Homemade Healthier Nutella

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We got up early Saturday morning. Warmed milk in a sauce pan, mixed it with butter and maple syrup and poured it over some crumbled yeast and saffron. It was the first batch of saffron buns of the morning. Many more would come. We had asked a couple of friends to come over and help us roll them. We had such a nice morning together. Preparing the dough, kneading, talking, rolling, baking. It was like an advent celebration, but instead of eating the buns, we were baking them. A couple of hours and over a hundred saffron buns later, we loaded them into a car and handed them off at a Christmas party.

Luise had asked an organization that helps children and mothers in need if there was anything we could do to help out. And as it turned out, they needed saffron buns for a Christmas party they were arranging. We didn’t stay for the party, but apparently over 300 children and mothers came. It was a fun morning for us and it felt great to bake for someone else. I think we might have a new Christmas tradition in our house. Next year we will invite even more friends to cook or bake for a good cause. We might even challenge all of you to do the same.

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Whether it is for a good cause or just for your family, these small jars filled with homemade “Nutella” are great as gifts. I was a bit hesitant to call it Nutella, as they taste so much better than the store bought version. It tastes real. Very flavorful, nutty, chocolaty and sweet. But not too sweet, just enough to enhance the hazelnut and chocolate flavor. You can make it in no-time, fill up a few jars, wrap a pretty ribbon around them and then scratch Christmas Gifts off your list. Or sell them at a market and donate the proceeds to a good cause.

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Here are two other great initiatives.

• Two of our friends created a beautiful limited edition poster to help the victims of the conflict in Syria. They sell and ship worldwide. 100% of the proceeds goes directly to Médecins Sans Frontières (Doctors Without Borders).

• Luisa Weiss from The Wednesday Chef is auctioning away a large part of her cookbooks to help The Invisible Child Fund. Bidding ends on Friday.

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Homemade Nutella
Makes around 3 cups

3 cups / 400 g raw hazelnuts or nuts of your choice
20 fresh dates or soaked dried dates, pitted
1/2 cup / 125 ml melted cacao butter (or coconut oil, the taste will be different but delicious too)
4 tbsp cacao powder
1/2 cup / 125 ml water or more if you prefer

Preheat the oven to 150°C / 300°F. Place the nuts in a single layer on a baking sheet. Toast in the oven for about 20-30 minutes until golden and the skin is starting to crack. Keep an eye on them to avoid from burning. Remove from the oven and let cool slightly. Place the nuts on a rough kitchen towel and rub to remove the skin. Place in a food processor and process until completely smooth (nut butter) and the oil from the hazelnuts has released. You may want to scrape down the sides a couple of times. Melt the cacao butter on very low heat in a small saucepan. Mash the dates with a fork until the consistency of sticky caramel. Add the melted cacao butter, cacao powder, mashed dates and water to the nut butter and process until smooth. Alternatively combine the mixture by stirring with a spoon. Taste and adjust the flavors to your preference. Scoop into air tight glass jars. Keeps at least for a few weeks in the refrigerator.
Tip: Add juice and zest from 1 orange for an extra twist.
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Ps. We just shot a Christmas dinner recipe and we promise to post it a few days before Santa arrives. So if you haven’t decided what to cook for Christmas, check back with us soon.

54 Comments

  • I totally love your recipe! I'm gonna make it next week! :)
  • This looks delicious. I need a healthy alternative to Nutella for my children so I'm going to try this recipe. It looks good. Thanks for sharing.
  • Simonette
    Delicious taste! I was tempted to use maple syrup in stead of the dates but am so happy I followed your advice. However apparently I did do something wrong since the water and the cacao butter didn't mix. After a night in the fridge the texture looks also a bit strange: the cacao butter has seperated from the rest and turned matt white again. Can you help me out for my next try?
  • I just made this with almond milk instead of water, it is absolutely delicious!!
  • Jurate
    so intense! I just made it! Sorry, I used some maple syrup and honey instead of dates (totally accidentally!), but the hazelnut taste is SO intense! :)) Really great recipe! :)
  • Perfect, my son will love this. How long does it last in the fridge? Kind regards Christel
  • Jurate
    wow, that's sounds very yummy and healthy! :) must try... :))
  • Hi there! Wow this looks incredible, I wish I had seen it before proceeding with mine at the weekend! Mine was a bit sticky and coated the inside of my mouth a bit. I put the recipe on my blog as it was great with my gf df vegan pancakes, but alone it would have been a bit intense. Am going to try this one at the weekend, am sure it will be less sticky than mine was! Sophie www.theparttimevegan.me
  • What a great idea. I look forward to my kids being a little older to be able to do something like this. And love the ‘nutella’ recipes, I make something similar but hadn’t thought of adding cacao butter. Genius~!

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