If you’re like me (and arguable everyone else I’ve met), you love Nutella. You love Nutella with a fiery passion beyond most anything else. However, you also have a conscience and a fiery passion for the environment and the wonderful creatures that reside in a multitude of different ecosystems. Nutella is comprised of seven ingredients, including the ever popular palm oil. For a long time, I would not permit myself (or loved ones) to purchase Nutella as I questioned their palm oil sourcing. In case you’re not a wannabe eco-warrior like me, standard palm oil harvesting tactics result in mass deforestation, ultimately killing orangutans and causing a vast number of other devastating problems. Now, to be fair, Nutella began using sustainably sourced palm oil back in 2013 (or at least announced that they would be), however I also prefer to make my foods organic and avoid refined sugars when plausible. Nutella uses beet and cane sugars, and the fact that they’re not certified organic raises a number of red flags in my head, even if they claim dedication to sustainability. You see my issues? Ergo, I create my own [solution]!
Hazelnuts, also known as filberts, are widely grown throughout Oregon. Hazelnuts are a good source of oleic acid, vitamin E, copper, manganese, and iron. They are high in unsaturated fat and have good protein content in addition to providing beta carotene. This dessert treat (a nutrition focused take on the popular Nutella) is wholesome and filling enough that it could be incorporated as a snack. Using raw cacao powder will make the butter more nutritionally wholesome while cocoa powder will give it a more traditional chocolate quality.
- ½ C hazelnuts
- 1 T cocoa or cacao powder
- 1 oz dark chocolate pieces
- 1 T coconut oil
- 1 T honey or agave nectar
- ¼ t vanilla extract
- ½ t sea salt
Add hazelnuts and coconut oil to a food processor and begin to blend on high, once nuts have broken down and begun to heat up (about 5 minutes) add cocoa/cacao powder, chocolate pieces, vanilla, honey/agave, and sea salt. Continue to process until ingredients are incorporated and smooth, 5-10 minutes longer. Serve as a treat on toast or by the spoonful.
Haas EM LB. Staying Healthy with Nutrition. Berkeley: Celestial Arts; 2006.