Nutella is an immensely popular treat that is commonly used as a spread for bread. It consists of hazelnut butter flavored with chocolate. Nutella is easy to find in most places and has a distinctive flavor that won’t be easy to replicate. That said, here are some good Nutella substitutes for when you can’t get your hands on any of the real stuff.
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Your best bet: Make your own nutella
There are all kinds of reasons to make Nutella yourself, including the fact that it allows you to customize the taste to better suit your preferences. Other possible reasons to do this include the need to avoid nuts or animal products. It’s not that difficult to whip up a version of Nutella at home; you may already have the essential ingredients in your kitchen.
You can use nut butter, preferably one consisting of hazelnuts, but this is not essential. You just need a source of nutty flavor, so any nut or seed butter should work. For example, you can make a decent substitute using tahini or pumpkin seed butter. Next, you need a source of chocolate flavor. The simplest way for most people to do this is with cocoa powder, but you can use dark or milk chocolate if you have either of those lying around.
Next, you should add a sweetener like sugar or honey. A source of fat will help the mixture to take on the spreadable, frosting-like consistency of real Nutella. You can use vegetable oil or palm oil if you have access to some and want to more closely replicate commercial Nutella.
A decent second choice: Smooth peanut butter
Natural smooth peanut butter is made by grinding peanuts until they become a thin paste that is almost a liquid. You will get a similar nutty flavor and creamy consistency from smooth peanut butter as from Nutella. As with Nutella, the main way to use peanut butter is as a spread for bread. It has the added benefit of being better for you since it contains less sugar.
If you need to sweeten it, just add a fruit jam or jelly. In addition to being slightly more healthy than Nutella, peanut butter will be easier to find and less expensive than Nutella in most places.
The downsides of peanut butter include the fact that it does not contain chocolate, so it won’t replicate the Nutella flavor perfectly on its own. It also contains peanuts, which can cause allergies for many people.
In a pinch: Almond butter
Even though it is made from almonds and not hazelnuts, almond butter can provide a similar nutty flavor to that of Nutella. Its flavor is strong enough and distinctive enough that you may not notice the absence of chocolate. The color of some roasted almond butters is dark enough to make them look similar to Nutella. Natural almond butter also has a superior nutritional profile to Nutella. It contains more vitamin E, protein, and fiber, so almond butter can make a dish healthier than Nutella would.
Natural almond butter will have much less sugar than Nutella, which means that you will need to add a sweetener if you want a closer match.
Hazelnut butter consists of ground hazelnuts and is one of the main ingredients in Nutella. Because it makes up a big part of the Nutella flavor profile, it’s also a great substitute. Hazelnut butter has a big downside in that it is hard to find in many places and can be expensive wherever it is available.