You know these traditions that remain a lifetime? I think collecting chestnuts in the forest during Autumn season is one of those special every year traditions to me, very certainly. I love those memories that jump into my mind from time to time how I used to enjoy those special days in the forest searching for the biggest and prettiest chestnuts that could be found. Then passing at the local farmers shop on the way home to get a bottle of “Viez” (a typical regional sweet (non-alcoholic) apple wine from the area I come from) to enjoy it with roasted chestnuts from the oven, wrapped in a blanket while watching TV. That cozy feeling, priceless and heavenly. Looking back and still thinking about I am in the present now, yes, I may could call myself a sweet Couch potato :-). But that isn´t such a bad thing, right? Although I often suffer from Wanderlust and after living in Mallorca for a couple of years, there still, is no place like home.
Now being 30, almost turning 31, I love to make my home the coziest place on earth for me. I light up the apartment with a lot, really a lot of scented candles each evening, make something delicious to eat and work for pumpkin up your life or would watch a movie. Whatever comes first. Though some things from the childhood will probably remain forever, some things changed. When I was little one of my daily main food favorites, without I couldn’t survive, definitely has been Nutella. That extremely delicious Nougat chocolate cream I could eat out of that glass only with a spoon.
Although I have to admit that almost nothing compares to this taste, after growing up and changing my eating habits in a healthy kind of way, I always wanted to make a version with more trustworthy ingredients and less sugar. I am not going to talk bad about Nutella, but there are options to make a similar healthier chocolate nut cream. And as I had a lot of chestnuts at home from my annual gathering, I thought why not using a puree out of them instead of hazelnuts – that are used in the original Nutella. And I can say it turned out super delicious. Trust me. And best part of this recipe? It´s a 100 percent animal cruelty free and vegan.
If you still prefer to use hazelnuts, no problem. You would also roast them, remove their peel and make a smooth paste out of them with a food processor and use as in the recipe below. I hope you enjoy trying out my version and have even more fun eating all of it by yourself 🙂
VEGAN CHESTNUT NUTELLA
I roasted chestnuts for this recipe that I collected myself. Of course it is optional to use already roasted and packed chestnuts. You can find them in well equipped supermarkets. This recipe also works if you want to have a more classic Nutella taste by using hazelnuts, roasted and processed in a food processor to receive a smooth paste. That will give that typical nougat taste we know from Nutella.
- 300 g roasted chestnuts
- 5 tbsp. coconut milk
- 1 pinch of salt
- 6 tbsp. organic and pure coconut powder
- 2 tbsp. coconut oil (melted)
- 2 tbsp. sunflower oil / vegetable oil without a strong taste
- 5-6 tbsp. date syrup / any other sweetener will be fine
- Using a small sharp knife cut an X into each chestnut.
- Preheat oven to 180° C.
- In a small sauce pan bring water to a boil and fill in the chestnuts.
- Let them cook for 4 minutes and then strain them over a sieve. Place them onto a baking sheet. Roast them for about 20-30 minutes. Remove them from the oven when the cutting edge of the peel starts to roll upwards.
- Let cool until touchable and immediately remove the peel.
- In a small bowl add chestnuts and coconut milk. Make a smooth puree by using a blender or a food processor. Make sure that both ingredients are well combined.
- In a small pot melt coconut oil on low heat. Once liquid, remove from heat and set aside.
- Add 1 pinch of salt, cocoa powder, date syrup or other sweetener to the chestnut coconut milk puree and mix until all ingredients are well-combined.
- Go on with adding now the melted coconut oil and the sunflower oil gradually.
- Add oil until mixture starts to get shiny and smooth.
- Pour Nutella into glasses as full as possible. So that there is no air left. Close the glasses very well. Chestnut Nutella is storable for a few days (in the fridge).