Coconut oil is one of those miraculous products which boycotts streamline-overdependent capitalistic logic. The reason is its astounding versatility, its application recommended for everything from frying your fries to lubricating your intercourse. Talk about an infiltrating product!
On the other hand, lube too has an extensive list of unconventional uses, the weirdest being using it for loosening your locks and doorknobs.
Coconut butter is different than coconut oil. For one, it’s chunkier (so I wouldn’t use or recommend using it as lube, though, then again, maybe the graininess wouldn’t be all that undesirable). In some ways it’s more akin to peanut butter, in consistency and its use, making it an exquisite bread spread.
Add it to smoothies, curries, spread it lusciously atop anything edible, use it as a butter substitute to make banana bread — and definitely to make these gluten-free coconut-flour chocolate chip cookies.
Coconut butter, and likewise coconut oil, is super high in saturated fats (as is breast milk!) — 87g per 100g, or 90%. So it should be used in moderation, for sure, but important to know is that the saturated fat present is not the type which raises cholesterol levels, specifically, of the bad cholesterol (low-density lipoprotein, or LDL).
The saturated fat in coconut oil and coconut butter is called lauric acid (which, again, is abundantly prevalent in breast milk!), a medium-chain fatty acid which is easier to digest than long-chain fatty acid (the latter of the two is the type which takes center stage in, for instance, butter).
Lauric acid increases the good HDL (high-density lipoprotein) cholesterol within your blood — of the two, this is the beneficial kind which helps balance cholesterol levels by removing excess LDL from your body, as well as speeds up metabolism (the basis for the coconuts-help-you-burn-fat-and-lose-weight argument) and positively affects your hormones and blood sugar levels.
One more interesting factoid about the lauric acid within coconut oils and butters, mainly, it has a high melting point (110.8°F / 43.8°C), the pure lauric acid itself does, but effectively, coconuts oil’s melting point is also rather high, around 75.2°F / 24°C — which explains why the oil and butter solidify in room temperature (right, they are ‘frozen’ at room temperature, since they ‘melt’ at 24°C), and super hard when store inside fridges, and, I suppose it follows, they’re indestructible when frozen (perhaps as strong as Thor’s ineradicable and unliftable hammer, hypothesized to be composed of “neutron star matter, the densest material in the universe outside of a black hole, [in which case the tool would] weigh as much as 300 billion elephants”).
Hefty stuff, coconut oils and butters.
Rich in antioxidants, will boost your body’s immunity, and, stupidly easy to make (so very much unlike these Millennium Math Problems, though solving one of these mind-benders will win you a million bucks, which this guy won and rejected, despite having no job, income, and subsisting on his elderly mother’s pension — that’s hard-boiled passion).
All it takes to make coconut butter is (organic) shredded coconut shreds, and a spoonful or so of oily coconut oil. Drop it all into a blender (or food processor — they are not, though this took me some time to admit to myself, the same thing, “they,” so reports Consumer Reports, “excel at different tasks”) and blend the #$&@! out of it. As easy as falling off a log. Don’t get frustrated when the coconut shreds collect around the bowl of the device — especially true when using the blender — and for dear life avoid the vortex of the blade, just pause, spoon the mass off the wall, and resume. And repeat. Eventually the dense paste will cave in on itself and be mutilated by the merciless whirlpool.
I buy my shredded coconuts from Karma Co-Op — but you can find Let’s Do Organic’s at Amazon, here, or, if you live in New York City, and are into co-ops, then consider getting your stuff at Park Slope Food.
What did you use your coconut butter for?
- 4 cups (1L) organic, unsweetened, coconut shreds — this will make around half the amount of coconut butter (2 cups, or 500 mL)
- 2 tbsp organic coconut oil, melted
- Place everything inside blender — or, better yet, food processor — and mix on low speed, or pulse. The mass will stick to the sides and avoid the blade (especially true if you’re using blender). Don’t get discouraged. Pause, scrape sludge off walls, and resume. Repeat. Repeat. Repeat. The paste will eventually give in to the whirlpool.
- Once the white viscous syrup is in motion, let it orbit around the blade for a few minutes, until it’s smoother — though its final consistency is ultimately your prerogative.
- Enjoy on anything, and store inside lidded jars.