I have been craving Nutella lately, and I realised that it must be pretty easy to make a healthier version of this hazelnut-chocolate spread with no sugar or dairy. Obviously grinding whole hazelnuts seems like the most natural place to start, but I decided to play around with using hazelnut butter instead to make the process even quicker and easier. This option also has the added bonus of less washing up! The butter I used contained roasted hazelnuts, but you could use a version untoasted nuts if you would like to make this raw.
Nutella is essentially hazelnuts, cocoa solids and skimmed milk powder, plus a pile of nasty things like sugar, modified palm oil and additives. In the US the makers were famously sued recently over their claims that the spread is a healthy, nutritious breakfast for kids. It ended in them having to pay three million dollars and being forced to change their labelling and advertisements which were misleading consumers.
But here is a version that really is a healthy and nutritious breakfast! To the hazelnut butter, I simply mixed in what has become my sweet dessert staples at this stage, raw cacao powder, agave syrup and vanilla. I enjoy using agave in treats and bakes, but it is not without it’s controversy and many feel that it is too processed and high in fructose for their liking. You could try replacing it with another liquid sweetener such as date syrup instead, but bear in mind that you may have to increase the quantity as agave tastes so sweet.
I always loved Nutella best with bananas in a crepe, so I decided that I couldn’t waste this yummy spread on a plain slice of toast when I could make some sort of warm, squishy/crispy fried banana ‘french’ toast to go with it!
Healthy ‘Nutella’ -INGREDIENTS:
- 85g Hazelnut butter
- 4 tbsp Cacao powder
- 3 tbsp Agave syrup
- 1 tsp vanilla essence
Blend together et voila!
Fried Banana Toast
- 1 banana
- 2 slices of bread
- 1 tbsp ground chia or flax seeds
- 4 tbsp water
- 3-4 tbsp almond milk
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 1 tsp vanilla essence
Blend or mash the banana very smoothly. Make a chia or flax ‘egg’ by blending 1 tbsp ground seeds with 3 tbsp water and wait for it to form a gel. Add the gel to the smoothly mashed banana, along with 3 to 4 tbsp almond milk, 1/2 tsp of cinnamon and 1 tsp of vanilla essence and place in a shallow bowl. Dip sliced bread into the mixture and allow to soak in for several seconds. You may need to add some additional milk depending on the thickness of your bread. Melt some coconut oil in a frying pan and fry until browning and crisping on both sides. Spread with the raw healthy ‘nutella’ while it is still hot so that it melts.
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