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A Healthier, Homemade Nutella. Really!

The internationally beloved chocolate hazelnut spread is totally easy to master at home.

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Anyone who lives with a picky eater knows that traveling can be difficult, and that the more exotic the location, the greater the likelihood that mealtime will be frustrating. But while abroad, my daughter and I can usually find the one food guaranteed to meet no resistance: Nutella.

Available in 160 countries and so popular that recent markdowns in France sparked riots (yes, riots!), Nutella seems to cross all cultural boundaries and meet the standards of even the most choosy eaters. While these days no one believes Nutella is a “nutritious” breakfast option (indeed, sugar and palm oil are its first and second ingredients), its popularity persists for one reason: The combination of hazelnuts and chocolate is undeniably delicious.

But the recent revelation that cocoa beans, the main ingredient in unsweetened chocolate, are actually good for you got me thinking: Why not make my own Nutella, minus the gargantuan doses of sugar and palm oil? My version is just as rich as the original, but even more chocolatey with much less than half the sugar of Nutella while also using healthier fats. As an added bonus, it’s dairy free. And yes, my daughter loves it.

Scroll down for the full recipe!

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Chocolate-Hazelnut Spread

Who needs store-bought Nutella when you can make this rich, chocolatey version at home in less than 10 minutes? Although it contains less sugar than the original, you won’t miss it a bit.

Featured in: A Healthier, Homemade Nutella. Really!

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  • Yield: about 2 cups

Ingredients:

  • 3 ounces unsweetened chocolate
  • 1 cup roasted hazelnuts, skins removed
  • &frac18 teaspoon salt
  • ¼ cup hazelnut oil
  • ¼ cup honey
  • 3 tablespoons maple syrup
  • ¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons cold water

Steps:

  1. Step 1

    Coarsely chop the chocolate, then melt in a double boiler or a bowl set over a pot of very hot water. Set aside.

  2. Step 2

    In the bowl of a food processor, blend the hazelnuts and salt for one full minute. Scrape down the side of the bowl. Repeat this step two more times so that the nuts have been processed for a total of three minutes, until very smooth. Add the melted chocolate and process until combined.

  3. Step 3

    In a medium bowl, stir together the hazelnut oil, honey, and maple syrup. With the food processor running, pour the mixture into the processed nuts in a steady stream. Stop the machine and scrape down the side. (If your mixture looks oily or “broken,” don’t worry! The next step will take care of that.)

  4. Step 4

    With the food processor running, add the cold water in a steady stream.

  5. Step 5

    Transfer the mixture to a jar or another container with a tight-fitting lid. It will be quite loose but will set up once completely cool. Store in the refrigerator for up to 3 weeks.