Let’s be honest, Nutella is delicious – until you have something better. So much better that a side by side comparison will make you wonder how your taste buds have been sleeping all this time.
There are loads of recipes for homemade hazelnut spread that look delicious, but are reliant on lots of chocolate. We’re not opposed! However, we treat peanut butter and almond butter as a healthy, protein rich food for breakfast, lunch and snacks, so why do hazelnuts have to be slathered in sugar and melted chocolate to be eaten?
Hazelnuts are fantastically delicious and this spread highlights them gloriously. The best part? It has zero added sugar – zip, nada, none. Also happily missing are soy lecithin, palm oil, and milk powder, which makes this spread dairy free and vegan. What this hazelnut spread does have is delicious, yummy fats, natural cocoa, dates, hazelnuts and full fat coconut milk. This will give you a far healthier alternative for all those hazelnut spread needs and emergencies – there are so many – but also a strong hazelnut flavor you’ll love.
It’s a snack, make it better!
2 cups unsalted toasted hazelnuts*
7 dates, pitted**
¼ cup plain, natural cocoa (not dutch-processed / alkaline processed)
1 cup full fat coconut milk, (include both milk and coconut cream solids if separated in packaging)
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla
In a full size food processor, (need the processing power) add nuts and salt.
Process for 6-10 minutes until nuts start to liquify into a butter.
Add dates and process for 2 minutes until fully broken down.
Add cocoa, and a couple of tablespoons of the coconut milk.
Process until incorporated.
Add remaining coconut milk and vanilla.
Process until perfectly smooth.
Texture is going to look like a loose frosting, and happens to taste like a great frosting!
All the processing is going to make the spread warm, so refrigerate for about 1 hour before eating.
Because this is all natural and made without sugar (a preservative) it will only last about 1 week in the refrigerator. However you can also easily freeze for several months . . . if there’s any left.
*Hazelnuts must be toasted. If you are buying raw, simply spread on a rimmed sheet pan and roast in a preheated oven at 350 for about 10 minutes, shaking 3 times during roasting. Remove from the oven when hot, place on a kitchen towel and cover with a second towel and roll vigorously to loose the hazelnut skins until about 80% or more of skins are rubbed away.
** Look for dates in the produce section. Most dates come with pits, however pitting is simple. Just gently squeeze the date and pull in half lengthwise and remove the small, oblong, hard pit in the middle.