- 300g hazelnuts (or cashews, almonds…)
- Salt, a pinch
- 7-8 pitted dates or 60g agave/ maple syrup
- 15-30g cacao powder
- Water, to adjust texture
- 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!). You could also toast the nuts in a pan at medium-low heat.
- Remove the nuts and place them in a food blender. If the nuts have skin (hazelnuts), optional to place them on an dry kitchen cloth, 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. If you want a creamy silky nutella, it is IMPORTANT to get the creamy nut butter consistency first, before adding the other ingredients. If you don’t mind a more rustic chunky texture, don’t worry about it.
- Add the cocoa powder, sweetener of choice (for dates, see note below) and blend. Add water and blend until your desired texture.
Notes: Using DATES to sweeten
Some dates already come soft and creamy, but some aren’t. I would recommend soaking the dates in hot, boiled water before blending the nuts, for 5-10 mins, and adding them to the food processor once they’ve softened.
Favourite ways to eat the real nutella
- Fruit: sliced apple, peach, strawberries or banana.
- Toasted bread or even better, brioche
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 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 (and ridiculous) fact: in France, the supermarket Intermarché set a 70% discount on Nutella jars, bringing the price down to €1.40 and… this is what happened.
09-06-2020: Recipe is updated. For a while now I’ve been using a slightly different approach to making nutella: I use dates instead of syrup or honey, and I make the nutella creamier than at the beginning.
To see the old nutella vs new nutella, see below.
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