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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3.5 from 2 reviews

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

63 thoughts on “Healthy Nutella (dairy-free, sugar-free)

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    • I just made some last night! It comes together so fast and is addictively delicious :) Mine typically doesn’t last long because I have no self-control whatsoever, but it will keep in the fridge for up to 2 weeks.

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  8. Personally, I think it’s better than Nutella (I always thought Nutella was too sugary sweet/saccharine)! It’s not meant to taste exactly the same, but the concept is the same and the end result is much better for you!

  9. Made this today and it rocks! So much better than I imagined.

    I used xylitol instead of stevia (it needed a bit extra but I like it a little bitter) and added 4 tsp of coconut oil. I didn’t quite use all the cocao powder, just added to taste.

    Thanks for the recipe!! Will definately make again.

    • I’m so glad you like it! I’m glad to hear that it’s yummy with xylitol, too–and I love coconut oil, so that sounds like a great addition!

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  11. All I can say is: good recipe, wrong sweetener. I was really looking forward to trying this one, especially since I have never made anything with stevia before and was really excited about the prospect of enjoying sugar-free nutella. At first when I popped all the ingredients in the blender, I just started out with 1tsp of stevia, and when I tasted it, WOW. It was as bitter as a 35 year old single woman at her 24 year old sister’s wedding. I could barely even stand it! It was so bad that I had to proceed to add about a third of a cup of regular sugar to try to add some more sweetness and overpower the bitterness so I could salvage the $10 I spent on hazelnuts and cocoa powder. The bitterness is still there but more manageable now at least, and on the bright side it only has about 3-4 grams of sugar per serving versus the asinine amount that store-bought nutella contains. Maybe one day when I’m brave enough I’ll give it a go with a different sweetener, like splenda or something. But in the meantime, I’m not going to lie, I’m a little pissed (more so at myself for not understanding what I was getting myself into with stevia).

    • I’m really sorry it was so disappointing! I will say this though: you definitely need to test out different brands of stevia beforehand to find one that you like. All brands of stevia are NOT created equal. My favorite brand that I’ve tried so far is NuNaturals–it’s by far the least bitter stevia I’ve tried.

        • Sure! I hope you like the results better next time (and please let me know what you think if you do try it again with another brand–maybe test with a little bit first to see what you think). I know what you mean though–I would have done the same thing b/c I can’t bear wasting anything! :)

          • I like Sweet Leaf Stevia. I wonder if you can use the liquid kind (Sweet Leaf’s Sweet Drops-Chocolate or Hazelnut is outstanding).

          • I’m sure you could–I haven’t tried it though so I’m not sure if the amounts of the other ingredients would be the same. You may have to adjust as you go

  12. I was just wondering if you used cacao or cocoa? also was wondering if you think i could replace the stevia with maple syrup or something simillar? thanks :)

    • I use raw cacao powder (more nutrients and no added ingredients). I haven’t tried it with maple syrup, but it should work (although it may require quite a bit of maple syrup and you’ll probably want to use less almond milk)

  13. Have you ever tried liquid stevia? I’ve heard it’s less bitter, but I’m not sure if it will change the consistency…

    • I love NuNaturals liquid stevia and use it all the time (I get it from iHerb)! I agree, it is a bit less bitter

    • It is similar, though that wasn’t intentional. There are actually quite a few recipes out there now for vegan, healthy Nutella that are similar…and if I do get inspiration from a particular recipe, I always make sure to cite it. In this case it was purely coincidence.

  14. Hi, I was wondering if this definitely has to be refrigerated? I want to make some for my sister in law who is getting married, and I want want to put in her car as a surprise for the honeymoon. Don’t know if it would go bad??

    • You can probably leave it out for a day or two, but I wouldn’t recommend any longer than that. Natural nut butters that don’t contain preservatives typically need to be refrigerated in order to keep them fresh and tasty.
      Also, congrats to your sister-in-law!! And how sweet of you to want to surprise her!

    • Might be too late now, but you could put jar in a small flexible lunch bag/pack with small, frozen Blue Ice and a big bow on lunch bag.

    • I have a high-speed blender…I’ve tried making it in my food processor and while it’s yummy, it never quite reaches the same smooth consistency that I get from my Vitamix.

    • No, definitely not. However, you can make it sweeter by adding in coconut nectar, maple syrup, honey, stevia, etc. at the end :)

  15. Hi. I was wondering if the hazelnuts could be soaked first. And, this part of the message to Ashley: Please don’t use Splenda….that stuff is bad for you!!

    • Absolutely! If you soak them first and want to keep them raw, you will have to dry them completely before you prepare the recipe though. I suggest drying them in a dehydrator or an oven on the lowest possible setting (preferably with the door cracked slightly). When I have the time, I always try to use soaked and dehydrated hazelnuts for this recipe.

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    • Yes, you could sub using equal amounts of cocoa, but you will likely want to use less sweetener (or just adjust it to your liking)

  17. I used cocoa instead of cacao powder, and ended up doubling the cocoa as we like it a bit more chocolatey, so I also doubled the almond milk. Also I used xylitol instead of stevia, and some coconut oil, the kids pronounced it just as good as nutella!

  18. I think I’ll be taking your advice and making this ASAP! One question though, does it have to be almond milk or will regular milk or coconut milk suffice?

    • I haven’t tried it with anything but almond milk, but I’m almost positive you can use whatever you like so long as it doesn’t have an intense flavor.

  19. I just moved overseas to the country of Georgia, and I wondering if I could sub in peanuts for the hazelnuts!!??? I know, weird question. :)

  20. I noticed in your caramel almond butter recipe that you used lucuma powder…..i’ve never heard of it before but researched it. Could you use it in place of the stevia in this recipe?

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    • You could make it using almonds (or almond butter) instead. It won’t taste exactly the same, but it will still be delicious!

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  23. I just made this in the food processor and it’s very gritty/grainy. Is that because I roasted them too long or would it help to put it all in the blender?

    • It’s hard to get it completely smooth in the food processor. You have to let the hazelnuts blend on their own for a REALLY long time, until they are smooth and release their own natural oils. I like to do mine in the blender too if I feel it hasn’t gotten smooth enough.

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