Three ingredients, two minutes, and zero appliances – that’s my 7AM “mom can we have a Nutella sandwich for lunch today?” solution. Nutella isn’t a product I buy so I improvised a homemade healthier Nutella, or chocolate hazelnut spread, with a well stocked pantry.
Nutella has a high sugar content, one serving (considered 2 tablespoons) has 21 grams of sugar, which equals about 4 teaspoons of sugar – not exactly a healthy lunch option. It’s also the nature of most processed foods to have unnecessary added ingredients. Compare the Nutella ingredient list to what you can make at home;
Nutella ingredients: sugar, palm oil, hazelnuts, cocoa, skim milk, reduced minerals whey (milk), lecithin as emulsifier (soy), vanillin: an artificial flavor.
School lunches is the most challenging meal of the day for me because of the kids numerous dislikes (no fish or other “smelly” foods), the school’s lunch rules (due to kosher restrictions I can’t pack lunches with meat or poultry), and my own “real food” standards. Gluten-free sandwiches, though not the most nutritious, is a compromise I am willing to do.
Interesting historic note – Nutella was created in the 1940’s because of a cocoa shortage during World War II. Mr. Ferrero used hazelnuts to extend the chocolate supply. I would love to know what the original ingredients were!
Quick Homemade Nutella
All ingredients are approximations, adjust sweetener and cocoa powder to taste. This recipe works with almond butter too.
1/2 cup *hazelnut butter (or almond butter)
1-2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
1-2 tablespoons raw honey or maple syrup
1. Place hazelnut butter in a shallow bowl.
2. Add cocoa powder and mix it into the nut butter with a fork.
3. Mix in honey or maple syrup. Taste and adjust seasonings. If you need to thin the mixture, add halzelnut oil, walnut oil, or coconut oil (warmed to liquid consistency).
*To make your own hazlenut butter, toast hazelnuts on a cookie sheet in a 400 degrees oven for about 10 minutes. Remove as much of the nut skins as possible in a damp towel, add to a food processor and process into a paste.