healthy substitutes for nutella
Nutella lovers find that there is no better chocolate spread than the original nutella. They eat it for breakfast and spread it over many other foods. Nutella is marketed as a great breakfast solution for kids and adults. But there are several reasons why nutella should not be your number one breakfast choice. The thing is that many would agree with that, but they still would not renounce the nutella taste. And to be fair it does taste great. But there is a way to get great nutrition and taste out of your favorite chocolate spread. Look out for these healthy alternatives to nutella.

Hard working internet foodies researched the idea of a healthy nutella substitute. The results are amazing. There are several great tasting recipes out there that are superior to nutella. Both in taste and nutrition. So I challenge the greatest skeptics out there to try one of these recipes and tell us what they think. Here’s a list of healthy alternatives to nutella. But first, take a quick glance at why nutella is not the best choice especially for breakfast.

Why you should look out for nutella substitutes

nutella breakfast

Ferrero sells nutella as a hazelnut spread with cocoa. But these ingredients are not the main ingredients. They are only present in a small amount. In fact, according to Italian regulation, the concentration of chocolate solids in nutella is too low to call it a chocolate spread at all. So what’s the main ingredient then? Sugar and palm oil. These two ingredients make up more than 70% of the product. The other ingredients are hazelnuts (about 13%), skimmed milk powder (8,7%), cocoa (7,4%), soy lecithin, and vanillin. It seems that Ferrero has changed the recipe in 2017, increasing the sugar and skim milk content.

Nutritional breakdown of nutella

In fact, the suggested serving size of nutella is two tablespoons. These two tablespoons (37 g) of nutella contain:

  • 200 kcal
  • 11 g of fat, including 3.5 g of saturated fat
  • 21 g of sugar
  • 3 g of protein
  • 1 g of fiber
If you look at these numbers it’s quite clear why nutella isn’t a good breakfast choice. In fact, you could look at it as a sweet treat like chocolate, and a bad one that is. Most of the calories come from hydrogenated palm oil and sugar. Palm oil is a vegetable oil that goes through extensive processing. That’s why it contains significant amounts of chemical residues. It’s the cheapest vegetable oil out there but also one of the worst choices for your health.
Sugar content in nutella hazlenut spread

The American Heart Association (AHA) recommends limiting the amount of added sugarsFor women and children no more than 6 teaspoons (25 g) of sugar per day and about 9 teaspoons (36 g) per day for men. Only one serving of nutella (2 tbsp) contains 5 teaspoons of sugar! That means you shouldn’t eat any added sugar after consuming a nutella breakfast for the rest of the day. But it’s unlikely that you’re going to be completely sugar-free during the rest of the day. And face it most of the people eating nutella don’t stop at two tablespoons.  So a nutella breakfast paves your way for an almost certain sugar overload. As you know added sugar contributes to zero nutrients. But leads to obesity and metabolic syndrome in the long run.

The verdict on nutella

Out of these  reasons nutella isn’t a healthy breakfast or treat even. The only wholesome ingredients in the nutella jar are hazelnuts and cocoa powder. But these two ingredients make up only 20% of the product. So why should you be satisfied with 20% nutrition in a jar when you can flip this percentage up to 100%. Taste is not an excuse and even time is not an issue with the recipes listed below.

15 Homemade healthy alternatives to nutella

Hazelnuts for homemade nutella

Most of these recipes use hazelnuts and cocoa as their main ingredients. They sweeten the hazelnut spread with different sweeteners including maple syrup, honey, stevia, xylitol, … You could argue that these products are not the healthiest substitutes for sugar. But the fact is that compared to store bought nutella these recipes contain much less sugar. The fat content although high comes mostly from hazelnuts, being the main ingredient. And even if there’s added oil it’s not hydrogenated vegetable oil. But don’t forget that even these healthy alternatives to nutella contain lots of calories. You should enjoy them as healthy sweet treats.

The taste in these homemade versions is more hazelnutty than in nutella. Ferrero’s main marketing strategy is the claim that nutella is full of hazelnuts. But still, the taste is more chocolaty. That’s because nutella contains only about 13% of hazelnuts in a jar. If you would like more of a chocolate taste try recipes that use chocolate chips instead of cocoa powder.

