Spread the (low sodium) love.

My friend, Natalie, is celebrating her 10th wedding anniversary in Ireland. Along with touring the countryside, sightseeing and sampling pints, Nat and her husband have been investigating local shops, including grocery stores. Now, I don’t know about you, but I could spend an entire vacation bouncing from one foreign supermarket to the next. The products, the packaging, the potential LOW SODIUM BONANZA! Unfortunately, Meniere’s disease makes travel for me very difficult. Thankfully Nat has been posting her photos online, so it’s been a sort of virtual vacation for me too.

Her trip has inspired me to pick up a few European treasures this week. There are local stores – yes, right here in Portland, that can transport my taste buds thousands of miles away (and for a fraction of the cost!) Here are 3 favorite spreads – all of them low sodium and absolutely delicious. (And a great mini-vacation anytime.)

The ORIGINAL Hazelnut Spread – Nutella!  You’ve likely sampled Nutella at some point, perhaps even while abroad. I first ate Nutella as a child in Europe, and the taste of it brings me right back to that place.  At 11 grams of fat per serving it’s not exactly health food, but it is super low in sodium (a mere 15 mg per 2 tablespoons).  And everyone needs an occasional indulgence!

EUROCREM. Think of this spread as Nutella’s Serbian sister, with its mixture of half-hazelnut/half-white chocolate goodness. Eurocrem boasts 11 grams of fat per serving, but ZERO mg sodium! Making it an acceptable splurge. Although Nutella is sold readily in many large supermarkets, I’ve only found Eurocrem at a select number of Eastern European groceries. TWO of which exist here in Portland (go figure?); check local stores for availability.

Biscoff Spread has a peanut butter-like appearance and consistency. Made from Belgian Biscoff cookies, it tastes like cinnamon and graham and … something else I just can’t put my finger on. It’s tasty on toast (as show above, along with Nutella and Eurocrem – oh my.) but I like it best smeared on apple wedges. The combination of sweet juicy fruit and Biscoff is irresistible and seems especially fitting this time of year.  I found Biscoff at my local Hannaford supermarket, stocked alongside the peanut butter and jelly.  (Be sure not to drop your jar in the parking lot like I did.  Thank you, Hannaford, for the freebie.)  It’s a bit higher in sodium that Nutella or Eurocrem – 66 mg per 2 tablespoons – but still low enough to make it a mostly guilt-free experience.  Just like a real vacation.

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13 Responses to Spread the (low sodium) love.

  1. Country Wife says:

    You had me at Ireland… Also, I had it in my mind that Nutella was fairly new (last couple of years). No wonder it’s so tasty!

  2. Angela @ The Chicken Scoop says:

    I have never had Nutella! I am sure I would fall in love (which is why I refuse to try it, I’m already obsessed with peanut butter!) And I have heard of Biscoff Spread and want to try it! It sounds yum!

    So, I’m going to Ireland in February. Anything I should look for??? 🙂

    PS. I think I tried to lick the screen when I saw that picture of your toast. YUM!!!

  3. shambo says:

    Christy, I first tasted Biscoff cookies when we were traveling recently. We got them as snacks on the plane. Some of the Cooking Forum members from overseas mentioned the spread a while ago, and I’d seen it in my favorite local supermarket. Tasting the cookies and now your testimonial — I’ve got to buy some!

    I know I’m in the minority, but I’m not a Nutella fan. It’s too sweet for me, and I’m one of those weirdos who doesn’t care for milk chocolate. But, I’ve found a great dark chocolate spread at World Market. I do not remember its sodium content, but when I buy it, it’s usually just for me. World Market has other chocolate-type spreads too.

    The spreads make great fillings for homemade cinnamon rolls. I’ve used the dark chocolate spread instead of the usual cinnamon, sugar, & butter filling. Really great! I know other Cooking Forum members have used Nutella similarly.

  4. Sam @ Critics in My Kitchen says:

    Ok, I have a new mission. As if I should be indulging in anything! I can’t even buy nutella because I will eat the whole thing. I need to find these other two now, so I will have two more things I can’t buy. Yummy!

  5. Sandi says:

    Love the other two but haven’t seen Eurocrem. I’m now on a mission.

  6. Jennifer says:

    i’ve always loved biscoff cookies, but yesterday I encountered biscoff spread for the first time ever. i was unreasonably excited and HAD to buy it. off to try some on apple slices!

  7. Christy says:

    Hey CW! We brought Nutella home w/ us from Europe years ago; back then it wasn’t sold readily in the states. SO glad it is now!! 🙂

    Ang, that toast was AMAZING. I don’t typically top it w/ all 3 spreads, but for the sake of the photo.. hahahah Hope you try Biscoff soon. It’s SO GOOD!

    Shambo, that spread looks amazing. And such a great idea using it to fill buns! I’ve used nutella for cookies (Peanut Butter Thumbprint Cookies) but will have to try that next. The World Market has a hazelnut/vanilla spread that sounds like Eurocrem, and is likely much easier to find. If anybody tries it – or has tried it – let me know. Always on the look out for new treats! For my kids, you understand… lol

    Sam, watch out! That Biscoff is addictive.

    Sandi, check out that link above from Shambo. World Market sells a similar spread; if you can’t find Eurocrem, you could definitely try that.

    Oooh Jennifer, I’m so excited for you!! Biscoff on apples – my favorite!

  8. shambo says:

    I picked up the Biscoff spread from our local supermarket this weekend. After we both tasted it, I had to hide it in the pantry or we’d eat it non-stop. Last night I paired a two tablespoon dollop with some sliced apples. What a yummy snack.

  9. Christy says:

    Shambo, I’m so happy (and so sorry!) to have turned you onto Biscoff. LOL I LOVE it with apple slices. Such a perfect combo – to me, it tastes *almost* like a caramel apple.

    PS: Amber’s pingback above (organically nerdy) links to a Kroger brand Hazelnut spread with only 10 mg sodium per serving! Just an FYI for anyone w/ a Kroger supermarket nearby. 🙂

  10. You don’t have Kroger? Oh, I’m so sorry. It’s funny how you can have nostalgic feelings about a chain grocery store, but I do.

    Eurocrem sounds too dirty for me to eat. But I still want to.

  11. Christy says:

    You made me laugh w. the Eurocrem comment. Be careful what you’re googling.

  12. natalie @book, line, and sinker says:

    hey, that’s ME! thanks so much for the link. so happy we inspired you. honestly, we spent way too much time in grocery stores while in ireland–we went to super valu, centra, and tescos. i LOVE roaming the aisles in US grocery stores, so it’s even more fun when 75% of the products are foreign to me. 🙂 btw, i’ve never tried nutella. is that a crime?

    ps. have you ever been to a piggly wiggly? with family down south, i imagine you have. i’m fond of publix (at my parents’ florida house), harris teeter (my cousin in raleigh), and wegmans.

  13. Christy says:

    Nat, you’ve got to try Nutella!! With your love of buttercrunch, it’s bound to be a favorite! (or is that why you’re holding out?! Lol)

    My family have Publix in Atlanta as well as Kroger, both of which I like, though I think Publix is slightly pricier (little more upscale). The best is the huge international market they have in Decatur. Coolest place ever!! I got miffed b/c the last time there they wouldn’t let me bring in my camera. For shame!

    Never been to a piggly wiggly but I LOVE the name!

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