Nutella is dead.

What follows is a translation of a post at antigone XXI, “the blog of frugal abundance”. I share it because I love Nutella, and because these home-made substitutes, organic and raw, look absolutely divine.

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Love Nutella?

Great. Enjoy it. I don’t.

Well, yeah. I used to love it. Before, when I discovered it, I loved it, I even adored it. To the extent that I’d eat it strait from the jar, without a teaspoon, just with my fingers, like that. I know, it’s not terribly sanitary. But it’s not all that bad… because after all, I don’t share my Nutella. A jar is for me. Just me. And it got empty really, really fast. Terribly addicting, isn’t it?

Terribly addicting indeed… but not surprising, because because the truth is that Nutella contains monosodium glutamate , aka E621 [1] deeply hidden in the famous word ‘flavorings’. [2] You know, glutamate, the flavor enhancer that stimulates appetite and maliciously destroys neurons … To this is added –  wait for it – a small dose of … plastic ! And yes, our famous spread contains DEHP , one of the most dangerous phthalates, which are usually used to produce packaging and has the nasty tendency to migrate into the product. Be aware that this unwelcome guest is banned in toys and cosmetics because it is considered a carcinogen and induces, uh … testicular atrophy. Nice, huh?

Fine, fine, I’m not telling you anything new when I mention that Nutella is 70% palm oil and refined sugar, remember that skim milk powder and whey? Ferrero refuses to say whether or not they come from animals fed with GMOs.

Oh, but wait, there’s hazelnuts and cocoa at any rate! Oh yeah, well, 20% of the finished product … not bad for a spread that should be composed of 2/3…

Fine, end of discussion. As for me, I say  Nutella is dying.

Make way for the Chocoville Triplets!

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See, when I do things, I don’t do them halfway or only 1/3 of the way. When I say that Nutella is dead, there are already three little girls waiting to take its place in your pantry. First, there’s the eldest: she’s more royal than the King, and an absolute purist. I call her  Choconette. She always quarrels with the middle child, the original of the company, who wants to revolutionize the world a little and answers to the gentle name of Camarande. Lastly, there’s youngest: very shy, a little dreamy, named … well, she’ll tell you her name later, when she feels like it.

I forgot to mention: the three little sisters are all raw and and adapted to simple living as well – only 4 ingredients each, an it please you.

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Choconette – Better than the Original

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Makes a 330 ml. or 11 oz. jar

Ingredients :

  • 15 dates (around 90 g. or 3 oz.)*
  • 125 g. or 1/2 cup hazelnut paste
  • 60 ml. or 4 Tbsp agave syrup
  • 30 g. or 1/3 cup cocoa powder (raw if possible)
  • 15 ml. [1 Tbsp] water

* For those who don’t want to use dates, you can substitute 1/2 dried apricots and 1/2 dried bananas (but not banana chips!)

Preparation:

  1. Rehydrate the dates in hot water for about 10 minutes (or 2 hours in cold water)
  2. Put all your ingredients in a blender and… blend!

Don’t hesitate to stop the blender as needed to scrape the sides and place the spread on the blades. If all seems a bit too dry, add a little water or hazelnut oil (or other neutral oil). You can then enjoy, with or without a spoon!

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Uh oh, I get the feeling that the youngest sister is jealous!

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Camarande – Even Better 

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 Makes a 330 ml. or 11 oz. jar
 Ingredients :
  • 15 dates (around 90 g. or 3 oz.)*
  • 125 g. or 1/2 cup almond paste
  • 60 ml. or 4 Tbsp agave syrup
  • 30 g. or 1/3 cup carob powder
  • 15 ml. [1 Tbsp] water

* Same note as for Choconette if you don’t like dates or if dates don’t like you.

Preparation :

  1. Rehydrate the dates in hot water for about 10 minutes (or 2 hours in cold water)
  2. Combine all your ingredients in a blender. Scrape the sides as needed to make sure the spread is smooth. Add only water or oil… never milk!

Don’t hesitate to stop the blender as needed to scrape the sides and place the spread on the blades. If all seems a bit too dry, add a little water or hazelnut oil (or other neutral oil). You can then enjoy, with or without a spoon!

So, who’s your favorite “Miss Nut Spread” of the year?

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I’ve got to confess, it’s tough to choose between them.

These spreads keep well in the refrigerator for about a month. Remove them from the refrigerator a little in advance, so they’re softer.

But I can hear the question: “What about the youngest?

Well, the baby is is very shy, and I think she’d rather play the prima donna and have a page all to herself. After all, these rising stars can be terribly capricious! But I’ll give you a hint while you wait for tomorrow:

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And how about you? Have you already given up Nutella? Have you switched to Chokénut or Chocolinette? Or just begun making your own at home?

Translator’s note: whereas the blog post followed up with a separate entry on the following day, I’ve added the last little sister here.

Naughty Chococo

I admit my last post was not very nice.

I talked about three little sisters, and then, bam! I left you hanging without introducing the youngest, and then I said “tomorrow,” and then I made you wait a little longer than you thought I would. I was a bit more generous with the clue I left you, however; if that didn’t pique your curiosity, it must simply be that Nutella has already fried your neurons!

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Rest assured, however, your wait has not been in vain – I saved the best for last. As I explained, the youngest is a bit naughty and she was doing her shy bit. I will make amends by introducing you to Chococo:
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Like her big sisters , Chococo is a raw spread, consisting of only four ingredients, very simple to make and extremely tasty. Note that this is the second time I’ve mentioned coconut butter on this blog, and I hope to convince you to get started as quickly as possible – once tasted, you won’t be able to live without it!

