raw cacao

Chocolate Hazelnut Spread

Chocolate Hazelnut Spread.jpg

Do you dream of eating chocolate hazelnut goodness from the jar too? I love the stuff. I remember walking in the streets of Paris, smelling the aroma of la crêpe and falling victim to needing one smothered in Nutella. Yes, the warmth of the crepe melting the Nutella so that it becomes saucy like and starts to drips down your fingers as you're walking down the street. Such sweet sweet memories. (pun not intended.)

Soo, I came up with a version that I can enjoy today. One that satisfies my cravings and the nostalgia of being in Paris with chocolate goodness oozing down my fingers.

One of my favourite parts of the recipe is raw cacao. This is chocolate in its purest, unprocessed form. All the benefits of chocolate you hear about, are referring to this stuff. The typical chocolate bar isn't at all comparable. It's not even in the same league. The amount of refining, heat, dairy, sugar and bad fats that are added, strip alll the goodness away.  

Raw cacao is health building for many reasons. It has mood enhancing chemicals like phenylethylamine, tryptophan and serotonin. These help fight depression, keeping us happy with a positive outlook on life. It has the same endorphins that are produced after we exercise, leaving us feeling blissful.  

It's loaded with antioxidants. More antioxidants than blueberries, red wine or green tea. It's one of the most antioxidant rich foods out there. Antioxidants neutralize the free radical damage to our tissues, cells and DNA . This slows down the aging process.

It's also a great source of magnesium. Magnesium is like the anti-stress mineral. It's crucial for many functions including heart health, relaxing our muscles, including those in our blood vessels and digestive tract. It also reduces cramping - of all sorts. Soo, if you find you're craving chocolate at that time of the month and suffering from cramps, try raw cacao.

Keep in mind - studies show that antioxidants in raw cacao are difficult to absorb when dairy is added. Please try this recipe using a non-dairy milk to get the most benefit from all of this goodness.

I hope this recipe comes together easily for you. I've made this many times. I do a slightly more sweet version and a version with the slightest savoury finish. The slightly savoury version is the one I keep sneaking extra spoonfuls of. So this is the version I share with you today. I hope you like it as much as I do. 

And, I'm teasing you with the crepe in the photos, right?! I really enjoy my crepe recipe. It has a texture worthy of a high five and a taste that's pretty spot on. I need to try it out a few more times and make a few more variations to see which one comes out best. Once the verdict is in, then I'll share. :)

In the comments below, let me know your favourite way to enjoy this healthy treat. 

Chocolate Hazelnut Spread

Makes about 1 1/2 cups

1 cup hazelnuts

1/4 cup coconut sugar

1/4 cup raw cacao powder

1/2 cup milk (I chose cashew milk)

1/4 cup avocado, lightly packed

1 tsp. vanilla

1/2 tsp. Himalyan salt

2 Tbsp. water 

How to:

  • Preheat oven to 350F. 
  • Spread hazelnuts onto a baking sheet. Roast for about 8 minutes or until fragrant.
  • Place hazelnuts in a clean kitchen towel, gently rubbing off the skins.
  • Add hazelnuts to high powered blender. Pulse a few times, breaking down the nuts into a meal.
  • Add in all other ingredients. Blend, scraping down sides as needed.
  • Transfer to a glass jar. Refrigerate for a few hours.
  • Enjoy with your favourite afternoon snack.

Will keep in the fridge for about 4 days.