Sunday, September 15, 2013

Rawkin' Raw Nutella!

My kids LOVE Nutella. They discovered it in Australia when we were there in 2010. Since then, the Nutella craze has hit the US. The commercials for it claim that it is a healthy snack to give your family. After my own research, I have learned that their claim isn't true at all. 

So much work still needs to be done to educate people about health. Not only is Nutella "cooked," but it is highly processed and also the advertisers are great at leading the consumer to believe that it is good for you! Here is a clip from Wiki about part of the processing:

"Nutella is made from sugar, modified palm oil, hazelnuts, cocoa, skimmed milk powder, whey powder, lecithin, and vanillin. Initially the process of making chocolate spread begins with the abstraction of cocoa powder from the cocoa bean. These cocoa beans are harvested from cocoa trees and are left to dry for about ten days.[7] This natural ingredient is then shipped off to the processing plant. In the case of Nutella, the processing plant is situated in Italy by the Ferrero Company.

Typically cocoa beans contain approximately 50% of cocoa butter therefore they must be roasted to reduce the cocoa bean into a liquid form.[7] This step is not sufficient enough to be turned into a paste because it solidifies at room temperature, and would not be spreadable on food items such as toast. After this initial process, the liquid paste is sent to presses, which are used to squeeze the butter out of the cocoa bean. The final products are round discs of chocolate: pure compressed cocoa. 

The cocoa butter extracted from the cocoa bean is then transferred elsewhere so it can be used in other products. The second process involves the hazelnuts. Once the hazelnuts have arrived at the processing plant, a quality control is issued to inspect the nuts so they are suitable for processing. A guillotine is used to chop the nuts to inspect the interior.[8] After this process the hazelnuts are cleaned and roasted. A second quality control is issued by a computer-controlled blast of air, which removes the bad nuts from the batch.[8]

This process is undergone to ensure that each jar of Nutella is uniform in its look and taste. Approximately 50 hazelnuts can be found in each jar of Nutella, as claimed by the company.[9] The cocoa powder is then joined with the hazelnuts along with sugar, vanilla, skim milk and it is mixed in a large tank until it becomes a paste-like spread.[10] The modified palm oil is then added to help retain the solid phase of the Nutella at room temperature, which substitutes for the butter found in the cocoa bean.[11] 

In addition, whey powder is added to the mix because it acts as a binder for the paste. Whey powder is an additive commonly used in spreads to prevent the coagulation of the product because it stabilizes the fat emulsions.[12] Similarly to the whey powder, lecithin, which is a form of fatty substance found in animal and plant tissues is used to emulsify as it promotes homogenized mixing of the different ingredients allowing the paste to be spreadable. It also aids the lipophilic properties of the cocoa powder which, again, keeping the product from separating.[9] For the flavor aspect, vanillin is added to enhance the sweetness of the chocolate. Now that the paste is what is societally identified as Nutella, the product is then sent off to be packaged."

I decided to make my own healthy version of Nutella. The RAW version and it is DELICIOUS!! My kids love it! I think it would make a great frosting for a raw cheesecake too!

My version is raw hazelnuts that have been soaked overnight and drained. Raw blue agave for sweetener, raw cacao powder, organic vanilla, coconut oil and almond milk - all blended together with the Vitamix. Easy, delicious and so good for you!

Think of your favorite foods and do a search for the Raw versions of them! You can give your diet a raw, healthy makeover and not feel like you are missing out on anything.

Get Real, Go Raw!