Wednesday, August 22, 2012
When you look at the ingredients portion of Nutella, the second ingredient is palm oil. Palm oil is controversial as it is produced on farms in tropical climates. To create these farms, forests need to be cut down, impacting the local people and native species (some are endangered). There is a movement for sustainable palm oil, but in the meantime how can I get Nutella back in my cupboard?*
During my vacation in Italy, my friend, Emilie, made her own Nutella. Here is one variation I found online from David Lebolvitz if you would like to try it yourself (Emilie's contained Chestnut paste though rather than roasted nuts and only dark chocolate. Be creative!). I would love to hear from a dietitian on whether this version is healthier than the original (in nutritional content, not environmental impact).
If you are really Nutella-crazy, The Huffington Post has 5 different Nutella variations you can try.
1/3 cup (40g) whole almonds
1 1/3 cup (160g) hazelnuts
1 3/4 cup (400g) whole milk (see Notes)
7/8 cup (60g) powdered whole milk
3 tablespoons (40g) mild-flavored honey
pinch of salt
6 ounces (170g) bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, chopped
5 ounces (140g) milk chocolate, chopped (use one that’s at least 30% cacao solids)
1. Spread the nuts on a baking sheet, keeping the almonds separate, and toast the nuts in a 350ºF (180ºC) oven, stirring a few times, for 10 to 15 minutes, until the hazelnuts are browned.
2. While they are roasting, warm the whole milk and powdered milk in a small saucepan with the honey and salt just until it starts to boil. Remove from heat.
3. In a clean, dry bowl set over a pan of barely simmering water, or in a microwave oven, melt the chocolates together until smooth.
4. Once the nuts are well-toasted, remove them from oven and use a spatula to place the warm hazelnuts in a clean tea towel, then fold them inside the towel and rub them vigorously to remove any loose skins. They don’t need to be pristine; just try to get as much off as possible.
5. In a food processor, grind the warm hazelnuts and almonds until they’re as fine as possible. You may not be able to get them completely smooth, depending on your food processor. (I have a brand new one and even after five minutes, there were little bits of nuts in mine, which is normal.)
6. Add the melted chocolate and continue to process the mixture, stopping to scrape down the sides of the work bowl, as necessary.
7. Once the mixture is smooth, add the warm milk mixture and process until everything is well-combined. (The original instructions here said to strain the paste, which I didn’t do because I don’t mind the little bits of toasted nuts, but you can.)
9. Transfer the mixture into two jars and refrigerate until ready to use.
Storage: The Chocolate-Hazelnut Paste will keep in the refrigerator for up to one week.
* Yes, I realize Nutella isn't really that good for you even though it has hazelnuts in it. But it is yummy on toast and crepes.