Coconut butter – discover, make & eat!

coconut butter 2I 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.

Tips

  • 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:

If you have any ideas and tips, please leave a comment. I would love to hear your thoughts! :-)

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Comments

  1. says

    WooHOO, I’m so glad you tried this AND that you blogged about it, AND that you linked to my page AND to the fabulous Quirky Cooking blog too. Isn’t it just a thrill to make your own coconut butter?! Just way too easy. Oh, by the way, remember that we can also make our own coconut milk just as easily from dried coconut. The money we save by doing this is simply astounding. Plus, it’s such fun ;-)

    • says

      Yes, it’s brilliant! Yep, onto the coconut milk :) – I’m trying to avoid as much BPA (bisphosphenol A) in my food, which tinned goods, such as coconut milk, contain. So I’m happy that I can easily make coconut milk in my Thermomix too! BTW, being fairly new to Thermomix, I am grateful to your and Quirky cooking’s blogs!

  2. says

    I’ve made chocolate coconut hazelnut butter on my blog before, by whirring together desiccated coconut, dark chocolate, and hazelnut meal. It was amazepants (and turned into fudge in the fridge!) but for some reason I’ve never made straight coconut butter! Thank you for the reminder :)

    • says

      Thanks Heather! It is much quicker in the Thermomix, but I also wanted to know whether it could be done in a food processor, for those who didn’t have a Thermomix. So thanks to your blog, I could share that great news with others :)

  3. says

    This was a question I received on facebook, and I thought it would be useful to post it here with my reply.

    Question:
    Would coconut butter behave the same way as regular butter in cakes, biscuits, muesli bars etc? What makes it nutritionally better than regular butter? (we are just starting the whole food journey)

    Answer:
    You could use coconut butter in baked goods but not as a replacement for butter – that’s my understanding anyway. Coconut butter acts like nut butters – not a pure fat, as it contains coconut flesh. In baked goods where you need a certain amount of fat, in most cases you could use 100% coconut oil or almond oil instead of butter, especially if dairy is an issue. With regards to nutritional content, coconut butter has a totally different profile to dairy butter. Coconut butter contains lauric acid, which is said to have benefits on the immune system and antimicrobial properties. Butter isn’t bad for you as long as you’re not using commercial, processed butter and are not allergic to milk proteins. I know Elgaar farm, Paris creek and Barambah make good-quality unprocessed dairy butter. It’s good to have a varied diet to help get various minerals and vitamins, so mix up it up – sometimes use butter and sometimes use coconut oil where suitable.

    • says

      I’d love to hear if anyone has replaced butter with coconut butter, but I don’t think it would behave the same. Butter is a loose term for this coconut butter, as in almond or peanut butter. The fat itself is very different, and as Lesh mentioned above, it’s not a pure fat. Butter is by far the better fat for baking, and if you have allergies to casein (the protein) you could try ghee. You can bake with coconut OIL, but it behaves differently – the crumb when it comes out of the oven is gorgeous, but more crumbly. BUT, as it cools, it constricts and the crumb is altered.

  4. says

    Lesh, you are a living breathing legend. I get it now – that little extra heat releases the oil and it blends into the butter – ahhhhh. Thank you, thank you…

    • says

      Hi Debbie, I use any organic brand that has a good price — there’s Loving Earth and other brands that my wholefood store keeps. As long as there is only one ingredient (desiccated coconut), you should be fine.

  5. Caroline says

    I just melted in a small teaspoon to a hot chocolate – Hot CocoChocolate! Amazing – thank you for the recipe!

  6. Carine says

    Hi Lesh,

    I tried to make coconut butter from desiccated coconut once and even added a lot of coconut oil but nonetheless it turned out really gritty! I do not own a thermomix or vitamix and would like to know how I can make coconut butter as fabulous and smooth as yours. I have succeeded in making almond and other nut butters with much effort and patience but the coconut butter has eluded me. Please help!

    Thanks

    • says

      Hi Carine, it really does depend on the processor you use. Did you watch the link the the video I have in the posts of a person making it in a standard processor? It takes about 15 minutes. Also, I wouldn’t add any oil. If it still doesn’t work, you may need to buy it. Good luck! L x

  7. nadia says

    Hi
    I tried this today in my Thermomix, exactly as you say above but still 15 mins later no liquid :( just moist coconut crumble, I guess you would call it. Any idea whats going wrong? could it be the type of coconut?

    • says

      Hi Nadia, make sure you are using 100% desiccated coconut, and that you have enough of it in the thermomix. DOn’t add anything else. If it’s still not working after that, then please contact your consultant to look at the function of you thermomix. Good luck!

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