229. Flourless “Nutella” Bars [Gluten Free and Vegan]

Flourless "NUtella" Bars|Gluten Free & Vegan|Ann Ning Learning How

The fact that I’m writing this post is an act of faith. Right now the “trial run” FNBs are cooling on the stove and setting up. Hopefully. They came out of the oven smelling great but soft. They taste wonderful in a Nutella molten lava cake sort of way, but I want to make something that can be enjoyed at room temperature since I’m hoping this works so I can bring them to The Gym tomorrow.

Tomorrow is my last day at my new PT place (“The Gym”) and I wanted to make something allergy-friendly. I fell asleep by accident yesterday for most of the afternoon, and had a good rest at night, too, so I was raring to go before 7 this morning. So I practiced making PBJ bars – you’ll see the recipe next week – but then I went to do my duty on the Alter-G and received intel that peanuts are actually on the allergy/intolerance list. Pfewf!! Good thing I asked.

But hazelnuts are free game so I immediately started concocting some “Nutella” bars in my head. I tried to rest my back and take a nap like a good girl but I only lasted 10 minutes before I HAD to get up and start throwing things in the Vitamix. I’m paying the price now so I’m resting before dinner. I’m going to just write this recipe down then I’m going to lie on the bed for a few minutes, promise. This is the quandary of my Recovery – my mind is more than ready to do things, but my body hasn’t caught up yet.

Anyhoo…I’m going to try another batch of bars and pray that they turn out okay. I’m not kidding about praying – that’s how I found The Gym in the first place, so it’s in keeping with my general practice. When I bring the “Nutella” bars in tomorrow I’ll bring a thank you note, too:

Dear [The Gym],

Thank you so much for letting me use the Alter-G this summer. I prayed for the opportunity to use an anti-gravity treadmill while I visited my sister and I found [The Gym] – and it couldn’t be closer or more convenient – we are in this area daily.

My left side did not behave as expected this summer (I found out that being away from my acupuncture doctor is NOT good), so it was especially important that I was able to use the Alter-G in a PT environment where people actually know what they’re doing. If left to my own devices the situation might very well have deteriorated rapidly. (The first place Google directed me to was a running company, not a PT practice.) As it was, I saw regression, especially in my left leg, but I was still able to build some stamina and my gait is better for having been able to exercise with you.

Thank you for everything 🙂 atnt.

Update: I tweaked the recipe and this 2nd batch came out like a moist brownie!

Flourless “Nutella” Bars
Gluten Free & Vegan
Grease an 8×8 pan and preheat the oven to 350

  • 1 c hazelnuts
  • 1 flax egg
  • ¼ c agave
  • splash of vanilla
  • ½ c + ½ c non-dairy milk
  • ½ c cocoa
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • ½ c coconut flour

In a small bowl, combine the cocoa, baking soda and coconut flour. In your blender (I use a high-speed blender [I ❤ Vitamix] – since there’s a full cup of liquid in this I’d try it in the regular blender or food processor, too – feel free, I’m sorry I haven’t done it myself. ) combine the hazelnuts, flax egg, agave, vanilla, ½ cup of the milk, and half of the dry ingredients. Puree. Add the other half of the dry ingredients and pour your second ½ c of milk over the mixture. Puree some more. You’ll probably have to use the tamper and/or stir by hand a little to get everything well combined. Pour into a smallish square dish (greased), e.g. a 8×8 and bake at 350 for 25 minutes.

Do you just want a dip or a schmear?

Fluffy "Nutella" | Ann Ning Learning How

218. Fluffy “Nutella”

Fluffy "Nutella" | Ann Ning Learning How

I’m sorry my “Nutella” doesn’t look fluffier in my picture.  I am away from my food stylist (Mommy).  And my other food stylist (Ai Ai) was unavailable, so I was left to my own devices.  

I’ve seen all manner of recipes and casual references to homemade chocolate-hazelnut spread (“Nutella”) and am throwing my hat in the ring since I ❤ hazelnuts and chocolate and real Nutella contains dairy and sugar that I’d rather not ingest.

142.  Today

142. Today

I’ve given up on recreating the babycakes I made for E’s birthday although I still like the idea of biscotti…but in the meantime, go make this spread.  My (sister’s) Vitamix does this in 60 seconds, but I’ve read about others using a regular blender or food processor.  Use what you have – it will be worth the experiment.  If it doesn’t turn itself into a consistency you’d enjoy on bread I suggest putting a spoonful in milk.  Add some ice, blend it up, an you’ve got a wonderful “Nutella” shake.  I’ve also done an iced coffee version – HIGHLY recommend it.

I sweetened mine with dates, and it’s sweeter than I usually indulge in, but not sickeningly so.  My children are not fans of my unsweetened creations.  Dates in general are regarded as suspect.  So if you’re going to sweeten with dates don’t allow your kids to see you putting them in the blender.  🙂

This version is fluffier than regular Nutella.  It’s like whipped cream cheese’s consistency vs. peanut butter.  It will be a great frosting.

Fluffy “Nutella”

  • 1 cup toasted hazelnuts
  • 1/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 1 cup milk of choice
  • 9 dates, pitted

Grind the hazelnuts first until they reach an almost-hazelnut butter stage.  Add the cocoa, 1/2 cup milk and the dates.   Blend more.  When combined, add the other 1/2 cup of milk and pulverize it until it’s nice and fluffy.  Store this in the fridge.