How to make your own nutella

  1. Healthy Nutella from chocolatecoveredkatie.com
    This recipe calls for hazelnuts, cocoa, milk and maple syrup as main ingredients. As Katie suggests you can use xylitol for a sugar-free version.
  2. 4 ingredient vegan Nutella from minimalistbaker.com

    This super easy recipe uses hazelnuts and dairy-free dark chocolate as main ingredients. It sweetens the spread with maple syrup or agave for a vegan version. 2 tbsp contain about 9 g of fat and 2.2 g of sugar.
  3. Homemade healthy Nutella by savorylotus.com
    The yummy looking chocolate spread contains hazelnuts, cocoa powder, and coconut milk. The coconut milk gives it extra creaminess and smoothness. This recipe uses maple syrup to sweeten.
  4. Hazelnutty cocoa spread from superhealthykids.com
    Hazelnuts, honey, cocoa and coconut oil are the main ingredients here. Amy from superhealthykids.com states one serving has about 5 g of sugar compared to 21 g in nutella.
  5. Nutritious Nutella by deliciouslyella.com vegan, sugar-free
    This recipe for creamy nutella calls only for three simple ingredients. Hazelnuts, maple syrup, and cocoa powder are the base of this very simple recipe. 
  6. Healthy homemade Nutella by livinghealthywithchocolate.com
    Adriana from livinghealthywithchocolate.com used both dark chocolate and cocoa powder for an extra chocolate taste. This recipe uses raw honey as a sweetener and ads coconut oil and non-dairy milk for extra creaminess.
  7. Nutella recipe by wellnessmama.com
    The author sticks to sugar as a sweetener but uses much less than in the store-bought version.
  8. Homemade Nutella by detoxinista.com
    This recipe is for all coconut lovers out there. Besides the hazelnuts, it uses coconut sugar and coconut oil as main ingredients.
  9. 3 ingredient homemade Nutella by fablunch.com
    You can find three versions of the hazelnut spread here. Nutella with maple syrup, with dates and with coconut sugar. My personal favorite is the one sweetened with dates. They bring a rich sweet taste and a lot of nutrition to the table.
  10. Quick homemade Nutella by realfoodkosher.com
    Although homemade nutella doesn’t take a lot of time to make this recipe has made it even quicker. Instead of making hazelnut butter from scratch Lia from realfoodkosher.com uses store-bought hazelnut butter. Use a good brand of hazelnut butter and you should have your homemade nutella ready in just a few minutes.
  11. Homemade Nutella by the coconutmama.com
    The Coconut Mama Tiffany says this recipe is not quite like real nutella. But it’s a tasty alternative to classic nutella with wholesome ingredients. She uses hazelnuts, cocoa, coconut oil, maple syrup and coconut milk. So again something for the coconut lovers.
  12. Healthy homemade Nutella by nadiashealthykitchen.com
    A version of homemade nutella that uses liquid sweeteners like maple syrup, honey, …
  13. Homemade healthier Nutella by greenkitchenstories.com
    Here’s a different version of the spread with dates used to sweeten. Cocoa butter gives it a nice melting feeling in the mouth.

Homemade nutella without hazelnuts

  1. Nut free healthy Nutella by mykidslickthebowl.com
    For all who have a nut allergy here’s a nut free version. Using sunflower seed butter and maple syrup with cocoa and vegetable oil.

Homemade nutella without sugar

  1. Sugar-free homemade Nutella from sugarfreemom.com (dairy-free, low-carb)
    Hazelnuts, coconut oil, and cocoa-powder are used to achieve a creamy texture. The sweetener used is liquid hazelnut stevia which makes this recipe sugar-free. There’s about 85 kcal in 2 tbsp and about 8 g of fat and 2 g of carbs.

The only thing left now is for you to decide which one of these recipes is going to be your front-runner for your first homemade nutella tryout. You could even think of ways to make the whole process even quicker by buying nut or seed butter. That way the only thing left is to mix in the cocoa and sweetener.

Even if you don’t want to try any of these recipes consider flipping your jar of nutella for peanut butter. It’s as convenient but much more nutritious.
Photo credit: Breakfast by Danielle Tsi, Breakfast by Danielle Tsi, Skinning hazelnuts