Nuts are delicious, filling and nutritious and that is why all kinds of nuts are an excellent option for a great nutrient-rich snack that you can incorporate into your diet. Hazelnuts are particularly beneficial because they are considered to have brain-boosting abilities, which can help you stay focused during longer periods of time. This is why hazelnuts are especially recommended for students during exam season. Another major health benefit of the hazelnut is based on the vitamins and minerals it contains that promote a healthy heart. Aside from being a great source of fibre, they contain a large amount of monounsaturated fatty acids, which reduces the bad cholesterol (LDL) and increases the good cholesterol (HDL) in the body. This makes hazelnuts a promising combatant in the fight against heart disease. You can include hazelnuts in your diet in many different ways. They can be enjoyed raw, roasted, in a paste form or as an ingredient in several healthy dishes. Here we give you a way to enjoy them in a healthy homemade nutty spread. Hazelnuts are commonly used in branded chocolate and nut spreads, which are delicious but not so healthy because of the many added sugars and preservatives. So if you want a healthier, completely homemade alternative to these nutty pastes or chocolate spreads, follow the recipe below and enjoy a delicious and guilt-free version.
- 2 Cup Roasted Hazelnuts
- 2 Tbsp Cacao Powder
- 1-2 Tbsp Honey or Maple Syrup
- 1 Tsp Vanilla Extract
- Pinch of Salt
Preheat oven to 250 degrees. Roast hazelnuts on a baking sheet for 8-10 min to get the natural oils heated and make it easier to blend. Peel off most of the hazelnut skins, which will make a creamier Nutella. (If your hazelnuts are without the skin, you can skip this step) Add hazelnuts to a food processor or blender. Blend until a creamy butter is formed. This may take 8-10 minutes depending on how powerful your blender is. Add in cacao powder, vanilla extract, honey and salt and blend until combined. You may need to add more sweetener (honey or maple syrup) depending on how sweet you like it. Pour into a jar and enjoy.
by Aysenur Tuba Gögenur
Image: 123rf.com [ ALFREDO COSENTINO]