This is my homemade version of Nutella — that magical chocolate spread that gets children to eat whatever it's layered on. Nutella is really delicious, but sugar is the number one ingredient listed (palm oil is the second) on the label and it’s flavored artificially. It’s really easy to make your own, and you can adjust the sweetness to please your palate. Hazelnuts are low in saturated fat (only 1.3 grams per 1-ounce serving) and are the richest source of folate of all tree nut varieties. Folate is a B vitamin that plays a key role in preventing birth defects, so it’s a must-have nutrient for pregnancy.
- 1 pound raw hazelnuts
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- 1/4 cup coconut oil (not virgin)
1. Preheat oven to 400°F. Place the hazelnuts on a large baking sheet and roast for 6 minutes, until fragrant. Place a large, clean kitchen towel over a bowl. Remove hazelnuts from oven and transfer to the towel.
2. Bring the ends of the towel together and shake the hazelnuts vigorously for a few minutes, until the skins on the nuts begin to fall off. Continue shaking until most of the skins have fallen off. Allow nuts to rest until cool enough to handle. When cool, remove remaining skins.
3. Combine the hazelnuts and remaining ingredients in the bowl of a food processor. Process for about 4 minutes, until the mixture starts to look moist. Scrape down the sides and process again until all ingredients are fully incorporated, about 10 minutes.
4. Let the spread cool to room temperature, then transfer to an airtight container. Store in the refrigerator for up to 10 days.