If you don’t know what Coconut Butter is, then that photo above and the rest of this article are going to change your life.
Maybe you think that you eat some pretty delicious and healthy foods right now. Maybe you grew up eating and loving peanut butter.
And maybe you’re about to find out why Coconut Butter is way healthier, way more delicious, and just way better…
I realize that coconut butter is not a common food for many people, so I’ll try to answer some common questions in this article:
- What Is Coconut Butter?
- Why Is Coconut Butter Healthy?
- 12 Ridiculously Addictive Coconut Butter Recipes
- How Can You Make Coconut Butter At Home?
- Where you can buy Coconut Butter?
I really didn’t know the answer to this question until I discovered coconut butter at the Weston A. Price conference last year.
I’ve been in love ever since!
It’s confusing because coconut butter is often called by several different names. The common name is coconut butter, but it can also be called coconut manna, coconut meat puree, coconut cream concentrate, or whole coconut flesh puree.
It is NOT Coconut Oil!
Basically, it’s pure coconut flesh placed into a really good food processor or blender and pureed really, really well so that it’s like peanut or almond butter.
As you can see in the image above, coconut butter is pretty solid and crumbly when it’s cold.
As an aside, did you know that a coconut is a fruit, a nut, AND a seed? (I found this handy fact from the Library of Congress.) But, even if you have tree nut allergies, it is “very rare” for coconuts to trigger those allergies.
Coconut is truly a superfood. According to CoconutResearchCenter.org, “one third of the world’s population depends on coconut to some degree for their food and their economy.” Coconut meat, which is what coconut butter is made from, has a low glycemic index (due to its high fiber content) and around 3g of protein per cup, and a good healthy portion of fat, which among various other good things will keep you full. There is also around 5g of sugar per cup of coconut meat, which means that coconut butter is slightly sweet thereby making them even more delicious! (See here for the nutritional breakdown).
Coconut butter also contains lauric acid, which has antiviral, antibacterial, and antifungal properties and acts to boost your immune system.
This is what you’ve been waiting for.
Before I tell you the best ways to eat coconut butter, though, you need to To prepare the jar:
At room temperature, coconut butter is typically solid (there may be a layer of coconut oil on the top as the coconut flesh and the oil can separate). You need to start by heating up the jar of coconut butter in the microwave for 30 seconds at a time (remember to take off any metal lids!) on medium to soften it. Stir it (or attempt to stir it) after each 30 second microwave session until it forms a nice gooey paste. It takes a few minutes (depending on what temperature you’ve been storing it at).
An alternative method of softening a glass jar of coconut butter is to place the jar in a pot of hot water and to wait for it to soften to the desired gooey-ness.
You can also use an apple corer to remove cylinders of the coconut butter even when it’s solid and not heated.
Once you’ve got it softened, you’re ready. Are You Excited?
Here are 12 Amazing Ways to Eat Coconut Butter:
- Straight from the jar. When I asked the stall assistant how I was supposed to eat coconut butter, that was her response – just get a spoon and eat it straight from the jar…it’s like “nutella.” I think she sold me when she said “nutella!” Warning: this is so easy and delicious that you’ll be unable to stop… Just saying…
- Bake with it as a nut-free butter. You can use this instead of almond butter (or any other nut butter) in a recipe. I tried this with my Banana Bread recipe to make a nut-free version for a friend who was allergic to tree nuts. It turned out great – I couldn’t even tell a difference! Here’s a photo of the banana bread:
- Spread it on bread. I’m not talking about wheat or other grain-based breads (of course!). Both the Banana Bread and the Microwave Paleo Bread are made from grain-free ingredients, and both taste great with coconut butter spread on them. Here’s the coconut butter spread on a slice of banana bread:
- Spread it on Dark Chocolate. This is a personal favorite of mine, because both the chocolate and the coconut will melt in your mouth and then it really does taste like nutella!
- Put it on curry. Ok, this suggestion is from Mark Sisson – he says “[a] big dollop of coconut butter can really finish off a curry nicely.” I haven’t tried this yet, but it sounds good!
- Stuff in dates. This makes a great dessert in no time at all! (I saw this idea posted on Artisana’s facebook page, and I made it the other night.)
- Drizzle it on top of cold foods. The coconut butter will basically solidify (or freeze) once it hits the cold food and form a waxy-looking pretty glaze. For photos of this, visit Kath Eats. She calls this the “magic shell effect.”
- Toss with Fruits. Nicole on Sarah Wilson’s blog says she had this for breakfast: “blueberries tossed in 1tsp melted coconut butter, topped with full fat natural yoghurt and pepitas” (pepitas = pumpkin seeds).
- As the topping for roasted squash. Diane Sanfilippo has this simple recipe for roasted winter squash with coconut butter.
- Add to your smoothie or shake. Add a tablespoon to your smoothie or shake to make it creamier.
- Make dairy-free ice cream! I haven’t tried this but it sounds like a great idea – you can blend coconut butter with some fruit and then freeze it.
- Cook with it. It’s not coconut oil so you can’t use it to fry things, but it can be added to soups to make them creamier.
If you don’t want to spend the money buying coconut butter, you can make it yourself at home. You just need some coconut flakes and a blender for this.
I’ve got a whole post here on how to do this.
Many healthy stores in the US sell it, and Whole Foods carries a few different brands (I’ve seen both the Artisana and the Nutiva brands there). You can also buy them on Amazon.com. This is the link to the Artisana one, this is the link to the Nutiva brand, and here is the link to the Kevala brand (this is the cheapest).
Is there a difference between the brands? I think there are slight differences based on how well they ground up the coconut butter. For example, reviews on Amazon for the Kevala brand suggests that it’s “gritty.” I also found the Nutiva brand harder to soften, and prefer the Artisana brand (although they are the most expensive!).
What Are Your Favorite Ways to Eat Coconut Butter??
I know that I’m not the only one who has fallen in love with coconut butter. What are your favorite ways to eat it? Let me know in the comments! Most creative suggestion wins! (There’s not really anything to win right now, but I’ll love you forever if you give me new ways of eating coconut butter!)