Ah, Nutella. The Italian hazelnut-cocoa spread of our dreams. We’ll eat it on toast, spread it on apple slices, bake it into desserts or—our favorite—nosh on it straight from the jar. We love it dearly, but it isn’t necessarily the healthiest condiment on earth. Enter this tahini-based recipe for vegan Nutella, which is (1) dairy-free, (2) naturally sweetened and (3) downright heavenly. Read on to learn how to make it at home.

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vegan nutella tahini
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Wait, Why Tahini?

Tahini, the nutty paste made from toasted, ground sesame seeds, is the brilliant base of this vegan Nutella concoction. While the original Nutella stars hazelnuts, we love the healthy fats, omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids and nutrients that sesame seeds contain. Tahini is also a stellar source of calcium (just one tablespoon boasts five percent of your daily recommended amount), as well as iron, magnesium, copper, selenium and more immunity-boosting minerals.

We like using whole sesame tahini from The Tahini Goddess because it’s millstone ground (a technique that creates a perfectly oily, smooth finish) and is made with sesame seeds that are roasted at just the right temperature to lock in all their flavor and nutrients. (Did we mention there are a ton of fun flavors, like tzatziki, Caesar, pesto and spicy chili?) You can, of course, use hazelnuts instead of tahini by roasting and blending the nuts into a paste yourself…or by starting with raw hazelnut butter.

How Healthy Is This Chocolatey Spread?

Compared to Nutella, this vegan alternative is lower in calories, carbs and sugar per two-tablespoon serving. While the caloric difference isn’t much (200 calories versus about 180 calories), most of Nutella’s calories come from sugar. This dairy-free recipe contains less than one-fifth of Nutella’s sugar and carb content, clocking in at 4.5 grams each of sugar and carbs per serving, instead of 21g and 22g respectively. The vegan version does have a bit more fat, at about 13g per serving versus 11g, but since it’s made from tahini, it’s loaded with *good* fats, while about one-fifth of Nutella’s fat content is saturated.

In case you needed more convincing, our vegan riff also boasts 5 grams each of protein and fiber per serving. It tastes a bit more bitter than the O.G.—but in a good way—kind of like a dark chocolate version of the famous spread. Plus, this vegan iteration is also a bit thicker in texture, but that’s a sacrifice we’re willing to make for the sake of a plant-based, healthy (and delicious) alternative.

vegan nutella RCP
Taryn Pire

How to Make Vegan Nutella

4 servings

Ingredients

  • ½ cup tahini
  • 3 teaspoons maple syrup (you can also try other natural sweeteners, including honey or agave)
  • 2 tablespoons carob powder (or cacao powder)
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon (optional)

Directions

1. Add the ingredients to a bowl or stand mixer. Whisk or mix slowly.

2. Once it’s combined, give it a taste to see if it’s to your liking. If you want it sweeter, add a bit more maple syrup. For a deeper chocolatey flavor, add more carob powder. You can also add a pinch of salt, if you’d like.

3. Whisk or mix at a higher speed until fully combined. Serve immediately or store in the refrigerator.

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