Hazelnut Chocolate Butter (Homemade Nutella)

Fresh hazelnuts, dark chocolate, sea salt and granulated coconut flower nectar combine in a decadent nut butter that nods to everyone's favorite Italian spread (before swiftly dethroning it).

Chocolate. Hazelnuts. A touch of vanilla and almond extract to keep it interesting, coconut sugar for some extra depth and warmth, and a dash of salt. Oh yeah, and a good blender. That's all you need for this indescribably delicious nut butter, which thoroughly outdoes Nutella in both flavor and ingredient quality.

Here, we replace the unsustainable palm oil and refined sugar with sustainable, low-glycemic coconut sugar and MCT-rich coconut oil, then pack in as much flavor as possible with roasted Italian hazelnuts and unsweetened cocoa powder of the best quality. The result is almost confusingly incredible - because who really thought Nutella could get better?

If you're roasting your own hazelnuts, just spread them on a cookie sheet and pop in a 350F oven for 10-15 minutes, watching closely so they don't burn. If you're picky about removing the skins, these steps from the good folks at Epicurious will help you, but getting them all off is really not important (and kind of impossible). Just do the best you can, then drop them in the blender.

Lastly, we added a bit of almond extract because we love how the two flavors interact, but it's not necessary nor traditional. You can take it out entirely, or layer in your own flavors with orange zest, raspberry extract, or anything else that plays well with chocolate and hazelnuts. Just have fun with it (and speaking of fun, pairing your Nutella with bananas and this simple crepes recipe will make your day). Happy blending!

Homemade Nutella

1 cup toasted hazelnuts 

3 tbsp coconut oil

3 tbsp coconut sugar

2 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder

1/2 tsp vanilla

1/2 tsp almond extract

1/2 tsp salt

1. Place all ingredients in the bottom of a good quality blender or food processor.

2. On medium-low speed, begin processing ingredients until they come together. You may need to stop blending to scrape down the sides a few times. Once the mixture is well combined and the mixture is beginning to liquify (the hazelnuts will be about the size of large grains of sand) , turn the blender or processor up to high, and process until very smooth.

3. Scrape nut butter into a small container and store in the refrigerator for up to three weeks.

Two Step Banana Pudding

Banana pudding tends to come in two variations: Pudding that "resembles the flavor of bananas", and pudding made with actual bananas. This foolproof recipe sits firmly in the latter category, and will make the banana lovers in your life, uh, bananas about you and stuff.

Coconut flower nectar and bananas, ahhh. As anyone in the raw or paleo communities will tell you, their combination represents one of the greatest partnerships in the history of dessert. From gluten-free banana breads to the simple pleasure of dunking bananas slices right into the grains of coconut nectar, there's something about this combo that makes other sweeteners pale in comparison, adding next-level delight to an otherwise basic treat.

Well, not to offend raw foodies or their cavemen counterparts, but we have co-opted this guilty pleasure and created a somewhat guiltier interpretation of this magical flavor combo. Your work can begin and end with banana pudding (inspired by the recipe and handy method of mixing our ingredients in a blender, shared over at Butterlust). Or, you can take your pudding over the moon with layers of salted coconut nectar caramel, almond butter whipped cream, and a layer of crunchy, salty chopped nuts of your choosing (and stay tuned for an eclair recipe that pairs this incredible stuff with chocolate ganache).

Here, we share two versions of super simple pudding - one a little more decadent, one lightened up with coconut, soy, almond or other milk alternative of your choosing. Enjoy!

Two Step Banana Pudding

2 ripe bananas

1/3 cup cream*

1/3 cup milk*  

1/2 cup granulated coconut flower nectar

2 tbsp cornstarch

3 egg yolks

3 tbsp butter

Pinch of salt

*Low-fat modification: Replace cream and milk with 2/3 cup milk alternative. We like coconut milk, but soy or nut milks work well, too!


1. Place bananas, cream, milk, coconut flower nectar, cornstarch and eggs in a blender. Blend on high until mixture is very smooth.

2. Pour contents into medium saucepan and cook over medium heat until mixture thickens, whisking constantly. This happens pretty quickly, so watch closely! When pudding is the consistency of - pudding - remove from heat, add butter and whisk until butter is melted and pudding is smooth and glossy. Refrigerate and enjoy! 

