For months I was roasting and skinning hazelnuts to keep a constant supply of Homemade Nutella in my house. Scarlett had become addicted to Peanut Butter-Nutella Sandwiches during our diet change. And who was I to stop such a beneficial love affair??
But to be quite honest, I got really sick and tired of the preparation process for skinned hazelnuts. Roasting and skinning, roasting and skinning, roasting and skinning… just about every 2 weeks like clock-work. If you’ve ever done the task yourself, I’m sure you know how tedious slash disastrously messy the whole thing is.
And I know that you can buy blanched hazelnuts online. But buying skinned hazelnuts at a local store was so much cheaper for me… and when your diet consists entirely of health food, you look where ever you can to save a little money. Even if it calls for some extra work.
So my solution? Chocolate ALMOND butter!!
You don’t need to skin the almonds. Just throw them in, turn on the food processor, and let them do their thing. Granted, almonds do take FOREVER to break down into butter… but at least I don’t have to peel the skin off of them and pick up all the debris.
And my daughter hasn’t said a word to me about the difference in taste. She is just as happy as she was before. And with a little extra time on my hands, I’m a little bit happier myself
To make Chocolate Almond Butter super simply, you can use the almonds, salt, and vanilla suggested in the recipe but instead of sugar and cacao powder, use non-dairy chocolate chips. Start with 1/2 cup and work up from there per your individual tastes. Of course, this would be a less natural way to go, but it is still an option.
*NOTE: I’ve tried and tried to make this work with natural sugar. The only sugar I have had any success with is coconut sugar (I’m sure sucanat or date sugar would work too). It does end up a tad granular, but the results are much better with unrefined granulated sugar than a natural liquid sugar. I have tried maple syrup and honey and the sticky nature of both completely ruin the consistency of the butter, in my opinion. It gets kind of gummy. If you want to go NATURAL then just use an unrefined granulated sugar- it will be less sweet though so feel free to use some stevia (if the taste doesn’t bother you) to help on that end. And if you have the time and want to go through with the effort, then process the sugar in a high-speed blender before hand and you will lose the granular texture.*
- 2 cups raw almonds (toasted, if desired)
- 2 tablespoons raw cacao powder (or plain cocoa powder)
- ⅓ cup organic confectioners' sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ¼ teaspoon fine grained sea salt
- 1 to 2 tablespoons coconut oil (or almond oil)*
- Place almonds in the bowl of a food processor and process into almond butter, scraping down the sides occasionally (about 15 minutes).
- Add the remaining ingredients and process until well combined. Sweeten additionally, if needed, with more confectioners' sugar or a few drops of liquid stevia.
- If mixture is too thick, loosen with 1 tablespoon oil. Use additional tablespoon oil if needed.
- Pour into an airtight container or jar. Store at room temperature for about 2 weeks or in the refrigerator 2 months.
**I find that roasted nuts break down into butter a lot easier and faster.