I do not deprive myself of any particular foods, rather practice theoretically try restraint and moderation combined with certain self imposed exiles, like limiting sugar, refined carbs (I once ate 60 mainly egg whites in a week) or not wasting calories on substandard food. All of which gets thrown out the window once intoxicated.
I do not however, purchase a majority of processed food. I agree wholeheartedly with Michael Pollen (author of the life changing book “The Omnivore’s Dilemma”) that if it comes in a box, can or jar, it should probably stay there.
My processed food exceptions are the highest of high quality dark chocolate, yogurt (for reasons I will soon explain, it became too difficult to continue making my own) and a bitey, sharp wedge of parmesan.
But that does not quiet the noise in my head from wanting, craving, desiring shitty excuses for food. It does, however, inspire me to experiment and create my own healthy options.
The smooth, creamy, rich taste of hazelnuts and chocolate. It’s like the inside of a Ferrero Rocher ball, (because they’re owned by the same company) but best of all the label states it’s nutritious. Look at all that milk and cocoa!
After a recent trip to the supermarket, I decided I needed some of this nutty chocolate crack, however a quick scan of the nutritional info left me disgusted. I knew it wasn’t a super food choice, but the levels of sugar and fat (palm oil) was just appalling. Even moreso, as those Ferrero fuckers market it as a nutrionally sound, healthy spread for children. And apparently I’m not the only one pissed off, see here.
Anyway, make way for healthy “Nutella.” A decadent, rich, velvety spread that has the real taste of roasted hazelnuts combined with the bitterness of dark chocolate. The sweetness comes from my own homemade Ricotta.
The best thing about this nutella, is that you can make it as bitter, sweet (use a less intense chocolate, 75-85%) chunky, smooth, creamy and nutty as you desire.
Super easy, 4 ingredients, not saying it tastes just like Nutella, but it sure as hell satisfied my craving. But I’m also a bit of a freak like that and prefer things that aren’t so sweet and taste ‘real’
1 cup organic roasted hazelnuts (either bought organic, or if not, soaked and roasted yourself)
1 cup ricotta (recipe here. I cannot comment on how generic store bought ricotta would fare)
30 – 50grams 99% dark chocolate
What to do
1. In a blender, pulse hazelnuts until you have a wet, hazelnut butter. You could stop right here and enjoy this on a multitude of things, apples, crackers, a spoon, your finger.
2. Melt chocolate, as it’s such a small amount I couldn’t be assed double saucepanning it and instead used the microwave. As I’m living in a country where I can’t find sugar free chocolate that doesn’t involve taking out a bank loan, I used 99% cacao. (*I’ve since discovered iherb.com and have Ghiradelli, organic cacao butter/raw powder and sugar-free chocolate on its way!) I love dark chocolate, the more cocoa the better, but even for me this is so dense and bitter I can only eat one square at a time. This is a good thing actually.
3. Add hazelnut butter, ricotta and chocolate to blender. Pulse until mixture is combined. for a chunky, thick and drier butter, stop here.
4. For a smoother butter, keep on pulsing the crap outta it. It will more than likely begin to separate, so add a tablespoon or two of milk to emulsify. Any milk. Skim, full fat, no fat, soy, almond, whatever it is that gets you to sleep at night. Pulse pulse pulse until it is all blended and smooth.
5. Give half to a friend. Even though its healthy, it’s still calorie dense, and if you’re anything like me, I could devour this baby in one sitting.