Tuesday, 5 March 2013

How to: Coconut Butter

Let me give you the ins and outs of coconut butter

Coconut Butter vs Coconut Oil

Actually, I thought they were the same thing, but apparently not.  Coconut oil is simply the oil extracted from the coconut meat, whereas coconut butter is essentially creamed coconut meat. 

The Good

Coconut butter contains a different kind of saturated fat - it contains a medium chain fatty acids called lauric acid.  It doesn't have to be broken down in the body, it can be directly absorbed into the cells, so it's a quick, no-sugar way of gaining energy.

Lauric acid is also found in breast milk - it protects you against viruses and bacteria, and just good for your immune system in general.

The Bad
It's a caloric bomb.  Some say that it can actually aid weight loss as it increases metabolism, but most sources say that that's outweighed by the sheer amount of calories it has.  It's also high in cholesterol, so you may need to watch it.   Moderation is key.

Non-Food Uses
It's a fantastic moisturizer - it's also been shown to heal stretch marks

How to use it in the kitchen

You can easily use it as a spread by mixing it with a bit of honey or something.

If not, it's often used in a lot of vegan baking, which makes everything taste fantastic.

Put it in a smoothie, or just use it for roasting sweet potatoes or something.  Use it as you would in place of vegetable oil.

It's solid at room temperature, so just put a bit of it in a bowl and microwave for about 10-15 seconds before use. 

And finally, How to make it

Shredded coconut

Put the shredded coconut in a blender and mix on high speed for about 10-15 minutes.  Or the food processor, where you're looking at probably 15 minutes.  And then you get coconut butter!

I don't know what I'd do without my food processor.  It's by far the best investment I've made in university.  It's saving me so much money because commercially bought coconut butter costs a fortune.

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