How to Make Your Own (Sugar-Free) Nutella + No-Bake Coco-Chia Balls

A friend recently posted on Facebook that she was shocked (well, more like bummed out) to learn Nutella contains partially hydrogenated oil, aka trans fat. (“Tell me it ain’t so,” she sighed.) Yep, it’s true, but more troublesome is Nutella’s sugar content: 11 grams per tablespoon! In fact, sugar is the first ingredient listed. (FYI: Ingredients in packaged foods and drinks are listed from most to least.) However, it’s not my friend’s fault for thinking Nutella is healthy; after all, it’s marketed as a wholesome spread for children (hyperactive, irritable, cavity-ridden children?) when it’s really a glorified sugar spread. I mean, a tablespoon of Nutella (and who has just one tablespoon?) packs a third more sugar than a spoonful of chocolate chips or a snack size Snickers.

The point of the story is that, coincidentally, I had made a Nutella-type spread a couple of nights prior. (Cue weird music.) Since then, I’ve made it a lot. In fact, I frost pretty much everything with it—bananas, sliced apples, rice cakes, toast (grilled banana chocolate sandwich, anyone?), hotcakes, cardboard—it’s good.

Feel free to play with the consistency (add more milk for more of a dip or sauce, which I bet would be delicious warmed and drizzled over fruit or Greek yogurt) and to use any nut or seed butter. I also tried it with coconut butter, but since coconut butter hardens in the fridge, my spread turned into fudge (not a bad thing, mind you).

Meg’s Sugar-Free, Better than Nutella Spread

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup hazelnut butter or peanut butter (if you’re frugal like me)
  • 1/2 cup cocoa powder
  • 3/4 cup almond milk (use less for a thick spread; add more for a thinner consistency)
  • 1 Tbs vanilla
  • 4 packets stevia blend (equal to 3 Tbs sugar or so), or to taste (I used Krisda Caramel stevia.)

Directions: Whisk ingredients in a bowl until smooth. Refrigerate. (It will thicken slightly in the fridge.)

Per Tbs: 41 calories, 3g fat (0g sat, 0g trans), 7mg sodium, 1g fibre, 0g sugar, 1g protein

(Per Tbs of actual Nutella: 100 calories, 6g fat (2g sat, 0g trans), 5mg sodium, 1g fibre, 11g sugar, 1g protein)

For another easy snack, make my No-Bake Coco-Chia Balls. If you close your eyes and try really hard, they kind of taste like brownies. Kind of.

So many ways to use “Not-Nutella”: as a dip for sliced pear, as a filling for banana-wiches, as frosting for muffins (these are actually protein pancakes baked as muffins). My No-Bake Coco-Chia Balls are on the right. Cocoa overload!

Feel like procrastinating some more? Me too.

  • Grey skies wearing you down? Take more vitamin D: studies link vitamin D deficiency to depression. (I take 4000IU daily.)
  • Socca, chickpea flatbread, is on my to-make list. Lebovitz’s or Bittman’s recipe—you can’t err with either.
  • Foam rolling helps to ease muscle tension and speed recovery; one of these days I’m going to use mine!
  • Spring clean, save money and breathe easier with DIY eco-wise cleaners.
  • Noise pollution: A pitfall of urban living (hi, 3am sirens), it can affect us mentally and physically.
  • Bored of sweet potato fries? Try green bean “fries”: low in carbs and calories!
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Posted on March 14, 2012, in Breakfast. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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