I used to love Nutella but it’s not vegan-friendly since it contains milk. I also don’t like that it has vanillin, is full of sugar and palm oil. But there are tons of vegan nutella redos, so I will spare you yet another. Even if nutella-making was out I still had it in my head to make a spread. One that would taste a great dissolved in a cup of coffee or spread on a graham cracker or a bagel. Something rich with no refined sweeteners and, after thinking too much about Nutella, it had to have hazelnuts in it too. I made a coconut hazelnut spread that only sweetened with dates. It has a slight caramel flavor from the dates in a creamy blend with a shading of hazelnut permeating throughout. I’ve been very excited about developing some recipes for Roland® Foods. The past couple of weeks I’ve been working with their canned coconut milk. (For full disclosure I was paid to develop this recipe and given free Roland Foods products. But I was not paid or even asked to do this post.) Slow Cooker Coconut Hazelnut Spread sweetened with Dates (with a stove-top variation) Makes about 1½ cups This recipe is great spread on toast or graham crackers, drizzled on top of vanilla ice cream or even used as a cupcake filling. No matter how you use it you can feel good that this creamy coconut hazelnut spread is sweetened entirely with dates.
- 1 (14 ounce) can of Roland FoodsⓇ Coconut Milk
- 10 pitted dates
- ½ cup toasted hazelnuts
- 2 teaspoons vanilla
Slow Cooker Version Step 1: Add the coconut milk, dates and hazelnuts to a 1 1/2 to 2 quart slow cooker and cook for 6 to 10 hours on low. The longer it cooks the thicker the end result will be. Stove-top Version Step 1: Add the coconut milk, dates and hazelnuts to a small saucepan. Cook over medium heat until it just starts to bubble. Then turn heat to medium-low and cook about 25 minutes or until the dates can be easily smashed with a wooden spoon. The rest of the directions for either cooking method: Note: You are just cooking the hazelnuts and dates to soften them up and to infuse some of the hazelnut flavor into the coconut milk. The coconut milk will also reduce by about 25% to make the mixture thicker. Set aside and allow to cool or be really careful pouring the mixture into a blender. Once it’s cool add the mixture plus the vanilla to a blender and blend until smooth. You may need to scrape down the bender a few times with a spatula to blend in the last of the tiny date pieces. Store in the fridge in a covered container for up to 1 week. Please note that the spread will get even thicker in the fridge as you can see below in my very first Instagram picture (follow me there as geekypoet if you want). I also cooked 2 batches and the one below I cooked for 10 hours in the slow cooker. The color is darker and it set up thicker than the batch I cooked on the stove. The pictures above the recipe are the stove-top version before it went into the fridge.