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Nutella & a Healthy Substitute Recipe

Posted in Caro Diario.(dear diary..), coffee, cucina, cucina povere, La Dolce Vita, Mediterranean Culinary Cruise, recipes, Rome, slow food, the Mediterranean diet, and Travel & customs

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When leaving Rome, Italy, in the airport there is always a holdup with tourists trying to smuggle jars of Nutella in their carry on luggage to take home. Not sure why they just don’t wrap the stuff well and put it in their checked in bags. Americans seem to have grown fond of this Italian staple.  My last memory of Rome, as I left last week was a half hour hold up in line because someone in front of me had 10 jars of  Nutella in their carry on luggage..10 jars!!!

I can understand bringing the stuff back from Italy since, the Nutella they sell in the USA is different and not as good as the one sold in Italy..but check in your bags..please…all 10 jars were taken away from them!!not because it is contraband simply because you can not bring that type of creamy substance on the plane…

However, it is one of the few things Italians are famous for that is processed and contains a lot of unhealthy for you the label and you will discover..however if you really love the stuff..there is a healthier way to get your Nutella fix by making it yourself.. Joy Johnson , a Canadian nutritionist came up with this healthy recipe..and I agree it is yummy just like Nutella, slightly less creamy, but healthy for you.. And if you don’t have an addiction yet to this creamy, heavenly mixture..try it on toast instead of jam..this is a real wake me up..have a cup of coffee with that toast and you are in for an ultra wake me up to get your day going..the caffeine in the cocoa plus the coffee make for the perfect morning ‘cocktail’.

Let’s hear from you if you try this..we worked up a batch in my test kitchen this morning and it went in a few hours…. Besides it is easier to whip up a batch at home than try to get the stuff past customs at the airport and carry the stuff all over the Eternal City..

Homemade  Chocolate/Hazelnut Spread


1/4 cup hazelnut meal*
1 tbsp raw cacao powder or cocoa powder
2.5 tbsp real maple syrup
1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
1-2 tbsp of organic coconut oil


*Take about 1/2 cup hazelnuts and food process them until they form a fine ground meal. This makes about 1/4 cup. If you can find hazelnuts already ground, more power to you!

Combine the ground hazelnut and cacao powder in your food processor until blended completely. Add the remaining ingredients, process until combined, and enjoy!

You won’t get a smooth finish like you get with processed hazelnut spread, but it will be free of refined sugar and additives.

Spread this dish on toast, add to a smoothie, slather it on a crepe or a pancake. Just be sure to use in moderation — this is meant to be a sweet treat!

* October 2, 2PM  The Basic Art of Italian CookingOpen-mouthed smileaVinci Style will be released on Oct 2nd at a presentation  for the Utah Humanities Festival at the Salt Lake City Library, downtown, 2PM> For further info go to– Hope to see you there


*Join me in Italy, May 3 ,2012 for an all inclusive luxury cruise to the Mediterranean leaving from Venice and stopping at many Italian landmarks. I will be doing culinary demos and dinners onboard and will  be hosting a tour of a vineyard in Sicily while cruising. Even your flight to Venice from wherever you are is included (from a key city). For more info call Julie at Rosenbluth Travel at 1-800-257-8279

*Oct 21-23rd see you at the Suburban Home Show at Greater Philadelphia Convention Center in Oaks, Pa..Culinary demos and book singings from my latest book on Friday at 1:30, Saturday and Sunday at 1:30 and 4:30 PM.

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Designed by Brian Hanshaw

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