Nutella is a chocolate-hazelnut spread enjoyed all over the world.
It’s commonly used on toast, pancakes, and other breakfast treats and can be incorporated into innovative recipes, such as Nutella banana bread or Nutella-stuffed crêpes.
That said, you may wonder whether Nutella is vegan-friendly, meaning free of animal-derived ingredients, such as eggs, dairy, or honey, and produced without animal cruelty or exploitation.
This article tells you whether Nutella is vegan and provides a list of alternatives, as well as a recipe to make your own.
According to its website, Nutella contains eight ingredients: sugar, palm oil, hazelnuts, skim milk powder, cocoa, lecithin, and vanillin (a synthetic vanilla flavoring).
Lecithin is an emulsifier that’s added to blend the other ingredients, allowing for a smooth consistency. It’s usually egg- or soy-based. In Nutella, it’s made from soybeans, making this ingredient vegan.
However, Nutella contains skim milk powder, which is cow’s milk that undergoes a quick heating and drying process to remove liquids and create a powder.
This ingredient makes Nutella non-vegan.
Summary Nutella contains skim milk powder, which comes from cow’s milk. Therefore, Nutella is not vegan.
There are many options if you’re looking for a delicious vegan alternative to Nutella.
Plain nut butter
For a quick, healthy swap, choose natural nut butters without added ingredients, such as sugar and oils. Natural nut butters are much lower in sugar than Nutella and provide a hearty dose of protein and healthy fats.
Vegan-friendly Nutella alternatives
If you’re looking for a vegan version of Nutella, many companies have created their own varieties.
This spread is made with dry-roasted hazelnuts and almonds, cocoa powder, cocoa butter, palm oil, powdered sugar, and sea salt. The combination gives you the classic Nutella taste and the comfort of knowing it’s vegan.
Enjoy this dark-chocolate-and-hazelnut spread in baked goods, with fruit, or even by the spoonful. The lecithin in this product is derived from sunflowers, making it vegan-friendly.
This is a great option if you want a vegan and organic hazelnut spread. It uses organic hazelnuts, cacao powder, coconut sugar, coconut MCT oil, and vanilla. Cacao powder is a great source of disease-fighting antioxidants (
Summary Natural almond and peanut butters are good vegan alternatives to Nutella and great sources of protein. Additionally, many excellent chocolate-hazelnut spreads for vegans are available in stores and online.
Making your own spread is another excellent way to ensure your chocolate-hazelnut spread is vegan.
In Nutella, lecithin and skim milk powder are added as emulsifiers to improve texture and increase shelf life. You can skip these ingredients when making your own spread.
Sugar, hazelnuts, and cocoa powder are naturally vegan and can be used in your homemade version. Meanwhile, vanilla extract can replace vanillin.
To make vegan chocolate spread, you need:
- 4 cups (540 grams) of roasted, skinless hazelnuts
- 3/4 cup (75 grams) of cocoa powder
- 2 tablespoons (30 ml) of coconut oil
- 1/2 cup (160 grams) of maple syrup
- 2 teaspoons (10 ml) of pure vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon of table salt
To make the spread, add the hazelnuts to a blender or food processor and mix until a paste forms. Add the rest of the ingredients and blend until smooth. Be patient, as this can take a few minutes.
Once you achieve a smooth consistency, scoop the spread into a jar and cap it with a lid. It should last for about one month in the refrigerator.
Summary Making your own chocolate-hazelnut spread ensures that all ingredients are vegan. Blend roasted hazelnuts, cocoa powder, sugar, oil, vanilla extract, and salt for a delicious vegan spread.
Nutella contains skim milk powder, an animal-derived ingredient. Therefore, it's not vegan.
Still, many brands offer similar spreads that are free of animal-based ingredients. Be sure to choose a product that's labeled “vegan.”
Alternatively, you can make your own vegan chocolate-hazelnut spread.