Perhaps you’ve noticed Nutella’s rapid rise in popularity in the last few years. Some variation of chocolate hazelnut spread has been popular in other parts of the world for hundreds of years. Thanks to recent increased marketing, it is gaining popularity in the US too.
According to Mental Floss, a jar of Nutella is sold every 2.5 seconds somewhere in the world! That’s a lot of chocolaty goodness, and what’s not to love, right?
A lot, actually! This delicious hazelnut spread contains a LOT of sugar and some of the ingredients are questionable at best. While it is marketed as a healthy snack, I’d lump it in with donuts and candy bars due to its high sugar content.
A Healthy, Homemade Nutella Recipe
When I introduced this nostalgic treat to my children several years ago (before I was as health conscience as I am today and before researching the ingredients) they loved it almost as much as my Italian husband; so I was sad that it’s not a treat they could enjoy often (six kids + that much sugar = not fun), especially because it does have some beneficial ingredients (hazelnuts and chocolate) hidden under all of that sugar!
So of course I set out to try and recreate a healthy, homemade version!
This homemade “no-tella” option is great if you are really trying to limit carbs/sugar, since you can substitute stevia or another natural option for the sugar. You can also use maple syrup or honey in place of the sugar for a refined sugar-free version.
The downside to this homemade version? It isn’t as creamy as the “real” thing and is more the consistency of almond butter. If you want a natural option that is better than the original, I’d recommend this one.
Homemade “No-tella” Chocolate Hazelnut Spread
This is my personal take on Nutella. It’s homemade, is made with real food ingredients, and is dairy-free and vegan, for those whom that matters (not us). I’ve used this spread to make brownies, buttercream for cupcakes, cake fillings, breads, cookies, and more. It’s as versatile as it is delicious.
Better Than Nutella: Chocolate Hazelnut Spread Recipe
- Preheat oven to 375° F. Spread the hazelnuts on a baking sheet and roast for 12 to 15 minutes, until fragrant.
- Carefully put the hot hazelnuts in a mason jar with the lid on and shake. The papery skins will fall right off. Remove the nuts that are now skinless and put them in a food processor or a high-powered blender, then re-shake the jar until the rest of the skins come off as well.
- Grind the hazelnuts for about 5 minutes until they turn into a creamy hazelnut butter.
- Add the sugar or other sweetener, cocoa powder, coconut oil, vanilla, and salt. Blend for another minute until all the ingredients are combined smooth.
- Transfer to a pint mason jar. Store in the refrigerator for several weeks.
A Healthier Hazelnut Spread Option
Confession: I don’t make this recipe much since discovering an even better pre-made version.
I’m all for taking the DIY route whenever possible, but in this case, pre-made is actually a better choice in several ways:
- Less sugar: It contains 40% less sugar than other options. In fact, the name brand contains 21 grams of sugar per 2 tablespoons, while Nutiva has only 12 grams.
- Ethically sourced: Most hazelnut spreads contain palm oil, which can be problematic if not ethically sourced. All of the ingredients in the Nutiva brand, including the palm oil, are ethically sourced (rainforest and animal friendly).
- More nutritious: Unlike other brands, this one contains 450 milligrams of omega-3s per serving from chia and flax! (That’s more than sardines and tuna contain per serving and my kids certainly prefer the chocolate option!)
- Organic, non-GMO verified and certified gluten free: Other brands are not organic, or contain ingredients that may be genetically modified.
Are you a fan of chocolate hazelnut spread? Ever tried to make your own “No-Tella”? Share below!