Before I get to the recipe of the day, I just wanted to let you know I have only 2 spots left in my Draeger’s cooking class coming up March 22nd! The class includes a demonstration, wine and light appetizers, and of course a tasting of this special menu I created just for my live guests! To enroll, click HERE. Makes a great gift, date night, or girl’s night out! 😉
Now…on to my special Valentine’s recipe! I have literally been hoodwinked by Nutella for far too long. Falling under the spell of this chocolate hazelnut spread, I never realized that Nutella was just a facade of what I wanted it to be. The traditional Nutella recipe called Gianduja, originated in Piedmont Italy, back in 1963. The original recipe was a mix of about 70% hazelnut and 20% chocolate. Today, after multiple alterations to the recipe (including another increase in sugar in 2017) Nutella is 60% sugar by weight–each serving is equivalent to the amount of sugar in 5 Oreos! Aside from the sugar, Nutella is loaded with oxidized, or processed palm oil. A 2015 study out of the Oxford Academic Journal of Nutrition showed that palm oil consumption results in HIGHER LDL cholesterol than do vegetable oils low in saturated fat. Not only that, but case studies have found child laborers on palm oil plantations. Children described to Amnesty International researchers how they work without any safety equipment, in an environment full of hazards including falling branches, exposure to chemicals, and heavy lifting. On top of all this, this palm harvesting is leading to massive deforestation.
Now for the good news–it is incredibly easy to make your own chocolate hazelnut spread and I show you how in this latest video. My version has half the sugar of Nutella, with all of the richness of toasted hazelnuts. You can cut the sugar down that much more by using Joseph’s Syrup instead of the agave/maple syrup that I use. I also added my favorite new chocolate chips, Lily’s Dark Chocolate Chips which are sweetened with stevia instead of sugar for extra chocolate flavor. But this paste tastes great without it too, so it is entirely optional. When I make my own chocolate hazelnut paste, I can source the best organic ingredients possible!
To learn how to make this easy recipe, click on the video below. Happy Valentine’s Day!
2 cups Raw Organic Hazelnuts
1/4 cup Maple Agave Syrup
2 tsp Vanilla Extract
⅓ cup Almond milk
2 tbs Organic Sunflower Oil