I'll admit it, I'm a coconut fiend. I eat or drink from this luscious fruit daily. I sip on coconut water and sprinkle generous handfuls of the unsweetened, dried variety all over my morning bowl of oatmeal.
But all that is kiddie stuff compared to this coconut butter. It's a sure-fire way to get the maximum concentration of rich, velvety coconut flavor and texture in each bite.
What Is Coconut Butter?
Coconut butter is unlike coconut oil; it's an entirely different animal. Coconut oil is made from the extracted fat of the coconut meat, whereas this butter includes the fibrous shreds of the coconut meat, albeit in dried form. It's not difficult to make but it does require patience.
Tips for Best Coconut Butter
I recommend scraping down the sides of the food processor after an audible change where the blades aren't really catching any of the coconut. This will become an increasing issue as the paste starts to come together; your processor's blades will just whizz freely after 30 seconds or a minute of work.
Slowly but surely, you'll end up with a coconut paste similar in consistency to a peanut butter. It will be a little drier in texture but spreads nicely across toast or waffles (or anything in sight, in my case!). The butter will become solid at room temperature, but if you scrape a little off the top and throw it in the microwave for 10 or 15 seconds, it will become soft and pliable once more.
Buying Shredded Coconut
I buy my shredded coconut from my local co-op's dry-bin area, but you can find Bob's Red Mill's brand at Amazon here.
Put the dried coconut in the food processor or blender. Mix on high speed. At 3 minutes, the coconut breaks down into clumps.
How To Make Coconut Butter
Makes one small jar
What You Need
2 cups dried, shredded, unsweetened coconut
Salt to taste, optional
Food processor or Vitamix blender
1. Process the Coconut: Put the dried coconut in the food processor or blender. Mix on high speed, scraping down the sides often for approximately 18 or 19 minutes, until a thick paste is formed.
What to Look for in the Process
3 Minutes - The coconut breaks down into clumps
5 to 8 Minutes - The coconut starts to look more sandy and paste-like. Scrape down the sides of the processor as often as necessary to continue processing the coconut.
11 to 15 Minutes - The coconut starts to pull together into a buttery paste. Continue to scrape down the sides of the processor regularly.
Finished - The coconut has been ground to the consistency of peanut butter, thick and spreadable. Add salt to taste if desired, or leave plain and add salt when serving.
2. Store the Coconut Butter: Store in a small jar in the fridge, scraping up spoonfuls and microwaving for 10 to 15 seconds to soften and serve.
(Image credits: Leela Cyd)