I have always had a love affair with chocolate spread, it was me, a spoon and lost in the moment…until I looked down and realised I’d eaten most of the jar!

As much as I loved the store-bought variety, my waistline and hips told a different story. When you take a look at the ingredients of a store-bought chocolate spread you will notice that sugar is generally the first ingredient listed.

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So I set out to find a healthier alternative to chocolate spread.

These days you don’t have to settle for the high sugar variety. Just take a detour to the health aisle in your local supermarket and you will notice a variety of healthier options.

When it comes to finding a healthy chocolate spread you need to look beyond the health appealing label and head straight to the list of ingredients. Don’t be fooled by the major brands jumping on the ‘clean eating’ bandwagon. There is one brand in particular that came out with a range of different nut butters under the guise of being ‘healthy’ when they were in fact full of sugar.

When I look for a healthy alternative to the good old chocolate spread I want to see whole ingredients listed. A good rule is to look for a product that is not weighed down with unpronounceable ingredients or a lot of sugar.

If you are a wiz in the kitchen, then why not try your hand at making your own?

One of the main benefits to making your own food is knowing exactly what is in it. Before I share with you my favourite healthy chocolate spread recipe I want to go through the ingredients and share the health benefits of each of them. Knowing what you are putting into your body is so important.

Hazelnuts

I find that people are often scared of eating hazelnuts because they are high in unsaturated fat. It is this fat that is good for the heart and helps lower LDL (known as the bad cholesterol) and increase HDL (the good cholesterol).

Hazelnuts are a great source of the B group vitamins B1, B2, B3, B5, B6 and folic acid. They also contain vitamin E which is essential for healthy skin and magnesium for muscle and nerve function.

healthyalternativetochocolatespread_2Cacao

Cacao is full of antioxidants, helps maintain heart health, lowers blood pressure and can help improve digestion.

Raw Honey

The benefits of using raw honey is that all the health properties are still intact. Raw honey contains antibacterial benefits, antioxidants and it still contains all the vitamins and nutrients.

Coconut Oil

Helps your immunity, digestion, heart health and metabolism.

Cacao & Hazelnut spread

Ingredients

·   1 Cup of whole hazelnuts

·   2 tbsp. of raw honey (you can use maple syrup if preferred)

·   2 tbsp. of coconut oil

·   2 tbsp. of cacao powder

·   1 tsp of vanilla extract

Directions

Place hazelnuts onto a baking tray and roast in the oven for 10-15 minutes at 200° Celsius.

Once they are cool enough to touch, gently rub the skins off with your fingers and pop into a food processor and pulse the hazelnuts until they are finely ground up.

Add in all the other ingredients and blend the mixture until it forms a smooth paste.

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