Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Coconut butter

I've been rather obsessed with paleOMG's coconut klondike bites (which I refer to as coconut cups, for short) for the past few months. The recipe calls for coconut butter, and paleOMG blogger, Juli Bauer, shared a friend's recipe for that. It includes processing a package of coconut flakes in a food processor until it gets soft and creamy like butter.

I have followed that protocol and used it in the coconut klondike bites recipe, but found the texture a bit too gritty to enjoy eating by itself. The other thing I disliked was that it hardened back up, and to make it spreadable again, microwaving or additional processing was required.

You can buy coconut butter (it's pricey), and after reading the labels of several brands online, I realized that coconut oil was an ingredient. So, I decided to add some to mine! Much to my delight, the coconut oil really improved the texture, and while it does firm-up slightly as it cools/sets, it's still soft enough to be spreadable without any heating required!

I LOVE coconut butter!

I love to eat coconut butter by the spoonful as a snack, or stuff dates with it (that's a delicious gem that I gleaned from Juli's cookbook, "OMG. That's Paleo?"). So, so yummy (with or without the date).

Here's how I make mine.

12 oz bag unsweetened, flaked coconut (I like Bob's Red Mill brand)
3-4 tbsp coconut oil
1 pint canning jar for storing it (or other container)
One 12 ounce package of coconut flakes yields one pint of coconut butter. I buy coconut flakes by the "case," which includes four packages. I pay about $3 per bag, which means my cost is only slightly higher than $3 for a pint of coconut butter (including the cost for coconut oil), which is awesome considering that 16 ounces of coconut butter can run $10-15 from what I've seen.
Instructions (for Blendtec*)
  1. Dump coconut flakes into Blendtec. Run on Speed 1 for the whole cycle. Remove plastic cap and push contents down, gently, with a spoon handle (AVOID the blade, of course -- you need only to push down the top layer, to encourage movement of the solid pieces)
  2. Add coconut oil, then run on Speed 1 for another cycle (Use a spoon handle again to push down the top layer -- I focus on pushing down in the corners)
  3. Press the smoothie button for one cycle
Instructions (for "normal" blender or food processor)
  1. Add flakes and pulse
  2. Scrape as frequently as needed, until the flakes become pasty/buttery
  3. Add coconut oil
  4. Continue pulsing and scraping until smooth (my normal blender makes WONDERFULLY smooth coconut butter)
I store mine in the cupboard. It rarely lasts longer than a week (or a few days -- OOPS!). Not sure if refrigeration would be required or not, longer term.

*I'm new to my Blendtec, so I'm still experimenting. I think I can get this smoother than it turned out for me this time, and will update the recipe when I figure it out.

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