Our kids love Nutella. So do we. Spread on homemade pancakes or toast in the morning. But since we visited Borneo, they have decided that they no longer want to eat it. The reason is it contains palm oil. They personally witnessed the vast areas of rainforest, home to the orangutans and other wonderful wildlife, destroyed to make way for palm plantations that are harvested for palm oil.
“Refined palm oil is used as an affordable ingredient in many food products, such as margarine, confectionery, chocolate, ice cream and bakery products. It is also widely used in non-food products such as soap, candles, and cosmetics. More than half the products on sale in the supermarket are made with palm oil.” (European Palm Oil Alliance)
“The rainforests of Sabah on the Malaysian portion of the Southeast Asian island of Borneo are among the most biodiverse in the tropics. However, the area’s numerous endemic and endangered species are at high risk due to habitat destruction caused by deforestation and agricultural conversion.” (Rainforest Trust)
The more palm oil that is used, the more rainforest is destroyed and less habitat for the wildlife. This is why we now check ingredients and try to reduce our consumption of it. This doesn’t mean we have to go without our favourite chocolate and hazelnut spread. There are many recipes online for a homemade spread that takes just as good, if not better, and avoids the use of palm oil. Here is our recipe that we used based on one we found at http://littlespicejar.com/homemade-nutella/. This is not a cheaper alternative to Nutella but it is a more environmentally friendly option and tastes great!
230g roasted hazelnuts
170g Lindt Excellence Extra Creamy Milk Chocolate
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
¼ teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons cocoa powder
70g icing sugar (add more if you prefer sweeter)
1 tablespoon sesame oil (or canola oil)
1. If the hazelnuts still have skin on them then place them in a rolled up tea towel and rub with your hands to loosen the skin. A little bit of skin left on will not matter.
2. Melt the chocolate in a bain-marie (bowl over a pan of heated water).
3. Place the hazelnuts in a food processor and blitz until it forms a paste similar to peanut butter.
4. Add vanilla extract, salt, cocoa powder, melted chocolate, and icing sugar. Blitz again until combined.
5. Add the sesame oil and blitz again to combine.
6. Pour mixture into a sterilized mason jar and store at room temperature.