Homemade Nutella {Recipe ReDux}

It doesn’t have to be Valentine’s Day for me to want chocolate.

In fact, every day is a chocolate day. Just like I need coffee every morning, I enjoy a square of dark chocolate every night. It goes really well with the red wine that I drink every night, but that’s a different blog post. [insert red wine emoji here]

clean nutella

Even though Valentine’s Day has passed, that doesn’t mean I can’t be smitten with the ladies behind Recipe ReDux. They clearly know the way to my heart with this month’s theme — CHOCOLATE!

Favorite Chocolate Matches
Does your chocolate need a friend? This month’s posting will be after Valentine’s Day, so you may have a bit of extra chocolate around. What’s your favorite chocolate match? Be it traditional peanut butter or something more exotic like cayenne + chocolate. Show us your favorite healthy chocolate combo recipe.

I do love cinnamon + chocolate + cayenne à la Mexican Hot Chocolate and will gobble up pretty much anything with chocolate and peanut butter.

homemade nutella

But once Nutella comes into the picture, ALL BETS ARE OFF.

Nutella is like candy, though. In fact, the first — AKA main — ingredient in brand-name Nutella is sugar, then palm oil.

nutella_ingredients

No thanks.

I’ve been wanting to make my own Nutella using REAL ingredients, and this seemed like a sign from the gods that now was the time.

This Chocolate Hazelnut spread’s number one ingredient is………..

DSCN0707

HAZELNUTS! Then comes chocolate. Who would guess that the first two ingredients in a chocolate-hazelnut spread are hazelnuts and chocolate?

Well, now you can feel a little better about smothering this stuff on everything — or just eating straight, which is my preferred method of ingestion. This “Nutella” contains only 7 ingredients, is a clean recipe, contains only 2 Tbsp. of maple syrup as a sweetener and is super-chocolately thanks to 72% dark chocolate.

Homemade Nutella {paleo, gluten-free}

You’ll think that the hazelnut “powder” will never turn into a smooth, dreamy hazelnut butter, but have patience young grasshopper and stand and watch as it slowly becomes smoother and creamier.

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups hazelnuts
  • 3.5 oz. dark chocolate (70% or higher is best)
  • 1/2 cup coconut milk (the one in the carton, not the can)
  • 1/4 cup dutch cocoa powder
  • 2 Tbsp. virgin coconut oil
  • 2 Tbsp. maple syrup (or more if you want it a little sweeter)
  • 1/2 tsp. sea salt

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 375. Toast hazelnuts for 10-15 minutes, until they are fragrant and start to look toasty.
  2. Wet a large cloth and pour toasted hazelnuts on top of the cloth. Fold the cloth over and keep rubbing until most of the hazelnut skins have come off (don’t worry if you feel like there’s still a lot on — I did too and my Nutella still turned out super smooth and creamy)
  3. Add toasted, skinned hazelnuts to food processer and process for about 10 minutes, until “butter” forms.DSCN0709
  4. While hazelnut butter is forming, melt dark chocolate in the microwave.
  5. Add melted dark chocolate and remaining ingredients and process until well-blended.

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Enjoy with bananas, apple slices or straight out of the jar. I’m not a big bread-eater, but if that’s your thing, this would be delicious spread on toasted bread.

paleo nutella

For more chocolatey deliciousness, follow the link below.

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Spiced Beet, Apple and Sweet Potato Patties with Avocado Tandoori Sauce

Well, St. Patty’s Day has come and gone, but the Recipe ReDuxers are still in spirit with this month’s theme:

A Play on Patties : While St. Patty’s Day will be over by the time The Recipe ReDux rolls around this month, we’re celebrating the ‘patty’ all month long. We’ve seen images of stacked patties go crazy on food photo sharing sites like HealthyAperture.com; so stack ‘em up! Think healthy tuna burgers, potato patties, or veggie stacks.”

Patties, fritters, cakes, burgers…

Call them what you wish, but the bottom line is they’re delicious. Even when they’re not fried.

They are also really easy to pull together — I like to take whatever I have in my fridge/pantry, add an egg or two to bind it all together, and bake or pan-fry to finish it off.

This recipe was no exception.

beets_apples_sweetpotatoes

So what exactly is in that bowl? Well it started with shredded beets and green apples, and gradually evolved to also include sweet potatoes, fresh minced ginger and cinnamon. That’s it!

Top it with a creamy avocado tandoori sauce (literally, just mashed avocado and tandoori) — and voila! One seriously delicious patty! This recipe is also chock-full of nutrients: potassium, vitamin C, fiber and “good” fasts from the avocado, to name a few. Plus, the spices pack a major antioxidant punch.

