Bring out the mittens?
In Texas summertime, it’s considered a cold front if the temperature doesn’t reach 100 degrees. Today, therefore, we’re experiencing a cold front. It’s only going to be 99. The sweltering weather is bad for almost everything: growing plants, running outdoors, paying your air-conditioning bill… However, there’s one thing you can do really well in the heat: Make homemade coconut butter!
For easy instructions, see this post: How to make coconut butter.
It took me just 10 minutes to make an entire jar’s-worth of coconut butter yesterday. Then I spent much more time chasing the capricious light all around my little house, trying to photograph said coconut butter. Repeatedly eating my props didn’t help.
Coconut Butter FAQ
Over and over, I’m receiving the same questions regarding coconut butter and coconut oil.
While I try to answer as many of these questions as I can in the comment section, I understand why no one would want to read though the overwhelming number of comments (many of which are repeats) to see if a particular question has been answered. To make it easier, I’ve rounded up the most-frequently-asked questions and am posting the answers all in one place.
(Tip: Did you know that if you press “control f” you can search for a key word on any webpage? This trick has saved me a lot of time, and I wish more people knew about it! )
1. Is there a difference between coconut oil and coconut butter?
Yes, there is definitely a difference between the two. Think peanut butter vs. peanut oil. One is thick and smooth, while the other is liquid (at room temperature). Coconut butter includes the meat of the coconut, while coconut oil does not.
2. Can I use coconut oil whenever a recipe calls for coconut butter?
It depends on the recipe. Many recipes that call for coconut butter won’t be the same if you substitute oil. Some readers say they’ve successfully made my fudge recipes with the oil instead of the butter, but I wouldn’t recommend it for best results. Coconut butter will yield a much richer texture. Same thing with the candy or peppermint bark recipes I’ve posted.
However, it is fine to use either in the Chocolate-Strawberry Pie.
3. How do I melt hardened coconut butter?
Coconut butter is strange. Depending on the climate (temperature and humidity), it can be smooth, liquidy, rock-hard, or even crumbly. It also burns very quickly, so I’d caution against trying to microwave the jar, at least for anything longer than 15 seconds. A few options: You can stick it in a warm (not hot) oven for a few minutes. (Often, after I’ve cooked something, I’ll turn the oven off and then stick the coconut butter jar into the oven as it cools.) Or you can make a water bath (I haven’t done this, but I know others have). Or, if you only need a small amount, you can take some out and place it on a candle warmer.
Or… just come to Texas.
4. Mine never turned into butter. What did I do wrong?
Maybe nothing. I’ve never encountered problems making homemade coconut butter, and it works for many others as well… but for some reason (I think it might have to do with climate), a few readers aren’t able to achieve the buttery spread. For best results, be sure to use a whole bag so there’s enough to blend smoothly. Also: a reader (hi Deb!) says that if it’s not getting smooth, try adding a little coconut oil to the blender.
5. When making coconut butter, can I sub ____ for the shredded coconut?
I’ve only tried this with Let’s Do Organic brand unsweetened coconut shreds (or unsweetened coconut shreds from the bulk aisle of the grocery store). So I don’t know if works with sweetened coconut shreds, reduced-fat coconut shreds, or fresh coconut.
Link of the Day: