Monday, April 19, 2010

Nut-Free "Nutella" Substitute--Safe for Peanut and Tree Nut Allergies!

I know I've been talking up my recent discovery of Sunbutter lately, but bear with me while I share my latest use for this peanut butter substitute. I used to be a big fan of Nutella, that chocolate-hazelnut spread that is a European sensation but is now widely available in the U.S. I don't have peanut butter or tree nut products in my house anymore, but I definitely have missed Nutella. I bet some of you do, too.

Last week, I remembered that I had (from years ago) a peanut butter-chocolate recipe that was meant to be used as filling for dessert calzones (this recipe was suggested if you didn't have access to Nutella). I used to make these dessert calzones using only Nutella, but that was back in the days before nut allergies came into my life.

I dug up this book and decided to use Sunbutter in this recipe, along with a few other of my changes. I know that some of you with nut allergies also are allergic to seeds, so if you can have soy butter, you can replace the Sunbutter with that. In fact, I've seen a soy butter-chocolate spread at the supermarket, but making your own tastes a lot better if you have the time. Also, I tend to prefer the taste of Sunbutter over soy butter, but of course, use what is appropriate for you.

So here goes: the Sunbutter-chocolate spread recipe followed by the one for dessert calzones. Enjoy!

Sunbutter-Chocolate Spread

2/3 cup sugar
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder (I use Hershey's)
2/3 cup milk (any kind--substitute non-dairy if you need to)
1 tsp vanilla extract (I use McCormick or Nielsen-Massey)
1/2 cup Sunbutter sunflower seed spread

In a medium saucepan, stir the sugar and cocoa powder until blended. Gradually stir in the milk. Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring constantly, then lower heat and simmer for 2 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool for at least 5 minutes. Add the vanilla and Sunbutter, stirring until smooth. Let cool thoroughly before using.

Store this in the refrigerator. It will keep for about a week.

Dessert calzones with Sunbutter-chocolate filling

Use your favorite pizza dough recipe or buy pre-made dough (I sometimes use Pilsbury brand). Preheat the oven to 475 degrees F.

Divide the dough into 6 pieces and roll each piece into a 6-7 inch circle. Spoon two tablespoons filling into the center, then fold dough into a half-moon over the filling. Pinch the edges together and fold bottom half over top, crimping to seal well. Place on an ungreased cookie sheet, leaving 2 inches between each calzone. Bake until well browned-between 12 and 20 minutes, depending on your oven. Remove from oven and sprinkle with confectioner's sugar. To die for!!!!


Linda B said...

THANK YOU!!!! I have missed Nutella as well!

LittleMeTG said...

I cannot wait to try this out! I've been craving Nutella, banana crepes for the longest time!!! Thank you :)

Elizabeth Goldenberg said...

That spread and the calzone recipe sound SO GOOD! I will definitely make the spread soon. Thanks for posting the recipes.

Vera said...

Your blog is really helpful. Three of my kids have nut allergy issues, and it's pretty hard to prepare snacks for them. I'm running out of ideas! Thank you for the recipes.

Libby said...

That sounds....disturbingly good. I've missed Nutella, too. I'm just afraid that once I let my son taste this, all other spreads will be toast!

Debi said...

Hi there -- I am so excited about this idea! My daughter has just been diagnosed with EoE, and she is on a 6-food elimination diet (no dairy, egg, soy, wheat, nuts, or fish). It's hard to get protein in her and she doesn't like plain sunbutter, so this seems like it would be just the thing. However, I've made it and it's syrup-y. I used hemp milk - do you think just adding more sunbutter would do the trick?

Jenny said...

Hi Debi, Thanks for writing! I have no experience with hemp milk, but I know that Sunbutter can be runnier than peanut butter. We buy the Sunbutter labeled "creamy" and find that offers a thicker result. I also find that keeping my Sunbutter in the refrigerator helps keep the consistency thicker.

As you suggested, I think adding less hemp milk overall and refrigerating the mixture (to help thicken it) after it's finished should help.

Dee said...

Have you ever tried "peabutter"? I can only order it online, but my daughter prefers it to "sunbutter". It is processed in a nut free/peanut free facility in Canada, and it is made with golden peas. it is quite only complaint is that it is "processed with hydrogentated vegetable oil to prevent separation", but otherwise a fun alternative to sunbutter. Thanks for your blog... we will try your nut free nutella this weekend! :)

Anonymous said...

I am the founder of Simple Food, a nut-free, gluten free, vegan company that makes organic soynut butters in five flavors. Our best seller is our chocolate which is a great nutella substitute. We also love the cinnamon sugar one. I just wanted to let you know about us and if you would like some samples to review i would be happy to send them!

hsw said...

Must try, I thought of just mixing ELF melted chips and sunbutter but this sounds much better!

Sarah said...

Too bad my son who is allergic to tree nuts is also allergic to sesame seeds! Darn it! :)

Jenny said...

Sarah, the recipe uses sunflower seed butter, not sesame but if tou are concerned about all seeds, you can use soybutter, too.