What is coconut butter?
Coconut butter is thick, creamy, coconut puree, made from finely blended shredded coconut. It has a similar texture to creamy peanut butter with a lightly sweet, subtle coconut flavor. Coconut butter is 80% fat; 1 tablespoon has roughly 9 grams of fat (8 grams of which are saturated), 3 grams of carbohydrates, 1 gram of sugar, and 1 gram of protein. The saturated fats in coconuts increase the body’s ability to use ketones – fatty acids that fuel cells more efficiently than simple carbohydrates (glucose, fructose, sucrose, etc).
When coconut butter is around 75° F and higher, it’s consistency is thick and runny. When it’s temperature is around 70° F and lower, however, it’s consistency is more solidified and crumbly, with the fat separated to the top of the dry matter. To loosen up the coconut butter, place the jar in a bowl of warm/hot (not boiling) water for 5-10 minutes and stir vigorously.
How is it made?
Coconut butter is made by blending dried, shredded coconut until completely smooth. If you have a high quality food processor, you can make some of your own by blending dried shredded coconut in your food processor for 10-15 minutes, exactly how all nut butters are made. However, because my food processor isn’t as capable as others, my homemade coconut butter attempt end up with lil’ clumps of coconut in runny pools of liquid, so I stick with the jarred, store bought varieties.
Uses of Coconut Butter:
Converting Coconut Butter into Coconut Milk
Coconut butter can be easily converted into coconut cream by mixing 1 part coconut butter with 1 part water (1/2 c coconut butter + 1/2 c water), or converted into coconut milk by mixing 1 part coconut butter with 5 parts water (3 tbsp coconut butter + 1 c water). Simply shake or blend coconut butter directly into warm or cool water, although if mixed directly into cold water, the milk will be a little gritty. With this same concept in mind, in place of coconut milk in smoothies I simply use water as my main liquid and add 2-3 tablespoons of coconut butter.
Try Using Coconut Butter as Coffee Creamer
In place of half & half or other creamers, blend 1-2 tablespoons of coconut butter straight into coffee, chai tea, black tea, and other hot beverages until frothy and milky in color.
Additionally, when coconut fat is mixed with caffeine and consumed on an empty stomach (before breakfast), the entrance of adenosine – chemicals that induce sleepiness – are temporarily halted from entering the brain by caffeine, and coconut’s fats encourage the body to reach for ketones instead of glucose, as a fuel source, allowing you to go longer lengths of time without feeling hungry.
However, there’s little scientific evidence to support the hunger reducing/energy enhancing effects of the combination of medium chain triglyceride fats (the ones found in coconut) and caffeine. Albeit, I find the concoction to be very effective in keeping me focused, alert, and energized for 3-5 hours before getting hungry.
Coconut butter can also be used on bread, as the main ingredient in icings, or eaten by the spoonful… which I do all the time, by the way.
Ever since I discovered I could replace both coconut milk and coconut cream with coconut butter, it’s become a staple in my pantry that I use on average of three times a day; I really do love this stuff.
How to Make Coconut Milk or Cream from Coconut Butter
The easiest method of making coconut milk or cream.
- 1 c hot water (it doesn’t need to boiling)*
- 3 tbsp coconut butter
- 1/2 c hot water*
- 1/2 c coconut butter
- Combine coconut butter and water in a blender or sealable cup and blend or shake for 10-15 seconds, until creamy and smooth.
- Use in coffee, soups, and in any application where coconut milk or cream is called for. Use immediately or store in the fridge for up to 2 weeks. When ready to use again, reheat in a sauce pot over medium heat until the solids are liquified and shake or blend to homogenize the mixture.
*Cold or room temperature water can also be used, however, it will most likely be slightly gritty.