I first learnt about coconut butter from Jude Blereau, my favourite whole food cookbook author. Jude is from Perth, and is a living, breathing encyclopaedia on natural, unprocessed foods. So when I heard she was going to be part of the Melbourne Food & Wine Festival held in March this year, I leapt at the opportunity to meet her. This is when I discovered coconut butter.
After her talk, Jude and I chatted about one of the recipes from her Wholefood for Children cookbook where she uses this lush butter. I had just assumed it was the same as coconut oil, since the Loving Earth brand sells its raw coconut oil as coconut butter. But, no, they are not the same. Coconut butter is a puree of coconut meat – so it contains the flesh too, not just the oil.
Jude uses the American brand, Artisana – it is available in Western Australia, but not Australia-wide. Although, she informs me that Nui, an Australian company, are looking into making a coconut butter product. After our conversation, coconut butter went off my radar, since it wasn’t easily accessible. Until now. Until I discovered I could make it in my Thermomix. (You can also make it in a food processor. See below.)
After I bought this whiz-bang machine, I stumbled across a Thermomix blog that shows how to make coconut butter from desiccated coconut. I’m pretty sure I jumped for joy, and would have done cartwheels if I could. Because, besides limited accessibility, the stuff takes a huge chunk out of your hip pocket too!
I had to share this news with Jude straight away. We had a great conversation on facebook – I said I would test it out, and now that I have, I’m reporting on its success! It’s cheap and easy to make, and I’m looking forward to discovering new ways to use it! Jude, if you’re reading, I hope you post some glorious recipes using this wonderful product on your blog and add some to your future cookbooks. Thanks so much for introducing me to it!
How to make coconut butter
I made coconut butter using my Thermomix, and by following the instructions from this blog post. If you don’t have a Thermomix, don’t despair. While I haven’t tried it, I have read that you can use a good-quality processor to make coconut butter, but it will take a bit longer – around 10–20 minutes. See here, here and here. It’s really just like making a nut butter.
Here’s how I made coconut butter in my Thermomix:
- Add 200g of organic unsweetened desiccated coconut to the TM bowl and processed for 1 minute/37°C/speed 8
- After a minute or so, scrape down the bowl with the TM spatula and process again for 2 minutes/37°C/speed 8
- After a total time of 3 minutes I had, thick, rich coconut butter
- Immediately pour into a jar, before it solidifies, and store at room temperature. No need to store in the fridge. Or you can pour into ice-cube trays/chocolate moulds for easier use.
- I used 200 g organic desiccated coconut – I wouldn’t use any less, as the volume decreases significantly once turned into butter.
- Use only unsweetened, pure desiccated coconut (I don’t believe sweetened desiccated coconut will turn into butter), and preferably organic. My 200 g packet of organic desiccated coconut cost only $3.75.
- Fresh coconut meat from a mature fruit won’t work – it will just shred because there’s too much moisture content. If you have a dehydrater, you could shred the fresh coconut, dehydrate it to remove the moisture content (i.e. make desiccated coconut), and then turn it into butter.
- Although I haven’t tried it, you could use dried shredded coconut or dried coconut flakes. It just may take a little longer to turn into butter as the pieces are larger than desiccated coconut.
- Having the temperature set to 37°C on the Thermomix helps to release the oils and make it easier to turn into butter. If you’re not using a Thermomix, and are finding that the butter is not quite getting there, add a little bit of coconut oil (in liquid state) to help it along.
- For a deeper, richer flavour, lightly toast the desiccated coconut before turning it into butter. Be careful. Desiccated coconut can burn easily.
How to use coconut butter
If you love whole foods, are vegan or are into raw foods, you will absolutely devour this luxurious butter! I just made the butter last night, and had it on toast with some raw honey for breakfast this morning – yummy! In most cases, you will need to warm it up before using it, as it’s usually hard at room temperature. Here are some ideas on how to enjoy coconut butter:
- spread it on toast
- add a dollop to your hot porridge
- use it as a frosting for cupcakes and cakes
- use it in cookies – I’m going to add a couple of tablespoons to my choc-chip cookie recipe, and reduce some of the other nut butter to see the effect
- instead of the processed, sugar-ladened nutella, make your own dairy-free version – here’s a Thermomix recipe from my favourite Thermomix blog, Quirky Cooking.
- make some yummy raw treats that are usually shaped in balls
- make a combination of a nut and coconut butter – I like the sound of cashews and coconuts
Want more ideas? Here are some links:
- Heather eats almond butter
- Super Kitchen Machine blog post on making coconut butter – read comments
If you have any ideas and tips, please leave a comment. I would love to hear your thoughts!