Nutella is not your average chocolate spread. The creamy chocolate and hazelnut mixture has become somewhat of a pop culture icon. Whether it is spread over a croissant, drizzled over a crepe or licked off a spoon as an indulgent mid-afternoon bite, Nutella is the delectable offering few can resist. But hiding in the beckoning glass jar is a dark secret. Nutella is not only awful for you, it also is bad for environment. The spread makes use of palm oil which has been closely linked to cancer and cardiac diseases. Ferrero which produces Nutella, utilises the palm oil produced at over 100 mills in Indonesia and Malaysia. The WWF has listed palm oil production as the biggest cause of deforestation. Huge swaths of tropical forests and carbon-rich swamps are continually being cleared to make way for oil plantations.
Production is also notorious for shrinking the habitats of endangered species, including elephants and tigers, and most prominently, orangutans. Palm oil producers have also long been accused of human rights violations such as forced labour and seizing land from locals. The recipe for Nutella is also made with an alarming amount of sugar. Each 400g jar contains 227.2g of sugar, meaning 56% of the spread is made up of refined white sugar. This fabulous recipe is on-so-delicious and entirely free of refined sugars and oils. To do your part to protect the earth, be sure to read the labels of toiletries and foods to see whether they contain palm oil.
2 cups of hazelnuts (380g)
1/2 a cup of maple syrup
3 tablespoons of raw cacao powder
Bake the hazelnuts at 180C for about ten minutes, then remove and allow them to cool. Once cool place them in a food processor and blend for about ten minutes. Keep blending till a runny hazelnut butter forms, then pour into a bowl. Slowly pour in the maple syrup, stirring continuously to combine. Then do the same with the cacao powder, adding one spoonful at a time and enjoy!