Calling all Nutella addicts! Did you know there is such a thing as World Nutella Day? Yes, really! (February 2015 / February 2016) If you consider yourself a total addict and can easily imagine its rich mouth-watering, chocolate/hazelnut creaminess, you may want to read the label on store-bought versions.

Applied Health's Healthy Alternatives - Homemade Nutella, Chocolate and Hazelnut.

Sad to say, but no matter how much you would like to see Nutella listed as one of the basic food groups required for survival, it really doesn’t qualify as a healthy food. Yes, it has a few hazelnuts for a little protein, but beyond that store-bought Nutella is ladened with sugar, palm oil, artificial flavor and other not so good for you junk.

Consider making your own “healthier” version at home. Not only is it relatively easy to make, there are many recipes that you can choose – even vegan and paleo versions.

Here is one clean recipe that can easily be made at home.

The Ingredients:

2 Cups Roasted Hazelnuts

1/4 – 1/2 Cup Coconut Milk

3 Tablespoons Coconut Oil

6 Tablespoons unsweetened Cocoa Powder

2/3 Cup Maple Syrup or Honey

1/2 Tablespoon Vanilla

1/8 Teaspoon Salt

The Directions:

1) Toast the Hazelnuts

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Spread the hazelnuts on a baking sheet in one layer. Toast the hazelnuts for about 12 minutes in the oven until the skins blister a little and are slightly browned.

2)  Remove Skins

When cooled enough to handle, wrap them in a kitchen towel, and rub vigorously to remove any loose skins. There will still be some remaining, but that’s okay.

3)  Use Food Processor to Blend

Finish cooling completely and place in your food processor.

4)  Blend Nut Butter

Begin blending until the hazelnuts become a nut butter.

Pay attention to how the butter looks. It needs to be smooth – unless you prefer “crunchy” Nutella.

This very smooth consistency, above, looks perfect.

5)  Begin Adding Ingredients

Now, add half of the milk and all the other remaining ingredients.

Process until all ingredients are well-blended. If the consistency is perfect, leave it. If it’s too thick, add the remaining milk and blend again until smooth.

You can try many of the healthy Nutella recipes available on the Internet. Just think of how much fun it will be to discover your favorite. Remember, however, that even though this is made in your kitchen with healthier ingredients, there’s still sufficient calories to prevent it from qualifying as a weight-loss food. Occasionally, though, this perfect treat is meant to be enjoyed.

[Applied Health Publications are registered in the United States Library of Congress, ISSN: 1525-6359]