Wednesday, July 11, 2012


We have all seen the commercials with the harried mom serving a breakfast of milk and toast to her fussy kids before they run out the door. She extols the virtues of spreading that toast with generous portions of sweet and chocolatey Nutella hazelnut spread. If you are like me, your mind did a quick spin, you raised an eyebrow, and said, "Really?!?" You knew that a daily breakfast of Nutella shouldn't be categorized as healthy, but there it was televised for the world to see.

It seems that some of the world believed it. A class action suit was filed against Nutella for its health claims, and reportedly, a $3.05 million settlement was reached. Wow. That is a lot of unhealthiness.

I am not someone who believes that any foods should be off limits. (Well, except Fluff...yuck.) I seriously do believe that a healthy diet is about moderation and balance. Nutella is a delicious treat that can be balanced with fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins, and dairy. Balance. Moderation. And, not believing everything you see in a TV commercial. That is what is healthy.

So...if I grill some fresh pineapple to char some of the sugars and release warm, flavorful sweetness, then top it with a drizzle of melted Nutella and a sprinkle of toasted hazelnuts, is that healthy? Compared to a huge slab of chocolate cake, maybe. It is fruit. Nuts are loaded with essential fats. Nutella is used moderately.

I won't make any healthy claims. Class action suits aren't really my thing. I will just tell you that Grilled Pineapple with Nutella is delicious way that I try to find balance and moderation.

1 pineapple, peeled, cored, and cut into 1/2-inch thick slices
3-4 tablespoons Nutella
1-2 tablespoons whipping cream
2 tablespoons chopped hazelnuts, toasted 

Heat grill. (Gas, charcoal, or just an indoor grill pan...your choice.)
While grill is heating, toast the hazelnuts in a hot, dry pan. Watch carefully and remove from pan immediately (they will continue to toast to a crisp if left in contact with the heated surface)
Grill the pineapples slices over medium-high heat for about 3 minutes per side, just to heat through and create grill marks. (Some recommend brushing the grill with oil, butter, or Pam before grilling the fruit. I don't, and have had good success.)
Meanwhile, combine Nutella with whipping cream and heat in a saucepan or in microwave until smooth. (Don't overheat, as the oils in the nut spread will separate.)
Arrange the pineapple on a platter.
Drizzle with Nutella mixture.
Sprinkle with chopped hazelnuts.
Serve with vanilla ice cream or whipped cream, if desired, but I think it is good just as is. (Serves 4)


  1. I have to laugh at that commercial and the people that believe it's healthy. Aside from that, I'd happily eat a whole plate of your grilled pineapple! Nutella is a perfect addition. It looks so pretty, too!

  2. Fran, that looks divine! I *have* to try it this weekend.


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