People who know me well know I am not really one for the Polly Anna, motivational, “you can do it!” style posts and emails that tend to circulate this time of year. Although I think embracing new challenges and opportunities to change your life (and, of course, your health) for the better are wonderful; I just don’t think New Year’s resolutions work (mainly because I think it focuses on making huge and impossible to maintain commitments instead of small, daily ones that are actually manageable over a lifetime!). However, I did love one line from an email one of my best friends sent me, which was: “start the year the way you want to finish it”. This could be because I started my year by laying on the couch for a whole day watching a Harry Potter marathon and eating Thai soup with my husband (something I will happily do again in 12 months!), but I think I just also love the simplicity of it. I started my year feeling happy, comfortable, full and loved – and if that’s the way I finish the year then I am truly in the right place in life!
My husband also started the New Year happy – mainly because he had a spoon in a jar of my latest creation – Homemade Nutella! Each year he would get a HUGE jar of store bought Nutella at Christmas. He would then proceed to eat the entire thing (with a spoon) over the course of the next month – carefully avoiding the sides of the jar so it still looked full when I opened the cupboard and saw it (full disclosure: I hate Nutella so there was never the risk of my opening the jar and seeing just how much damage was being done). Then one day the jar would vanish, letting me know my husband had eaten it all (and the timeline it took him to do it in). This year there was no jar of Nutella on its way, so I took it upon myself to keep up the tradition TNB styles and make a sugar-free, all natural version for his stocking that would rival that crap from Costco. And oh did I succeed!
To steal a line from Nutella’s website: “happiness is a recipe away” (so is diabetes). My version tastes exactly like real Nutella, but without all the sugar and other chemicals that make it completely unsuitable for human consumption (especially as a children’s breakfast despite what the commercials would have you believe). Plus, it’s actually super easy to make (except the part where you have to peel off the skins of your roasted Hazelnuts, which I painstakingly did while slowly dying from the stomach flu because the nutella had to be fresh for the next day’s stocking exchange…God, I am a good wife). It’s also paleo, meaning it’s grain-free , soy-free and dairy-free. And of course it’s rich and spreadable and perfect for eating on toast, fruit, or, of course, a spoon (which I am told is the only respectable option).
So Happy New Year to all you Nutella lovers! Because no one should have to give up chocolate as a New Year’s resolution…
The Natural Blonde
- 1 cup hazelnuts
- ¼ cup dairy-free milk (I used cashew)
- ⅓ cup coconut nectar
- 1 Tbsp. coconut oil, melted
- ¼ cup raw cacao powder
- 1 Tbsp. all natural vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 180ºC / 350ºF.
First, roast the hazelnuts for 8-10 minutes or until browned. Remove from the oven and allow to cool for a few minutes before rubbing most of the skins off – they can be a bit bitter (don’t worry – they tend to slide right off and you don’t have to be too precise).
Next, place the nuts in a food processor and blend until smooth. When nuts are completely smooth, add the remaining ingredients and process until well mixed. Transfer to a glass jar and store in the fridge for up to 3 weeks. Enjoy!