I love this recipe so much from from Terry Hope Romero’s new book Protein Ninja: Power through Your Day with 100 Hearty Plant-Based Recipes that Pack a Protein Punch that I got permission to reprint it here. It is the ultimate Nutella fakeout and I plan to make regularly.
I love how Terry describes this spread in the intro to the recipe. She says, “No, “chikdate” isn’t the new Tinder. It is a splendid mashup (literally) of chickpeas and dates. Add hazelnuts and cocoa powder and you’ve got the healthiest version of that ubiquitous chocolate hazelnut spread this side of the Italian Alps.”
Makes: About 1 cup
Time: Less than 15 minutes
10 Medjool dates
1/2 cup boiling water
1/2 cup roasted whole hazelnuts
1/2 cup cooked chickpeas, drained and well rinsed
3 rounded tablespoons raw cocoa powder (I use raw cacao powder)
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Big pinch of sea salt
Hot whole-grain or oatmeal toast
Chopped toasted hazelnuts
Chopped dates or goji berries
Sprinkle of raw cocoa powder or freshly grated nutmeg
1. Make the spread: Place the dates in a bowl and pour in the boiling water. Cover the bowl and set the dates aside to soak for about 30 minutes, or until very soft and tender. Remove the dates from the soaking water but set the water aside for now. Remove and discard pits from the dates.
2. In a food processor, pulse the hazelnuts until finely ground. Add the softened dates and chickpeas. Pulse into a thick paste, occasionally scraping down the sides of the processor bowl with a rubber spatula.
3. Add the cocoa powder, vanilla, and salt. Pulse and scrape down the bowl until the cocoa powder is completely absorbed into the spread. If the spread seems too thick to blend, pulse in a tablespoon of date soaking water at a time until the desired consistency is reached. Depending on the moisture content of the dates, you may use up to 4 tablespoons of the soaking water.
4. Use immediately, or scoop into a container, cover, and chill for at least 30 minutes for the flavors to develop. For best flavor, use within 3 days.
5. To assemble: Slather over the hot toast and top with the hazelnuts, banana, dates, and cocoa powder.
PRO-TIP: Most hazelnuts are sold raw and you’ll need to toast them at home. Spread unroasted nuts into a baking pan and roast for 10 to 15 minutes at 350°F until the skins crack and flake and the nuts begin to look golden.
Remove from the oven, pour the hot nuts into a clean dish towel, and wrap the towel tightly into a bundle. Twist several times to slough off the hazelnut skins. Open and pick out the hazelnuts, and shake the towel outside your apartment window and shower your city with toasted hazelnut skins.
From Terry Hope Romero’s Protein Ninja: Power through Your Day with 100 Hearty Plant-Based Recipes that Pack a Protein Punch. Reprinted courtesy of Da Capo Lifelong Books.