutella’ smooth enough. Of course, if that isn’t an issue, then feel free to go ahead anyway.
I’ll be honest, I am still on the hunt for a really good blender. Although mine has served me well, it is now on its last legs and is needing a replacement. I had originally considered a ‘Froothie’… but having listened to many a blogger moan about them over the last few years, I think they are probably over-rated. If anyone has any good recommendations, please let me know. I’m currently coveting the brands Blendtec and Vitamix… But until I am sure, I won’t recommend anything.
Other than that, you’re going to need a baking tray and oven to roast the hazelnuts. A Bowl (and either microwave or saucepan and hob) to melt the chocolate. A small spatula to scrape down the blender. And some jars to store your chocolate hazelnut spread.
How to Eat Healthy ‘Nutella’
The possibilities are endless… But be warned. It is difficult to leave alone. You may just find yourself spoon in hand, hiding in a dark corner, as you uncontrollably scoop mouthful after mouthful until the jar is clean.
I also have it on good authority that it is divine spooned onto Almond Shortbread, or dipped with Maple Shortbread. And it is perfect when used to make Nutella Puff Pastry Baskets (Vol au Vents), Nutella Thumbprint Cookies and Nutella Trifle.
Or you could be really kind and share… Healthy Nutella makes the most amazing foodie gift. I know because I make it at Christmas and give it away… And it is still one of the most talked-about gifts I have given.
Made Healthy ‘Nutella’?
Make my day and let me know if you make my Healthy ‘Nutella’ recipe. Leave a comment below, ping me an e-mail or tag me on social media… And don’t forget to subscribe using the box at the bottom of the page, so that you never miss a recipe from us again! Thank you xx
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Healthy ‘Nutella’ – Chocolate Hazelnut Spread
- 2 small Kilner/jam jars – Sterile (See NOTES)
- sharp knife
- clean tea towel (if de-skinning nuts)
- heavy-duty blender
- small spatula
- microwave or hob and saucepan
- 160 g raw hazelnuts de-skinned – See instructions
- 2½ tbsp walnut oil or alternative nut oil/coconut oil
- 2 tbsp icing sugar confectioners sugar
- 2 tbsp cocoa powder
- 1 tsp vanilla extract paste (preferably) or powder
- pinch fine sea salt
- 180 g plain chocolate chopped – DF/vegan as required
- 100 g milk chocolate chopped – DF/vegan as required
De-Skin the Hazelnuts (if needed)
- Pre-heat the oven to 180 C/350 F/Gas 4.
- Spread the hazelnuts on a baking sheet and toast them in the oven for 10 to 12 minutes (the skins will start to blister slightly).
- Take the hazelnuts out of the oven and wrap in a clean tea-towel. Rub vigorously to remove as much of the skin as possible from the hazelnuts.
Toast the Hazelnuts (optional)
- Turn the oven up to 200 C/400 F/Gas 6.
- Spread the de-skinned hazelnuts on a baking tray and place in the oven.
- Toast for about 10 minutes (raw hazelnuts) until golden. Or about 5 minutes for hazelnuts that you have de-skinned as above (which have already been in the oven). During the toasting, give the nuts a shake on the tray a couple of times to toast evenly and prevent burning.
- Remove from the oven and cool a little.
To Make the Chocolate-Hazelnut Spread
- Place the nuts in a heavy duty blender and blend to nut butter (smooth paste)(this will take a few minutes). Make sure you blend in bursts and scrape down the sides of the blender a couple of times to catch all the nut pieces.
- Towards the end of the blend when the nuts are releasing their oil, add the additional oil a little at a time and blend to a smooth liquid.
- Add the icing sugar, cocoa, vanilla and salt and blend again.
- Place the chopped chocolate into a glass heat-proof bowl and use either a microwave (on 30 second bursts at medium setting, stirring between each) or set over a pan of barely simmering water (stirring frequently), to melt the chocolate.
- Pour the liquid chocolate into the blender with the other ingredients and blend again until you have a smooth, even mixture.
- Pour into sterile jars. The spread will be hot and runny from the blending process, but will firm up as it cools.
- Store at room temperature.
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