Feel great with this healthy Nutella
Is Nutella Healthy?
Finally a “breakfast” food I can pronounce all the ingredients! But wait… is it actually healthy and beneficial?
Based on their commercials, you think it would be a health food!
There may be some hidden problems in the simple ingredients, lets have a look!
Nutella Ingredients: sugar, palm oil, hazelnuts, cocoa, skimmed milk powder, whey powder, soy lecithin, and vanillin
So, simple my niece can pronounce them!
However, they’re extremely cheap and the products are contributing to deforestation, habitat destruction, water pollution, and human rights offenses.
A few red flags!
Sugar. The first ingredient is HIGHLY ADDICTIVE and a refined sugar.
Let’s look how much sugar is in there 11g per 19g serving (1 tbsp) or 58% of a serving is sugar. If you were to eat the whole small jar (375g), that would be 209g of sugar!
” Let’s see what Health Canada says excess consumption of sugars is a concern, as it can lead to tooth decay and excess calorie consumption. Excess calories lead to overweight and obesity.
Obesity is a risk factor for chronic diseases such as:
• type 2 diabetes
• some forms of cancer
• cardiovascular disease
Palm oil is an ingredient in many commercial foods, and most of the world’s supply is harvested in Southeast Asia and contributes to deforestation, habitat destruction, water pollution, and human rights offenses.
Nutella also contains non-organic “skimmed milk powder.” I don’t have too much of a problem if you want to use ethically sourced dairy – but chose the highest quality. Nutella doesn’t. Commercially sourced dairy comes from cows raised in terrible conditions and fed GMO grains and antibiotics.
On top of that, it is pasteurized and homogenized. By the time it becomes “milk powder,” it is also full of oxidized cholesterol, which is one of the most harmful types of cholesterol.
Soy is a controversial ingredient on its own, but unless it comes from an organic source, soy is a highly sprayed crop and is processed with hexane, a harsh solvent and byproduct of gasoline.
There are healthier alternatives from foods like sunflower seeds, which don’t carry the same problems.
Woo-hoo! A good ingredient! Be careful of the commercial pesticides sprayed on the hazelnuts, look for an organic version when possible.
Yay for chocolate! Who doesn’t love this stuff. There’s a difference between cocoa and cacao though.
That’s the extra processing that cocoa has undergone. It decreases the health benefits of said chocolate – antioxidants, boosts your mood and cognitive performance, heart protective, and lowers blood pressure.
Oh that’s vanilla, yum. Sort of yeah… Vanillin is a vanilla extract alternative made from wood pulp. It is commonly used to reduce production costs. And, unlike real vanilla extract which is produced from real vanilla beans, vanillin is synthetic and may be produced using petrochemicals and byproducts from the paper industry
Don’t get too frightened, vanillin isn’t one of the most toxic food additives you’ll find and in fact usually won’t trigger much more than a headache or allergic reaction in sensitive folks. Usually, switching from artificial vanilla extract to pure vanilla extract is all that is needed to avoid issues
We’re not against treats and desserts, we believe that there’s better options out there! It’s quick, simple, healthy, and tastes delicious (guilt free too).
A Healthy option
- 1 cup (125g) hazelnuts
- 4 tbsp raw cacao powder
- 4 tbsp milk (I used unsweetened almond milk, but any kind will work)
- 4 tbsp coconut oil, melted
- 4 tbsp maple syrup (or local honey)
- 1/2 tsp vanilla paste (or 1 tsp vanilla extract)
- pinch pink Himalayan salt
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (176 C) and add hazelnuts to a baking sheet in a single layer. If raw, roast for a total of 12-15 minutes. If already roasted, roast for 8-10 minutes just to warm the natural oils and loosen the skins. This will make it easier to blend into butter.
- Remove from oven and let cool slightly. Then start removing the skin by rubbing the hazelnuts between your fingers. Some patches may be stubborn so don’t worry if it doesn’t all come off but it will yield a creamier Nutella if you can
- Transfer all the ingredients into a high-powered blender or food processor. I’m using my Blendtec Classic which took me about a minute or so. If you’re using a food processor this may take slightly longer. Don’t forget to scrape down the sides to get it all mixed even!
- Taste and adjust seasonings as needed, adding more salt or vanilla if desired.
- If your Nutella isn’t sweet enough, add 1-2 Tbsp maple syrup or agave. NOTE: Just know the more liquid sweetener you add the firmer/stiffer the Nutella will get, so add sparingly.
- Transfer to a clean jar and store in fridge