Wednesday, 31 July 2013

Coconut butter--the cheap way

There was a time when coconut oil was a no-no because of the saturated fat, but new studies have shown that coconut oil is a different kind of saturated fat. It is not the kind that clogs your arteries/affect your cholesterol like the sort that comes from animal products but rather is a “medium chain fatty acid”(MCFA)  which means it doesn’t store as fat, but rather burns off as energy. Coconut oil is high in lauric acid which makes it antifungal and antibacterial and anti lots of other bad things as well.

What is the difference between coconut oil and butter? Oil is just that--oil. The butter is made from coconut meat and is full of fibre which means a spoonful can be a snack that holds you until the next meal. It has been said that including some coconut oil/butter in your diet can help you lose weight by increasing your metabolism, taking the stress off your pancreas and supporting your thyroid gland.

Before we go on, I’d like to say a few words about what I’ve just written. I’ve used the words butter and meat--and I am in no way talking about animal exploitation here. Why do the meat and dairy industry think they own these words? Butter is used in lots of words to denote a fatty substance--peanut butter, coconut butter, cocoa butter, shea butter, etc. None of those are made from dairy--although I once met someone who thought peanut butter was made from butter and told me in a rather condescending way that I couldn’t eat it. I put her straight.

Meat was used in ancient times to mean food--not a beverage. In the Bible in the book of Genesis 1:29 God says Behold I have given you every plant yielding seed which is on the surface of all the earth and every tree which has fruit yielding seed: it shall be meat for you.  Some Bibles translate it as food for you but if you look in the original language it says meat. We also use the word meat when dealing with nuts--we say nut meat when we get our prize out of the cracked shell.

Colleen Patrick Goudreau (my vegan hero) suggests we reclaim these words and use them as vegans. Why should we have to say words like when talking about our food :





. That sounds stupid and it makes it sound like our food is second class or not very good. What kind of milk? Cow’s milk or plant based milk? We prefer Oat milk. What kind of meat? Animal flesh meat or nut meat or vegan meat? I make three different kinds of vegan sausages --why should I have to call them what they are not? They are a spicy mixture that comes in link and patty form. Isn’t that what sausage is?

So this recipe uses coconut meat to make coconut butter and I am not ashamed to say that.

Coconut butter is wickedly expensive here--something like £15 for a small tub. With my high speed blender I can make one that is nearly as smooth as the commercial one. Yes I’m sure the commercial might be a tiny bit whippier and fluffier, but the price difference makes me easily ignore that.

DIY coconut butter

You need:

Some bags of unsweetened dried (desiccated) coconut

That’s it! I am on the look out for some organic desiccated coconut (which Spiderman always calls desecrated coconut) but haven’t found any so this is the bog standard £1 bag of the stuff.

Dump 2 bags in your high speed blender--I don’t know if a regular blender or food processor could make this work.

dry coconut in my blender

Blend like hell pushing it down with the tamper towards the blade.

liquid coconut butter in my jar


Pour it into a jar for storage.

It is all liquid-y in the photo as it is hot from the blades but in cooler weather it will harden up pleasantly. Right now it is so hot that the coconut oil separates and floats on the top and you have to stir it back in like natural peanut butter.


You can store it at room temperature. If you put it in the fridge it will become a rock that will be hard to scoop out. In spring when I made my first batch if you used a spoon that had been run under hot water it scooped up fine. It’s not really a problem at the moment.

Verdict:  lovely and creamy--not quite as smooth as a shop bought one, but since it only cost me £2 instead of £15 I think I can live with it.

1 comment:

  1. yum yum.........but, um, when did meat become a term for a beverage?