So, once a recipe has passed the family test and the best-friend test, you know it’s good…in fact, you know it’s great. This spread has passed both!! I can’t wait to share this recipe because it was really a propitious error that turned into a fridge staple. Okay, so don’t hate me for calling this nutella, not because it’s not just as creamy and chocolate-y and sweet and delicious as nutella (it is!), but because it doesn’t have hazelnuts! I know, I know, it’s not really nutella without the hazelnuts, but living in a nut-free household has its limitations. So, let’s delve into the story of this nutella. Well, a long, long time ago, in the suburbs of a small town, a girl set out on a mission…a mission to make an all-natural caramel sauce. However, this mission took a turn for the chocolate-y and what came of the caramel sauce was never spoken of…until now. Okay, sorry for the dramatics hehe. But really, I was out to make a date caramel sauce because I’ve heard all about how pureeing soft Medjool dates could yield a soft, caramel-like mixture. I tried it and I’ll admit it tasted alright, but it was nothing that made me jump up and down and lick the Magic Bullet clean. I added a shot of cocoa powder, just for kicks, and WOW…it was amazing. I tested it on my family, introduced it as a date chocolate spread. and my mother criticized it because it didn’t taste like dates. Mission accomplished. And my best friends were all over it at lunch! My friend, Sarah, wanted the recipe, but I never measured anything out. So, after making the third batch of it, I decided to write a recipe….and here it is! You’ll be surprised how natural, sugar-free, and fat-free this recipe is, especially considering the evils in nutella and really just how much like nutella this tastes!
Recipe: Makes 1 cup
1 cup packed dates
1 cup boiling water
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 tbsp agave nectar
2 tbsp cocoa powder
In a bowl, add boiling water to dates
In this same bowl, add vanilla extract
Soak for 15 minutes
After soaking, drain as much water from the bowl as possible and reserve it!
Put drained dates in a food processor with agave and blend
If it will not blend, add 1/2 tsp of reserved water at a time until it blends smooth (Yes, only 1/2 tsp! You don’t want it too liquidy)
When smooth and pasty, remove from food processor and stir in cocoa powder
If you can resist the chocolatey goodness, it tastes best after a few hours in the fridge, where it will firm up just like nutella!
You can use this exactly like you would use nutella! I’ve only tried this with one baking recipe (which will be posted soon!) so I cannot vouch for its use in baked goods. However, it tastes mighty delicious stirred into oatmeal, on some whole-wheat bread, and by the spoonful!