Chocolate Hazelnut Spread

A healthier version of Nutella: Chocolate Hazelnut Spread

Chocolate Hazelnut Spread
There are certain words and terms that are quite simply irksome to my ears: “on a diet”; “detoxing”; and “clean eating” are at the top when it comes to eating behaviours. My philosophy has always been to eat in moderation without cutting out the food you love, to keep active and essentially you should be just fine.

It’s astounding the amount of recipe books that are thrust in our faces using these types of trendy marketing terms.“Souping” is the latest to target those trying to change their lifestyles. Just like these trends yo-yo in and out of fashion, you’ll find your weight also yo-yo’s as you try to find the right balance. Following a 7 day juicing course is one thing, but how do you maintain the weight loss once you start to eat normally again?

I don’t like these diet trends and never have; they aren’t healthy and they will leave you out of pocket and miserable. Denying yourself the food you love only sets you up for failure, as you will inevitably cave in and binge more than before you started. That is why I’m excited to share my thoughts on a refreshing recipe book called Hungry Healthy Happy: How to nourish your body without giving up the food you love.

Chocolate Hazelnut Spread

The author of this book is Dannii Martin, a young woman who is renowned for her very popular blog Hungry Healthy Happy. Dannii started her blog as a way to record her personal weight loss journey and share her recipes containing all the food we love, without the fad diets or gimmicks. Now that Dannii has reached a weight she is happy with, she continues to share recipes and tips on weight loss and how to maintain a healthy weight.

The book starts off broken down into the following categories:

The Principles of Losing Weight
The Importance of Exercise
Eating Well for Less
Store Cupboard Essentials
Two-week Meal Planner

Then there are over 100 recipes put into the following sections:

Snacks and Treats
Light Meals and Lunches
Hearty Main Meals
Side Dishes

What I love about this book is that the recipes detailed aren’t just vegan or vegetarian. There are so many of those around, it’s pleasing to see a healthy cookbook that doesn’t ignore the carnivores. I’m not so keen on using the fat-free yogurts and skimmed milk that a lot of the recipes call for, but that’s easy to substitute. It has all your favourites in a healthier incarnation: Shepherd’s Pie; Chicken Tikka Masala; and Mango and Raspberry Cheesecake, to name but a few. You won’t even feel like you’re cutting calories. Dannii actually suggests that you may eat more than you did before!

To prove the point that you can still enjoy food whilst maintaining a healthy diet, I’m sharing one of my favourites from the book; Hazelnut Chocolate Spread.

Chocolate Hazelnut Spread

Dannii Martin
Servings 25


  • 200g hazelnuts
  • 8 pitted dates
  • 130ml skimmed milk or any plant based milk (almond) (I used semi-skimmed).
  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract
  • 80g cocoa powder
  • 2 tbsp pure maple syrup


  • Place the hazelnuts in a food processor and process on the highest speed for 10–15 minutes, stopping to scrape down the sides of the bowl at regular intervals, until you have a smooth butter.
  • Meanwhile, place the dates in a bowl with 50 ml boiling water and leave to soak for 10 minutes.
  • Add the dates and water, along with the remaining ingredients, to the food processor with the hazelnut butter. Process the mixture on high until you have a smooth, glossy consistency. You can add more liquid at this point if you want, it all depends on what consistency you prefer. I added little bit more milk to thin it slightly.
  • Transfer the spread to a jar or bowl and keep in the fridge, covered, until ready to use. The spread will keep for 1 week in the fridge.

Other recipes we also tried and enjoyed: Banana pancakes (p26); Sausage and Egg Breakfast Muffin (p45); Quiche (p83); and Coconut Lime Chicken (p141).

This book is for anyone trying to lose weight or wanting to maintain a healthy weight. You don’t need to be an advanced cook, nor do you need to buy expensive hard-to-find ingredients. Many of the recipes serve 2-4 and are easy to increase, making them suitable for couples and families.

Hungry Healthy Happy
How to nourish your body without giving up the foods you love.
Author: Dannii Martin
Photography; Jacqui Melville
Format: Hardback, 192 Pages
ISBN: 9781910254370
Publisher: Jacqui Small

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