Homemade Chocolate Hazelnut Spread, PALEO/FODMAP/UMassIBD-AID

SUMMARY:  This… Thanksgiving morning! Homemade Chocolate Hazelnut Spread.  Actually, don’t save this for only one day; we certainly don’t!  Easily make this in bulk and freeze.

Ingredients and Processing I Prefer to Use

The nut ingredients in this recipe make these bars an advanced food for those on healing diets such as SCD, UMass IBD-AID, GAPS, or PALEO.  For this very reason, I recommend using these instructions to properly prepare nut and seed ingredients  whenever possible to make such more easily digestible.  But if you don’t do this step, no worries since the notes section of the recipe provides alternate instructions for toasting those nuts!  The recipe is not SCD/GAPS legal due to the cocoa, but it is in accordance with The PRODUCE Study (a modified version of SCD), the UMass version of SCD which is called IBD-AID, PALEO and also FODMAP friendly if maple syrup is substituted for the dates; details are broken out below the recipe for those interested.

Other whole food ingredients and processing instructions contained within the recipe, that you may never have seen, include:

  1. Easy homemade almond milk instructions using almond flour since most all grocery almond milk contains added gumcarrageenan, or other additive type ingredients.
  2. Homemade pure vanilla extract instructions using only vodka and vanilla beans!  Commercial vanilla extract most often contains high fructose corn syrup and other additives even if labeled “pure”.  Lesson learned: read labels or better yet, just make your own.  It’s EASY.
  3. Dates for the sweetener.  Try it; you’ll love this white sugar swap. You have seen me use dates before in this top visited recipe, SCD PROTEIN BAR (SIMILAR TO CLIFF BARS) OR BITE SIZED CANDY.
  4. And of course, the recipe links to proper nut preparation instructions for the almond and hazelnuts.  Such can be done ahead of time, in bulk, and frozen.  This step is EASY and it makes nuts taste incredible – sweet with no bitterness, and they become more digestible since anti-nutrients are neutralized and enzyme inhibitors are eliminated.  If you are like many of my clients, you have no clue what the significance is of what I just said.  So another way of saying this is, unless you soak nuts, you will block mineral uptake, and this totally defeats the purpose of trying to eat nuts for nutrient density.  If you don’t do this step however, the notes section of the recipe provides alternate instructions for toasting those nuts!
  5. Hot ingredients are cooled before adding to food processor plastic bowls to preclude plastic leaching toxins.
Homemade Chocolate Hazelnut Spread

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 10 minutes

Total Time: 20 minutes

Homemade Chocolate Hazelnut Spread

This... Thanksgiving morning! Actually, great anytime! This recipe is not SCD/GAPS legal due to the cocoa, but it is in accordance with PRODUCE Study (a modified SCD diet), the UMass version of SCD which is called IBD-AID, PALEO, and also it is FODMAP friendly if maple syrup is substituted for the dates. Credit for recipe ingredients and image goes to Whole Foods Market, although I have modified the instructions to provide links for proper nut preparation, and I have added easy instructions for making both homemade almond milk and homemade vanilla extract. Proper nut preparation neutralizes anti-nutrients within the nuts increasing both taste and digestibility. But if you don't do this step, see the notes section for alternate instructions to toast the nuts.



  1. Place nuts in a food processor and grind as finely as possible, about 1 minute, scraping down sides of food processor bowl as needed.
  2. To make almond milk: Whipstick almond flour with warm filtered water.
  3. Combine almond milk and dates in a small saucepan and simmer over medium heat until dates completely break down, about 10 minutes. If your food processor has a plastic bowl, allow the mixture to cool to preclude plastic leaching toxins.
  4. Add date mixture, cocoa powder and vanilla to the food processor and purée until very smooth.
  5. Enjoy warm or chilled.
  6. Hazelnut spread will keep in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 1 week or in the freezer for up to 1 month.


Optional if you don't properly prepare whole nuts: Preheat oven to 350F. Spread almonds and hazelnuts on a large rimmed baking sheet. Toast until golden brown, about 10 minutes. Let cool slightly. Place nuts in a clean kitchen towel, and rub together to remove as much skin from hazelnuts as possible; discard skins. Allow nuts to cool completely.

To make your own pure HOMEMADE VANILLA: Fill a sterilized container with (cheap works) 80 proof vodka and add three vanilla beans sliced lengthwise. Store in a dark cupboard and shake a few times a week. In about two months, vanilla is done. Just add fresh vodka to beans to make more. Beans will retain their flavor for years so reuse them.


Credit for most of the ingredients and images used in this post goes to Whole Foods Marketand this is their How-To video.

FODMAP analysis of this recipe, Homemade Chocolate Hazelnut Spread

The main issue with this recipe for FODMAP is the dates. Maple syrup (without HFCS) is low FODMAP and could be substituted, but then the recipe is not SCD/GAPS (cocoa is the deal breaker) although it would still be UMass IBD-AID safe.