Maple Ginger Pumpkin Butter

This easy, homemade pumpkin butter is excellent on toast, killer on pancakes or waffles, and even makes a great topping for greek yogurt.

Has anyone else ever wished pumpkin butter tasted a little more like – butter? Call me clueless, but as a kid I never stopped wanting each bite to taste like the seasonal output of an exotic, gourd eating cow. Of course, the reality was something much closer to gourmet applesauce, and while still tasty, it was just – missing something. Something like, you know, butter. 

Which I guess is why a lot of people eat their pumpkin butter with butter – a perfectly fine solution, but one that the idealist in me can't help but want to tinker with. Because it seems to me that a purée is a purée, and a butter is a butter. And if we're really going to call this pumpkin butter, well, we need to add some. And maybe some freshly ground ginger and lemon peel, just because we can.

This recipe is super simple: All the ingredients go in one pan, where they're whisked together then simmered over low heat for about 20 minutes before finishing with just enough butter to add depth, but not a ton of extra calories. One batch will make about two small jam jars worth of pumpkin butter, which you can keep yourself or give away as hostess gifts or other small offerings once the holiday rounds pick up. The butter is excellent on toast, incredible on pancakes or waffles, and it even makes a great topping for greek yogurt. Here, we boil it down to a thick but spreadable consistency, but if you keep going you can reduce it further to a topping for a pumpkin pie cheesecake or other layered dessert. Lastly, don't hesitate to fold some into whipped cream for a killer pumpkin mousse.

One final note about the simmering stage: This is a thick sauce, so be extra careful with safety while it's cooking. Those bubbles can fling off some very hot splashes, so covering the pot partially is not a bad idea, nor is being very careful when you stir to keep your hand and arms protected. 

Maple Ginger Pumpkin Butter

1 15oz can of pumpkin

1/2 cup apple juice

1/4 cup maple syrup

1/2 cup granulated coconut flower nectar

1 tbsp lemon juice

1 tsp lemon peel

2 tsp freshly grated ginger

1 tsp cinnamon

1/4 tsp nutmeg

1/4 tsp cloves

Pinch of salt

1/4 cup butter 

1. With the exception of the salt and the butter, place all ingredients in a medium saucepan and stir well to combine. Over medium-low heat, cook until mixture starts to boil, stirring regularly.

2. Reduce heat to low, and partially cover the pot with a lid to guard from splashes. Allow to simmer for 20 minutes, stirring regularly so the mixture doesn't burn.

3. Remove pan from heat; add butter and salt. Whisk carefully until the butter is fully incorporated and the pumpkin butter has a sheen. Transfer to heat-proof containers and allow to cool. Cover and store in refrigerator.

Homemade Vanilla Bean Simple Syrup

There's no comparison between a store-bought "vanilla" syrup and a homemade infusion made with real vanilla bean. There just isn't.

There's also not many good excuses for not making it, because it's crazy easy and keeps in your refrigerator for months. Not that it will stay there long; there are about a million uses for it, from cocktails to coffee to drizzling over fresh fruit and tossing with mint for an breezily elegant dessert.

Speaking of uses, some people would say you haven't lived until you've tried a vanilla latte made with this stuff, because the toasty complexity of the vanilla bean paired with the caramel undertones of coconut sugar is, quite simply, the highway to heaven. So without further ado, here's the 3-step recipe for vanilla bean simple syrup (and once you've gobbled up every drop, feel free to use the paste inside the remaining bean in another recipe calling for fresh vanilla).

Homemade Vanilla Bean Simple Syrup

1 cup granulated coconut flower nectar

1 cup water

1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise

1. Combine coconut sugar and water in a small saucepan over medium-high heat, stirring regularly. Bring to a gentle boil for 1 minute, or until the granules have completely dissolved in the water and mixture is transparent. Remove from heat, and let cool for a few minutes.

2. Place the vanilla bean in a glass jar or other sealable, heatproof container, and carefully pour the sugar syrup over the bean. Depending on the shape of your container, you may want to push down on the bean to ensure it's fully submerged.

3. Cool completely, then cover and place in the refrigerator. Let steep for at least 24 hours before using.