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What is Hazelnut Butter?

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  • Written By: Mary McMahon
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 03 December 2014
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Hazelnut butter is a rich, creamy nut butter made from the product of the hazelnut or filbert tree. Although not as popular as nut butters like peanut and almond, hazelnut butter is sometimes available in grocery and health food stores. It is also possible to make it at home with the assistance of a blender or nut grinder.

To make hazelnut butter, hazelnuts are toasted and then ground with oil. Some producers use hazelnut oil, while others may add almond, olive, or grapeseed. Only a small amount of oil is needed, since the nuts are naturally quite oily. The end result is a dense paste which may be flecked with pieces of the skin of the hazelnuts, unless they have been removed. As is the case with peanut butter, hazelnut butter is available in creamy and chunky formats.

Like other nut butters, hazelnut butter is very high in fat. The high fat content makes it rich and greatly enjoyable for many consumers, but it also threatens its stability. Storebought butter is usually shelf stable for six months to a year before it is opened. Once opened, the nut butter should be refrigerated so that the natural oils do not go rancid, and ideally used within four months. Make sure to stir the butter when you use it, as the fat tends to form a layer on top.

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There are a number of uses for hazelnut butter. Since it is so rich, it is important to remember that a little goes a long way. Some consumers like to spread it on toast or cookies, or eat it with fruits such as apples. It can also be incorporated into dessert recipes which call for peanut butter, or layered into cakes and cookie sandwiches. For people who are fond of Viennese food, hazelnut butter is a crucial component of hazelnut thins, popular butter cookies which can be dipped in chocolate for an especially luxurious flavor.

In addition to being high in fat, hazelnut butter also has a large protein content, just as the nuts themselves do. The nuts also contain some calcium and iron. Although it is probably not healthy in large amounts simply because of the fat content, a small smear of it has some dietary merit. It is also important to remember that the fat in this type of butter is a “good” fat which should not negatively impact cholesterol levels.

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anon178269
Post 4

Yes, that commercial is probably what did it. I know I had never heard of such a thing before. I bought some and liked it but my son thinks it has too much fat and won't eat any. I don't like meat much so I'd rather get protein from nuts but this may not be the best substitute.

Planch
Post 3

Do you know, hazelnut butter has become a huge, huge trend among college kids in my town. I guess it's just one of those things that kind of turns into a fad, but let me tell you, the local supermarket just can't keep enough of those chocolate hazelnut butters on the shelves.

I don't know what the kids do with it, they must eat it at every meal to go through so much of it, but I just find it kind of funny. Who would have thought that hazelnut butter could be a trend? What will they think of next?

naturesgurl3
Post 2

Great article! So many people don't realize how many different varieties of natural butter there are out there, which is such a shame since many of them are very tasty, and can also make great butter substitutes (in some cases).

For instance, while I love my organic hazelnut butter, I am also a huge fan of cashew butter and even almond butter. I'm so glad that these kinds of alternative nut butters are becoming more widely available and that more people are experiencing these great products.

It is good that you mentioned how high in fat these things are though -- I know that some people go crazy on the nut butters thinking that just because they're alternative or whatever they can eat as much as they want and remain healthy, but unfortunately it just doesn't work that way (I find people who eat the chocolate hazelnut butter are particularly prone to this belief).

But as long as you practice proper portion control, nut butter can be a great, and very tasty alternative to your regular butters and peanut butters. So if you haven't tried a nut butter yet, try one out! You might be surprised how much you like it.

Namaste!

galen84basc
Post 1

Oh I love hazelnut butter -- to me it almost has a butter and honey combination type of taste, which is just lovely.

I used to only be able to get raw hazelnut butter from my local healthfood store, but now I'm surprised to see it popping up all over the place.

I think that that chocolate hazelnut butter, what is it, Nutella (?) is what got the craze started. Of course, I'm glad because that means that I can get it cheaper and for a better price, but it does make me laugh to see how much of a trend the whole thing has become.

Is it the same where you all live?

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