Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Low Carb Nutella

Nutella is extremely popular in Europe, but has many fans in the USA, too. There are a few low carb Nutella clones available for purchase. All the ones that I’ve tried were terrible. I know I can do better.

I’ve seen recipes for making homemade Nutella, but they don’t seem to match the ingredients on the label. Most involve melting bittersweet chocolate into a freshly ground hazelnut butter. However, real Nutella is made with hazelnuts, sugar, cocoa, milk powder, palm oil, and vanillin. (I’m not a multi-national corporation attempting to squeeze every last dime from my customers, so I’ll stick with real vanilla.) Nutella is best when it’s room temperature, so the use of highly a saturated fat like palm oil and milk powder instead of regular dairy allows this to be stored at room temperature without spoiling. My goal for this recipe is to try to make it as authentic as possible while keeping it low carb. The irony of attempting to make a low carb conversion of a product that I’ve never tasted is not lost on me. The recipe I’m presenting is based on what seems to work. If it needs to be tweaked, please let me know.

I hate working with hazelnuts. I’ve tried it many times and it sucks. Those damn skins taste awful and it’s way too difficult to separate them from the nut. The most effective method that I tried was by boiling the raw hazelnuts. The skins came off easily, but the resulting soup of hazelnuts and skins was a disaster. Straining out the water and then disentangling the hazelnuts from the soggy skins that stick to everything including your hands... Ugh! Never again. When something is that annoying, I’d rather farm out the job to someone else who can do it easier or cheaper. I tried looking for roasted blanched hazelnuts, but that’s not easy or inexpensive. Hazelnut butter is surprisingly hard to find, but I found it on Amazon. I bought two pounds of Fastachi Roasted Hazelnut Butter and I wasn’t disappointed.

“Regular” dark chocolate is a mix of cocoa and cocoa butter. Different kinds of fats can be combined with cocoa for a different flavor, texture and mouthfeel. For example, butter and cocoa can be combined to make a chocolate buttercream frosting. Coconut oil and cocoa is what’s used to make “magic shell” ice cream topping. I also used that combination when making the outer coating to my low carb peanut butter eggs. Palm oil isn’t very common in the USA, but I know of a source. Spectrum Organic Shortening is something I’ve used in the past to make low carb icings and it should work nicely in this recipe, too. Powdered erythritol and EZ-Sweetz will be used in place of sugar. I suspect dutch process cocoa would be closer to the original, but I’m sticking with my tried and true Ghirardelli Chocolate Unsweetened Cocoa. LC Foods Milk Powder will give this a milk chocolate rather than dark chocolate flavor. If you don’t mind storing your homemade Nutella in the refrigerator, a tablespoon or two of heavy cream should work just as well.


½ cup (96 g) Spectrum Organic Shortening
½ cup (50 g) Ghirardelli Chocolate Unsweetened Cocoa or Valrhona 100% Pure Cocoa Powder
1 tablespoon LC Foods Milk Powder
28 drops EZ-Sweetz
½ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup (100 g) powdered erythritol
1 cup (256 g) Fastachi Roasted Hazelnut Butter


  1. Add the shortening to a 4 cup Pyrex measuring cup and heat in the microwave (approximately 1½ minutes) until it’s completely melted and hot.

    Melted palm oil.

  2. Mix in the cocoa on low. Integrate all of the cocoa into the oil.

    Cocoa powder mixed in palm oil.

  3. Add the EZ-Sweetz, salt, milk powder, and vanilla. Mix well using an electric hand mixer. Add the powdered erythritol and mix on low. Use a silicone spatula to scrape the sides and bottom to ensure all the powder gets integrated. Gradually increase the speed of the mixer.

    Chocolate frosting.

  4. Add the hazelnut butter and mix on low until integrated.
Low carb Nutella.

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