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Chococo

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Makes a 330 ml. or 11 oz. jar

Ingredients:

  • 15 dates (about 90 g. or 3 oz.) *
  • 150 g. [2 cups] of grated coconut
  • 60 ml. [4 Tbsp] agave syrup
  • 30 g. [1/3 cup] cocoa powder (preferably raw)
  • 50 ml. [1/4 cup] water
  • (Optional)  1-2 tbsp coconut oil

* Even if dates are perfect here, you can substitute other dried fruit of your choice:

  1. Classic: banana / apricot / fig’
  2. Exotic Version: papaya / mango.

As with Choconette and Camarande, do not forget to rehydrate your dates in water 1 to 2 hours in advance, then drain well.

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Preparation:

1. Prepare your coconut butter: Place your shredded coconut in the bowl of a food processor and blend until you get a creamy texture. You can add 1-2 tbsp coconut oil to help the butter to ‘take’. Don’t hesitate to stop the machine to scrape the sides and put the future butter back onto the blades.
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2. Don’t stop until you have obtained a really creamy texture (depending on the size of your blender, double the proportion of coconut to be sure that the butter is formed: it will then store well in the refrigerator and can be used in many other recipes – if you don’t devour it immediately with a spoon.
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Once your butter is ready, add all the other ingredients in the blender and vroom!, blend!
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It’s not difficult at all, and in the end you get a little beauty.

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A beauty who is a little less shy now … and who is the pride of her mother!

I would add that this spread, as with her two older sisters, will keep for about one month in the refrigerator. Don’t forget to remove it to soften before serving because, even more than the others, it will tend to stiffen when cool because of the coconut butter. I will let you taste it and then banish the word ‘Nutella’ from your vocabulary.

Ah, yes, one last mention of the word terrible … After posting my previous article, two questions were asked of me, and I’d like to share the answers here:

– The first question: “Can I make several jars at once?”

Yes, if you are very hungry creatures and you are ready to devour everything in less than a month. In this case, don’t worry! It may even be more convenient to double the proportion of the triplets if you have a large mixing bowl and want to get a really creamy texture. However, if you use a less powerful blender or a small stand mixer, then opt for smaller amounts (and I’m not even sure that a small device will allow you to make coconut butter. I haven’t tried it, and I put it to my readers!)

– Second question: “Is it much more expensive than Nutella? 

I admit that I am very bad with  these matters, because when I cook, I do not calculate costs. On top of that, I haven’t eaten Nutella in ages, so I’m not the best person to compare prices, especially since prices vary between organic stores and countries. However, I went to fishing my receipts out of the wastebasket and looked up information on the internet. Here are my rough calculations:

  • agave 7 € / kg -> € 0.48 per spread
  • cocoa powder (not raw): 4 € / 250 g. -> € 0.48
  • carob powder (not raw): 3.5 € / 250 g. -> € 0.42 [ but on sale for 2 € at the moment at Jean Hervé!]
  • hazelnut paste: 14 € / 700 g. -> € 2.50
  • almond paste: 9 € / 700 g. -> € 1.60
  • grated coconut € 5/500 g. -> € 1.5
  • Dates: 8 € / kg -> € 0.72

So here’s what it cost to get 330 g. of spread:

  • Choconette : € 4.12
  • Camarande : 3.16 €
  • Chococo : € 3.12

For comparison, a pot of 220 g. of Nutella costs € 2.02 at Monoprix or € 3.03 for 330 g. So yes, our house versions are slightly more expensive, but do not forget that we are dealing with an organic product!  As for the raw version, sorry: I was lazy and had no way of finding any receipts. I invite you to do the math yourself by checking in raw food stores. Let’s compare organic spreads, calculating for jars of similar size (330 g.)

  • Chocolinette (Noiseraie Productions): 5.99 €
  • Chokénut (Noiseraie Productions): 5.28 €
  • Chocolade (Jean Hervé): € 5.19
  • Karouba (Jean Hervé): € 4.85
  • Hazelnut paste (PERLAMANDE): 5.45 €
 So we come to the following conclusion: for identical quality, the triplets are cheaper than commercial spreads. In the end, you are at choice and can stay with Nutella, but I tell you freely that even if my spreads were two to three times more expensive than Nutella, I’d stick with the homemade version! I had fun doing these little calculations, but for me, the health of my body and that of the planet has no price.

What are your priorities when you purchase a product? 


[1] E numbers designate chemicals that can be used as food additives within the European Union.

[2] In the USA, the ingredients for Nutella are Sugar, Palm Oil, Hazelnuts, Cocoa, Skim Milk, Reduced Minerals Whey (Milk), Lecithin As Emulsifier (Soy), Vanillin: An Artificial Flavor. Whey and Skim Milk always have milk solids with MSG, and the artificial flavor vanillin also contains unlabeled MSG. For a full list of ingredients containing MSG, visit Truth in Labeling.

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4 responses to “Nutella is dead.

  1. Waow ! Merci beaucoup pour le travail de traduction ! C’est magnifique !
    J’ai édité mes articles de sorte à proposer maintenant vos traductions, en vous remerciant de tout cœur.
    Si vous voulez bien, en revanche, j’ai réédité également mes photos afin qu’elles incluent le nom de mon blog : je préférerais que vous fassiez la substitution également en proposant les nouvelles photos plutôt que les anciennes, pour une question de droits de reproduction.

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