Chocolate Hazelnut Butter

by Amelia Kirchoff, GoMacro Co-Founder — December 19, 2016

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Nuts and seeds are an important component of a plant based vegan diet and one of the nuts that we grow on the GoMacro farm is the American Hazelnut (Corylus Americana). We grow it because it reduces soil erosion, sequesters carbon and is a great wildlife habitat loved by squirrels, woodpeckers, turkey and grouse as well as many insects. In fact the American Hazelnut is a host plant to the caterpillar of the beautiful Luna Moth.

Although smaller than the popular Turkish hazelnut it has an excellent taste and ongoing research will perhaps make the US more competitive. It is also an important source of mono-unsaturated heart-friendly fatty acids as well as many vitamins and minerals.

When I think of Hazelnuts I think of Nutella – Europe’s and probably the world’s favorite spread. It is easy to make your own delicious version. It is not only healthier but also gluten free and vegan.

Ingredients

  • 3 cups hazelnuts
  • 4 oz dark chocolate, chopped
  • 4 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • A sprinkle of sea salt
  • Coconut oil, as needed

Directions

1. In a high powered blender or food processor blend hazelnuts until smooth. Add coconut oil as needed. Melt the chocolate and add it to the hazelnuts with the maple syrup and salt. Blend until creamy.
2. Many recipes call for toasting and removing the skins of hazelnuts. I decided to leave them on and to make the more nutritious raw hazelnut butter and I was very happy with the result. I used a Vitamix and found that I had to add about 2 tablespoons of melted coconut oil. You can, of course, also use a food processor or a standard blender but it will take a little more time.