Clean eating at its finest!

avocado tandoori

And while the finished product isn’t the most beautiful, I promise you, it was ridiculously, insanely yummy. I will definitely be eating a patty topped with a fried egg tomorrow for breakfast. I’m giddy just thinking about how tasty it will be!

beet_cake_avocado_tandoori

Recipe: Beet, Apple and Sweet Potato Patties with Avocado Tandoori Sauce

I started with just one egg, but two will help bind it slightly better. Be sure to squeeze the liquid out when forming the patties. And if you happen to drink the extra beet-apple-ginger-cinnamon sweet nectar liquid, you will be one happy camper.

Ingredients:

For patties:

  • 2 medium beets, peeled
  • 2 large organic green apples (unpeeled)

apples_beets

  • 1 small knob fresh ginger (about the size of two thumbs)
  • 1 sweet potato, preferably organic
  • 1 Tbsp cinnamon (or less if you’re not a cinnamon fiend like me)
  • 2 eggs

For avocado tandoori sauce:

  • 1 large ripe avocado, peeled and mashed
  • 3/4 tsp tandoori seasoning

Directions:

Preheat oven to 375.

Poke holes in the sweet potato. Microwave for 4-6 minutes, until very soft.

Using a box grater or food processor, shred beets, apples and ginger. Add all of it to a bowl. (Note: the beets will have dyed your hands a lovely shade of pink by now)

Beet Hands!

Beet Hands!

Pull peel off of the cooked sweet potato (should be very easy — otherwise cook it a little longer) and add sweet potato flesh to the bowl with the apple, beets and ginger. Add cinnamon and eggs. Combine ingredients well.

Line a large baking sheet with aluminum foil. Using your hands, form the beet mixture into patties. Be sure to squeeze any extra liquid out of the patties before placing on the baking sheet.

Seriously -- don't these look like beef burgers?!

Seriously — don’t these look like beef burgers?!

Bake for about 45 minutes, until top and sides are crisp.

While the patties are baking, make the avocado sauce. Mash avocado in a small bowl and add tandoori spice. Stir until well combined.

Let patties cool and serve with a dollop of the avocado sauce.

Beet_burger

See what other delicious patties Recipe ReDuxers came up with by clicking on the link below!

Cranberries, Sans the Sugar

Cranberries, that beautiful reddish-pink fruit that packs quite the punch of tartness, isn’t just for Thanksgiving. While most of us think of cranberry sauce with our turkey (and for me, with my sweet potatoes, salad, stuffing and basically every other dish at Thanksgiving – I really love cranberries), there is so much more to this fruit!

 

cranberries

A good source of vitamin C and fiber, cranberries will fill you up and provide antioxidants for very few calories. Plus, compared to other fruit, cranberries are quite lo-cal (25 calories per 1/2 cup fresh cranberries). Their tartness makes a great addition to salads, chicken and fish dishes and really anything that needs a little hint of sour.

My one issue with cranberries is that whenever you buy them dried at the store, they inevitably have sugar added to them to mask some of their tartness. Why do they need to sweeten them?!?! ARGH.

I decided that I would beat the system by drying them myself – sans sugar. I looked up recipes which mostly called for sugar or other sweetener. Argh again – no added sweetener, please! I would have to take matters into my own hands. I must say, though I wish everything I attempted in the kitchen came out perfectly in little to no time, this is not always the case. Enter, cranberries. While I did end up with pretty delicious (and still tart thanks to no sugar) dried cranberries, the process took me several days. In theory, it should take 6-10 hours to make dried cranberries (not three days as was the case for me). My issue was that I was never home/awake for that long of a span of time to keep the oven on. So I kept turning it on for a couple hours, then turning it off and letting the cranberries sit in the oven, then repeating this process. Assuming you have a day that you will be home or you can take shifts with your family/housemates, making your own dried cranberries is completely feasible. Here is how it’s [supposed to be] done:

Dried Cranberries:

Drop fresh cranberries into a pot of boiling water for several minutes, until the skin pops. Drain the cranberries in a colander and pat dry. Place on parchment paper and paper towels in an over at its lowest setting (mine was 170 degrees). Let them chill in the low-heat oven for 6-10 hours until they’ve reached the desired dryness.

I sprinkled mine with cinnamon to make them a little more festive and used them in oatmeal, in salads, with quinoa and veggies, on my green bean leftovers from Thanksgiving, and the list goes on.

Here are some other ideas and recipes for cranberries:

Fresh Cranberry Relish (uses only 1 tsp sugar plus lots of yummy fruit): enjoy this over chicken, whole grains or with pork tenderloin.

Cranberry, Almond and Cinnamon Tart from Martha Stewart. Definitely a treat – not an everyday thing – but damn, that looks delicious.

Cranberry-Avocado Salsa

Chicken with Cranberry Sauce

What’s your favorite way to enjoy cranberries?