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How to Make Coconut Butter

How to Make Coconut Butter

Coconut butter is a rich flavorful spread  that has become a popular health food item.  I love all things coconut but refuse the pay such a high premium (often $10-15/jar) for something that’s so cheap to make!  Coconut butter is rich in healthful medium chain triglycerides and lauric acid.  It reportedly provides sustained energy, stimulates metabolism, improves calcium absorption, boosts immunity and combats yeast.  I don’t know the science behind all these claims but I do know that it makes me feel good and it tastes great!

Please note – if you’re making coconut butter in cold weather it’s a lot harder to get the consistency right because coconut oil hardens at 76 degrees F.  Before you write it off, try some of the softening tips (located below the recipe) that help make a spreadable butter year round.

How to Make Coconut Butter

Ingredients:

  • 3+ cups unsweetened, shredded coconut
  • Optional: 1-2 Tablespoons coconut oil, honey to taste, ½ teaspoon vanilla extract

Directions:

  • Pour the coconut into a high powered blender. This is technically possible in a food processor or possibly even a regular blender but I haven’t tried it and based on others’ experiences it takes a very long time (as in 10-20 minutes of blending!).  If you try it, please let me know how it works.
  • Blend on high until it forms a smooth, semi-solid consistency similar to thick peanut butter.  Scrape down the sides as necessary.  This step takes about 3 minutes in my Vitamix.  Be careful not to overheat your machine!
  • Add the extras if you like and blend again until smooth.  Coconut oil improves the texture which can otherwise be rather dry and the vanilla and honey add flavor.
  • Store at room temperature in an airtight container.

Notes:

  • How to Use: Coconut butter can be used as a spread similar to peanut butter.  Two of my favorite recipes are a coconut butter and nutella sandwich (it’s a Mounds bar in a sandwich!) and vanilla yogurt with  coconut butter, crushed pineapple and pecans.  It makes a healthy dip for fruit or cookies and it adds coconut flavor to a wide range of dishes.  Try mixing it into pancake batter, soups and sauces.  Use your creativity!
  • Temperature: Coconut oil melts at 76 degress which makes coconut butter very sensitive to temperature.  The same exact recipe may make a moist gooey butter in the summer and a dry crumbly butter in the winter.  This is normal.  When it’s cold there are several things you can do to make your butter more spreadable.  First, simply putting it on hot things (like toast) will soften the butter and make it spreadable.  You can also submerge the jar in hot water, microwave single servings of butter for about 20 seconds or replace the coconut oil with vegetable or canola oil during the mixing process.
  • Other flavors: Coconut butter can also be flavored with a variety of other extras such as cocoa powder, cinnamon, nut butters and dried fruit such as pineapple.  I stick to dried flavor additives because introducing an ingredient that contains water (such as fresh fruit) will cause the butter to spoil faster and requires refrigeration.

 

Photo Credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/veganfeast/4492299082/

 

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