I am a huge Nutella lover and have probably consumed embarrassing quantities of it after breakups, during sleepovers, at the cinema where no one can see how much I have eaten and while watching reruns of America’s Next Top Model by myself. Obviously this unhealthy obsession had to stop, but I didn’t want to completely give up licking chocolate off a spoon while Tyra Banks taught skinny models how to smize, so I resolved to compromise. I found healthier substitutes to make my homemade version of Nutella. My easy-to-make, gluten-free, vegan, hazelnut chocolate crunchy spread is not only nutritious but also delicious. You won’t be able to put your spoon down, but don’t worry, you won’t have to.
The hazelnuts are packed with a variety of vitamins, minerals, fiber, and healthy fats; that will keep your heart healthy, skin glowing and aid digestion. Dates are rich in iron, potassium, calcium and fiber and are a great anti-inflammatory while raw unsweetened cacao powder is a wonderful source of antioxidants.
- 1 cup of hazelnuts that have been soaked in drinking water overnight.
- 1 cup of seedless dates. The stickier, the better.
- 1/2 a cup of water.
- 3 heaped tablespoons of raw unsweetened cacao powder
- 3 tablespoons of pure maple syrup. Make sure it doesn’t have any artificial flavorings, additives and any other icky suspicious ingredients.
Blend all the ingredients together in a food processor until a crunchy paste forms, which might take up to 15 minutes depending on your food processor. Transfer the chocolatey goodness to any airtight jar you have lying around at home. The last time I made it, I used an old jam jar.
I like to devour my healthy homemade Nutella over toasted gluten-free bread that I buy from Terra Earthfood, but most often I simply lick a spoon full of it – without feeling guilty.
Note: If your food processor is stubborn and starts to smoke (trust me, next generation food processors love to smoke), turn off the processor and allow it to cool down before continuing to blend the ingredients. For best results, allow the processor to take a break every couple of minutes while it cools down with words of encouragement.
For your convenience, by clicking on the underlined ingredients you will be redirected to the website where I buy them from.
– Photograph and video by Nithin Barath, BV Vishnu and Dinesh