Nutella: Easy home-made spread made from hazelnuts


Our elf Hazel is deeply wise.
Love her and she’ll quench your thirst for knowledge.
Then, she’ll bless you with a silver tongue,
for teaching others what you’ve learned.

So it is said. But is there any truth behind the power of Elf Hazel? What we know for sure: Hazel harnesses the strength of her namesake, the hazelnut. Like some other nuts and seeds, hazelnuts  feed the brain. Hazelnuts  are one of the most concentrated sources of vitamin E available, and vitamin E is associated with less age-related cognitive decline.

A giant kilogram jar of Nutella contains 130 hazelnuts, along with a heap of skim milk and cocoa powder thrown into the mix. How can anything with so much fiber, vitamins C, B, and  E, protein, folate, and calcium be anything but good?

Well, Nutella has its detractors. For one, there is a large dose of sugar – 11 grams in every spoonful.

And then, there is the whole palm oil thing. Over-farming of the rain-forest to harvest palm oil is threatening endangered animals, like the orangutan. Our elf  Hazel would be sympathetic to preserving the habitat of these lovely animals!

Momma orangutan and baby. Photo courtesy of harrymoon, FlickR Commons

So what is a crazy, orangutan-loving Nutella fan to do? Here’s an idea. Why not make your own hazelnut spread. It’s easy if you have a food processor. You get to say how much sugar is enough, and you can use coconut oil instead of palm oil.

Raw hazelnuts are half the price of the skinned ones. If you have a half hour to roast and skin the raw nuts, go for the cheapo ones.

Vinny’s Homemade Hazelnut Chocolate Spread
Makes about 2 1/4 cups. Store in the fridge.

  • 1 1/2 cups (200 grams) whole hazelnuts (AKA filberts), roasted and de-skinned
  • 1 cup skim milk
  • 1/2 cup skim  milk powder (50 grams)
  • 1/4 cup (25 grams ) cocoa (preferably not dutch-processed)
  •  liquid stevia  or a sweetener of your choice equivalent to 1/3 cup sugar
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil
  • 1/2  cup (100 grams) chopped bittersweet chocolate chips

Warm hazelnut sauce on eggy pancakes with strawberries

  1. If you bought the raw nuts with their skins, roast them and remove the skins. On a rimmed baking sheet, toast the nuts in a 375ºF oven for 10 minutes, or until their skins begin to pop. Shake them up half way through. Watch closely. If you see smoke, remove them immediately before they burn!
  2. Pour the hot nuts onto an old (but clean) tea towel. Gather the corners into a bundle and rub the nuts together to flake off as much skin as possible. This is hard work. That’s why the roasted nuts are twice the price!
  3. While they’re warm, blend the nuts in a food processor until they go from finely ground to pasty, about 10 minutes
  4. Meanwhile, on low heat warm the milk, powdered milk, stevia, cocoa, and cinnamon in a small saucepan.Remove from heat as soon as it starts to bubble around the edges. If you like a thinner spread, reduce the skim milk powder to just 1/3 cup.
  5. In a glass or stainless steel bowl set over a pan of simmering water, melt the chocolate chips with the coconut oil, stirring until smooth. Take off the heat a little before it’s completely melted, because you don’t want it to curdle.
  6. Add the melted chocolate to the ground nuts and process the mixture. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as necessary.
  7. Add the warm milk mixture bit by bit, and process until the sauce is well blended. Taste, and if you like it sweeter, add a few more drops of stevia. The sugar content of the chocolate varies, which affects the quantity of stevia needed.
  8. Scoop the spread into a glass jar or container, cover, and store in the fridge.

Hazel the elf says, “Enjoy!”

Nutrition information per tablespoon (From eaTracker, by Dietitians of Canada):

  • 65 Calories
  • 5 g fat (no trans fat)
  • 4 g carbs (including 1.1 g fiber and 2.1 g sugar)
  • 2 g protein
  • 17 mg sodium (salt), 128 mg potassium, 50 mg calcium, 21.3 RAE Vit A, 8.1 DFE folate, 1.1 mg vitamin E

If you want to compare nutrients of Vinnie’s recipe with the commercial Nutella by Ferrero, here’s their nutrition label. Mine (sweetened with stevia) has 2 grams sugar in a tablespoon, compared with 11 grams in the commercial Nutella.

nutella nutrition-facts


  • Nuts to you, cowboy! Nuts and seeds power good health for cowgirls and cowboys. Make this snack for the trail.
  • Mares eat oats… Make some hearty pemmican-style treats to fuel your wilderness outings or trips to the city park.

13 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. chef mimi
    Feb 08, 2017 @ 19:14:57



  2. bakingaddict
    Oct 31, 2012 @ 18:53:51

    I’m impressed you made your own nutella. I should give it a go too as I love that stuff and I know it’s not all good for you! Thanks for entering AlphaBakes.


    • Vinny Grette
      Oct 31, 2012 @ 21:28:44

      Hi Baking addict – It’s amazingly easy to make your own Nutella and it passed the test of my two little tasters. I use it in my own recipe for a healthy chocolate cookie, among other things


  3. karlamcurry
    May 10, 2012 @ 10:05:28

    Oh goodness, do I LOVE Nutella. I can eat spoonful after spoonful. *sigh* I haven’t bought the stuff in ages because of all the sugar. I have a couple homemade versions bookmarked but have yet to make them; I’d probably eat it all in one sitting, rendering the “healthier” aspect almost moot.


  4. AJ's Mom
    May 03, 2012 @ 08:09:01

    love the nuttela goodness


  5. pantryobsession
    Apr 28, 2012 @ 21:36:33

    I love this! Looks delicious and I also like the no palm oil. By the way, thanks for visiting my blog and for the ‘like’ 🙂


  6. yogininoms
    Apr 26, 2012 @ 22:20:02

    Yikes! 11 grams of sugar in just one tablespoon? Your homemade version sounds much better!


    • Vinny Grette
      Apr 26, 2012 @ 23:31:01

      If sugar is a complete no-no for you, this recipe would need even more changes than I made to mine here. The chocolate I used had sugar in it. if you used no chocolate and relied only on cocoa, and sweetened it up with your stevia, you might get away with it. If you try this, let us know how it turns out?


  7. janderoo92
    Apr 26, 2012 @ 14:24:42

    Bravo to you for coming up with a recipe that bypassed palm oil – for the environment as well as the health issues. (My own orangutan-loving elf at home would greatly appreciate this.) My husband is allergic to hazelnuts, do you think it would work substituting almonds or pecans? I know hazelnuts tend to be the nutty favorite for blending with chocolate.


    • Vinny Grette
      Apr 26, 2012 @ 16:13:51

      You need a flavorful oily nut, that grinds nicely into a paste. Almonds might work. No harm in trying! This is really so good, I’d give it a shot. It’s much better on day 2 (if it lasts that long 🙂 )


  8. frugalfeeding
    Apr 25, 2012 @ 16:29:49

    Good, frugal habits – nice one. Also, this looks delicious!


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