Nowadays we can buy a LOT of ready-made food that can simplify our lives quite a bit. Think of peeled tomatoes and chickpeas in a jar, for example, which free us from lengthy preparations when our busy schedules demand quick lunches and dinners. A lot of this food is not such a good choice. Take for example many ready-made dishes you can find in any supermarket: most of them contain lots of added sugar, preserving chemicals and way too much salt, so all in all they’re not the healthiest choice, especially if you have kids and you want to raise them in a healthy, responsible way by teaching them to appreciate real food and real flavours.
Seemingly, Dutch food producer Honig has a different opinion on this: they find their packaged preparations ideal for young and old and have asked a typical Dutch family with young kids to eat their ready-made food for one year. ONE WHOLE YEAR!!!
Think of the horror: one entire year of powdered preparations added to some veggies, meat and other ingredients. From my personal point of view, pretty yucky and definitely unhealthy.
Dutch food journalist Karin Luiten, very well-known in The Netherlands for being the leader of the “anti pakjes en zakjes” movement (against ready-made packaged food) has therefore asked the collaboration of food bloggers, foodies and other journalists to organize a peaceful “counter-offensive”. Her goal: sharing easy recipes that can be made at home with little effort and money and absolutely no other components than good, honest ingredients. This way, avoiding ready-made food can be easily done by everyone, foodie or not.
I couldn’t agree more: after 17 years of teaching Italian cooking I can say without the shadow of a doubt that everybody can cook, also those who have never done it before. Give someone a few good ingredients and some easy recipes – plus a little guidance when possible – and they’ll be able to produce tasty, healthy dishes from scratch. Moreover, they’ll be happy and proud of their end results like lots of the people that come to my cooking workshops, and that will probably stimulate them to cook more often.
So here’s my contribution to Karin’s crusade: my home-made (and very healthy) chocolate spread! And that on World Nutella Day! 😉
Nutella fans, don’t expect this to taste totally like your favourite chocolate spread because it doesn’t. It’s very nice and pleasantly tasting, though, and it contains no other sugars than those coming from rich, plump and moist Medjoul dates.
Worth trying, that’s for sure!
In the picture I spread it over some sweet potato toast for a great, healthy breakfast.
If you don’t like hazelnuts use almonds or cashews instead. You won’t have that nutty Nutella undertone typical of slightly roasted hazelnuts – I prefer to use them raw – but this spread will taste great anyway.
I like mine a bit chunky. However you decide to prepare it – very smooth or a bit coarse like the one in the picture – I’m sure you won’t be disappointed: it’s naturally sweet, healthy, vegan, nourishing and very, very satisfying. 🙂
Home-made chocolate spread
Ingredients for a jar of about 200-250 grams:
10-12 Medjoul dates
1 big handful – about 50 gr. – of raw hazelnuts (roasted is OK too)
2 spoons of raw sunflower seeds
2-3 spoons of coconut oil, not melted
2 slightly heaped spoons of (raw) cocoa powder
2 or more spoons of rice or almond milk
Start mixing together the hazelnuts and the sunflower seeds (use a good mixer or blender).
Add the coconut oil starting with 2 spoons (add some more if you wish to make the spread richer and smoother), the cocoa powder, the pitted dates and the rice or almond milk.
Mix until smooth and add more coconut oil and/or rice milk to reach the desired texture.
Preserve inside a glass jar in the fridge.
It will keep for about a week (but you’ll probably finish it a lot faster).