Homemade Nutella Ready to Spread

Homemade Nutella with Olive Oil and Dark Chocolate

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I think I’m ready. After purchasing 20+ jars of chocolate-hazelnut spread over the last 3 years to review on the blog, and trying a handful of recipes for the stuff, I’ve gone ahead and made my own version. (You can stroll down memory lane with the 20+ jars here, here and here.)

Homemade Nutella with Olive Oil and Dark Chocolate

I’m lucky enough to live in a region where they actually grow hazelnuts. And I’m nerdy enough to enjoy touring farms and food factories (Bob’s Red Mill, Aplets and Cotlets/Liberty Orchards, Perugina Chocolate Factory) because I have a genuine interest in seeing where food comes from and how it’s made. So last fall I headed to Outer County Farm to get my hazelnuts directly from the source. I chatted with farmer Mark for quite a while and came home with a ginormous bag of Butler hazelnuts.

Hazelnut trees

This beautiful 17-acre hazelnut farm is northeast of Bellingham, Washington.

Hazelnuts, like other nuts, are pretty fantastic nutritionally. They offer protein, fiber, healthy monounsaturated fat, and a nice allotment of minerals and vitamins. Since they’re a plant food, they’re cholesterol-free of course but they’re also incredibly energy-dense, so just 21 crunchy nuts in your mouth gives your body about 180 calories. And while many of us were introduced to them in a sugary spread, straight up hazelnut butter would be similar to almond or peanut butter in terms of nutrients, and while not as widely used, roasted hazelnuts are a wonderful addition to salads, granola, or trail mix.

Hazelnut growing on a tree

Actual hazelnuts growing on an actual hazelnut tree. Check out their weird little green coats!

My version of America’s favorite spread was inspired by the Not-Tella recipe in the Veganomicon cookbook, Charlotte Ryan’s Cleantella, and Homemade Chocolate Hazelnut Spread from the Pastry Affair blog. I opted for olive oil for its outstanding nutrition profile, and because I liked it so much in the Il Colle Del Gusto spread from Italy I recently sampled and wrote about. I added dark chocolate for good measure and a little hazelnut milk to smooth things out.

Jar of hazelnuts

Homemade Nutella with Olive Oil and Dark Chocolate
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
After trying countless homemade and jarred spreads, I'm finally ready to make my own. Instant coffee and olive oil may not be in the original, but they pump up the chocolate and hazelnut flavors and make for a nice spreadable consistency.
Author:
Serves: 2 cups, or 16 servings of 2 tablespoons each
Ingredients
  • 2 cups shelled and skinned hazelnuts (see notes below)
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 ounces dark chocolate (66% cacao) chips, discs or drops (about ⅓ cup)
  • 7 tablespoons hazelnut milk
  • ¼ cup good quality cocoa powder (I like Dagoba or TCHO)
  • ¾ cup powdered sugar
  • 1½ teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon instant coffee powder or granules
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Roast hazelnuts for 9-11 minutes, shaking the pan once or twice during roasting, or until fragrant.
  2. Once cool, whiz nuts in the food processor, stopping occasionally to scrape down the sides. (For me this took about 7 minutes. Mine never got quite to the nut butter stage, but rather tiny pulverized crumbs of nuts.)
  3. Put olive oil and chocolate in a small bowl and microwave 15 seconds at a time until melted, stirring in between, for about a minute altogether. Add this to hazelnuts and pulse a couple of times.
  4. Add remaining ingredients (hazelnut milk through salt) and pulse until incorporated and spreadable.
  5. Spread and scoop to your heart's delight. Store in the refrigerator.
Notes
I followed Charlotte Ryan's instructions for skinning the hazelnuts. You can watch the charming video here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fXKeK0yT4_I

If you have a favorite dark chocolate bar on hand, just coarsely chop it and use as a replacement for the chocolate chips.
Nutrition Information Per Serving
Serving size: 2 tablespoons Calories: 170 Fat: 13 g Saturated fat: 1.5 g Carbohydrates: 12 g Sugar: 8 g Sodium: 40 mg Fiber: 2 g Protein: 3 g Cholesterol: 0 mg

Homemade Nutella with Olive Oil and Dark Chocolate Ready to SpreadAs you can tell from the photos, my chocolate-hazelnut spread is thicker and more rough around the edges than the original, but I like knowing exactly what went into it and where it came from. And I know for sure that it’s a few steps in the right direction from a nutrition label perspective (since palm oil and sugar aren’t the predominant ingredients).

So, when you’re ready for a homemade alternative to Nutella, please find your own hazelnut farmer or grocery store/mail order nut source and get busy roasting, pulverizing, scraping, melting, pulsing, and spreading…and then let me know what you think. I’m hoping that having a couple of jars of my very own stuff in the fridge might cut down some spending in my Ooooooo-That-Looks-Like-A-Brand-Of-Chocolate-Hazelnut-Spread-I-Haven’t-Tried-Yet-Better-Throw-It-In-The-Cart budget. We’ll see.

 

Have you ever been inspired to make your own version of a favorite boxed, jarred, or bagged product? Is it worth the effort to have a healthier alternative on hand?

 

3 Comments

  1. Pingback: A Nutrition Review of Nutella and Other Chocolate-Hazelnut Spreads Part 4: A Master List - Veg Girl RD

  2. How to Make Homemade Nutella – Easy!!!

    https://youtu.be/F8aFHHLlCVA

  3. Pingback: Mediterranean Tahini Spreads: A Vegetarian's Review - Veg Girl RD

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