We Love Nutella!
This smooth, silky, buttery spread is a delight to have. It’s a joy to have on bread in the morning, together with fruit or as a topping on your smoothie bowl. However, there’s more than meets the eye when it comes to this delicious treat. This article will show you why Nutella is not as wonderful as you might expect, and how to create a healthier but just as tasty (or even tastier!) version at home.
Why Is Nutella Bad For Me?
Nutella is often advertised as a healthy, delicious spread to add to your breakfast. The company highlights the fact that they source their products sustainably, making sure only to use quality ingredients. However, there are some hidden truths that regular consumers should take note of.
Two tablespoons (37 grams) of Nutella contain (1):
- Calories: 200
- Fat: 12 grams
- Sugar: 21 grams
- Protein: 2 grams
- Calcium: 4% of the RDI
- Iron: 4% the RDI
Reason #1 High In Processed Sugar
Nutella may be a hazelnut and chocolate spread, but you may be surprised to find out that it is mostly comprised of sugar. Sugar is listed as the first ingredient on the label and about 57% of that jar of hazelnut spread is made of sugar. A 2-tablespoon (37-gram) serving contains 21 grams of sugar or about 5 teaspoons. Surprising, we know!
Excessive sugar intake is incredibly dangerous. Firstly, when one consumes sugar, it can give you an immediate burst of energy (a sugar high). This occurs when blood sugar levels are elevated. However, over time, the blood sugar levels begin to decline rapidly, this short-lived energy boost now gives way to feelings of anxiety and discomfort (a sugar crash). This effect can be especially severe in children, causing wild mood swings a child.
Over time, excessive sugar consumption can lead to extra insulin in the bloodstream, a substance that regulates sugar levels. However, over time, the insulin can cause the walls of arteries to become inflamed and grow thicker than normal. This stresses the heart and damages it over time. Sugar can eventually lead to serious health crises such as heart attacks, heart failure, and strokes. Research also suggests that eating less sugar can help lower blood pressure, a major risk factor for heart disease.
Reason #2 High In Fat And Calories
The recommended serving size for Nutella is only 2 tablespoons, yet it still contains a whopping 200 calories. Since Nutella is sweet and creamy, it may be hard for some people to stick to the serving size, making it easy to consume an excessive number of calories from Nutella. Eating one or two servings of it every day could lead to weight gain over time, especially for a child. The excessive amount of fat in Nutella can have serious health impacts. It can cause obesity and excessive weight gain in children and adults alike. Being overweight or obese increases the risk of many chronic diseases, including heart disease, diabetes, and certain cancers.
What Is A Healthier Alternative?
Still love this sweet treat, but want to have a healthier alternative? We have got your back. In fact, Nutella can be very easily made at home with just a few ingredients!
Homemade Hazelnut Chocolate Spread
- 2 cups raw hazelnuts (240g)
- 1 1/2 tbsp pure vanilla extract
- 1/4 cup cocoa powder
- 1/4 cup + 2 tbsp pure maple syrup, xylitol, or unrefined sugar
- pinch stevia, or 1 tbsp additional sugar
- 1/4 tsp + 1/8 tsp salt
- optional: 2 tsp oil for extra smoothness
- 1/2 cup milk of choice
- Roast hazelnuts for 6-8 minutes at 400 F. Rub them together in a paper towel to get the skins off. (It’s ok if a few stubborn skins won’t come off.)
- In a Vita-mix or food processor, blend the nuts until they’ve turned to butter, then add all other ingredients and blend until it’s smooth like Nutella! This can take anywhere from 2-10 minutes, depending on the strength of your blender.
Our thoughts on this recipe:
This recipe allows you to customize it to your preferences. You can make your spread smooth or chunkier, depending on how long you blend it. You can also make this a sugar-free Nutella by using sugar alternatives such as xylitol and stevia. Lastly, this recipe is also fully vegan! Hooray! What’s best is that this Nutella contains all the natural oils from the macadamia, has the rich flavour of cocoa, and contains only about half the calories of store-bought Nutella.
We hope you’ve enjoyed our deep-dive into the Nutella, a popular chocolate spread. We hope you give this recipe a try!