My mother recently pointed me toward Nuts.com, an online company that sells everything from dried strawberries and pistachios to chocolate-covered pretzels and coffee. I was particularly excited to discover the site because I’d had my eye on this recipe for homemade Nutella since it came out, but I haven’t been able to find hazelnuts anywhere in the area. Also, I’ve wanted to buy Brazil nuts for my husband for a while due to the potent health benefits: Brazil nuts are packed with magnesium and selenium, powerful antioxidants that may help prevent heart disease and cancer and protect prostate health. Selenium also lower LDL or “bad” cholesterol and reduces the incidence of blood clots and heart disease. Men should only eat 1-2 nuts a day, however.
My first box from Nuts.com contained a bunch of dried chili mango and crystallized ginger (favorites of my husband), Brazil nuts, hazelnuts, trail mix, and a complimentary bag of Turkish figs. I’m already excited to try a recipe for healthy “Fig Newtons” that I found online. The prices were reasonable, as were the shipping costs. I will definitely be doing business with them again.
On to the Nutella! Soooo delicious and something I can actually approve of; the store-bought kind contains your entire daily recommended sugar intake in a single serving! In fact, the primary ingredients in store-bought Nutella are sugar and oil, whereas in this version, the primary ingredients are nuts and non-dairy milk. This recipe has a quarter of the sugar and tastes like Nutella only more of a dark chocolate flavor. Very simple to make; really the only “odd” ingredient is the hazelnuts. This recipe is from the one and only Chocolate-Covered Katie.
(Yields approx 2 cups)
2 cups raw hazelnuts
1 + 1/2 tbsp pure vanilla extract
1/4 cup cocoa powder
1/4 cup plus 2 tbsp xylitol, sugar, or agave nectar
1 packet stevia, or 1 tbsp more agave or sugar
1/4 tsp salt
optional: 2-3 tsp oil (for extra smoothness, but it’s still very smooth if you leave out the oil)
1/2 cup milk of choice (I used almond milk)
Roast hazelnuts for 10-14 minutes at 420 degrees. Rub them together in a paper towel to get the skins off (Mine had quite a few skins left on because my “helpers” were antsy). In a food processor, blend the nuts until they’ve turned to butter (this may take a couple minutes), then add all other ingredients and blend until it’s smooth.