As I mentioned in my earlier post, I scooped up a big ol’ jar of coconut butter this week. My mind has been running wild with excitement over the possibilities of its uses. (And yes, I am aware I get excited over weird stuff like this. 😉 )
Although coconut oil has historically been deemed ‘unhealthy’ due to its high saturated fat content, more recent research argues otherwise, but I won’t pretend I’m an expert on the subject, so here is a great article about the health benefits of coconut oil.
Similarly, coconut butter shares many of the same health benefits.
So what’s the difference between coconut oil and coconut butter? Coconut butter is basically the meat of the coconut ground up to a smooth consistency, much like peanuts are to peanut butter, while coconut oil is simply the oil extracted from the coconut, like peanut oil comes from peanuts. Make sense?
*When I initially opened the jar, there was a liquid oil layer sitting atop a large brick of solid coconut. I filled a large bowl with hot water and let the jar (with lid on) sit for about 10 minutes before stirring it until completely smooth. Having said that, keep in mind when coconut oil or butter is stored, it will likely go back to it’s solid state again.
So, in my opinion? Let me first preface it by saying I’ve never been one to love coconut flavor. Not that I hated it but it was just never one of my favorites. Especially the artificial flavored coconut drinks, candy, etc. Yuck. BUT now that I’ve tasted coconut oil and butter, I can honestly say I love coconut. Neither one has a very strong coconut flavor, more just a hint compared to, say, an artificially flavored pina colada. Totally different.
You can use it just like regular butter on toast or pancakes, blend it up in smoothies, drizzle over sweet potatoes, substitute for regular butter or oil in baking, etc. I decided to use it in combination with cashews to make a coconut cashew butter.
Coconut Cashew Butter
2 cups cashews*
5 tbls coconut butter
1/2 tsp cinnamon
Put all ingredients into a food processor.
Process until smooth, scraping the edges occasionally.
A little slice of heaven, if you ask me. There is just a subtle hint of coconut flavor flowing through the creamy smooth cashew butter. And who doesn’t love cashews?
My favorite use of this butter was on a sweet potato, though I’ve also enjoyed it simply spread on a bagel… and possibly eaten straight off
my finger the spoon. Hey, I had to taste test! 😉
Well I’m off to the 2013 First Look for Charity event for the Chicago Auto Show. Have a great Friday night!