Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Homemade Nutella (Dairy Free)

We eat a fair share of Nutella in our house. My husband is a Dutch citizen. Our son is a Dutch citizen (as well as American). I'm not going to call it a health food, but Nutella is a mainstay in our home, and for the sake of our marriage, I'm not going to fight Dutch tradition! For the record, Dutchies also put chocolate sprinkles--called hagelslag--on their sandwiches, so you can see what I'm up against.

Our son's dairy allergy was the incentive I needed to find a safe Nutella alternative for our house. It took a few tries until I came up with this recipe, with which I'm quite satisfied. It tastes great, isn't overly sweet, and spreads easily. It does lack the glossy texture of the processed version. Then again, this version doesn't have more palm oil than hazelnuts, either!

Side note: Here is the ingredient list for Nutella, from the Nutella website:
If you've seen the peanut butter recipe I posted a little awhile ago, many of these steps will look familiar because it's basically a glammed up nut butter. 

To make this Nutella, you'll need:
  • 2 cups hazelnuts
  • 1-1/2 Tablespoons vanilla
  • 1/4 cup Dutch cocoa (or cocoa powder)
  • 1/4 cup pure maple syrup
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons coconut oil (optional)
  • up to 1/4 cup almond milk

Step 1:
Roast two cups raw hazelnuts at 325 degrees Fahrenheit. Roll them around a bit until they are in a single layer on a baking sheet and  keep them cooking until they start to sweat and turn light brown,about 12 minutes. (If you buy roasted hazelnuts, you can skip this step).

Step 2: 
Let the hazelnuts cool for about ten minutes before adding them to the food processor. 

Step 3:
Blend. I find that hazelnuts need a little more time to turn to butter than peanuts, but the process is the same. You'll want to stop the processor every 30 seconds or so to scrape down the sides. Here we are at one minute. The hazelnuts went from whole, to chopped, to crumbly. It's important that you process the almonds by themselves first. This allows the oil in the hazelnuts to release and turn the powder into butter. 

Step 4:
Add 1-1/2 Tablespoon vanilla. (I made my own. Super easy. I'll have to post about that soon, too). 

Step 5:
Add 1/4 cup Dutch cocoa. I'm very spoiled in that our recent guests from the Netherlands just brought me some Droste Dutch processed cocoa and I prefer it to natural processed cocoa. (You can read about the difference between the two here). 

Step 6: 
Most recipe for homemade Nutella call for 1/2 cup (or more!) of powdered sugar. I prefer to use honey or maple syrup as sweetener. I chose maple syrup for this recipe because of its thinner consistency. 

Step 7: 
Add 1/4 teaspoon salt. You can also add the 2 teaspoons coconut oil at this point, but it's optional. Lately I've been skipping it.

Step 8: 
Blend for 10-30 seconds. At this point, the texture is a little too thick. 

Step 9:
I've learned from experience that oil will not smooth out the texture at this point, but almond milk will (or regular, if you don't need to avoid dairy). Nut butters can be temperamental, so each batch is different. I start with a couple Tablespoons and add slowly under it reaches the desired consistency.

Step 10: 
In my experience, it could take anywhere from 2 Tablespoons to 1/4 cup milk to reach the perfect texture. After that, it tends to get soupy and watered down.When your Nutella looks like chocolate frosting, you've added enough milk.  In fact, I often use it as frosting for my son's cupcakes when he needs a safe treat for school or parties. 

Eet smakelijk!

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  1. I love Nutella, I need a healthier version.

    1. I can't promise that this is healthy, but it's definitely healthier!

  2. Oh man this looks amazing. Do admire anyone who endeavors to take a favorite and make it healthier simply by trial and error. I could eat this stuff by the bucket:) thank you!

