A couple of months ago I fell in love. Okay, nine years ago I met my loving husband and fell head over heels. That hasn't changed. No, I'm talking about my new favorite snack--coconut butter. On a whim I bought a container of Artisana Foods' raw coconut butter on a trip to Whole Foods, and after one bite knew that my relationship with coconut just got even stronger. Besides the fact that coconut is full of very healthy medium chain fatty acids (MCFA's), it just plain tastes delicious. I make coconut milk lattes, coconut whip (Elana Amsterdam's recipe), coconut curries, and generally cook all sorts of things in coconut oil. So it would make sense that I'd enjoy coconut butter too, I suppose. I just didn't realize how much I'd like it. I'm telling you--coconut butter is sweet enough to serve a little melted with a bowl of berries for dessert, but has only the minimal naturally-occuring sugars in coconut. The fat makes for an out-of-this-world creaminess that keeps you satiated until dinner if you eat it as a mid-afternoon snack.
And yet, it's $13 for a jar. Not exactly budget-friendly.
I posted about the Artisana coconut butter on my Facebook page last week and promptly got a reply from my friend Corrie, who linked me to this post about a homemade version over at Heather Eats Almond Butter. (Quick aside: I'd never seen Heather's site before then, and after seeing her recipe promptly added her to my Google Reader. Go check it out if you've not seen it before.) The recipe looked too good to be true; there was no way using only a bag of shredded coconut and a food processor could give you such creamy goodness as a jar of coconut butter. And yet, I had to try it. Dear readers, I'm happy to say that the homemade version is fantastic. And cheap. I made a pound of coconut butter in my trusty old Cuisinart for less than $6.00 (about $4 if you buy coconut in bulk on Amazon), which makes for savings of well over 50%. It's not quite as smooth as the Artisana stuff, but I think I'll live. I've adapted Heather's recipe for larger quantities of coconut, to allow for generous consumption on toast (try this recipe) or with fruit. It'll melt to spreadable consistency at around body temperature, so feel free to place your jar in hot water before scooping some out. (I prefer it as is, eaten with a spoon.)
DIY coconut butter (adapted from the recipe at Heather Eats Almond Butter)
16 ounces organic shredded, unsweetened coconut (I used two 8-oz bags of Let's Do Organic coconut.)
Place the coconut into the bowl of a food processor. Turn on the processor and let run for about 12-15 minutes, until the coconut gets a little clumpy. If the processor stalls a little or the coconut gets stuck, turn it off and give the coconut a little stir to push it back down towards the blade. Continue to process for an additional 5-10 minutes, stirring and/or scraping down the sides as necessary. Eventually the coconut will clump into a few large pieces. Continue to process for a couple more minutes until it becomes creamy. (This will happen quickly.) Transfer to an air-tight container and store at room temperature. The coconut butter will be fairly liquid straight out of the food processor, but will solidify over the next several hours.
Shared at Slightly Indulgent Tuesdays 8/30/11 and Wellness Weekends 9/1-9/5/11. Also part of Fight Back Fridays 9/2/11 and Creative Juice #37.