There are probably infinite ways to eat Nutella or, rather, infinite excuses to spread it on anything: crêpe, bread, fruit… spoon? As for my Nutella-identity, I used to be a Spooner and I am now a Chef in Denial. If you want to know what type of Nutella-eater you are or have never tried it before, please click here before continuing.
I love this chocolaty spread so much that one Christmas I got a book of only-Nutella recipes as a gift… twice (thank you cousin and Pauli).
However, with my recent attempt to be more mindful and revisit the things I actually feed my body, I learnt that Nutella itself is anything but good for us. For a while now there have been different images like the one below, articles and videos pointing out that it is not so much the ingredients but more the proportions of each that is worrying:
Originally Nutella was not a spreadable cream, but more of a solid chocolate paste that you could slice; it was known as Gianduja. This paste was basically made up of sugar, cocoa and hazelnuts. It seems like the ingredients and proportions evolved with time, firstly when they decided to create a spreadable form of the paste (adding more oil and sugar to make it creamier) and later on, with a focus on cost efficiency, sugar and palm oil were proportionally increased, as these are cheaper than cocoa and hazelnuts.
A while ago, when I became better informed and thus aware of what we are really ingesting when we eat Nutella, I was not happy enough to just forbid its entrance to my pantry and continue with my life as if nothing had happened. I decided to investigate alternatives that would allow me to enjoy the flavour without having to consume as much oil and sugar. The most convincing versions I found where The Minimalist Baker‘s and The Happy Pear‘s. The latter is the main one I based my recipe on, and even though the consistency is slightly different (less silky and spreadable) from the store-bought Nutella the flavour is there.
I try to follow my mom’s food motto: Everything, in moderation. It is not about cutting out foods or forbidding certain ingredients or products from our plates, but being able to consume them in moderation, especially when we know they are not that good for us. It is extremely hard to have full control over what ingredients we consume, especially when it comes to processed food. Something we do and can control is the amount that we eat.
30-01-2018: Fun (or ridiculous) fact: In France, the supermarket Intermarché set a 70% discount on Nutella jars, bringing the price down to €1.40 and… look what happened.
09-05-2018: I tried out a new creamier nutella recipe and updated the recipe here below as well as the pictures. To see the old nutella vs new nutella, scroll to down to the end of the recipe!
RECIPE: Real nutella
- 100g hazelnuts (or cashews)
- 60g agave or maple syrup
- 30g cacao powder
- 60g water
- pinch of salt
- Preheat oven to 180º. Once hot, place the nuts in a tray to toast for 5 mins (keep an eye on them, they burn easily!)
- Remove the nuts and place them in a food blender. If the nuts have skin (hazelnuts), place them on an extended kitchen cloth first, cover and rub energetically so the nut and skin separate. Then place in the food processor and blend until creamy. This can take around 5 mins or perhaps more, it depends on your food processor. Be patient and keep scraping the sides of the food blender container with a spatula.
- Add the cocoa powder, sweetener of choice and blend. Add water and blend until creamy.
Favourite ways to eat the real nutella
- Fruit: sliced apple, peach, strawberries or banana.
- Toasted bread or even better, brioche