Sugar-Free Chocolate Hazelnut Spread
This sugar-free chocolate hazelnut spread tastes pretty darn close to Nutella, but is vegan and sugar-free. It is also so easy to make in your high-speed blender. But, I warn you, this homemade nut butter is so delicious it’s hard to quit eating. I will admit, I often sit in front of the TV and just eat it right out of the jar. And, before I know it, I’ve eaten half a cup of what my friends call, “healthy crack”!
My niece and nephew LOVE Nutella, but we’re trying to reduce the amount of sugar and added sugar they consume. So, I’m slowly creating healthier, sugar-free versions of all of their favorite foods. These discerning little foodies are the ultimate “acid test” whenever I’m creating new recipes. These kids have NO FILTER, and give me their honest (often caustic) opinion without reservations. I love it.
Well, this vegan chocolate hazelnut spread got a resounding, “OH YEAH!” from them, and it’s been on heavy rotation in the house ever since.
How To Make Sugar-Free, Vegan Chocolate Hazelnut Spread
I’ve made chocolate hazelnut butter with cacao powder or unsweetened cocoa powder. But, you will get a much better flavor and consistency if you use dark chocolate chips. If you want a more robust flavor, use 75% to 90% dark chocolate chips. But, for a more conventional chocolate hazelnut butter that most closely resembles the flavor of Nutella, use 50% to 60% dark chocolate chips. A lot of vegan chocolate chips are loaded with sugar. So, I’ve used the Lily’s Stevia Sweetened Dark Chocolate Baking Chips. You can get these at Wholefoods, health food stores, or online. You can, of course, use any chocolate chips you want.
Roast your hazelnuts for the best flavor.
I never purchase roasted hazelnuts. I always use raw hazelnuts, and roast them myself. It is a bit of a pain (particularly separating out the skinned hazelnuts from the shredded skins), but the extra work is totally worth it!
To roast hazelnuts:
Preheat your oven to 350F (180C), and lay the hazelnuts in a single layer on a baking tray. Roast for about 12 minutes, until fragrant. Remove from the oven and allow to cool slightly. Transfer the roasted hazelnuts to a large kitchen towel, and use your hands to roll the hazelnuts in the towel to remove as much of the skins as possible. Then, discard the skins.
You will need a high-speed blender to make the chocolate hazelnut butter.
You can make chocolate hazelnut butter in a food processor if you don’t have a high-speed blender. But, you will never get a really smooth consistency. Unfortunately, you can’t make nut butter in a conventional blender.
When you make nut butter in a high-speed blender, the power of the blender will warm the hazelnut butter as you blend it. This is what you want because when you add the chocolate chips, they will melt instantly, and incorporate really quickly into the hazelnut butter. So, you can skip an extra step of melting the chocolate before you add it to the blender.
Use grapeseed oil for the best results.
You will need to add some high quality oil to help the hazelnuts blend into a smooth butter. You can use virgin coconut oil. But, know that coconut oil solidifies at cold temperatures. So, when you put your chocolate hazelnut butter in the fridge to thicken, the coconut oil will solidify and you will get some white spots and fat throughout your nut butter. So, I prefer to use high quality, expeller pressed grapeseed oil because it has a delicate, nutty flavor. Grapeseed Oil contains heart healthy mono and poly-unsaturated fats, and one of the lowest levels of saturated fat of any oil. Grapeseed Oil also delivers antioxidant Vitamin E.
Adjust the sweetness to your preference.
I don’t like my chocolate hazelnut butter too sweet. But if you want your spread to most closely resemble conventional Nutella, you may want to add 1 teaspoon (or more) of Lakanto or People’s Keto Allulose Plus sweetener. Again, if you aren’t concerned with making this sugar-free, you could use any other sweetener.
The spread will thicken in the fridge.
The chocolate hazelnut butter will be thin when it comes out of the blender. Butm it will thicken when you store it in the fridge. And, it will keep in the fridge for up to a month. But, it never lasts that long!
Get your spoon (or ladle) ready! Do not miss making this chocolate hazelnut spread. It is seriously delicious. And, if you’re a diabetic, or just wanting to lower your intake of added sugars, this nut butter is going to change your life!
Let me know what you think in the comments below.