Make It Yourself: Coconut Butter

March 4, 2011 § 1 Comment

Before you throw up your hands and say, “Coconut Butter!?  Doesn’t that stuff knock years off your life!?” please read Melissa Clark’s kick-tush Good Appetite article this week titled, “Coconut Oil — From Villain to Health Food.”  Then buy a huge tub of unsweeteend coconut flakes.

For years I thought I hated coconut.  I’d nibble around the edges of holiday macaroons, white shards jetting out around the edges, inevitably giving the germed-up cookie to my obliging dad.  Turns out, there are two types of coconut: real coconut and sweetened grass clippings.

Folks, if you think you’re a fellow coconut-hater, let me make a hearty recommendation: Zip out to your grocery store this afternoon, pick up a cheap-cheap tub of unsweetened coconut flakes (found in stores with good bulk bins), and give them a try.  Better yet, stick them in a blender/food processor for about seven minutes (make the time pass quickly by watching my favorite YouTube video twice) and taste the drippy coconut butter with a long spoon.  You may be a convert.

Coconut butter can be used in a multitude of ways:  Try it as an oil replacer (ie. roast butternut squash/sweet potatoes with a coconut oil coating).  Drizzle it over smoothies with granola on top and it makes a hardened topping that is out-of-this-world-good.  Better yet, make these cookies and tell me if that doesn’t win you over.

Coconut butter hardens at room temperature, but don’t let that deter you.  I love Faith’s way of tackling this problem: After she makes coconut butter, she takes a spoonful of the liquid butter and lets it harden into individual mini (reusable) muffin cups.  The end result is a single-serving coconut butter disc.  Try putting a coconut butter disc on top of your hot oatmeal and let it melt into the oats — it’s positively killer.  If you don’t do the mini-muffin method, fill up a glass mason jar (or other durable glass jar that can withstand heat).  To remove the hardened butter from a large container I do one of two things: Hack away at the dry coconut butter and stick a big blob in a pan on low heat until it melts (be watchful; it can brown (delicious!) or burn (yuck!) quickly).  Alternatively, create a water bath to melt the butter.  Check out how Kath does that at her blog, KathEats.com.

Ingredients:
3 cups shredded, unsweetened coconut flakes
1 glass mason jar

Methods:

Place coconut flakes in a food processor and blend for 7-8 minutes.  The coconut flakes will break down, turning into a fine powder.  Then, as the oil is released, it will start to clump together. Keep whizzing.  It may look like it’s never going to turn into a liquidy butter — I promise, it will.  After five minutes, scrape down the edges every minute or so.  Don’t stop until it drips!

Diet Notes: Gluten-free, SCD-safe, vegan, nut-free

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