Fab Food Finds! Nutella

My cubicle neighbor has been on a Nutella kick for the last few weeks. She spoons her creamy hazelnut spread onto bananas or satisfies her afternoon sweet cravings with a spoonful. After watching her eat the chocolatey spread for weeks, I decided to buy my own jar of Nutella.

Today, I followed her lead and ate it with a banana. Very delish. But then I started wondering what else I could do with this yummy chocolate spread. My curiosity led me to some very interesting facts about Nutella.

  • Nutella was created in the 1940s by Pietro Ferrero, a pastry maker and founder of the Ferrero company. During this time, there was very little chocolate because cocoa was in short supply due to World War II rationing. Ferrero used hazelnuts, which were plentiful in the northwest region of Italy.
  • Nutella was imported to the United States from Italy about 25 years ago.

You have to remember that although Nutella is made from Hazelnuts, it doesn’t posess the same nutrition power as peanut butter or other nut butters. The first ingredient in Nutella is sugar. It’s also made with palm oil, hazelnuts, skim milk and cocoa powder. The spread doesn’t contain any artificial colors or preservatives, but Nutella does have 11 grams of fat and 200 calories per 2 tablespoon serving. So make sure you are measuring when you eat this!

Nutella can be used as a replacement to chocolate syrup. By comparison, Hershey’s Chocolate Syrup contains 100 calories per 2 tbsp. serving. Both have about the same amount of sugar. Hershey’s has 1 gram of protein per serving, while Nutella has 3 grams of protein per serving. Hershey’s does contain high fructose corn syrup, while Nutella simply contains sugar.

So what do you do with Nutella? There are hundreds of recipes using Nutella online - from crepes, cookies, pastries and French Toast to smoothies, doughnuts and cakes.

Unfortunately, these recipes are not on the healthy side. I’ve come up with some healthier ways to enjoy Nutella.

  • Grilled Pineapple with Chocolate Hazelnut Dip - Whisk together Nutella and nonfat plain yogurt or nonfat Greek yogurt. Cut fresh pineapple into rings. Grill over medium-high heat until beginning to brown. Place pineapple on serving platter. Serve with hazelnut dip.
  • Whole Wheat Nutella Fudge Brownies - http://www.hungrymeetshealthy.com/2011/03/whole-wheat-nutella-fudge-brownies.html
  • Nutella “Ice Cream” - In a food processor, combine 1 banana and 1 tbsp. Nutella. Place in a bowl, cover and freeze. Once frozen, enjoy.
  • Nutella Dipped Raspberries and Brie - Simply serve a small plate of fresh raspberries, a small serving dish of Nutella and sliced Brie. Dip the fruit and cheese in the chocolate spread.
  • Nutella Sandwich Cookies - If you’re craving a cookie, spread Nutella in between two vanilla wafer cookies. Buy Back to Nature Mini Vanilla Wafers.
  • Open-Faced Nutella Banana Sandwich - Toast a piece of whole wheat bread. Spread 1 tbsp. Nutella on bread. Top with sliced banana.

Or make your own, healthier version, of Nutella:

http://chocolatecoveredkatie.com/2012/01/09/better-than-nutella/

*Info from www.nutellausa.com