Healthy homemade nutella – and other nut butters
The story of my homemade nutella
Honesty time: I never really liked nutella. It was too sweat and oily, and I never really gotten into the habit of buying it. It was quite occasional even in my childhood. So why did I start making my own at home? This story started when I discovered a new YouTube channel and accompanying blog call Pick up Limes. If I reckon, a girl recommended it in the Hungarian zero waste Facebook group, and I was immediately hooked. Sadia is a really passionate and interesting person, and she has awesome recipes as well (she is a vegan dietitian). This is where I have found this recipe, and after I first tried it, I just always have to have some in my fridge. And besides, it’s healthy, has good fats, cacao which has a lot of antioxidants in it, so my conscious is clear when I eat a spoonful. 🙂
The base for this recipe is hazelnut butter (that is the nut in the original nutella as well), with just a little bit of coconut oil and some liquid sweetener like agave or maple syrup. If you’re not vegan, honey is nice too. For creaminess as well as more sweetness, dried fruits are added. Dates works best but you can experiment with others, like prunes. I even did it once from dried cranberries, which gave it a hint of sourness as an extra kick. Another important ingredient is to add some plant milk, almond is best. Again, if you’re not vegan, milk can also work. One time I added some leftover whey from my yogurt I made.
So how do you make nut butter at home? You would be surprised how easy it is. You just need a medium to strong food processor and 5 minutes of your time. For the hazelnuts, their taste is best if they are roasted a bit, it requires just a bit more time than making a simple nut butter, but it’s so worth it. Be careful not to over-roast the hazelnuts, because the end result won’t be that creamy then. It’s still yummy though, so don’t worry if you don’t get it right the first time. In the below pictures they are quite roasted, that is why the butter is a darker shade of brown. You can see how it’s made perfectly in the original recipe. I just wanted to use my own pics for authenticity 🙂
Step 1. Roast the hazelnuts for 10 mins until light brown, and take the skin off. (Zero waste comment: as you see in the pic above, I use a silicone liner instead of baking paper, and it’s really cheap to buy.) Firmly rub them in your hand (or in a tea towel) and then picking up a handful at a time toss them between your palms until the skin falls through your fingers. You don’t need to scrape every inch off, it’s okay if a bit is left on the nuts.
Step 2. Blend them in a high speed blender (mine is 800W, that should really be enough) until liquidy like in the picture above. It takes around 5 minutes. I find it’s easier to first blend half of the nuts and add the other half when it’s already a bit creamy. This way you don’t really need to scrape of the sides during the process.
Step 3. Add all other ingredients and blend for a few minutes more.
Step 4. Spoon in into a glass jar and store in the fridge up to one-two weeks.
And what about peanut butter?
For peanuts, I can find them on the market already roasted (unsalted), so that makes the job easier. I usually buy at least a kilo, since it can be stored in the cupboard for a long time. The best thing in peanut butter that it doesn’t even need added oils, you just blend it until it’s creamy, add whatever you like (I use honey and a bit of salt) and you’re done. It can be stored in the cupboard for quite some time. Never tested the expiry time, it somehow is long gone after a few weeks. I wonder why.
Using a food processor you can experiment with lot of nuts, like cashews, walnuts, almonds. You can even try oily seeds, but they are better used as a plant milk base. Did you know that tahini is just roasted sesame seed butter with a bit of salt and olive oil? Since I started living this zero waste life, I have discovered that a lot of expensive things found in the stores are so easy and hassle free to make at home. Besides being zero waste, if you have access to buy seeds, nuts and grains in bulk, you will find that you can save a lot. Well, this is generally true for home cooking of course, but a lot of people argue that they do not have the time for it. I always say that you have time for what you make time for. During training for the ironman, I was exercising 15+ hours a week, and that is when I started my blog and the refill project. Still, I was buying stuff in the market and cooked at home. You can’t tell me you don’t have 5 minutes to make some tahini or a big jar of peanut butter. And if you get into food prep on the weekend and cook some stuff for your freezer, voila, you have healthy food options at home, save some money and still have time for other things.