So it’s coming up on 2 weeks of me being on a dairy and soy free diet. It’s not as bad as I initially thought, provided that I make my own food at home. Seriously, there are like 3 things I can eat at Culver’s. None of which is a burger or ice cream (obviously). Although I have a freezer full of cookies and other treats, I can’t eat any of them now, as they all have butter or regular chocolate (containing soy) in them. So one of the biggest things I was missing was sweet treats, and if you know me at all, you know how much I love them. Cocoa coated almonds were filling that void for awhile, but I wanted to change it up, so I decided it was a great reason to try making my own Chocolate Hazelnut Spread (aka Nutella).
Store bought Nutella is something that I would use as a sweet treat on a semi-regular basis – on toast, on graham crackers or as a dip for strawberries or bananas. But now I can’t eat it because it contains both soy and dairy. My homemade version does not. All it takes to make it are hazelnuts, powdered sugar, cocoa, oil, vanilla and salt. No milk powder or soy lecithin in sight!
This recipe is super simple. The hardest part is getting the skin off the nuts, and at least you get an arm workout! All it takes is shaking them in a large lidded bowl and the skins come right off – pretty much. Don’t worry about the few skins that inevitably won’t let go.
The food processor does all the rest of the work for you, and rather quickly may I add. After your nuts are roasted and peeled, you’ll be eating your delicious chocolate hazelnut spread in about 10 minutes!
Now, let me add that I was very skeptical of homemade chocolate hazelnut spread before I actually made it. First off, I am not usually the biggest fan of natural nut butters, and that was what I was expecting from this recipe. Second of all, how could anything actually be better than Nutella?? Well, this stuff is. Obviously the texture is not the same – it’s got a slightly grittier, more natural texture. Not perfectly smooth as frosting like Nutella is. And the flavor is so much better! Definitely nuttier, as Nutella has more sugar than it actually does hazelnuts. I definitely regret telling Hubby to taste my homemade version, because now it’s going to be gone before I know it! He actually said that he was thinking about it while he was at work, it was that good!
So nutritionally, how does it compare to store bought Nutella? For an equal portion size, calories similar. The homemade stuff has a bit more fat (16g vs 12g in store bought), but less than half the sugar (9g vs 21g in store bought). Store bought Nutella also has 4 times the saturated fat as the homemade version, and one third of the fiber.
- 2 cups hazelnuts
- 3/4 cup confectioners sugar
- 1/3 cup cocoa powder
- 2 Tbsp canola or hazelnut oil see note
- 1 tsp vanilla
Move oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 375°F. Spread hazelnuts on a rimmed baking sheet and roast 10-12 minutes until golden brown. Allow to cool until cool enough to handle.
Transfer hazelnuts to a large container with a tight fitting lid, or a medium bowl with a second bowl placed on top. Shake hazelnuts vigorously to remove skin. Remove hazelnuts that have minimal skin left. Repeat until most of the hazelnuts are peeled.
Transfer peeled hazelnuts to a food processor. Process until the hazelnuts form a smooth, buttery paste. Add the sugar, cocoa, oil, vanilla and salt to the food processor. Process until the paste is smooth and glossy.
Store the chocolate hazelnut spread in an airtight container at room temperature for a more liquid consistency or in the fridge for a more solid spread. It will keep for one month.
*Note: Recipe from America’s Test Kitchen DIY Cookbook