Refined Sugar-Free Nutella Spread
Yes! Refined Sugar-free! No agave! No funky syrups or honey or maple syrup or white sugar, and this spread is just as good as the real deal! How?
After a few experiments…and jars of home-made Nutella later (not that I’m complaining), I can’t believe it’s possible to make a refined sugar-free Nutella! And when your kids are eating it out of the jar? It’s good. It’s really good.
You know what the most ironic part is? Well, you all know how much I’m a huge fan and Nutella lover with all the Nutella recipes I have on here already. After making this spread, tasting it, and then tasting a spoon of Nutella to try and match the sweetness and flavour…Nutella tasted so plastic, dull and lifeless I found myself sucking on the spoon to get any flavour out of it.
What?! I know! I thought I was going crazy! So I tried this experiment on my family…and the same happened to them. One spoon of this spread here followed by one spoon of Nutella; and they were all pulling faces after tasting the ‘real’ Nutella. It’s like, plastic on a spoon? (Don’t hate me.)
I don’t get it. I don’t understand it. But I do know that the jar of this home-made spread is going to fly out of the refrigerator in less than 2 days. Without any feelings of guilt sitting down with it and enjoying it by the spoonful. Its rich and creamy. Its full of so much chocolate and hazelnut flavour…you won’t want store bought Nutella ever again!
To make this Refined Sugar-Free, I substituted white sugar for Coconut sugar. Did we jump for joy? Hell yes! The taste compared with a white sugared version is only very very slight, without spiking insulin levels and a lower GI. Something we prefer for our kids.
The best part of making your own spread? It’s easier than you think…and quicker than you’d assume…if you’re anything like me and picture a whole day lost roasting; peeling and processing. Not True.
However, there are two ways to start the whole Nutella loving process.
One: Buy blanched or already-peeled-and-ready-for-roasting-hazelnuts and skip the whole peeling process.
Two: Buy organic hazelnuts and take out all of your frustrations out on each one when peeling them. And they’re not hard to peel. Just rub them on an old tea towel with the palm of your hand, and the peels crack and fall away on their own.
The choice is yours. Personally, I chose the peeling option. There was something so gratifying seeing bald hazelnuts at the end of the process. No, it’s true, and I could be crowned one of the laziest people on planet Earth, but still I loved this process.
From here, throw your nuts into a food processor (make sure it’s a good quality processor); and once it becomes a beautiful, warm and creamy paste, throw the rest of your ingredients in until you want to face plant the processor bowl.
Or…avoid the face planting, because we are adults after all , and pour your spread into a jar, while dipping your fingers into it every 2 seconds, you know, just to make sure it tastes like heaven.
The best ‘Nutella’ that’s not really Nutella, that we will be diving into from now on.
Weight Watchers: 3pp per tablespoon!
- 2 cups hazelnuts (250g | 8oz), blanched and skin off or Organic
- ½ - ⅔ cup coconut sugar (or sugar of choice) -- adjust to your taste
- 2 tablespoons hazelnut oil (or any vegetable oil)
- ½ cup milk of choice (I used reduced fat milk, but both almond milk or coconut milk work!)
- 3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- Pinch of salt
- Preheat your oven to 176C | 350F. Spread the hazelnuts (both skinless or Organic) onto a baking tray in an even layer and roast for 10-15 minutes, or until fragrant and beginning to turn golden in colour. (You will smell a beautiful nuttiness coming out of your oven door.)
- When toasted, remove and place them on an old towel (if peeling. Skip this step if using already peeled Hazelnuts). Allow to cool for a couple of minutes; rub hazelnuts onto the towel until skins have been removed (this takes about 5-10 minutes). Transfer the skinless hazelnuts into your food processor bowl.
- Process until the hazelnuts release their natural oils, while scraping down the sides of the bowl in between processing if needed, until they form a paste. (They will form a floured texture first, then lump together, and finally a paste. Don't worry if this happens, it's normal! Keep processing!)
- Add the coconut sugar, hazelnut oil, milk, cocoa powder, vanilla and salt. Process again for a further 5 minutes, or until the heat of the hazelnuts softened the coconut sugar, and the spread is smooth and glossy.
- Transfer to a jar with a tight-fitting lid (or an airtight container), and allow to cool for 5 minutes before sealing. Can be stored in the refrigerator for a month.
- *The spread with be smooth and creamy after processing, but will thicken only slightly int he refrigerator.
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