So I have a nephew who seems to measure his happiness quotient for a day by the amount of Nutella he has consumed!
At only four years of age it’s understandable that his needs in life are quite simple – but his ‘not so mild’ addiction no doubt grates on the heart and soul of my ‘Herbal Harriet’ sister (not her real name BTW) who would prefer he could be as excited by more natural products (although I’m on my nephew’s side if she tries to serve up her kale chips!)
They came to stay with us for a couple of weeks in January and in the week before they arrived – during a mid-afternoon Google-castination (i.e. that moment when you should be working, but it’s 3/4 of the way through the day, your brain is semi-fried and you’re wondering aimlessly through the internet clicking from site to site) – I came upon a recipe on the Kidspot.com.au site by Sarah Wilson for sugar-free Nutella.
PERFECT! I had found the ideal solution – my nephew would have the Nutella he loves, and my sister would be happy that it was not the sugar-laden product that he normally consumes.
The recipe itself was quite simple, and I had most of the ingredients in my cupboard. Those that I didn’t have I found in my local Coles, except for the vanilla powder – which I simply substituted with vanilla extract (I’m not sure if it made any difference).
- 1 cup hazelnuts
- 1/2 cup coconut milk
- 1/3 cup rice malt syrup (I’ve never used this before but discovered it is actually super yummy!)
- 1 tbsp macadamia oil
- 1/4 cup raw cacao powder
- 1 tbsp vanilla powder
- You start by heating the oven to 180 ̊C (160°C fan-forced), then baking the hazelnuts on a tray for about 10 minutes, until they are browned.
- Once browned remove from the oven, allow to cool for a couple of minutes and then rub off the skins.
- Finally, place the nuts in a food processor and grind until smooth, then add all of the remaining ingredients and mix well.
- Put into a jar for storage and keep in the fridge.
I started off by peeling the skins off of the nuts one at a time and quickly realised this would take a very long time to finish. A few trial and error methods attempts to speed up the process later lead me to the perfect technique – simply take a handful at a time and rub them between your two palms.
I have to say that once I blended the ingredients the mixture smelled divine – and I started to have some hope that I was on to a winner. All that remained was for the fateful taste test.
My Little Miss Six was sitting at the bench watching with interest so I offered her the first spoonful to taste.
Her face was a treat – the joy of a pending spoonful of Nutella quickly replaced with a shake of the head, an almost pained look and an exclamation of ‘that’s not Nutella!’
I have to say that she is right – it is definitely not Nutella, but it does have an interesting flavour that is best described maybe as ‘raw and earthy’.
I’ve since discovered a number of other recipes for healthy versions of Nutella on the internet, so I’ll keep trying. I’m sure the right recipe is out there somewhere.