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Not Nutella

When I was in college, I had the luxury of an overabundance of food points. Lucky for me, there was a small grocery store on campus where I could poke around and use those food points to try items I had never tasted before. It was through those periodic shopping sprees that I discovered the wonders of Annie’s mac ‘n cheese, seasonal Clif bars, and, most pertinent to this post, Nutella.

So chocolate-y, so silky, so delicious…no wonder Giada likes it so much! However, Nutella is not the health food that the commercials make it out to be—there are a few nutritional disadvantages to this spread. So I’ve found a few similar products that might satisfy my need for chocolate in a slightly more healthful way.

Nutella

First, let’s take a closer look at the original so that we can have a basis for comparison.

PROS

CONS

  • Delightful chocolate-hazelnut flavor
  • Easily spreadable and very creamy
  • Relatively affordable at approximately $3.50 per 13 ounces
  • Versatile ingredient for desserts
  • 21 grams of sugar per 2 tablespoons. sugar is the first ingredient listed!
  • 3.5 grams of saturated fat per 2 tablespoons—almost 20% of your daily needs. due to the addition of highly saturated palm oil
  • Full nutrition (or lack thereof) available here.

Sure, it’s tasty and makes pretty much any food infinitely better, but those nutritional cons are big ones. According to my calculations, Nutella consists of 57% sugar—yikes! The sky-high sugar content combined with the considerable saturated fat make it a treat best saved for special occasions.

I.M. Healthy Chocolate Soynut Butter

A few weeks ago, I received single-serving samples of this product from the company. Let’s see how it measures up to the original chocolate spread.

PROS

CONS

  • Pleasant chocolate flavor without any soybean-y aftertaste
  • Peanut-free, making it appropriate for schools that have a no-peanut product policy
  • 8 grams of sugar per serving, compared to Nutella’s 21 grams
  • 3 grams of fiber per serving
  • A tad pricey. It cost $5.99 at my local Whole Foods.
  • Not widely available in grocery stores. I checked three stores before finding it.
  • May not be appropriate for all with food allergies, as peanut allergy can be comorbid with soy allergy in young children. this affects a small percentage of the population, but still worth noting.

To be honest, the real fan of this product in my household is Seth. He sniped one of my samples a few weeks ago and loved it! It’s a little expensive though, and I have quite an oversized nut butter collection as it is.

Homemade Nutella

A few months ago, I noticed a recipe on Katie’s blog for homemade Nutella. As a chocolate-loving food processor enthusiast, I couldn’t wait to try it!

PROS

CONS

  • A mere 5 grams of sugar per 2-tablespoons
  • Just 115 Calories per serving, compared to approximately 200
  • Fun to make!
  • Slightly chunky texture. I couldn’t achieve the silky smooth texture of regular Nutella. It has more of a mousse-like quality than a spread.
  • This version was the most expensive. All the ingredients cost $9.50 to make a (scant) 2-cup batch.

This homemade version is pretty amazing—I would describe the flavor as something like brownie batter. Maybe my food processor is sub-par, but I couldn’t get the lovely silky texture pictured in Katie’s post. Nonetheless, it made for some tasty eats.

IMG_1795 IMG_1801

Are you a fan of Nutella? Have you ever tried a chocolate-flavored nut butter?

9 Responses to “Not Nutella”

  1. Such a great, informative post! So many misconceptions about Nutella. I’d love to make my own with this recipe, if only hazelnuts weren’t so expensive :(

    BroccoliHut Reply:

    I agree on the hazelnuts–they were a whopping $10.99/lb in the bulk section at Whole Foods!

  2. I always love your posts, Caroline. It’s obvious you have a wealth of information, but you always manage to convey it in an organized, easy-to-follow way :).

    As for the food processor thing, maybe try blending longer? I do have a strong food processor, but even still I blended mine a LONG time.

    I’ve never tried the soynut butter. I think I need to!

  3. Yum! I couldn’t agree more with Katie. Love how you presented all three of these and the homemade version looks amazing even if it wasn’t the exact texture you wanted! I kind of go back and forth on Nutella but wonder how the others taste compared to my Dark Chocolate Dreams obsession from PB & Co. (which I haven’t had in far too long). Is it just the same chocolate goodness but a little nuttier?

    BroccoliHut Reply:

    That’s a great way of describing Nutella–mostly sweet and chocolate-y with very subtle nut flavor. The soynut butter version is probably in between Nutella and Dark Chocolate Dreams in terms of nuttiness…if that makes any sense!

  4. Nice to see this post. I’ve been annoyed by the commercials for Nutella advertising it as practically a health food. I used to love it when I was a kid but my mother doled it out as a treat, not a staple. As an adult I avoid it because of the high sugar, saturated fat and calorie count. Sure, it’s delicious but so is peanut butter and chocolate and all the other foods I love and crave and save for special treats.

  5. That commercial drives me CRAZY!!! As does the Special K diet commercials.

  6. I’ve tried nutella before and loved it, but I can’t have it anymore because of the milk in it. I really need to try making some of it myself as a treat. :)

    BroccoliHut Reply:

    I never thought of that aspect on Nutella–it’s not dairy-free like most nut butters. Making it yourself does indeed let you use whatever kind of non-dairy milk you prefer!

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