    1. Thank you! I may or may not have eaten a few bucketfuls perfecting the texture! :-)

  3. Thanks for the recipe! I was just thinking of adding Nutella to my grocery list!

  4. This is awesome- I can't wait to try this healthier version!! Thanks for sharing, found you through made in a day!

  5. I like Nutella and sad I can't eat it because of the milk. Thank you for this!

    1. My son was SO excited when he found out he could eat it again!

  6. Oh my, this looks delicious. I am having a weekly blog link up and it just went live. I would love for you to come and share this with us!

  7. Hi! You were the link before me at Anti-Procrastination Tuesday! Just wanted to stop by and say hi! You are so brave to recreate such a beloved treat! I am glad it turned out well for you!

    It's Always Ruetten

    1. It took a few tries, but seeing the smile on my son's face when I told him I had a safe version for him was totally worth it!

  8. I am sooooooo super excited to try this recipe! I am a Dutch native myself, and I miss hagelsag a lot. Fortunately I can but Nutella here now, but I have been looking for a healthier version, so this is great. I am SOOO pinning!

    Have a happy week!
    hugs x


    Crystelle Boutique

    1. Is there a World Market by you? They have been known to have hagelslag. We get up to Grand Rapids, MI every so often (where I used to live) and stock up on hubby's favorite snacks. Ik hoop dat je het recept lekken vind!

  9. This looks fabulous! I can't wait to try it. Pinning...maybe for later today!

  10. The Dutch do not put chocolate sprinkles on sandwiches, such as cheese. They put the sprinkles on their morning toast. The sprinkles melt and act like, surprise, Nutella. Can you please amend your post to reflect this? Thanks.

    1. Y B, I'm the hubby and was born and raised in Holland. I've only moved to the States about 10 years ago and I can assure you we DO put our sprinkles on sandwiches and usually don't melt them. Why would we? We have Nutella for that... ;-) but don't tell our 4 yr old, he just might try it...

  11. Thanks for visiting. And thanks for the invite!

  12. I made this today, using the coconut oil, and as soon as I started adding almond milk ALL the oil separated out of the mixture. It wouldn't process back together, and stirring by hand only seemed to press out more oil. I tried several things to try to reintegrate it, but I think what finally did it was adding more cocoa. After that was in, the almond milk worked like it was supposed to and I ended up with a spreadable product. Has this ever happened to you, or to anyone else you know who's used this recipe? This is my first time making any kind of nut butter, so I wouldn't be surprised if I did something wonky. It turned out delicious, son is going to love it!

    1. I'm glad that the cocoa fixed it for you. Was the coconut oil in liquid or solid form when you added it? I usually use it as a solid if I add it, but since I discovered the almond milk, I haven't been adding it.

  13. I just made this and it is oh so delicious! My kids are thrilled that they finally get to eat Nutella again. We just spread it on some organic strawberries...Heaven!!
    My question is, do you keep this in the refrigerator or is it okay in the cupboard?

    1. I'm so glad you liked it! I keep ours in the frig. I usually have to make a new batch after a week or so, so I'm sure it would be fine in the cupboard, too, if you go through it quickly. I prefer the frig simply because I don't add any preservatives.

  14. This is awesome! Thanks for sharing it at the Pin it Monday Hop! this one is going on the board!

  15. Coming from the Breakfast Hub...and I'm super excited. I really need a healthier version of Nutella....because I'm addicted! Happy Wednesday!

    1. My boys are, too! I feel much better about them eating this than the store-bought stuff!

  16. Ok, seriously, you may just have saved my sanity! Lol. I was born and raised in Germany and Nutella was a main part of my breakfast ritual growing up. About a year ago, I decided to adopt a plant-based diet because of health issues. There isn't really much I miss from my former diet, except for Nutella! Thank you SO SO SO much for sharing this recipe. I am so excited to try this!
    P.S. We used to put chocolate sprinkles on our bread, as well. Lol

  17. I don't eat Nutella but this does look yummy!

    Thanks for linking up at Throwback Thursday!!


  18. We love Nutella and I had no idea that it was possible to make my own. Thanks so much for sharing this great recipe on Throwback Thursday.


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