This nut butter is my comfort food go-to! I enjoyed spreading chocolate hazelnut as a kid-less for the chocolate than the roast, nutty hazelnut flavor! Spreading a little hazelnut butter on a slice of toast as an adult comes very similar to my childhood memories of the Italian and Croatian pastries that we always had.
This hazelnut butter is the very definition of warmth, with the warming addition of cardamom!
Hazelnuts are an excellent snack, like most nuts, since they are a good source of healthy fats and contain protein and fiber, allowing for satiation and a balance of blood sugar. Hazelnuts are rich in antioxidants that kill free radicals and have a very high proanthocyanidin content, a polyphenol that is also present in red wine and chocolate.
In addition, studies have shown that hazelnuts may be effective in improving insulin sensitivity, may enhance certain biomarkers of cardiovascular risk, and increase beneficial HDL cholesterol while reducing harmful LDL.
A clinical trial recently published in Oxidative Medicine and Cellular Longevity found that moderate hazelnut intake was excellent for health and did not appear to contribute to weight gain, while hazelnuts contain fats. Only in a nutshell? Go on and get nut-cracked!
Next-level your nut butter for a healthier version of that famous indulgent commercial spread with some cocoa powder, a splash or two of vanilla, and a little coconut sugar, or try subbing some of the hazelnuts for almonds for a slightly milder taste!