Chocolate Hazelnut Spread

Chocolate Hazelnut Spread

I love nutella, but don’t like that it has more sugar than hazelnuts! To get all the details on how nutella compares with other commercial chocolate hazelnut spreads read my blog post called “Sugar with Added Hazelnuts”.

I’ve looked online for recipes for homemade versions. All of them have you roasting and skinning hazelnuts…oy vey! Who has the time? My version is quick. Although you will have to clean the food processor afterwards.

Jean’s Chocolate Hazelnut Spread

Ingredients

  • 1 Jar Hazelnut butter or your favourite combination of nut butters
  • 1-3 tbsp dark non-alkalized cocoa
  • 1-3 tbsp icing sugar

Method

Add the hazelnut butter and 1 tbsp of cocoa to the mixer. Blend. Taste. Add more cocoa and/or sugar to taste. Try to use more cocoa than sugar. If you have a taste for dark chocolate, then you might not need any sugar at all. It’s a fun recipe to make with kids.

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The end result will be less sweet than any commercial chocolate hazelnut butter, but because it doesn’t have tropical oil (better for the cholesterol levels) it will also be a little thinner. You can keep it in the fridge to help solidify some of the nut oils.

The hazelnut butter I use has only hazelnuts. If yours has sugar added, then you can omit the sugar from the recipe; it’s probably more than sweet enough already.  To dilute the sugar more, try combining it with another nut butter that is unsweetened like almond or peanut.

Nutrition Tips:

Why dark, non-alkalized cocoa? Cocoa contains important plant compounds called flavanols. They show potential in protecting health in both the cancer and heart disease research.

Bakers don’t like it when the cocoa clumps together, so much of the cocoa sold is Dutched or alkalized. While this makes it easier to work with, it reduces the flavanol content. Read the labels on your cocoa, you don’t want one that says “Dutched”, “Dutch processed” or “alkalized”. Alternatively, it might say ‘natural’ or it might not say anything.  Also, look at the colour if you can, a darker cocoa is better.

Why no milk powder? If you look on the label for the commercial chocolate hazelnut spreads, they contain milk powder. This does add more protein and calcium to the nutrition profile and also helps to thicken it. I don’t use it here, because milk interferes with the absorption of the flavonols from the cocoa. So, for the same reason I don’t recommend milk chocolate, I’m not adding milk power.

Why Hazelnuts? Well first off, they taste great with chocolate. Also, like other nuts they are a source of unsaturated oils (the kind that are beneficial for heart health). Of all the tree nuts, they are the highest in folate (a B vitamin most famous for reducing neural tube defects when eating by women in early pregnancy), and highest in a plant compound called proanthocyanidin which are know to help reduce the risk of blood clots and reduce urinary tract infections.

Why No Tropical Oils? The commercial chocolate hazelnuts spreads add modified palm oils. Since they are saturated fats – they help to make the spread thicker, but they also are suspected of thickening the walls of blood vessels. So, no palm oil in my recipe. If you are really not happy with the texture of the final product, then try adding 1 tbsp coconut oil. This will help it to be more solid.

I want to know how much Added Sugar I’m getting

I mentioned in my blog post “Sugar with Added Hazelnuts” that the American Institute for Cancer Research recommends a limit of 25 g per day of added sugars. Once you have your final recipe, you can figure out how many grams of sugar you have in your product this way:

Facts

  • Every tsp of icing sugar is 2.45g of sugar
  • There are 3 teaspoons (tsp) in every tablespoon (Tbsp)
  • Every tbsp. of icing sugar would have 7.35 g of sugar (2.45 x 3)

To know how much added sugar you are getting from your finished version of Jean’s Chocolate Hazelnut Spread, then you would need to know the finished quantity.

For example: you get 250 ml of spread and it’s made with 2 tbsp icing sugar.

  1. First calculate the number of servings: 250 ml / 15 = 16.6 servings (every tbsp. is 15 ml)
  2. Then multiply the total grams of sugar (2 tbsp x 7.35) = 14.7 g
  3. Next divide the total grams of sugar by the number of servings 14.7 / 16.6 = 0.89 g per serving

You have less than 1 g of added sugar per 1 tbsp serving (Nutella has 11 g). Well done!

What Ratio Worked for You?

Share your version below in the comments section.

 

 

References:

http://www.oregonhazelnuts.org/health-benefits/

http://webprod3.hc-sc.gc.ca/cnf-fce/start-debuter.do?lang=eng

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