Not one to shy away from a challenge, I decided to come up with a lasagne recipe that’s gluten,...
Healthy Nutella Spread
Healthy Nutella Recipe Warning: Overindulgence Inevitable!
Everyone likes Nutella. It’s utterly delicious spread on absolutely everything or simply scooped out of the pot with a spoon. Although it’s important to allow for occasional treats as part of a well-balanced diet, a good compromise is to re-create a version that has no refined sugars, includes naturally health-promoting ingredients and still hits that sweet spot without inducing a blood sugar rollercoaster.
Nutella also contains palm oil, providing us with an even greater reason to produce our own environmentally friendly sustainable version of this spread. If you’re sold and would like to re-create my guilt-free healthy Nutella alternative, read on…
Ingredients (10 servings):
- 240g Hazelnuts
- 1 tsp fine sea salt
- 3 tbsp dark cocoa powder, I use (green & blacks organic cocoa powder)
- 2 tbsp maple syrup
1. Although not absolutely necessary, to improve digestibility it is important to soak your hazelnuts for 8 hours/overnight. This step is especially important as it increases enzyme activity, breaks down the outer coating of the nut which can be difficult to digest and induces the ‘sprouting’ process which boosts the nuts nutritional profile!
2. Once soaked, remove from the bowl and wash. Once drained, transfer to a baking tray, sprinkle the sea salt on top and bake at 180c for 15 minutes. Keep an eye on the nuts as due to their high fat profile, they are prone to overcooking and burning which will spoil the flavour of the spread. Remove from the oven and place on the counter to cool.
3. Once cooled to room temperature, it’s time to create your delicious nut spread. Blend the hazelnuts in a food processor on medium speed for 20-30 minutes. This may take longer depending on your processor. If you have a cheaper food processor it’s especially important to soak the hazelnuts to help break them down. Be patient and allow time for the nuts to slowly blend into a paste consistency.
4. Just before removing the spread from the processor, add the maple syrup and cocoa powder and blend until fully incorporated into the mixture. Once completed, transfer the mixture to an airtight container.
You can blend the spread into a smooth paste or leave a little crunch by finishing the process whilst there are pieces of hazelnut still in the mixture. I like a crunchy texture to my hazelnut spread so personally opt for this method.
It’s also important to note that the mixture will naturally separate once left in the cupboard. This is completely natural and is a result of the natural oils being released from the hazelnuts. Simply give your spread a mix before scooping your serving out of the jar.
This recipe can be stored in the cupboard for up to two months (as fat is an excellent preservative!).
You can also swap your hazelnuts for peanuts, almonds, cashews etc. All equally delicious! A few variations for some nut butter spread creations are:
- Pistachio and dried raspberries spread (this one is a game changer!)
- Almond & chocolate
- Cashew & vanilla bean
- Walnut & cinnamon
Just remember to put a good sprinkling of salt on the nuts to enhance the flavour of your mixture and as noted, soaking really improves the nutritional profile for a spread that’s gut friendly. Let me know how you get on with your nut spread creations and if you try this healthy Nutella recipe!