DIY Goodness

We lunched in Canmore a couple of weeks ago, at a place that made ‘monkey wraps’ for kids. Said wraps consisted of flour tortillas filled with Nutella and banana. Monkey wraps? Why hadn’t I thought of that! The boys loved them and just like that I had another option for weekly lunches: cheese-grilled sandwiches (as the Hen calls them), quesadillas, and monkey wraps.

Back in July, when we drove around the land of heat and humidity, I’d stocked up on a few items like cereal and peanut butter and this dark chocolate almond spread that seemed somewhat healthier than Nutella, if only because it contains much less sugar (9g versus 21g per serving).

If the boys noticed a difference, they didn’t say anything. And I was buoyed by my healthful discovery, though I had no clue if I’d be able to find any in Canadaland. But I wondered about one of the listed ingredients (also in Nutella): palm oil. Was it palm oil that was bad for you, or just hydrogenated palm oil? None of the above? Both?

My in-laws had recently given us a bag of hazelnuts from Oregon, so I decided to make my own palm-oil-free “Nutella” – having heard it was really easy, and having recently come across this recipe, which linked to an ‘original’ recipe from David Lebovitz’s website. I decided to use the latter one instead, mostly because I didn’t have enough hazelnuts for the first recipe, and I liked the idea of using almonds and a mixture of bittersweet and milk chocolate.

It took about fifteen minutes and, though coarser in texture than ultra-fine Nutella, is rather delicious. Or so I gather from the ever-present chocolate smears on the boys’ faces.

[Side note: I used 2% milk and skim milk powder as I couldn’t find whole milk powder in the grocery store – apparently it’s available online or at ethnic grocery stores. For next time, I would probably eliminate the milk chocolate and just use good quality bittersweet.]

4 thoughts on “DIY Goodness

  1. Okay, I will be trying this. I love Nutella, but at $3.00 for a small jar (unless I can get a $1.00 coupon to double…) it is pricey! I know the hydrogenated palm oil is worse than regular (which I don’t think is that great to begin with, if I recall correctly), but I have also read that there is political pressure to get companies to stop using palm oil for varied reasons, from abusing the land to abusing the cultures that harvest it.

    Lunch menus? I often forget to do something for lunch, and by 3 p.m., the kids are foraging for themselves. You’re more on top of it than I am.

  2. Diana – I saw it was something environmental with the ‘palm oil’ which I didn’t entirely understand so instead I opted to avoid it. Vicky – it’s supereasy – so this doesn’t really count. Kristen – I have to say I hate the title for this post but couldn’t come up with a better one, though I’m afraid DIY Goddess is a little off 🙂


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