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How Do I Choose the Best Hazelnut Butter?

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  • Written By: Megan Shoop
  • Edited By: Michelle Arevalo
  • Last Modified Date: 07 December 2014
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Hazelnut butter is similar to peanut butter but made with hazelnuts instead of peanuts. The hazelnuts are ground together with oil and other ingredients to make many different versions of the spread. When you’re choosing hazelnut butter, you should first consider your dietary needs because some butters may be high in fat or sugar. You should also think about what flavor you’d like since hazelnut butter also comes in chocolate, cinnamon, and several other flavors. If you can’t find a version that suits all of your needs, you might try simply making some at home. There are plenty of recipes to choose from as well.

If you’re on a restrictive diet, you should always read the labels. Hazelnut butter comes in sugar-free versions, which may be sweetened with an artificial sweetener or contain none at all. Which you choose depends on how developed your sweet tooth is. For low-fat hazelnut butter, you should typically look for versions with very little oil in them. Nuts are naturally high in fats, but many companies add oil to make these products especially creamy. An oil-free version might be pretty dense, but also better for you.

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You also have a choice of flavors when it comes to choosing hazelnut butter. Chocolate mixtures are most common, though some companies also sell plain and cinnamon versions. Manufacturers occasionally mix two nut butters together, for instance, combining hazelnuts and peanuts or hazelnuts and walnuts. If you’re looking for an unusual spread for your morning toast, you might try searching organic grocery stores for coffee or honey-infused hazelnut butters. A few might even contain fruits, like strawberries or crushed raisins.

If you can’t find a version of hazelnut butter that you enjoy, you could try making some at home. Most recipes start with about one part hazelnuts. They should typically be toasted in the oven until they’re golden brown and then poured directly into a food processor. From there, you should pulse the processor until they become creamy. This may take up to about 30 minutes because hazelnuts are usually pretty dense. You’ll also need to scrape down the sides of the processor every two or three minutes. The oils in the nuts will eventually turn the nut meal into a creamy paste.

After grinding up the nuts, you have several choices. You can stream in a little olive, coconut, or peanut oil to make the butter very creamy and simply serve it plain. A few big squeezes of honey and agave, along with some cocoa powder and a little sea salt, could be very tasty. If you’re adventurous, you could even try adding some chili powder and shredded coconut to your butter.

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