One of the exciting things about traveling to other countries, at least for me, has always been finding local food products. It was exciting to bring home some of these packaged foods to share with my family as a souvenir of travel. While finding local foods is still fun, the world has undoubtedly become smaller. Foods that were once found only in Australia or Italy are now widely available either in local stores or via an internet order.
While I may not be ordering large quantities of Vegemite (no offense to my Australian readers!), Nutella, which I initially found when living in Italy, remains near and dear to my heart. I have not eaten this hazelnut and chocolate spread in ages and ages because it simply has too much sugar (first ingredient). But I recently had this epiphany about Nutella. There is nothing in the basic recipe for Nutella that is absolutely outside of what would be allowable in the paleo way of eating providing we make a few tweaks. Yay!
This recipe for homemade paleo nutella will get you pretty close to the real thing. One difference is the texture which is a bit less smooth due to the fact that we are making our own nut butter. It is also less sweet. But this, for me at least, is a bonus. My taste for sugar and sweet things is far less than it has been in the past so I am completely pleased with the level of sweetness of this homemade version of the chocolate hazelnut spread. When I put the finished product in the refrigerator it did not harden up to a brick but remained nicely spreadable without requiring warming up. The oils also did not separate and it did not require stirring.
Do you remember seeing this ad for Nutella touting its health benefits?
Does that ad crack you up as it does me?
The company behind Nutella ended up paying about $3 Million dollars in a class-action lawsuit because of their health food claims. I’m a staunch believer in personal responsibility so the idea that vast numbers of people would believe eating what is essentially a spreadable candy bar is healthful and then blame the manufacturer is a little beyond me. Not to mention, the idea we should be eating sugary carbs for breakfast is fairly common as evidenced by the TV commercials for so-called healthy cereals loaded with sugar. Can we sue the federal government for the ridiculous food pyramid? Just asking.
Even Homemade Nutella is Not a Health Food
Please, this is not a health food – it will not make you healthier. But it is a reasonably healthful treat that won’t completely derail you if eaten in moderation. If you decide to make this homemade paleo Nutella recipe the only downside would be if you become addicted to it. So sue me. (No, not really.)
Homemade Paleo Nutella
- 1 cup blanched hazelnuts
- 1/2 cup coconut milk
- 1/4 cup coconut nectar (you could try subbing maple syrup)
- 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 tablespoons coconut oil or ghee
- pinch of celtic sea salt
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F
- Roast the hazelnuts in the oven for 10 minutes.
- If your hazelnuts were not already blanched, you will need to remove the skins. Once they come out of the oven you can take a damp cloth and remove the skins.
- Add the blanched hazelnuts to the bowl of food processor and pureé for a few minutes until creamy – you may have to scrape down the sides of the bowl a couple of times.
- Add the coconut milk, coconut nectar, cocoa, vanilla, coconut oil and salt and continue to process until smooth – scraping down the sides as needed.
- Store the homemade paleo nutella in the refrigerator.
We ate our homemade nutella with some fruit and bacon. Note Nathaniel’s hand in the upper right of the above photo. He had a hard time waiting for the bacon. How many of us can relate? 🙂
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