CHOCOLATE, PECAN AND HAZELNUT BUTTER
To the marriage of chocolate and nuts… A decadent lazy weekend breakfast!
I smeared this nutty goodness on some wholewheat toast from my local, The Olive Branch Deli. Its also perfect for rolling into very squishy truffles once chilled or adding to nice cream.
CHOCOLATE PECAN HAZELNUT BUTTER
1 cup raw hazelnuts
1 cup raw pecan nuts
6 tbsp cacao
3 large juicy medjool dates
3 tbsp natural maple syrup
2 tsp natural vanilla extract
1/4 cup warm water
Toast your nuts in the oven at 150C until you can smell them wafting. Check that they are nicely browned, wait to cool, then rub the hazels in your hands to remove the paper shells (or buy the unshelled ones if you want to pay extra). Add to a food processor and pulse until a crumble forms. Add the rest of the ingredients except the water and blend until it starts to turn smooth, then add the water in 3 parts and blend until the mixture is as smooth as you like it. Fold in more crushed toasted hazelnuts afterwards to make it crunchy. I topped my toast with bananas, natural maple syrup and more toasted hazels.
If you are more interested in the chocolate than in the nut flavour, then add melted dark chocolate to the mix.
MORE REASONS TO EAT HAZELNUTS
“Eating hazelnuts, and other tree nuts, can reduce your risk of cardiovascular disease.
They are high in vitamin E, and minerals, such as copper and magnesium, all of which reduce blood pressure and inflammation.
Hazelnuts are full of oil, but there’s no evidence they are fattening. Quite the contrary: people on nut-rich diets often show weight loss. An explanation for this is that eating nuts stimulates the metabolism and makes you burn more calories. Another is that the high fat, protein, and fibre composition of nuts gives them the “fullness factor” in spades, so when we eat them, we are left feeling satisfied, not tempted to stuff our faces with less healthy foods.”
(Published in The Guardian)