I cannot begin to tell you how much I love anything made from hazelnuts. The rich, nutty flavor gels perfect with ice cream, toast, or a crisp morning coffee. This delicious and nutritious food spread is made from crushed and blended hazelnuts. Available in both crunchy and smooth varieties, hazelnut butter can be made from either raw or roasted hazelnuts.
Overview & Health
Hazelnut butter is most commonly found in Europe, but its popularity has spread across the globe in recent years. Studies have shown that people who consume nuts and nut butters on a regular basis tend to have lower body weights since they help suppress hunger while providing the body with the nutrients it craves. Hazelnuts are very high in energy and loaded with numerous healthy nutrients that are essential for optimum health. 100 g of nuts provides 628 calories. Raw hazelnut butter provides the good fats humans need, plus vitamins and minerals such as vitamin E (more than twice as much as peanut butter!) and magnesium. Other benefits of raw hazelnut butter include high levels of folate, a good balance of zinc, iron, and potassium, and a good source of protein and dietary fiber. Those looking to cut down on their sodium intake will be happy to know that raw hazelnut butter is naturally sodium-free!
Hazelnut butter is high in cholesterol-reducing monounsaturated fats, particularly oleic acid, which has been shown to play a role in reducing the adverse effects of low-density lipoprotein (LDL). Research suggests that diets high in monounsaturated fatty acids help prevent coronary artery disease and strokes by favoring healthy blood lipid profile. Raw food enthusiasts believe that unroasted hazelnut butter possesses greater nutritional value and more beneficial enzymes, both of which would otherwise be lost in the roasting process.
Hazelnut oil has a nutty aroma and boasts excellent astringent properties. It helps to keep skin well-protected from dryness. It has also been used in cooking, and as “carrier or base oil” in traditional medicines in massage therapy and aromatherapy.
How To Make Your Own
1.5 cup raw hazelnuts
- Toast the hazelnuts so you can get a better nutty flavor later. One idea is to roast them dry in a pan on the stove, without using any oil. Shake them around every now and then until they start turning darker and you start to smell the delicious roasted hazelnut scent. You can also roast them in the oven by putting the nuts on a baking tray at 400 degrees Fahrenheit for a few minutes.
- You can keep the skins on for the nut butter, but if you find this too bitter, feel free to remove them. Put your freshly roasted hazelnuts in a dish cloth, wrap them up, and roll them around on your counter top. Grinding them against each other helps the toasted skins flake off easily.
- If you want raw hazelnut butter, skip all the roasting and go right here to step 3. Throw your hazelnuts in a blender and switch it on. Blend until the oil oozes out and turns your hazelnuts into a smooth, creamy butter. You’ll need to stop and scrape down the sides of your container. At some point, the blended nuts will start to become a little stickier because of the oil coming out, but you can keep the blender going even if it looks like nothing is being blended.
Cooking With Hazelnut? Try these recipes: