Coconut Q & A

by HEAB on March 11, 2010

Hello my almond butter loving friends. If you're new to HEAB, you may like to subscribe to my RSS feed or receive my posts via email. Thanks for reading!

Morning. Guess what time it is? 4:30 AM, and I’m wide awake. I woke up over an hour ago, and my mind has been racing ever since. Usually, I can shut down and go right back to sleep, but not today. Too much to think about, and I’m still congested and not feeling that great. Not a good combo. It’s going to be a long day, but perhaps I can squeeze in a nap later.

I had a post in mind for today, but after receiving so many questions about the homemade coconut butter, I thought I’d write a coconut butter Q & A post, and I hope all of you find this helpful.

Question: Can you make coconut butter in a Vita-Mix?

Answer: Yes, The Fitnessista did, and you can read about it here. Personally, I prefer my food processor since I can make bigger batches at once, and clean-up is much easier.

Question: Should I store my coconut butter in the fridge?

Answer: No, according to the Artisana jar, refrigeration for coconut butter is NOT recommended.

Question: Should I heat up the entire jar at once or just heat up individual servings?

Answer: It’s up to you. I usually just set the jar in a warm place for a few minutes. It softens up enough for me to scoop out a few spoonfuls, but rarely melts the entire jar.

Question: What are the health benefits of coconut?

Answer: Coconut contains a vegetarian source of saturated fat consisting of medium fat chain fatty acids (MFCAs). In the past, MFCA’s have been recognized for their anti-viral and anti-microbial properties. The body uses them as energy instead of storing them as fat. Cultures around the world that consume coconut on a regular basis have a lower incidence of heart disease than Americans. MCFA’s promote weight maintenance without raising cholesterol levels and have been shown to posses anti-inflammatory properties. My advice: Don’t fear the coconut! Embrace it my friends. For more information on the nutritional benefits of coconut, check out this post by The Health Nut and this post over at Mark’s Daily Apple.

Question: How do I make homemade coconut butter more smooth like Artisana’s?

Answer: This tip comes from Mae, my favorite peanut butter guru. According to Mae:

A secret from the peanut butter industry: small, sharp, quick blades=smooth peanut butter [or coconut butter], bigger food pro type blades=grainier peanut butter… And my special trick: process in food processor until it becomes a butter, then in the blender for 5 more minutes. Cool, thanks Mae. I can’t wait to try this!

Question: Will you please share your favorite uses for coconut butter?

Answer: Why yes, I will. :)

You can use it as an oat topping…

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It makes a yummy coconut drizzle for sweet potato fries or roasted winter squash:

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And of course, I love it on pancakes….

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As well as pancake roll-ups

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It’s great melted in some kabocha squash soup

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Coconut butter tastes wonderful in grilled chicken spinach wraps
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Some people like to use it to frost cupcakes…. :)

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I like to use it to frost cinnamon raisin toast…

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Truly, the possibilities are endless. Basically, just use coconut butter anywhere you would normally use any other nut butter. It adds a lovely coconutty bite to any smoothie, and makes a great topping for so many dishes. Next up, I think I want to try it on a chocolate turd. ;) OK, 6 AM. Time to start my day. Hope you have a good one my friends!
What about you? Favorite uses for coconut butter?


{ 69 comments }

Carolyn March 11, 2010 at 5:54 am

OMG Heabs..you night owl!!!

Carolyn March 11, 2010 at 5:56 am

I just ate 50/50 -Artisana/Almond butter on whole grain bread and it was delish!!!

Jessica March 11, 2010 at 6:00 am

I have put the Artisana on sweet potato fries and good gosh – that is AMAZING!

Nicole @ Making Good Choices March 11, 2010 at 6:13 am

I can’t believe I still have tried this yet. My mom has a nice jar sitting on her counter at her house…I think she may find it gone by the end of the day. Can’t wait to try these on sweet potatoes and pancakes!

Chocolate-Covered Katie March 11, 2010 at 6:49 am

Awwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww my cupcakes are famous!!!! Their egos just skyrocketed, now that they’ve been featured on one of the most (scratch that: the most) amazing blogs out there!

There’ll be no living with them now… :-?

Loved this post so much! Hmmm, could that be because its focus is our shared favorite food? I think I want to marry Artisana coconut butter. Is that even legal?

Thanks so much, Heather, for making my day before the sun even rose! (Now go get some sleep :) )

Jessica @ Fit & Clean March 11, 2010 at 7:14 am

Hope you feel better soon! You’re cold is seeming to hang in there :( I think I am going to try to make the coconut butter today in my food processor. I also have a handheld immersion blender, maybe I can finish it off with that to get the gritties out? hmmm….

Mae March 11, 2010 at 7:25 am

Bahaha I love this post! “Kabocha turd” is the best! The health benefits of coconut are so interesting! I’ve never really researched it.

I hope you can get some rest soon!
Ohh, and I made “custard protein ice cream” with 1 frozen banana, a whole bunch of kabocha, egg whites, cocoa, nut yeast and vanilla- It was perfectly sweet from the banana and so rich, then I drizzled coconut butter on top- Blisssss :-)
FEEEEEL BETTER!!

Jenn March 11, 2010 at 8:04 am

Is that the Ezekiel cinnamon raisin toast? Soooo good!!!!!

Heather Eats Almond Butter March 11, 2010 at 10:54 am

Jenn, Yes, Ezekiel. I love it!

eatmovelove March 11, 2010 at 8:36 am

Q & A’s are great! What that “patty”-thing on the side of your soup by the way??!!

Oh and I’m doing a giveaway on my site if anyone is interested :)

Heather Eats Almond Butter March 11, 2010 at 10:57 am

Eatmovelove, It was a 5 Star Foodies Artichoke Burger: http://fivestarfoodies.com/artichokeburgers.html

Kelly March 11, 2010 at 8:56 am

I haven’t actually had coconut butter…guess I am going to have to try! haha! Looks really good! :)

Monica March 11, 2010 at 9:04 am

I just blend up some of the Bob’s Red Mill shredded coconut in my food processor and ended up with coconut dust! BUT, being the resourceful lady that I am, I added a several tablespoons of water and a little coconut oil (& some agave) and continued to blend away. I now have some seriously delicious coconut…stuff, haha. I’m not really sure if it can be considered legit coconut butter, but it sure does the trick :)

Kristina @MendonPondMusings March 11, 2010 at 9:09 am

I can’t wait to try the homemade recipe!

Jenny R. March 11, 2010 at 9:16 am

it tastes like frosting and I want to take a bath in it…that’s how I sum up coconut butter ;P

Sarena (The Non-Dairy Queen) March 11, 2010 at 9:20 am

I just used coconut oil for my roasted veggies for the first time last week…OMG it was so good! I need to try some coconut butter. I am very intrigued now. I love the health benefits of coconut and am very interested in using it more often!

Heather (Heather's Dish) March 11, 2010 at 9:24 am

i love this Q&A…i just got my coconut at WF last night and am planning on making it tonight. hope the whirring of the food processor doesn’t drive Nate crazy… :D

juli March 11, 2010 at 10:09 am

I have never had coconut butter because I guess I’m just too frugal, but when I saw that you could make your own, I tried it. I had some coconut in the freezer so I got right to it. I tried it in the fool processor, and after 12 minutes it didn’t look like it was going to work so I put it in my Vita Mix and it was wonderful!!! Unfortunately the Vita Mix is hard to scrape out so I put my fingers to good work! You guys are amazing! I read you Blog everyday and have never left any comments, but this time I thought I owe you both a big thank you. I have tried many of your recipes and ideas and they have all been great. Thanks again for all your inspiration!!!

Heather Eats Almond Butter March 11, 2010 at 10:55 am

Juli, You’re so welcome. Thanks for reading. :)

maggie March 11, 2010 at 10:46 am

Hello…YUM!! My favorite use for coconut butter is ontop of fried eggs or pancakes. I think coconut is good with sweet and savory so it really can go in any dish. My next experiment is a coconut cream cheese blend for bagels..hmmm :)

Maggie

plamarie March 11, 2010 at 11:12 am

So many yummy ways to enjoy coconut butter. Last summer my Mom and I made banana soft serve and I warmed some coconut butter and topped the ice cream. Of course, it instantly hardened. It was like that magic shell toppong. The crunchies were fun!

brittac March 11, 2010 at 11:56 am

LOVE the coconut creations.

I use coconut in cooking a lot. I know some oils lose their healthy properties after heating/cooking. Does coconut butter lose its healthy properties (or MFCAs) after cooking with it?

Heather Eats Almond Butter March 11, 2010 at 12:17 pm

brittac, I’ve read that coconut oil does okay in medium heat cooking, but it should not be used for high-heat cooking.

Katie March 11, 2010 at 11:57 am

Someday, I will learn to love coconut butter. until then, I think almond butter will suffice for all those uses!

Ana March 11, 2010 at 12:23 pm

I was up at 5:30 and my friends thought I was crazy, but you beat my early rising today Heather!!
See, I was a little skeptical at first with coconut and the saturated fats when it started to become so popular these past few months. It is great to learn that it is so healthy and the fats are good fur us, especially after trying coconut butter, aren’t you glad the most delicious foods are also super healthy?!!
About the homemade coconut butter, I was thinking, maybe steaming the coconut in an effort to sort of rehydrate it would make the butter smoother?? I still have a hard time picturing the dehydrated coconut producing butter (even though I saw your pics here!!!), as when I think of it I envision the coconut meat being grind to a dreamy-creamy consistency.
I so want a vitamix so I could do some taste tests… I am trying to convince the husband as my birthday is approaching, but he doesn’t seem to get it. (and I don’t have a food processor either… sigh)
Ana

Heather Eats Almond Butter March 11, 2010 at 12:28 pm

Ana, Steaming it…I never thought of that.

Sending Vita-Mix thoughts to your husband right now. :)

Jo March 11, 2010 at 12:35 pm

I made it lastnight straight after reading your post and I am hooked! I added in 2 tbsp agave nectar for a little sweetness and it is totally lush :)

Gabriela (froyolover) March 11, 2010 at 1:00 pm

Holy YUM – I almost wish they´d sell coconut butter in Brazil!
Looks so yummy… Haha ;)
Have an amazing day, Heather!
Brazilian XOXO´s,
Gabriela

charlotte March 11, 2010 at 1:12 pm

Very cool! Thanks again! I’m already trying to figure out a way to ge tto the store to buy some dehydrated coconut tonight!

Heather March 11, 2010 at 1:52 pm

I am going to be making this and adding it to my veganized version of a shamrock shake!
Thanks HEAB :)

Heather March 11, 2010 at 3:06 pm

I love coconut butter! Now I want to try it on baked squash.

Betherann March 11, 2010 at 3:41 pm

I’m not sure what my favorite use for coconut butter is as I’m just exploring its possibilities now. However, I DID make coconut butter hummus today, which is currently chilling out in the fridge. I plan on mixing it with some stir-fried veggies tonight. I’ll let you know how it goes, but I predict that there’s not much which can go wrong in that situation. :)

Heather Eats Almond Butter March 11, 2010 at 4:12 pm

Betherann, Coconut butter hummus – yes, please let me know how that goes. :)

Heather March 11, 2010 at 3:51 pm

Unfortunately I haven’t tried coconut butter—I need to get on that ASAP!! I love everything else coconut, I’m not sure what I’m waiting for!

Christie @ Honoring Health March 11, 2010 at 3:54 pm

I have just started to use it after making it a couple days ago but so far, I like it on oat bran or a spoon :D

I put mine in the fridge because on the bag of coconut it said to do so after opening. Interesting.

angie March 11, 2010 at 3:59 pm

ok – there is a lesson inside my post today for all those who attempt making coconut butter. If you need to clean off the blades of whatever appliance your using – unplug it!

I tried making several batches of it yesterday – the first failed
The second I got my finger stuck in the emulsion blender/stick blender. Somehow while trying to clear the bottom side I accidentially pushed the button and the blade spun – right into my index finger and got hung up in the bone. LUCKLY my husband works nights and was home asleep. I woke him with quite a fright with the stick blender attched to my hand and he calmly cut the thing off my hand and was able to free my finger after about 30-40minutes. MY finger is a horrible mess now, it really got chewed up and I have no feeling in it either.

BE care…don’t make a stupid mistake like I did. I’m lucky it didn’t cut thought my whole finger.

Heather Eats Almond Butter March 11, 2010 at 4:11 pm

Oh gosh Angie, I am so sorry, and I hope your finger is okay. Sending healing thoughts your way!

Gena March 11, 2010 at 4:22 pm

How do I like coco butter, dearest HEABs? Lord, let me count the ways. On bread. On taters. On hot veggies. On raw brownie bites. On fudge babies. Straight up and dirty. The list goes on!

I am so excited to try this, hon :-P

Evan Thomas March 11, 2010 at 4:26 pm

I love all the interest in coconut now!
I need to try Maes tricks to get my homemade nut butters smoother. And of course I still need to try this butter
I’m wondering how it would be to work in to a little of my raw coconut oil chocolate for a little bit of a more fiberous taste. Hmm

Heather Eats Almond Butter March 11, 2010 at 5:52 pm

Evan, I think it would be delicious. I love my chocolate with a little texture. :)

Mama Pea March 11, 2010 at 4:58 pm

I bought a ton of bulk coconut today, just for this purpose. I’m currently contemplating which appliance to abuse in my attempt, as you know I’m sans Vita. We’ll at least find out if my smoke detectors are in working condition.

Lauren @ Eater not a runner March 11, 2010 at 5:00 pm

Um this post is making me hungry!

Anna March 11, 2010 at 5:02 pm

I just got some coconut flakes that are almost in powder form– I can’t wait to try to make coconut butter!

Heather @ Get Healthy With Heathee March 11, 2010 at 5:04 pm

I haven’t even had the chance to try coconut butter yet but want to try it on my curry sweet potato rounds. Curry and coconut always taste so good together.

Katherine March 11, 2010 at 6:31 pm

I have a question about kabocha — I eat about the same amount you do, but my skin is very yellow– or yellower than most . I think it is all the beta carotene. Have you had these symptoms?

Heather Eats Almond Butter March 11, 2010 at 7:09 pm

Katherine, I turned yellow when I used to eat sweet potatoes everyday, but I’ve never had a problem with kabocha. However, I know a few other bloggers that have turned yellow/orange after eating too much kabocha. I’d back off for a while until your skin returns to normal.

eatmovelove March 11, 2010 at 6:40 pm

Wow Angie – I’m glad you still have your finger! Gosh.

And, do you know what other cultures the butter is used predominately in, out of curiosity? I like sociology ;) and it was mentioned above.

Still haven’t tried it, but it is interesting ! You’ve started a phenomenon haha.

Heather Eats Almond Butter March 11, 2010 at 7:12 pm

Eatmovelove, Click on Mark Sisson’s post at Mark’s Daily Apple. I linked.

Pure2raw twins March 11, 2010 at 8:05 pm

Thanks for the Q&A on how to make the coconut butter. We love coconut butter, we put in on and in everything ; )

Deb (Smoothie Girl Eats Too) March 11, 2010 at 8:29 pm

Thanks for the Q&A. I’ll be honest. I get to the comments partay so late all the time that there are a zillion comments that I don’t have time to read. so it’s super helpful to see the q’s and a’s that way!

Mae is a wealth of information. the skinny blades the professional blades. Wow. I bet you want to kidnap that girl and make her your personal chef. I know I do!

Kristin Russell March 11, 2010 at 9:07 pm

When I could no longer breastfeed because of recurring mastitis and a baby boy who couldn’t latch, I melted coconut butter and added it to his bottle. It has the same properties as breast milk! Something that is this good for babies has to be good for us, right?

http://hairinmycoffee.com

Averie (LoveVeggiesAndYoga) March 11, 2010 at 9:14 pm

thanks for the coconut tutorial, Heather! :)

Lara (Thinspired) March 11, 2010 at 9:47 pm

I think there is big potential for me to fall in love with coconut butter. I adore anything coconut flavored, so I have no doubts. I’m just worried as I am developing some pricey food afflections lately! (nut butters, maca, Amazing Grass) Thanks for this info and also for answering my question about the butter vs the oil. You’re so good about getting back to people!

Cecilia March 12, 2010 at 12:12 am

Hi there Heather, I just want to ask you another question on coconut. Is the saturated fat found in coconuts (oil/butter) digested differently than saturated fat found in animal fat. To be more specific, is there a journal/research article on that topic? I asked my dietician about this question, she said there’s no difference in the manner in which they’re digested. thanks :) )))

Heather Eats Almond Butter March 12, 2010 at 8:08 am

Cecilia, I’m sorry, but I really don’t understand the science of it all, but from what I understand, coconuts are made up of mostly medium chain fatty acids which are absorbed directly into the bloodstream. Here is some info. I found on the Internet:

*Short-* * and **medium-chain fatty acids* * are absorbed directly into the blood via intestine capillaries and travel through the **portal vein* * just as other absorbed nutrients do. However, **long-chain fatty acids* * are too large to be directly released into the tiny intestine capillaries. Instead they are absorbed into the fatty walls of the intestine **villi* * and reassembled again into **triglycerides* *. The triglycerides are coated with **cholesterol* * and protein (protein coat) into a compound called a **chylomicron* *.*

*Within the villi, the chylomicron enters a **lymphatic* * capillary called a **lacteal* *, which merges into larger lymphatic vessels. It is transported via the lymphatic system and the **thoracic duct* * up to a location near the heart (where the arteries and veins are larger). The thoracic duct empties the chylomicrons into the bloodstream via the left **subclavian vein* *. At this point the chylomicrons can transport the triglycerides to where they are needed.*

* *

I’ve read that because the medium-chain fatty acids are utilized right away, the saturated fat in coconuts provides us with instant energy, but I’m not sure if this is the case with other forms of saturated fat.

* *

* *

Betherann March 12, 2010 at 12:16 pm

Reporting in on the coconut butter — it was a success! I’ll be blogging about it soon… :D

Heather Eats Almond Butter March 12, 2010 at 12:19 pm

Betherann, So happy to hear!

Kelly March 12, 2010 at 6:20 pm

Being orange is alll good! I have orange palms and also the soles of me feet (have for years) and at my holistic dentist yesterday his assistant tested my antioxidant levels and they were off the charts.

GirlonRaw March 13, 2010 at 11:44 am

I am a total coco’nut’ case. I love the stuff. And I also have this brand of coconut butter and have been dying to work out what to do with it. Thanks so much for this post!

Betherann March 14, 2010 at 7:34 am

Here it is, as promised! Coconut butter + hummus = coconummus! :)

Doug June 23, 2010 at 7:29 pm

I love your blog! Sorry I’m a little late to the party, but I have coconut butter question:
Can you feed it as a supplement to your dogs? I’ve heard good things, particularly about skin, coats, etc., but also about joint and ligament care. I bought two big jars of Artisana, but I’ll never be able to eat it (when do they expire?) and I’d like to share the health benefits with my two best girls: Sophie, a jack russell/dachshund mix, and Emma, a chihuahua/rat terrier mix.

Heather Eats Almond Butter June 23, 2010 at 9:04 pm

Doug, Thanks for reading my blog. As far as I know it is fine to feed the coconut butter to your pups. I know that a bit of coconut oil is great for dogs, and the coconut butter is simply the oil and meat of the coconut. I would do no more than a tsp or two at time, and I’m sure they’ll love it. I’m not sure how long the butter lasts – I would think a while. Never had a jar go bad on me, but then again, they never last long at our house. :)

coconutty February 9, 2011 at 3:30 pm

OMG, I’m all exited after seeing that pic of almond butter(?) on toast with bacon! I gotta try that, very soon. ~sidetracked~ Thanks for the great coconut butter ideas, tips, & recipes! <3
I tried making coconut butter yesterday & ended up with a grainy, but creamy & deelish thick liquid. I followed a different recipe that called for a fresh coconut, its water, & some coconut milk or whole milk if needed. The recipe also did not mention the long running time of the machine. If I felt like washing the container again, i would reproccess it, but it's fine for me as is; next time will be better. It's great in a coconut banana smoothie, & it's going on some pancakes or waffles in a few hours. I should have used the shredding blade that fits on the top of the processor bowl in conjunction with using the chopping blade in the bottom, instead of just tossing in the coconut chunks to process. Live, eat & learn!

HEAB February 9, 2011 at 8:25 pm

Coconutty, Yes – I love almond butter & bacon. Such a great salty/sweet combo. My homemade coconut butter turns out pretty grainy as well, and it sometimes takes forever in the processor, but other times it doesn’t. Kind of weird. Anyway, glad you enjoyed your first batch and good luck with batch #2! :)

Gretchen Bauer March 18, 2013 at 11:36 am

I recently used the basic coconut butter I made in my food processor and added cocoa, sweet leaf stevia, natural peanut butter and some pure vanilla. It doesn’t solidify like the original coconut butter so it’s similar to a sauce. Oh my gosh it was so good!!! I literally sat and ate it with a spoon.

HEAB March 18, 2013 at 1:06 pm

Gretchen,
Oh my, I want to make that combo right now and pour it on EVERYTHING…but a spoon works too. ;)

Yum, thanks for sharing. Will have to try your version soon.

Gretchen Bauer March 18, 2013 at 7:47 pm

Let me know if you like it!!:)

Kristen July 23, 2013 at 1:25 pm

this is a great recipe! Would you be able to use this in a homemade body butter?

HEAB July 23, 2013 at 3:00 pm

Hi Kristen,
Sure, I don’t see why not…although I’d have a hard time not licking it off my legs. ;)

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