(EDIT: I now have a new and improved Homemade Nutella recipe that is much sweeter and creamier!)
Yes, I know the title of this post is something less than specific. I mean…yumminess? What is that supposed to mean? I admit, I just copped out and settled on “yumminess” after pondering for 10 minutes what to call it. It’s not a sandwich. Not a cookie or cake or anything like that. So what is it? It’s something that I like to eat for lunch, a quick sandwich substitute, but what to call it?
Yumminess it is!
My husband loves Nutella. A lot of people do, but when you look at the ingredients…
it’s not so great. I mean, the first ingredient – the very first – is sugar. It’s not exactly health food for anyone, and is deadly for anyone on an anti-inflammation diet. Then, just from a general “real food” perspective, there are other ingredients like lecithin that isn’t food. So, there has to be a better way to eat something like this, right?
When I was little, my father often ate a snack of a rice cake with peanut butter, chocolate chips, and bananas, and that memory is what gave me the idea for this recipe. Searching for quick, sandwich-like foods to eat for lunch, I latched upon that memory and turned it into something I can eat. And it’s delicious.
(In the spirit of full disclosure, I suppose I should clarify that this really doesn’t taste like Nutella. After all, Nutella is mostly sugar, so there’s no way it’s going to taste like it. So, comparing it to Nutella doesn’t mean it’s an exact substitute – just that it’s a chocolatey, slightly sweet nut butter that you can use in the same way that you use Nutella.)
First, the base is a puffed non-wheat cake of some kind. Regular rice cakes are made with white (refined) rice, so are no good for an anti-inflammation diet. I’ve been using brown rice cakes instead, but today I found these spelt and flax seed cakes in Whole Foods right next to the rice cakes, and decided to try them. I wasn’t sure what to expect, but they were great! Nutty and slightly salty, and they hold together better than the rice cake. And flax is anti-inflammatory, so eating it actually fights inflammation. I also like how thin they are compared to the rice cakes. So definitely a keeper!
(And, am I the only person who thinks of TPS reports when I see that brand of rice cakes?)
The “Nutella” is made of a nut butter of your choice, cocoa powder (dark or Dutch processed is best), and stevia.
Just make sure you read the labels on your nut butters! Read your labels on everything, really, but in this case you want something that has a label like this:
Ingredients? Peanuts. And nothing else. Even “Natural” versions of peanut butter by brands such as Jiff or Skippy have sugar in it, so read your labels!
Take a small bowl and put in the nut butter. I used a combination of half almond butter, half crunchy peanut butter. Because I’m wild like that, baby. I like to live on the edge.
Mix it all together and add in the cocoa. Amounts aren’t exact here – I just put in a large spoonful.
Mix the nut butter and cocoa together.
Mmmm. Looks like chocolate icing. But at this point the taste doesn’t match how it looks – it’s a little bitter. So add like 1/8 of a teaspoon of Stevia and stir it in. If you wanted to, you could put in raw honey, but that isn’t anti-inflammation friendly, so it’s better to use Stevia. I find that just that small amount tastes good in this – but if you put in too much Stevia, it just starts to tastes weird. So stick to small amounts. (If you really can’t stand the taste of Stevia, then use raw honey instead. Actually, the flavor of honey would go really well with the other ingredients, but honey is something most anti-inflammation people can’t eat so I use Stevia to make it slightly sweet so that I can eat as much as I want. But if you can eat honey, and would rather use that, feel free.)
Spread a little of the chocolate nut butter onto a rice cake (or, in this case, a spelt/flax cake). If you want…you can stop right here and eat it as is.
But it’s really best with banana on top. It just adds that little extra sweetness. So cut up a banana….
and lay them on top.
It’s so good. And, since quick lunchy, sandwich substitutes are hard to find when you’re living an anti-inflammation life – especially if you’ve cut wheat too, as I have – this is a great option to have on hand! Experiment with different kinds of nut butters or additives. Maybe some cinnamon would be good in it? Some cacao nibs or carob chips? Peanuts? If you don’t like bananas, try strawberries, maybe, or raspberries, or diced apples. Use your imagination! And enjoy.
Homemade “Nutella” and Banana Yumminess
(Amounts really aren’t specific here, but for the purposes of writing down a recipe I’ll include them.)
- 1 brown rice cake or other non-refined grain puffed grain cake
- 1/2 cup sugar-free nut butter of your choice
- 1 heaping tablespoon of cocoa powder (preferably dark, or Dutch processed)
- 1 pinch (about 1/8 tsp) Stevia powder (I use Sweet Leaf)
- 1/2 banana, sliced, or other fruit of your choice