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
- 2 cups hazelnuts
- ⅓ cup or to taste sugar or other preferred sweetener
- ¼ cup cocoa powder
- 1 TBSP coconut oil
- 1 tsp vanilla
- ⅛ tsp salt
- 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!
Discussion (51 Comments)
Hi! Thanks for the inspiration. Roast hazelnuts – yum! Those who want to up the nutrient value could use raw cacao instead of heat processed cocoa. And you could use coconut sugar (low GI, healthy sustainable sugar) instead of the white sugar…
ps btw the way 21 grams of sugar is around 7 teaspoons…so the ‘healthier’ version with 12 grams is still a whopping 4 teaspoons of sugar in a 2 tab serve of spread…I think that is way too much when World Health Organisation recommends 6 teaspoons as our daily sugar allowance.
Totally agree WAY TOO MUCH SUGAR!!! I’m going with the homemade version with a little honey rather than sugar.
I’m sorry Katie, I love and have used a great many of your recipes, especially for personal care products. Looking at this posting today, I find I have to negotiate 9 adverts scattered throughout, and yet another popped up as I am writing this.
Your work is excellent, and I understand that you need to make a living, but your website is becoming unusable to me. Please consider the negative effects of allowing so many adverts on your readers. It seems so against what you stand for. Thanks for listening, I cant find anywhere else to post this.
Thanks Carolyn for the feedback. We are just starting to experiment with ads and have quite a few up for testing right now. They won’t likely all stay. I’m trying to find a balance between making a little more so I don’t have to work as many hours, but still protecting the experience for the readers. Thanks for reading!
I have noticed a significant increase in ads too! 9 ads for xtra tuffs shoes on this page. Yes, I live in Alaska and searched for those shoes, but I can barely see your recipe now!
Thanks for the feedback Genevieve. We are just experimenting with ads and they won’t all stay. I’m trying to find a balance between making a little extra income while still protecting the user experience. Are you seeing on on the recipe itself?
Yep. Right on top of the recipe instructions!
Good article as usual, Katie, but very disappointed to see you allowing so many ads on your site– especially for unhealthy eating places, like Popeyes and Chip’s.
Thanks Elizabeth. We’re still working out the kinks with the ad network and unfortunately it’s a trial and error process so your feedback is super helpful as I don’t always see all the ads that come up. Also, many of them are based on your own browsing and search history, so they could be different for you than they are for me…
On the topic of ads, Wellness Mama, I seem to get a lot of “Brangelina” and “Homeless Man Buys a Ferrari”… I don’t mind ads – whatever it takes to keep your site going! – but the ad placement is a smidge annoying. They’re placed through the article rather than at the sides.
Love your site, and look forward to trying this recipe!!
Thanks for the feedback Anna. We are still experimenting with them and trying to learn how to implement them tastefully. We definitely don’t plan to leave that many up!
The recipe goes back and forth between cocoa and cacao. Which one do you use or do you interchange them?
Good catch… that’s what I get for typing while tired! Either one can be used but cocoa has a better flavor in the finished spread, in my opinion.
I have mixed just a bit of Nutella with coconut oil for years, just for flavor. I don’t buy Nutella anymore, but I add some almond or cashew butter to CO. It’s a nice snack, appetite suppressor, helps me get a daily CO dose. I grind the almonds or cashews at my local supermarket in their bulk foods department.
I’m excited to try this! I just noticed a discrepancy: the recipe list says 3/4 c of sugar whereas the infographic says 1/3 c of sugar. Which is correct?
Good catch, it’s 1/3 cup (or to taste). Thanks!
I’m thinking I’d rather make this homemade version using honey or maple syrup, We eat no refined sugar organic or not, so the pre-made organic version is out. Thanks for sharing!
Have printed the recipe and will make this on the weekend. My son has been devastated since I stopped buying nutella and hopefully this version satisfies. I was also going to try the nutiva brand, but not sure where to get that one in Australia. Thanks xx
Do you recommend soaking the hazelnuts first?
Ideally, but if you do, then make sure to toast them in the oven to get the correct flavor 🙂