Vegan & Gluten-Free Chocolate & Hazelnut Spread

Renée Naturally Qualified Naturopath, Nutritionist & Western Medical Herbalist


Akin to the family favorite ‘Nutella’, but without the added sugar (in ‘the real deal’ cane sugar is the main ingredient…before even hazelnuts!) Medjool dates provide the rich, natural sweetness in this whole food spread, and with such a simple list of ingredients, it’s super easy to whip up. Just as well, as this is decidedly more-ish!  A truly nutritious spread…for adults and kiddies alike.           


1 cup of hazelnuts
1 cup of dates (Medjool dates work best)
½ cup of boiling water
1 teaspoon of vanilla essence
½ cup of cacao powder
½ teaspoon of sea salt
2 tablespoon of grapeseed oil
A dash of maple syrup (optional)


  1. Pit dates (if not pre-done) and then in a bowl, pour boiling water over them and allow to soak for 20 minutes.
  2. Heat oven to 180°
  3. Place hazelnuts on a baking tray and bake for 10 minutes. Allow to cool for 5 minutes. Grab small handfuls of nuts and rub between your hands to remove the skins of the nuts. Don’t worry if there are still specks of brown!
  4. Place nuts in a food processor and blend until smooth. Add the dates and remaining water
  5. Add vanilla, cacao, salt and oil. Whizz until smooth.
  6. Add extra oil and/or some maple syrup if a smoother or sweeter texture is desired.

Nutritional Bite

Hazelnuts – Although small in size, hazelnuts pack a large nutritional punch. They’re a good source of fibre, calcium, thiamine, niacin and protein and contain a number of minerals including magnesium, iron, zinc, phosphorus and potassium. They are also vitamin-rich containing Vitamins A, B1, B2, B6, B12, E, and folate.

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