Nutella — packed with milk and hazelnuts, eeek! — is a no-go for nut and dairy allergies. So we mix up our own chocolatey spread with some sunflower seed butter, neutral-tasting beans, unsweetened cocoa powder and maple syrup.
It’s full of fiber… but tastes like dessert. I like mine on toast with raspberry or blackberry jam.
And it was a big hit at my sewing club (that’s my other blog!) on thin slices of rye bread (home-baked and sesame-free, of course):
This recipe was inspired by the Happy Herbivore‘s “Nutty Spread” (from her fantastic book The Happy Herbivore Cookbook: Over 175 Delicious Fat-Free and Low-Fat Vegan Recipes). I took out the peanut butter, salt and cinnamon, added cocoa powder and changed the portion sizes.
- 1 15 oz can (or 1½ cups cooked) allergen-free cannellini beans or chickpeas
- ⅓ cup sunflower seed butter or nutlike butter of your choice (or up to ½ cup for a richer taste)
- 2-3 tbsp pure maple syrup (depending on desired sweetness)
- 3-4 tbsp unsweetened allergen-free cocoa powder (I use 4, but it's pretty strong and chocolatey that way)
- 1-2 tsp non-dairy milk (if needed for smoothness)
- salt to taste
- Place all ingredients in a food processor.
- Pulse until smooth with no big bean chunks remaining. If mixture is still too chunky, add a teaspoon or two of non-dairy milk as needed and blend further.
- Add salt or additional maple syrup to taste.
- That's it! Enjoy with fruit, crackers or toast (or in a chocolate and berry jam sandwich, yum!)
Safer sourcing ideas:
DISCLAIMER: Please proceed with caution, check with companies yourself and use these allergy-friendly sourcing ideas as a starting place only. These are the options that work for our particular family and our daughter’s allergies and sensitivities as of the time of this writing. Ingredients and labels and cleaning practices can change at any time without warning.
- SunButter. I buy 6-packs of SunButter sunflower seed butter via a recurring Amazon Subscribe & Save subscription every few months. If you are dealing with soy allergies, do note that it is processed on shared equipment with soy—a soy-free alternative is available from Gerb’s.
- Cocoa powder: Hershey’s Cocoa Naturally Unsweetened cocoa powder is top-8 free and available pretty much everywhere (they couldn’t promise me sesame wasn’t an issue, but it seems unlikely to me). And Now Foods has an organic cocoa powder that they say is free of eggs, dairy, gluten, corn, soy, nuts and more (see their allergy policy and allergen data table for more info).
- Beans (dry or canned): The only canned and dried beans I’ve been able to find that are safer for our family are Eden Organic (and they’re BPA-free to boot). We buy canned cannellini beans as part of regular bulk orders from Vitacost (and they have canned chickpeas, too, on sale now for $1.69 a can!).
- Milk substitute: Use your favorite faux milk, though my daughter and I love unsweetened organic oat milk. It’s easy to make, or you can be lazy like us and buy 12-packs of Pacific Organic Oat Milk by Amazon subscription for slightly over $2/quart (compared to an average $4 in many local Brooklyn stores). Do note that Pacific runs some products containing cashews and dairy on the same line, but told me they take their cleaning practices very seriously—your comfort zone may vary here.
Mmmm… chocolate spread!
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