“Why have I been spending all of my money on those health-food store nut butters?”
I’ve been craving Nutella recently, but have you read what’s on the label? Ew. It becomes way less appetizing with all of the sugar, milk powder and unpronounceable chemicals.
So, I figured I’d make my own “Nutella” out of homemade nut butter and raw cacao nibs. What could go wrong, right?
Turns out, it is pretty easy (as you’re starting to tell, I’m a very lazy cook). First, you’ll need to make your own hazelnut butter. Once you’ve got this done, you can save some for later and the rest that’s left in the blender can be mixed with your other morning smoothie ingredients.
(Also, then there’s less washing-up to do.)
There are two recipes below: the first tells how to make any kind of nut butter (hazelnut in this case) and the second turns the hazelnut butter into a vegan-“Nutella”-banana-smoothie.
Win, and double win!
How to Make Hazelnut Butter
> 1.5 cup raw hazelnuts
Yes, that’s it. This is all you need.
1. Toast the hazelnuts so you get a better nutty flavor later. I roast them dry in a pan on the stove, without any oil. Shake them around every now and again until they start turning darker and you start to smell the delicious scent of roasted hazelnuts. You can also do this in the oven on a baking tray, at a 200 degree Celsius (about 400 degrees Fahrenheit) setting.
2. You can keep the skins on for the nut butter, but if you find this too bitter, you can remove the skins. Put your freshly roasted hazelnuts in a dish cloth, wrap them up, and then roll them around on your counter top. Grinding them against each other helps the toasted skins flake off easily. In my pictures below, you’ll see how I probably didn’t roast them long enough as the skins came off on only half of the batch. That’s okay. I turned them half-naked mo-fos into butter anyway. Bam.
3. If you want raw nut butter, skip the roasting in steps one and two, and go straight to step three here. Put hazelnuts in a blender and blend the heck out of them until the oil oozes out and turns your nuts into butter (there’s a dirty joke somewhere in that sentence). That’s it—too easy.
This will probably work better with a food processor, but since I don’t have one—I’m telling you now: it works just as well in a blender too. It’s more of a mission as you need to keep scraping down the sides with a spatula, but at some point when the blended nuts start to become a little stickier because the oil is oozing out of them, you can just keep the blender whizzing even if it looks like nothing is being blended.
I kept stopping every other second when the pulverized nuts turned into a powder, to scrape the sides down. But after the chopped nuts turned from powder-looking form into a sticky chunk, I kept the blender whizzing constantly.
It sounded like it would hit on a chunk every few seconds and spit something out. Then, the sticky chunk started to take on this beautiful, glossy glow, and voila! At some point, this thing actually looks and tastes like hazelnut butter!
Too. Freaking. Easy.
Why have I been spending all of my money on those health-food store nut butters?
Next time, I’ll do a bigger batch. I figured I’d work with a smaller batch of nuts first to experiment, and this still gave me a smidgen of leftover butter that I’m saving in the fridge. I don’t think it will last more than a week before going off but I’ll give an update here in case I store it in the fridge and forget all about it.
…which leads me to the second recipe for today. The whole reason I made this hazelnut butter is because I was craving Nutella and bananas. Mmm.
Vegan Nutella Banana Smoothie
~ 1/2 cup hazelnut butter
~ 1 tbsp raw cacao nibs (You can use raw cacao powder, too. Not cocoa, but cacao! It’s different, because cacao is the pure form of chocolate that’s fulla good stuff like antioxidants, minerals and vitamins—it’s without all of the excess processed crap like milk powder, sugar and the other fillers you find in regular cocoa.)
~ 2 medium bananas
~ 350 mL coconut water (or as much as you want to make this more or less creamy)
~ Chia seeds (just a sprinkle on top)
1. Throw everything except the chia seeds in a blender.
2. Blend it.
3. Sprinkle chia seeds on top.
4. Drink it.
I really enjoyed this one. At some point, I’ll probably experiment with making actual vegan “Nutella” using raw cacao nibs and the hazelnut butter as a base. Stay tuned!
Jaime Tan is a foodie, seeker, traveler, yoga student, certified-but-not-currently-teaching yoga teacher and iPhone addict. She’s currently studying nutritional therapy and is a naturopath-in-training while working her day job as a T.V. commercial producer. She’s not the world’s best cook and is an even worse baker, but lately she’s discovered that making good, clean, wholesome food can be fun, quick and easy—and can still taste pretty good. Read more about her adventures with her trusty Kitchenaid blender as she eats her way to Samadhi at The Enlightened Spoon, as well as on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
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