What is Nutella?
Nutella is a chocolate-hazelnut spread enjoyed all over the world.
It’s commonly used on toast, pancakes, and other breakfast treats and incorporated into innovative recipes, such as Nutella banana bread or Nutella-stuffed crêpes.
This article tells you whether Nutella is vegan and provides a list of alternatives, as well as a recipe to make your own.
Is Nutella vegan?
According to its website, Nutella contains eight ingredients: sugar, palm oil, hazelnuts, skim milk powder, cocoa, lecithin, and vanillin (a synthetic vanilla flavoring).
Lecithin is an emulsifier that’s added to blend the other ingredients, allowing for a smooth consistency. It’s usually egg- or soy-based. In Nutella, it’s made from soybeans, making this ingredient vegan.
However, Nutella contains skim milk powder, which is cow’s milk that undergoes a quick heating and drying process to remove liquids and create a powder.
This ingredient makes Nutella non-vegan.
Vegan Nutella alternatives
There are many options if you’re looking for a delicious vegan alternative to Nutella.
Plain nut butter
For a quick, healthy swap, choose natural nut butter without added ingredients, such as sugar and oils. Raw nut kinds of butter are much lower in sugar than Nutella and provide a hearty dose of protein and healthy fats.
Almond and peanut butter are excellent vegan choices that offer approximately 7 grams of filling protein per 2 tablespoons.
Hazelnut butter is also a great option. However, with 5 grams of protein per 2 tablespoons, it provides slightly less of this critical macronutrient.
Vegan-friendly Nutella alternatives
If you’re looking for a vegan version of Nutella, many companies have created their own varieties. It’s best to visit your local store and look for vegan Nutella alternatives.
How to make vegan chocolate spread
Making your own spread is another excellent way to ensure your chocolate-hazelnut spread is vegan.
In Nutella, lecithin and skim milk powder are added as emulsifiers to improve texture and increase shelf life. You can skip these ingredients when making your own spread.
Sugar, hazelnuts, and cocoa powder are naturally vegan and can be used in your homemade version. Meanwhile, vanilla extract can replace vanillin.
Suggested read: Is wine vegan? This answer will surprise you!
To make a vegan chocolate spread, you need:
- 4 cups (540 grams) of roasted, skinless hazelnuts
- 3⁄4 cup (75 grams) of cocoa powder
- 2 tablespoons (30 ml) of coconut oil
- 1⁄2 cup (160 grams) of maple syrup
- 2 teaspoons (10 ml) of pure vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon of table salt
To make the spread:
- Add the hazelnuts to a blender or food processor and mix until paste forms.
- Add the rest of the ingredients and blend until smooth.
- Be patient, as this can take a few minutes.
Once you achieve a smooth consistency, scoop the spread into a jar and cap it with a lid. It should last for about one month in the refrigerator.