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homemade avocado nutella


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Avocado is the secret to much food happiness in my life. When Nate’s not around, I live on avocado as my primary healthy fat and protein source. Last week I used inspiration from Pinterest to make an avocado grilled cheese sandwich, but I upped the ante by adding a runny fried egg. Wowza, was it ever good. I was originally planning to put this pic in my {What’s for Dinner?} series, which could partially explain why half the sandwich is out of the picture. Partially.

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A few days ago, I opened the last avocado in my Trader Joe’s bag only to discover it was bruised. Normally this is a big let down, but I had been hankering to try some
avocado chocolate pudding (you’ll never guess where I found it. Did you guess? Yes, Pinterest, of course!), so I decided to sacrifice this avocado for the experiment. I say “sacrifice” because I was highly skeptical about this pudding recipe. I bet you’re sitting there right now at your computer, being skeptical. That’s okay, I feel you. Hear me out.

When it comes to chocolate pudding, I am a traditionalist. By that I mean I stick to the Jello boxed stuff. Yeah, I know about Alton Brown’s homemade pudding mix. I also know about how much better for me real food is than the processed stuff. Meh. I’m a rice pudding girl anyway. But on the very rare occasion I make chocolate pudding, I’m particular about it being Jello brand. Perhaps it’s a childhood memory thing? I especially love pudding skin, so I buy the kind you make over the stove instead of the instant kind. I snub my nose at you instant-pudding-people. What can I say? I’m an odd duck.

I’m kidding about the snubbing nose part. Anyway, apart from having a bruised avocado, I’m not sure I ever would have tried this recipe. But now. Ohhhhhhhhh now. I am a changed woman, and there is no going back. I may never eat a savory avocado again. Just wait, you skeptic, you. You’ll see what I mean. Let’s just say I’m glad not to be on snack duty for church today because I bet I would have thought I could bring this healthy goodness, but I would have been wrong. It is MINE ALL MINE.

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I modified the recipe in a few ways. Firstly, I think it’s a misnomer to call this “pudding.” This is Nutella, baby. Wait, am I going to be sued for saying that? Okay, never mind. I’ll call it nutty chocolate spread instead…AND it’s healthy to boot. Winning! The second way I tweaked it is to remove some of the sugar. I thought it would be too grainy, not to mention too sweet when competing with super-sweet honey, so I dropped it down some. You can always add more sugar if you taste and determine yours needs it. The third twist is I use almond butter. I’m sure peanut butter is fine too, but I’m an almond butter convert. It’s lighter and more textured without being crunchy, and it’s almost sweet. Finally, I am adding a component to the technique: refrigeration. Sure, it was good at room temp too, but after refrigerating overnight, it reached full-on Nutella nutty chocolate spread texture.

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p.s. the cashews were for snacking, not the recipe.

NUTTY CHOCOLATE SPREAD
serves: ME

1 ripe avocado (bruised is not a requirement)
1/4 cup almond butter
2 Tbs. unsweetened cocoa powder
1 Tbs. coconut oil, melted
3 Tbs. sugar
1/4 cup honey
1/2 tsp. vanilla
dash of salt

Combine all ingredients in a big bowl and beat until smooth with an electric hand mixer. You can see I didn’t worry about smoothing out all the avocado flecks. If you care, just keep beating it more. Then grab a spoon for tasting…and a fork for fending off other would-be tasters. Refrigerate overnight for supreme spreading status.

My kids kinda like it.image

How do you eat your Nutella nutty chocolate spread? If I have my druthers, I prefer it on a banana. Or straight up, spoon-style. Yesterday I put it on a Lundberg brown rice cake and dunked it in my tea. I know, weird. That’s me!

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I’ve got more to say about this book (The Urban Farm Handbook) tomorrow. Short version: It’s fantastic!image

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Update: A few words about coconut oil. I held out for a long time because of its high cost, but now that I have taken the plunge, I am sold! Coconut oil has hit a tipping point lately, so there are more articles touting the wonderful ways to use this oil than I can shake a stick at. A few of my favorites are over at Family Sponge and Food Renegade. Yes, the oil has saturated fat, but you’ve likely learned by now it’s trans fat that should be avoided (at least, that’s what they are saying this week). Personally, I sought it out as a replacement for what I’ve come to know as industrial oil (i.e. canola, vegetable). I think it’s necessary for this recipe because it adds a depth of flavor and because it is solid at room temperature, assisting the bind of the spread. 

I also originally forgot to mention one of the reasons I love having an alternative to store-bought Nutella, which is that the product is largely composed of palm oil. If you haven’t heard much about that ingredient yet, Borneo (among other places) is rapidly being deforested to collect it. Bad stuff, it is. 

Update #2 (4-16-12): Since I posted this recipe, I have not gone without nutty chocolate spread in my fridge. I make a double batch that lasts a week, give or take how long until we’ve engulfed the last drop, in the fridge. 

Editor’s note: This post is a part of Fresh Bites Friday, Freaky Friday, Frugal FridayYour Green Resource, Simple Lives Thursday, It’s a Keeper ThursdayFrugal Days, Sustainable WaysSlightly Indulgent TuesdayMonday Maniathe Homestead Barn HopSeasonal Celebration Sunday, and Sunday School

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