Coconut Butter: What Is It and How to Make It At Home
If you are a fan of all things coconut, then you may be thinking about adding coconut butter to your kitchen. Before you do that, though, you do need some questions answered – for instance, what is it? And, where can you find it? Also, is it possible to make it yourself?
Well, there's no need to worry as these questions – and more – can be answered below. So, without further ado, let’s learn all about coconut butter!
What Is Coconut Butter?
Let’s figure out the most pressing thing first – what on earth is coconut butter?
Well, coconut butter is made from coconut flesh. Here, the meat of mature coconuts is pureed, turning it into a paste. This is where you get your smooth, creamy, and delicious coconut butter from. It has a strong coconut taste and is mildly sweet.
Coconut Butter vs. Coconut Oil
Now, you would be forgiven for thinking that coconut butter and coconut oil are one and the same. At first glance, there doesn’t appear to be anything different between the two substances. This is especially true since coconut butter and coconut oil are solid at room temperature as well.
So, what’s the difference?
The difference is that coconut oil is made when the coconut meat is exposed to high temperatures or extreme pressure. As such, the coconut oil is extracted from the meat and doesn’t actually contain any meat itself.
Coconut oil is a 100 percent, pure oil. Coconut butter, on the other hand, contains fiber from the coconut meat as well. They also vary in taste as well. Coconut oil has a milder taste – the coconut flavor isn't nearly as strong. It is also far less sweet.
The ingredients are used in different ways too. Coconut oil can be used in all kinds of cooking usually as an alternative to vegetable oil. Coconut butter, however, tends to be an independent ingredient for various recipes.
How to Use Coconut Butter for Cooking and Baking
Naturally, you are going to want to know how you can use coconut butter. The first thing that you should know about this ingredient is that you can’t use it for frying! This is because it doesn’t act like a vegetable oil and shares more properties with a nut butter like peanut butter.
What you can do, though, is spread it on bread or toast. You can also drizzle it on top of baked goods. And, if recipes call for it, you can add it for baking with coconut oil. It is rather commonly used to make fudge and other candies, particularly when you need a non-dairy substitute.
How to Melt Coconut Butter
Since many people expect coconut butter to behave in the same way as coconut oil, they are startled when it doesn’t melt the same way. Coconut butter holds up to heat better than coconut oil. Thus, it can be rather solid.
The best way to melt coconut butter is to place it in a water bath. Heat up some water and place it into a heatproof glass bowl. Don’t overfill the bowl – you will be placing the jar of coconut butter in here. Make sure that the jar of coconut butter is tightly sealed before putting it in the bowl.
Let the coconut butter sit in the hot water for about 5 to 10 minutes or until it has softened well enough.
Where to Find Coconut Butter
As with all things coconut, coconut butter has been growing in popularity. Nevertheless, it is still a bit of a niche product and hasn’t caught on fully just yet. If you are looking for where to buy coconut butter, this means that it can be a bit difficult to find.
Still, certain health food stores or large chain supermarkets may carry it. At the same time, you should be able to find it in online stores as well. And, if all else fails, you can simply make some of your own!
How to Make Coconut Butter
Want to make DIY coconut butter? Here is what you should know first:
Coconut Butter Ingredients
Needless to say, coconut is the most important ingredient in this recipe. More specifically, you will need to use shredded coconut. If you can’t find shredded coconut, then desiccated coconut will do in a pinch.
The thing to remember, though, is shredded coconut tends to have a higher moisture content than the desiccated option. This is why learning how to make coconut butter from fresh coconut is so much easier and produces a better butter.
So, if you are going to use desiccated coconut, then you will need to add coconut oil to the recipe. This will make up for the lack of moisture and add a creaminess to the resulting paste.
Now, you can make coconut butter with just coconut alone, no other flavorings. However, if you want to use it as a spread or drizzle, then you may appreciate some flavor. In this case, you can add a sweetener such as stevia or vanilla to the butter.
For this recipe, you are going to need a high-powered machine to turn the coconut flesh into a paste. This is why most people prefer to use a top-of-the-line food processor. This is capable of mincing the coconut more effectively and producing the texture necessary for a good coconut butter.
In case you don’t have a food processor, it is possible for you to use a blender. You should be aware that the resulting paste may not be as fine. To overcome this issue, pour the coconut paste through a sieve once you are done with the blending process.
If there is any coconut residue, put it back into the blender and perhaps add some coconut oil. Then, blend the coconut again. Repeat this process until all the coconut meat has been creamed to the desired level.
You should also be aware that a blender will cause the coconut to fly up the sides of the machine more than a food processor. Due to this, you will need to keep scraping down the sides to ensure that all the coconut is blended together.
Homemade Coconut Butter Recipe
- 12 – 16 oz. of shredded or desiccated coconut
- 2 – 4 tbs. of coconut oil, if using desiccated coconut
Step 1: Add All Ingredients to Food Processor or Blender
Add the coconut – and if using – coconut oil to the food processor or blender. Mix for around 10 minutes or until a creamy paste forms.
Keep stopping the blending process to push coconut on the sides back down.
Step 2: Add Additional Flavors
Once the coconut butter has become a paste, you can add sweetener, vanilla, or other flavoring. Process for a few seconds to ensure that the flavors are evenly distributed.
*Step 3: If Using a Blender
If you are using a blender, you may want to pour the coconut butter through a sieve. If there are still coconut pieces, put them back in the blender and blend once more. You can also add coconut oil for more moisture.
Once done, pour the coconut butter into a jar and seal tightly.
Storing Coconut Butter
It is best to keep coconut butter in a glass jar. However, any sealed container should do. Just make sure that the container is free of any odors that may interfere with the taste of the coconut butter.
You don’t need to refrigerate coconut butter. And, as mentioned, it will remain solid at room temperature. However, try to keep it in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight.
Does Coconut Butter Go Bad?
It can be a bit tricky to know the shelf life of homemade coconut butter. After all, there are so many factors to consider. On average, though, this coconut butter may be able to last around two weeks.
Still, make sure to always check the coconut butter before using it. Also, only use clean utensils when scooping it out to prevent any contamination. Keep the lid tightly sealed as well.
So, that is it about coconut butter. You now know exactly what it is and even how to make your very own batch!
Riya Borah is a nutritionist educator and her job involves guiding people towards a healthier lifestyle. Growing up in India, Riya was aware of just how much coconut was used on a daily basis. This encouraged her to research the properties of this versatile drupe. It opened her eyes to both the limitation and possibilities of coconut. Her aim is to now educate as many people as possible about the best ways to utilize coconut in their own lives.
An Important Disclaimer
The information on this page should not be used as a substitute for professional medical advice. Consult a doctor if you wish to consume any kind of tea regularly for the purpose of treating any condition or illness.