You either like Nutella, or you can easily live without it. Odds are if you are a fan of peanut butter and chocolate, you will be a fanatic of Nutella. Nutella is a delectable hazelnut chocolatey spread that’s enjoyed worldwide on toast, drizzled on pancakes, as a dip for strawberries, or as a filler in baking.
Now, the question is – Is Nutella vegan?
Not to burst your bubble so soon, but Nutella is not vegan.
Let’s explore which ingredients go into a batch of Nutella, and later discuss why this chocolate hazelnut spread isn’t vegan..
The Nutella recipe is a basic but very yummy blend of seven ingredients: sugar, palm oil, milk, hazelnuts, cacao, lecithin, and vanillin, which we will now further discuss.
Let’s explore what goes into a batch of this chocolatey goodness.
Lecithin in this spread is used as an emulsifier, and is typically derived from either soy or sunflower seeds. Some times you will see lecithin that’s been sourced from eggs (the term lecithin comes from the Ancient Greek word for egg yolk) or other animal products, but this type is plant-based. So, the lecithin is vegan.
Palm oil is a vegan ingredient.
Sugar (refined) in Nutella is a component in this recipe that is not considered vegan. The sugar in Nutella comes from either beet or refined sugar, depending on the country in which the Nutella has been produced.
*In the sugar refining process, bone char is an animal product that is sometimes used to remove sugar impurities and to create a whiter sugar crystal. If you are a strict vegan, it’s ideal to e mail or contact the manufacturer to get full disclosure of how the sugar was processed.
Milk powder is obviously not vegan, because it comes from a cow. Moooooo.
Cacao in Nutella is 100% vegan. Most chocolate, however, isn’t dairy free.
Now, the question is – Is this sweet freedom of a dessert something that vegans can eat?
Is Nutella Vegan?
For a food item to be considered vegan, it means there can be no animal products or animal derivatives. One of the ingredients in Nutella is skimmed milk powder, which is derived from cow’s milk, so this yummy chocolate spread is technically not vegan due to the animal product contained within it.
The company that makes Nutella, Ferrero, has highlighted that this product has no artificial colorings or preservatives, but however, has not claimed that Nutella is classified as a vegan product.
While the milk powder adds to the soft texture and creaminess of this delicious spread, you might want to consider dipping your spoon straight into the jar again if you’re aiming to hold true to your veganism.
Nutella is not a suitable food for vegans, or for those with milk allergies. Fortunately, there are many dairy-free Nutella alternatives on the market, if you’re craving something that tastes very similar to it and don’t want to miss out. Just because you’re a vegan doesn’t mean you have to live life without the tasty things.
Vegan Nutella Alternatives
Justin’s Chocolate Hazelnut Butter Blend
This is another quality Nutella doppelganger. If you’re keeping an eye on your sugar intake, this brand has half as much sugar in it as other competitors. So, it doesn’t taste quite as sweet as Nutella, but the extra chocolatey flavor in this nut butter compensates for this. It also has pretty flavorful nutty notes – fyi.
*For the vegans that haven’t yet tried this one, Justin’s offers this product in 1-ounce packets, if you’d rather not buy an entire jar of this at first.
Biona Dark Chocolate Spread
Another best choice is- it’s vegan and gluten-free, and also rich in flavor and creaminess.
Nocciolata Organic Chocolate Hazelnut Spread
This is another vegan chocolate brand that’s very similar in taste to Nutella – this one resembles the taste of it the most.
Nutiva Nutella Vegan Hazelnut Spread
One of the other options for a hazelnut butter vegan alternative is the plant-based hazelnut spread. This is certified organic, and you can pick it up on Amazon, Walmart, or on Nutiva’s website. The ingredients include cane sugar, palm oil, cacao, flaxseed flour, sunflower lecithin, chia seed oil, and refined coconut oil, for fiber and healthy fats. This gluten-free yummy spread can be enjoyed just as you would regular Nutella.
Don’t Go Nuts Chocolate Soybean Spread
One other scrumptious hazelnut spread with rich cocoa powder, this is an excellent option for those that are vegan and also for those allergic to nuts. This compares to the ingredients (and taste!) of Nutella, even though it doesn’t have any hazelnuts.
Vegans can find most of these Nutella alternatives that do not have milk in a local grocery store, health food store, or on Amazon. It’s always an option to email a company for more info, too, for any further questions you may have about the processing and manufacturing of whichever chocolate spread you may be interested in.
As for Nutella itself – you can find it in most grocery stores.. but if you want Nutella and don’t feel like leaving your home, check out Holland Barrett website or Amazon to have it shipped straight to you. If you feel like buying bulk Nutella, it’s even offered in 1kg jars.
How to make your own Nutella
You might opt for a homemade chocolate hazelnut Nutella recipe. You just need hazelnuts, maple syrup, dark chocolate chips, coconut oil, sea salt, hazelnut, and vanilla extract. First, the hazelnuts should be roasted in the oven at 350 degrees for about ten minutes, cooled for a bit, and then placed into a food processor to be ground up into a paste. Then, the chocolate can be melted inside of a saucepan and added to this mix. All of the other ingredients can be stirred in, and voila – you now have fresh Nutella vegan made with your love. This is the best dairy-free option if you absolutely want to be sure there are no milk products or derivatives in your vegan Nutella batch. Plus, this recipe calls for coconut oil instead of palm oil (an ingredient inside of the original Nutella brand), which is more sustainable for the planet if that’s important to you.
If you’re not a vegan and are curious to try it for the first time, this beloved chocolate hazelnut spread can be spread over freshly baked banana bread, your favorite ice cream, or you could just enjoy if you’re a female and need a chocolate fix during your special time of the month!
How to enjoy Nutella
If you’ve never heard of Nutella and the ingredients are within your dietary regimen, it’s delectable drizzled on top of a croissant, or a pancake. Or, you could combine this chocolate hazelnut spread with nut butter, such as almond butter or peanut butter and spoon it onto a banana to make your snack extra tantalizing for your tongue. And, you can always just dip your finger straight into the jar for a finger-lickin’ snack cuisine. It would be nutty to go through life without having had tried this almost sinful delight, Nutella-brand or not.
Why is Nutella so darn delicious?
The blend of hazelnuts, chocolate, sugar, and fat in Nutella is what makes it so delectable. It’s not so much the milk itself that gives it its delicious taste, but more of the flavor combination of the ingredients. So, if you opt for one of these Nutella vegan alternatives, any choice you make will be a good one since it’s not the milk that gives Nutella its flavor.
In conclusion, if you’ve been wondering, “Is Nutella vegan?” – the answer is no. Fortunately, in this New Age of endless options for food and drink, there are many other noteworthy contenders for a vegan chocolate spread.