Everybody loves Nutella. It’s creamy, sweet, and chocolatey. Its base is hazelnuts, so technically you could use it as a nut butter. Have it on a sandwich and it should be a good source of protein with all those hazelnuts, right? Actually, no. The first ingredient in Nutella is sugar, followed by palm oil. Hazelnuts are number 3, and some of the other ingredients include soy lecithin and artificial vanilla flavor. A two tablespoon serving of Nutella has only 2 grams of protein. The nuts are really an afterthought, not a base.
I recently joined Costco, and I was happy to find that hazelnuts are reasonably priced there. At $6.25 a pound, they’re actually the same price as walnuts. When I saw these hazelnuts on the shelf at Costco, a thought jumped into my mind: “Homemade Nutella’s coming to my house!”
Sweetened with maple syrup and flavored with cocoa powder and real vanilla extract, the hazelnuts are front and center in my homemade Nutella. It tastes sweet and creamy enough to feel like a treat, but nutty enough to feel appropriate for a lunchtime sandwich. I love the slightly gritty texture here, but if you have a Vitamix or other high-powered blender you could make it silky smooth. If you’re lucky enough to find blanched hazelnuts without skins, you can skip the step of removing the skins.
- 2 cups hazelnuts (8 ounces)
- 1/4 cup cocoa powder
- 2 tbs melted coconut oil
- 1/3 cup maple syrup
- 2 tsp vanilla
- 1 to 4 tsp water
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Roast the hazelnuts for 10 minutes. Cool the hazelnuts and remove the skins. You can do this by pressing on them with your hand, using a rolling motion. If the skins are stubborn, submerge the nuts in water and then peel them. As the skins come off, place each hazelnut in a food processor.
Process the hazelnuts for about a minute, until it has a fine crumb texture.
Add the cocoa powder, coconut oil, maple syrup, vanilla extract, and one teaspoon of water. Process to combine the ingredients. If it's too thick, add water one teaspoon at a time until the desired consistency is reached.
Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator. This will keep for several weeks.
Homemade Nutella Price Breakdown
This recipe costs a total of $4.58 and it yields 1½ cups (14 ounces). This is just about the same cost of the highly processed, sugar-based Nutella at the grocery store ($4.49 for 13 ounces). My homemade Nutella is a healthy, real food alternative that you can feel good about feeding to your family.
Adapted from Coconut Mama