You know what this is?
That is coconut butter waiting to be released from its constricting flake form.
Like most of the Whole30, dino-chow, paleo people I know, I’ve been gradually falling more and more deeply in love with coconut products. It started with the aforementioned coconut flakes as a snack, evolved into coconut oil as the fat of choice in all of my sauté pans, reached a fever pitch with coconut milk curries, and culminated in replacing my bedtime spoonful of Sunbutter with bites of coconut butter. There is no sleep as restful as coconut butter sleep!
But as sweet and creamy as the coconut butter tastes, the $9 per jar price tag left a bitterness on my otherwise happy tongue. Seriously. Nine bucks?! For what’s essentially a ground up coconut?!
There must be a way to make it at home, I thought.
Google offered up lots of blogs that said, basically, “Grind coconut in a food processor. Eat.”
I thought I could do better. And I did!
Here you go, friends. Homemade coconut butter for, like, a quarter of the price. Plus you get to gloat because you made it your own damn self.
Grab a spoon!
Homemade Coconut Butter
Note: I flavored mine with a little almond extract, and it is heavenly. But if you’re a coconut-flavor purist, just skip the extract. Also, full disclosure: mine retained a little bit of coconut pulp – it’s not quite as smooth as the commercial kind. But it’s super tasty!
5 oz. unsweetened coconut flakes or shreds
1 tablespoon coconut oil, melted
3 shakes of sea salt
1/2 teaspoon almond or vanilla extract (optional)
generous helping of patience
1. Place the coconut in the bowl of a food processor and add the other ingredients. The “shakes” of the salt are just that: 3 quick wrist flicks of a salt shaker.
2. Turn the food processor on high and walk away. Seriously. Go do something else because it needs to run for 10-15 minutes. Be sure to check it around the 5-minute mark so you can scrape down the bowl and feel smug that you’re making your own coconut butter. Then check it again every 5 minutes or so. You know it’s done when it starts to stick together like cookie dough or is beginning to liquify. It will solidify a bit when it’s cool.
3. When it’s finis, indulge in a little spoonful, then store in an air tight container at room temperature. If it’s cold where you are, you might need to zap it in the microwave for, say, 10-15 seconds to eat it after it solidifies.
NOTE: Your food processor might get a little bit hot during the grinding process; try not to be alarmed. I’ve made this three times, and each time, the processor was warm but it kept running. And the results were yummy.
So… what do you do with coconut butter?
1. It’s a creamy, tasty addition to curries. It works especially well in this one as a replacement for the shredded coconut.
2. It’s an awesome “I need a snack… NOW” snack. On a spoon. Perhaps topped with one perfect macadamia nut. Healthy fats, I love you!
3. It turns humble fresh fruit – apples, pears, grapes – into dessert.
4. And it transforms semi-sweet vegetables like butternut squash and sweet potatoes into manna. Just schmear a little on the hot veggies, sprinkle with sea salt, and dig in.
5. I swallow liquid fish oil from Omega-Maine most days, and although the flavors of the oil help a little with getting it down my throat, when I mix the chocolate or vanilla fish oil with a spoonful of coconut butter, it’s almost like a snack.
If you don’t have a coconut butter problem, i.e., you can control yourself and eat a reasonable amount of it without diving into the jar face first… you might want to try this:
When the coconut butter base is done, take a handful of macadamia nuts, roughly chop them with a sharp knife, then mix them into the coconut butter. It’s Meliciously delicious!
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