At every event I do, this is the most frequently asked question! So read on to found out the answer…
The Difference Between Coconut Oil and Coconut Butter
It can be easy to confuse the two, especially when coconut oil solidifies, but these are two different products. Think of coconut oil & coconut butter like peanut oil & peanut butter — two distinct products used for very different purposes.
Coconut oil is simply the oil that has been extracted from the coconut flesh, while coconut butter is made from the coconut flesh (with the oil content still in it) that has been ground into a paste.
Because it contains both the flesh & the oil, it includes all the fat, fibre, & nutrients found in a coconut.
The consistency varies depending on temperature and how it is stored. Ranging from semi-soft & creamy when it’s warm, to hard & almost waxy when stored in a cool place & during cooler months.
The flavor is pure, in-your-face coconut. It’s intense & not too sweet.
So, how do you use Coconut Butter?
Firstly, before you first open a jar, you need to do a little bit of work.
Obviously in Sri Lank it is pretty much always hot weather, so the coconut butter is more or less a liquid when we put it in the jars. Then as it cools down during the transportation period the oil content separates (just like you find with any pure nut butter) & the oil then solidifies when it hits the chilly European temperatures.
So before you first open a jar, you need to melt it a little bit & stir the oil back into the fleshy part. The best way to go about doing this is to put the entire jar in a bowl of hot water. Leave it for 10 minutes or so, & when it is soft enough stir it well.
You only need to do this before the first use. The coconut butter will solidify up again, but it should not separate. If your kitchen is too cool & it becomes too hard to spoon out of the jar, you can always warm it slightly again to soften it up. The more you warm it, the softer it gets, eventually becoming a liquid cream that you can drizzle!
Coconut butter is simple & versatile to use.
It can be as basic as spreading it on a piece of toast.
You can use it as a topping for pancakes or waffles, or drizzle it over oatmeal or granola.
It also pairs well with savoury dishes, too. I use it instead of coconut milk when I am making curries & soups. And I also like to drizzle it over sautéed greens.
You can even use it as icing on a vegan cake!
During the rest of the month I will sharing more tips & recipes over on the facebook page so keep an eye over there. Feel free to share your recipes in the comments too.