Who doesn’t love that lip-smacking hazelnut chocolate spread?
Nutella, the sweetened hazelnut chocolate spread is loved worldwide. It was originally created by an Italian guy, Pietro Ferrero, while finding ways to compensate for a shortage of cocoa during the World War II. He then realised that he could bulk out the cocoa with nut paste and this is how he started using the hazelnut paste. The sale of Nutella is huge and it’s so popular that the Nutella website claims you could circle the earth 1.8 times with the jars of Nutella that are produced in just one year.
But when we talk of hazelnuts, know that it’s not just about the chocolate spread. It’s a super healthy and nutritious treat all on its own! Ohh i love mine when it’s roasted and believe me, it’s nutrilicious and often I combine it with a few dark choco chips, oufff just too good!
Hazelnuts are a great source of protein, healthy fats (unsaturated fats), fibre, magnesium and vitamin B6. Magnesium helps to fight fatigue and vitamin b6 acts as mood lifter. As with most of the nuts, hazelnuts are rich in heart healthy monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats which help to lower the blood cholesterol and thus very heart friendly. It can serve as an interesting snack in between meals and the nutrients combo help to make it quite filling.
- 1 cup roasted hazelnuts (150g)
- ¼ cup unsweetened cocoa powder (30g)
- ¼ cup icing sugar (40g)
- 2 – 3 tbsp vegetable oil
- 1 pinch of salt
Make sure you have roasted hazelnuts to start with. I normally roast mine in the oven for 10 minutes at 200 degrees Celsius. Remove the skins by rubbing the hazelnuts together with your hand or you can opt to use a tea towel at this stage.
Place the hazelnuts in a food processor and blitz them for about 5 minutes. At the beginning you will see they look like a coarse powder, then an oily thick paste and eventually a liquid paste. It is mesmerizing to watch it all come together.
Add the cocoa powder, icing sugar, salt and the oil to the liquid paste and continue to process until well blended.
Et voila, the hazelnut chocolate spread is ready!
Store in a tight container in the fridge for up to 1 month (yes, it will not keep for years this one as it’s more natural).
Is it worth making your own hazelnut spread?
Yes! It’s a no brainer for me with the huge difference in the nutritional value. After making my very first homemade hazelnut spread, I realised it is cheaper to buy the store-bought stuff simply because nuts are expensive. All in all, it costs twice as much money to make homemade hazelnut spread from scratch vs. buying it in the store (hard to believe?) but the taste difference is definitely worth it. You are sure to get a higher proportion of nuts vs. sugar and you can really taste the flavour of the roasted hazelnuts whereas you don’t get the same complex flavour profile with store-bought Nutella (it just tastes sweet in comparison). Yes, the store-bought one is mostly sugar (57%) with 20% out of its 30% fats being saturated one. It contains very little hazelnuts.
I am confident about the nutritional plus I am getting with the extra costing and thus, I prefer making my own hazelnut chocolate spread instead of buying it. It is such a pleasure when I open the small pot of the homemade one, it feels quite artisanal and gosh, that nutty flavour is so overwhelming. The homemade version is quite nutrient-dense, that is, even though it is higher in calories per 100g, it is higher in fibre and protein content. It is also lower in sugar and saturated fats compared to the store-bought one. Thus, much more nourishing. While Nutella is advertised as a hazelnut spread, sugar is listed first on the ingredient label. This is because sugar is its primary ingredient, comprising 57% of its weight. Be a smart consumer!
Eat Smart. Be Healthy.