Healthy Nutella (dairy-free, sugar-free)

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Holy cow.

You’re going to have to trust me on this one: drop everything you’re doing right this instant and go make yourself some of this Healthy Nutella.

Actually, maybe you can stick around for just a minute more–at least until you get to the recipe–but then you better hurry! :)

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I have to be perfectly honest with you: giving up dairy, gluten, and processed sugar was not easy and is still sometimes pretty difficult, even almost two years later. I know what you’re thinking: “Duh! Of course it’s not easy!” I knew it would be hard, but some days are significantly harder than others. *(On a side note, I don’t say this to discourage anyone; it’s a lifestyle that becomes much easier with time and is certainly worth the effort). I realized pretty quickly in the beginning that there were many foods that I would have to give up or try to make on my own with the necessary adjustments. What I didn’t realize, though, was just how many of the foods that I loved contained one or more of these ingredients.

The day I realized that store-bought Nutella contained processed sugar and dairy was a very sad day indeed. I didn’t eat Nutella much as a kid, but it basically became a staple in my diet during college. I mean, who doesn’t want delicious chocolatey goodness spread on toast for breakfast every morning?! I know I do!

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The problem was that I would wake up with tons of energy and prepare my breakfast by smearing Nutella on to a couple of slices of toast (and often spoon some straight from the jar and into my mouth), scarf everything down, rush off to class, and then, while sitting in class, I would get sleepy and start to doze off. I can recall plenty of times when my head began to bob and I would open my eyes to peer around and make sure no one else saw. Looking back, it makes so much sense; sugar is the number one ingredient in Nutella and I couldn’t stay awake because I was experiencing severe sugar crashes!

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Flash forward to a few years later (when I gave up processed sugar and dairy), and I basically conceded that I wouldn’t be able to eat Nutella ever again.

Recently, though, I’ve been experimenting a lot with making different flavors of nut butters (I have a couple of recipes to share with you soon). It’s easy to just make up recipes on your own by throwing in whatever ingredients you love and have on hand, but remaking a recipe that’s extremely well-known can be a daunting task. I always wanted to make my own healthier version of Nutella, but I was afraid it wouldn’t be remotely as tasty as the real thing.

Well, I finally mustered up the courage to make my own Nutella and I’m so glad I did. Honestly, I’m pretty upset with myself for not trying this sooner! This Healthy Nutella is extremely easy to make, tastes AMAZING, and doesn’t contain ANY sugar or dairy. It turned out so much better than I could have ever imagined!

I must say, I’ve been really enjoying having toast with Healthy Nutella spread again for breakfast (….and for lunch, dinner, and dessert) :)

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Chocolate Hazelnut Spread, aka Nutella (dairy-free, sugar-free)
Author: 
Serves: approx. 2 cups
 
Ingredients
  • 2½ cups hazelnuts
  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • ⅓ cup cacao powder
  • 1½ tsp. powdered stevia (or sub with dates)
  • ¼ tsp. sea salt
  • ⅔ cup almond milk
Instructions
  1. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. Roast the hazelnuts on a baking sheet for 10-15 minutes.
  3. Remove the hazelnuts from the oven and allow them to cool. When they’re cool enough to handle, rub the hazelnuts together in a towel to remove the skins. This is not very easy and some of the skins will remain on the hazelnuts, but it’s OK.
  4. Add the hazelnuts to a food processor or high-speed blender. Blend until the nuts have turned into a smooth butter.
  5. Add the rest of the ingredients to the food processor/blender and blend until fully combined. You may have to add more almond milk to get the spread completely smooth. Test and add more ingredients as needed.
  6. Store in an airtight container in the fridge.
  7. Enjoy!

*I’ve submitted this recipe to Allergy Free Wednesday, Healthy Vegan Friday, and Gluten Free Fridays

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