roasted hazelnut butter & basically-guilt-free Nutella

I don't think I've ever met anyone who doesn't like Nutella. Well, except for my mother who (whom?) hasn't even TRIED it yet!!! I know, I'm just as surprised as you are. Let's hope, for the sake of her taste buds, that she decides to give it a try very soon. While we're on the subject of this chocolatey, nutty, & sweet goodness of a spread, I'd like to announce that I successfully (at least in my opinion) came up with a healthier version that is 'basically-guilt-free.' I throw in the word "basically" because as with any nut or nut butter, you still want to follow the moderation rule. The last thing I want to do is mislead any of you, so I will say that my version is not as smooth or as sweet as the original Nutella that we've all come to know and love. I will say, however, that mine is sweet enough to get that chocolatey hazelnut fix, while not breaking away from your healthy eating habits.

Roasted hazelnut butter without the cocoa added is still really really good, so I've included the recipe for that as well. They're both so simple, and so worth it! You only need a few ingredients and a food processor. The only catch with hazelnuts (as opposed to almonds) is that you have to skin them, but it is much easier than it sounds! Homemade nut butters can typically last in the fridge for up to four months. If you want it to last longer, I would consider freezing it. The oils in the nuts can turn rancid if stored longer than the recommended time frame.

Here's how to make these simple nut butters:

Yield: 1 cup of hazelnuts = 1/2 cup of nut butter (The ratio for nuts to nut butters is 2:1)


       Roasted Hazelnut Butter
  • 1 cup of raw hazelnuts
  • 1/4 teaspoon of honey
  • generous pinch of kosher salt/sea salt
  • 3 tablespoons of baking soda + boiling water (to peel the skins)
       Basically-Guilt-Free Nutella
  • 1/2 cup of roasted hazelnut butter
  • 3/4 teaspoon of cocoa powder, sifted
  • 1/4 teaspoon of honey 


Peeling the skins:
In a medium sauce pan, boil a couple of cups of water and add 3 tbsp of baking soda. Add 1 cup of hazelnuts and let them boil for ~3 minutes. The water will turn a dark reddish/brown color (this is normal.) Keep an eye on the pot, the baking soda causes the water to foam heavily and it can boil over (trust me, I know.)

While the nuts are boiling, prepare a bowl of ice cold water. After a few minutes of boiling, do a test skin of one of the hazelnuts by removing a nut from the pot and placing it in the cold water. Use your fingers to remove the skin. If the skin easily removes from the nut, then they are ready to be strained and placed into the bowl of ice water. If the skin does not easily peel away, let them boil for another minute or so, and try again.

Leave the nuts in the ice water bath for a couple of minutes, then strain them. Some of the skins may have come off already. For the rest that haven't, rub the nut with a paper towel or between your fingers to remove the skins. They should come off relatively easy. You may have some stubborn ones like I did, but do your best to remove what you can. The skins are fibrous and typically don't make for a creamy nut butter.

Once you have peeled off all of the skins, make sure the hazelnuts are dry and place them on a baking sheet. Roast them in the oven at 350 degrees for 12-15 minutes (optional- but SO good!)
Thanks to Alice Medrich, Julia Child, and My Baking Addiction for this easy process!

Peeled Hazelnuts

Making the nut butter:

Take the roasted hazelnuts and place them in a food processor. Process until you have a creamy nut butter. Every few minutes you may have to scrape down the sides of the bowl. When it starts to become creamy, add honey and salt and process to combine. I didn't time how long it took for the nuts to turn into nut butter, but I'm going to estimate about 10 minutes.

To make the Basically-Guilt-Free Nutella, add in sifted cocoa powder and the additional 1/4 teaspoon of honey. Process to combine.

*If this isn't sweet enough for you- you can always add more honey. I was even thinking about adding a very tiny bit of vanilla extract. If anyone decides to try that, let me know how it comes out!

hazelnuts roasted at 350 degrees for ~15 minutes

After a few pulses it will look "crumbly"

the nuts will start to get pasty
a few minutes later; creamy nut butter!

Roasted Hazelnut Butter

honey + cocoa powder = basically-guilt-free Nutella :)

And the following photos are the result of me + my friend Fernanda + waking up at 2 in the afternoon :X. We were up late watching "Love & Other Drugs" and talking about food.... Seems worth it in my opinion :)

What are your favorite ways to eat Nutella? A few of mine are:
-on a bagel/toast
-with reduced fat wheat thins
-in a crepe

1 comment :

  1. I don't know why I haven't tried it actually! I forget to buy it when i go shopping. So, you will have to make it for me, lol. Looks really good!