For this Chocolate Hazelnut Butter, I was able to source all organic ingredients. I discovered local Pacific Hazelnuts from My Brother's Farm at our local Farmers Market in Eugene, Oregon. This is such a delicious alternative to store bought Nutella, which is full of processed sugar, dairy, preservatives and artificial flavoring. This spread is so chocolate-y and dreamy, I couldn't stop eating it by the spoonful! It is sure to please the kids' palates in your life, or satisfy your sweet tooth while providing you with protein, minerals, antioxidants and healthy fats.
The end result has a great balance of dark chocolate, creamy texture, and hazelnut flavor. It was reminiscent of drippy chocolate cupcake batter; only one that can be included in a healthy breakfast! In addition to their omega-3 content, hazelnuts are also packed with antioxidants that protect the body from oxidative stress that can contribute to hypertension. They contain high amounts of phenolic compounds, which help your heart stay healthy by reducing cholesterol and inflammation.
Hazelnut produces an excellent native food source that can be eaten raw or cooked. The nuts have a delicious, highly desirable flavor and can be used to make nut butter or gluten free flour. Hazelnuts are an excellent source of fiber, manganese, and copper. They also can help reduce the risk of heart disease. A medicinal poultice can be made from the bark and used to close cuts, treat tumors, old sores, and skin cancers.
Hazelnuts are usually a multi stemmed, tall, spreading shrub but they can be trained to grow like a small tree. They benefit from regular coppicing of the older stems to allow the plant to put more energy into the younger shoots. Hazelnuts should be harvested in the fall after they have ripened on the tree. If you want to get the nuts before the chipmunks, squirrels, and Stellar’s Jays, harvest them slightly under ripe and allow them to ripen off of the tree for a couple months in a cool dry place.
1 cup roasted hazelnuts
1/4 cup cocoa OR cacao powder
1/3 cup coconut sugar
1/3 cup milk of your choice (I used oat milk)
1 Tbsp maple syrup
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp Himalayan pink salt
This is quick and easy! After measuring your ingredients, everything can go into the food processor and be blended until you reach a mostly smooth consistency. You can blend for a shorter amount of time if you prefer "crunchy" nut butters, and a longer amount of time for a creamier end result.
ENJOY with a piece of bread, cracker, or just by the spoonful!