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Homemade Chocolate Nut Spread

Store-bought chocolate and hazelnut spread can contain far too much sugar, hydrogenated oils and other fillers that aren’t healthy for anyone, let alone growing kids. So we’re thankful that Denise Woodward from Chez Us created this delicious version to satisfy that chocolate craving in a healthier way. Spread on toast, use as a dip with fruits, or dollop a little in yogurt for a snack. For an adult treat, you can spread it on a crusty baguette and drizzle it with a touch of good olive oil and flaky salt. Cacao nibs can be found online or at your local health food store.

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Makes about 10 ounces

Ingredients

2 1/2 cups raw hazelnuts with skins

1/2 cup cacao nibs

4 tablespoons unrefined sugar

2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder

2 teaspoons roasted hazelnut oil

3/4 to 1 teaspoon sea salt

Directions

1. Heat oven to 350 degrees. Scatter the hazelnuts on a cookie sheet. Bake for 15 minutes; stir halfway through. The nuts will get very toasty, and the skins will blister. Once the nuts are finished baking, remove them from the oven, and let set for 10 minutes. Spread the nuts onto a cloth towel and roughly rub them back and forth to remove the skins. Continue to do so until most of the skins are removed. Some will be challenging, and that is OK since they add a nice texture to the finished recipe. Put the nuts into a bowl and toss out the skins. Let the nuts cool.

2. Process the nuts and cacao nibs in a food processor, scraping down the sides occasionally, until the mixture is a very fine meal, about 5 minutes. After awhile, the mixture will form a ball around the blade. Keep processing up to 7 minutes; eventually, you will extract the oils and will have a butter mixture.

3. Add the sugar and cocoa powder; process for 2 minutes. Add the salt. With the food processor running, slowly add the hazelnut oil (if you don’t have hazelnut oil at home, a mild canola or vegetable oil will work just fine, too). Continue processing for 3 more minutes. Store the mixture in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to one month.

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