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nuts about nuts: HEALTHY NUTELLA®

by on October 4, 2016
 

Nutella@: one of America’s Childhood Favorites Nuts Paste

In our nuts-about-nuts section, we have decided to address the subject of Nutella®. Now, of course, Nutella® is a childhood favorite for most Americans, but now that so many have adopted healthier lifestyles, it is always best to avoid processed foods which contain ingredients that are not the best for your health.

This does not mean that we don’t get cravings for Nutella® or that we can’t have it once in a while, but if there were a healthier alternative for this nut-paste, would you be willing to consider giving it a try?

Nutella’s ingredients are: sugar, vegetable oil, hazelnuts (13%), skim-milk-powder (8.7%) fat-reduced cocoa powder (7.4%), emulsifier (soy lecithin), flavor (vanillin). In other words, it contains refined vegetable oil (a known carcinogen), refined sugar (a now confirmed poison), and soy (all soy in the Americas is genetically-modified).

Nut Fact:

Is it filbert or hazelnut? The answer is, “Yes.” Filbert is the name of the tree and the nut. Hazelnut is the term coined by the early English settlers for the native species. Regardless of its name, this one nut has been revered for centuries as having healing and revitalizing properties.

Flavors do not always match when you are trying to create a healthy alternative for anything, but in the case of Nutella® I think I came pretty close. Here is my version of a healthy and very delicious type of hazelnut paste.

HAZELNUT & CHOCOLATE PASTE

Ingredients:

1.5 cups of organic raw hazelnuts

6 tbs. organic raw cacao powder

4 organic medjool dates

4 tbs. organic maple syrup

1/2 tsp. of Celtic salt Light-grey

6 tbs. Hazelnut oil

1 tbs. coconut oil

1 tsp. organic vanilla extract

1 tbs. of Marilyn Farms’ whey protein

2 tbs. of water

In case you prefer a dairy-free version, you may use 3 tbs. of almond milk instead of whey protein and water.

Directions:

Soak the hazelnuts for at least 8 hours in a little bit of Celtic salt. You do that to uninhibit the enzymes present in most raw nuts. Rinse the hazelnuts thoroughly. Now there are two alternatives:

#1) Place the rinsed hazelnuts in a dehydrator for 12 hours at 115°F. I purchased this particular dehydrator because it comes with stainless steel trays besides the plastic ones.

#2) Roast the rinsed hazelnuts in a regular oven for 6 hours under 200°F. You may lose some of the enzymes with the heat but you will gain in flavor.

While you are letting the hazelnuts cool, remove the pits from the dates.

Put the hazelnuts in a high-speed blender with the dates.

Blend the mixture until becomes gooey.

As soon as you obtain the desired consistency, add the rest of the ingredients and blend some more. At this point you should have a smooth paste. The coconut oil and the hazelnut oil act as emulsifiers. If the consistency is not to your liking, you may add a little more of the hazelnut oil.

Remove paste from the blender jar and place it in a glass jar.

Store in the refrigerator.

It lasts for about a month.

Equipment:

Glass bowl to soak the hazelnuts

High-speed blender

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