Image source: Michelle Felt/Flickr
Welcome to the awesomeness that is coconut butter! The main difference between coconut oil and butter is that the butter is thick and smooth, while the oil is liquid at room temperature. Also, coconut butter contains the “meat” of the coconut, while the oil does not. Coconut oil, by nature, is approximately 65% oil. The texture of coconut butter is dependent on the temperature of the kitchen or pantry. In the summer heat, it’s akin to a melting bowl of ice cream, but in the cooler weather it hardens to an almost wax-like thickness. You may wonder whether you can substitute coconut oil in a recipe that calls for coconut butter, but it really depends on the recipe.
Overview & Health
Warm it, mix it up, spread the flavor! Freshly made from whole coconut flesh, raw coconut butter is a whole food, not just an oil. This delicious “cream” melts in your mouth with full coconut aroma and flavor, while giving you full coconut nutrition: oil, dietary fiber, vitamins, minerals, and protein. No additives here, just pure, one-hundred percent, unadulterated coconut.
For thousands of years, coconut products have held a respected and valuable place in local folk medicine,and people from many diverse cultures, languages, and races from around the world have revered the coconut as a valuable source of both food and medicine. In traditional medicine, the coconut has been used across the globe to treat a number of health problems including bronchitis, flu, nausea, swelling, toothaches, and general fever.
Studies have shown that coconut, in one form or another, may boast a wide range of health benefits. It has been said to help relieve symptoms associated with gallbladder disease, diabetes, pancreatitis, and Crohn’s disease. It also reduces inflammation, improves digestion, and improves insulin secretion and utilization of blood glucose. It also does not form harmful by-products when heated to typical coooking temperatures like other vegetables oils sometimes do.
How To Make Your Own!
It’s simple enough to find delicious coconut butter at the store (Artisana is a popular brand), it is a few hundred miles easier to make it at home. All you really need is a bag of raw, shredded coconut and either a high-speed blender or food processor.
- Shredded, unsweetened coconut (full-fat)
- Coconut oil (optional!)
- Blend shredded coconut in Vita-Mix or other high-speed blender for 3-5 minutes. If using a food processor, blend for around 10 minutes.)
Side note: Depending on where you live, along with the temperature/altitude, you might have trouble with this recipe. Coconut butter is very temperamental and reacts oddly in different climates. Please know before trying that this recipe might not work for you. If it refuses to turn to butter, you may try adding some coconut oil to the blender. Sometimes that will fix things right up!
Coconut butter can be used just like any other butter or oil. Spread it on a slice of toast, use it for grilled cheese sandwiches, or for a stir-fry. Whatever your preference, you will love this delicious alternative to traditional butters!
Cooking with Coconut? Here are our favorite recipes:
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