Relative to the nuts selected in the recipe, they are FODMAP friendly in small quantity, which is what you would eat of this recipe anyway considering Omega 3 : Omega 6 balance loads.  Note too, reputable sites conflict somewhat on nuts and FODMAPS.  You can also substitute an alternative nut considering these resources:

  • Monash University, Home to the creation of FODMAP, lists less than 10 almonds as a low FODMAP alternative as is less than 10 Brazil nuts.  The revised Monash booklet copied here added:
    • almonds (<10)
    • hazelnuts (<10)
  • Stanford University Medical Center’s summary of FODMAP where they list nuts (less than 10 hazelnuts, walnut, macadamia, peanut, pecan, pine) and nut butters as acceptable on a low FODMAP diet, but exclude cashews which are considered high FODMAP and thus should be avoided.
  • Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center also has a decent FODMAP pdf here.  They list almonds, macadamia, pecans, pine nuts, walnuts as low FODMAP.
  • This Whole 30 Chart lists hazelnuts and limited almonds as FODMAP friendly based on Stanford and Monash sites.
  • Additionally, FODMAP is not supposed to be a complete elimination of FODMAP long term. Rather reintroduction and learning individual “dosing” amount of the FODMAP components should result.
I hope you enjoy this Homemade Chocolate Hazelnut Spread recipe as much as we do!
Happy Thanksgiving.
“Bonne Fête de l’Action de Grâce.” Although Thanksgiving is not a widely celebrated French holiday, this may be their greeting to those that do.

In health through awareness,


Last updated: February 6, 2018 at 9:19 am to add links for Produce study and UMass IBD-AID study.  Prior update Feb 12, 2017 was for SEO optimization.

2 thoughts on “Homemade Chocolate Hazelnut Spread, PALEO/FODMAP/UMassIBD-AID”

  1. There is a question on the safety of palm oil used in the commercial Nutella products. DIY recipes don’t use palm oil thereby eliminating this issue.

    For background on palm oil, begin reading this Reuter’s Jan 11, 2017 article, Nutella maker fights back on palm oil after cancer risk study, http://www.reuters.com/article/us-italy-ferrero-nutella-insight-idUSKBN14V0MK, which notes:

    The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) said in May that palm oil generated more of a potentially carcinogenic contaminant than other vegetable oils when refined at temperatures above 200 degrees Celsius. It did not, however, recommend consumers stop eating it and said further study was needed to assess the level of risk.

    The detailed research into the contaminant – known as GE – was commissioned by the European Commission in 2014 after an EFSA study the year before, into substances generated during industrial refining, identified it as being potentially harmful.

    EFSA does not have the power to make regulations, though the issue is under review by the European Commission. The spokesman for Health and Food Safety, Enrico Brivio, said guidance would be issued by the end of this year. Measures could include regulations to limit the level of GE in food products, but there will not be a ban on the use of palm oil, he added.

    The World Health Organization and the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization flagged the same potential risk that EFSA had warned of regarding GE, but did not recommend consumers stop eating palm oil. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration also has not banned the use of palm oil in food.

  2. An alternative is: Quick Homemade Nutella – Just Three Ingredients! (Dairy-Free) http://www.realfoodkosher.com/quick-homemade-nutella/

    All ingredients are approximations, adjust sweetener and cocoa powder to taste. This recipe works with almond butter too.

    1/2 cup *hazelnut butter (or almond butter)
    1-2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
    1-2 tablespoons raw honey (SCD/GAPS/UMass IBD-AID) or maple syrup (UMass IBD-AID)

    1. Place hazelnut butter in a shallow bowl.
    2. Add cocoa powder and mix it into the nut butter with a fork.
    3. Mix in honey or maple syrup. Taste and adjust seasonings. If you need to thin the mixture, add halzelnut oil, walnut oil, or coconut oil (warmed to liquid consistency).

    *To make your own hazlenut butter. It is best to soak hazelnuts in a salt solution and then dehydrate. This recipe skips the soaking step and says: Hazelnuts can be toasted on a cookie sheet in a 400 degrees oven for about 10 minutes. Remove as much of the nut skins as possible in a damp towel, add to a food processor and process into a paste.

    Nutella has a high sugar content, one serving (considered 2 tablespoons) has 21 grams of sugar, which equals about 5 teaspoons of sugar – not exactly a healthy option. It’s also the nature of most processed foods to have unnecessary added ingredients. Compare the Nutella ingredient list to what you can make at home;

    Nutella ingredients: sugar, palm oil, hazelnuts, cocoa, skim milk, reduced minerals whey (milk), lecithin as emulsifier (soy), vanillin: an artificial flavor.

Now I'd like to hear your thoughts... comments are always welcome!