So.. it was World Nutella Day today. I've been pretty busy with the first exams of the semester, so I probably wouldn't have made a post for a while had it not been for this food holiday. It was just lucky that I've had a recipe lined up that fit in perfectly with today: a homemade chocolate hazelnut spread. One that is way healthier than Nutella.
For this spread, I used half almonds, half hazelnuts, mostly because I'm too cheap to use up all my hazelnuts for a nut butter (and because I go through nut butters like water). The hazelnuts are the most pronounced flavor, so you probably wouldn't even guess the almonds were there. Flavored with cocoa (use the best you can find - dutch process preferred) and sweetened with Truvia/stevia drops, this is a healthier version of Nutella that you can eat at any time of the day. I've been stirring it into my oatmeal in the morning, and I can't even begin to tell you how much I look forward to it every day. It's like dessert for breakfast, and I don't even have to feel bad about it!
If you've never made a nut butter before, let this be the recipe to persuade you to do so. It's so, so easy with a food processor (or blender if you a heavy duty one like a Blendtec or Vitamix), and the taste is way better than the kind you buy in the store. The fact that you're totally in control with what goes in there makes it all the better, and think of the add-ins you could customize it with! Maybe some cinnamon, chocolate chips, espresso for some mocha action.. a handful of chopped hazelnuts for some crunch? The possibilities are endless. Make it your own!
Now, I'm going to go grab the jar (that is down to the last bits on the bottom), and finish it off with a spoon. Perfect night time snack/dessert.
What would you add in to this chocolatey spread? Or would you keep it just how it is?
Chocolate Hazelnut & Almond Spread
makes about 2 cups (1 pint)
1 cup almonds
1 cup hazelnuts
2 T cocoa (dutch process preferred)
1/4-1/2 t salt (adjust to your taste)
1/2 t vanilla extract
3 packets Truvia
≈24 drops liquid stevia
Preheat the oven to 350ºF, and spread the almonds and hazelnuts evenly on a baking sheet. Toast for about 10 minutes, until fragrant and slightly golden. Allow to cool completely before grinding.
Place the almonds and hazelnuts in the bowl of a food processor, and process until smooth (it'll be almost like liquid - it'll take about 5-7 minutes). Add in the cocoa, salt, truvia, vanilla, and stevia drops, and process until smooth again. Scrape down the edges when needed. Taste and adjust as necessary.
Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator.