Chocolate hazelnut spread, better known as Nutella, is extremely popular with both kids and adults. It’s typically eaten with fruits like bananas or strawberries, spread on toast like peanut butter or jam, or just eaten by the spoonful. Like most commercial products, this chocolate hazelnut spread is made with nasty oils and lots of processed sugar. Instead of hoping ourselves and our kids up on this sugary substance in the mornings, let’s make our own nutritious, paleo Nutella made with coconut oil and sweetened with honey.
“For many people, chocolate hazelnut spread (popularized as ever-delicious Nutella) brings back gleeful childhood memories. I remember the very first time I tried the stuff- slathered messily over slabs of banana. I ate it right up and licked my fingers in approval. In college, the local cafe I frequented served up hip toasted Nutella sandwiches to ravenous and highly-caffeinated studiers all the time. The rich, creamy spread tasted so captivatingly delicious and frighteningly addictive, I often felt like it should have been forbidden. And to be honest, with a whopping 21 grams of sugar per serving and some questionably sourced added fats, maybe it should have been. I mean, does anyone ever eat just one serving? This homemade hazelnut spread is just as chocolate-y and sumptuous, but with a more satisfying and nutrient-dense spin.
When I first scoured the internet in search of a DIY chocolate hazelnut spread I could create in my own kitchen, I noticed that a lot of the options I scrolled through were using two “no-no” ingredients: cheap vegetable oil and refined sugar. In my opinion, when I plan to make the effort to mix, blend and wash dishes, I at least want my final product to be healthy, hearty, full-fat and delicious. I didn’t see how either of these ingredients were going to help out my cause. That’s when I thought to try my own recipe using the nut butter recipe from Nourishing Traditions as inspiration.
I can tell you that coming up with this recipe wasn’t easy. I had several interesting clumpy blender disasters that looked nothing like the dreamy spread I was trying to make. There were several times that I wanted to give up and write a post about how difficult it is to make chocolate hazelnut butter instead. Finally, however my experimentation led me to this unique blend of soaked nuts, natural sweeteners and a dash of cream. I can’t say that this version is exactly the same as the original Nutella spread– because it’s not. But in my opinion it is more authentic to the flavors of the actual ingredients. Hazelnuts are naturally sweet and earthy, and combine very well with the gritty goodness of cocoa. Blended with a touch of coconut oil, cream and honey for an extra-smooth texture, the butter comes together beautifully.”