Folks, I’m sorry I’ve been so spotty about posting to CarbSmart recently. I’m on deadline for this paleo cookbook (Pre-order at Amazon.com: 500 Paleo Recipes), and I’m cooking and writing like a maniac. Quite honestly, Its hard to think about anything else. However, in an attempt to make it up to you, I will now tell you how to save a pile of money.
Many low carbers and paleo folks are in love with coconut butter. Not coconut oil, that’s been around for a long time. Coconut butter has become popular fairly recently. Think peanut butter, but made with coconut instead. People are eating it by the spoonful, melting it over vegetables, using it as icing for low carb or paleo muffins, spreading it on pancakes, spreading it on apple slices, you name it.
Since coconut is fabulous for you, this is a fine thing. Just one small catch: Coconut butter tends to run over $10 a pound. Around here, Artisana, the most popular brand, is running over $12/pound. Them’s pretty tall tickets for a little jar of spread, no matter how tasty or healthful.
However, I have learned that making your own coconut butter is dead simple. I mean, falling off a stump simple. Here’s how:
Buy a bunch of unsweetened shredded coconut. Look for a place that sells it in bulk; it’ll be cheaper than in packages. One of my two local health food stores only sells shredded coconut in packets, and it runs over $4 for 7 ounces. The other health food store, however, sells shredded coconut in bulk, you scoop it from a bin into a plastic bag. Sold this way it runs me all of $3 a pound – and 10% less on Tuesdays, 10% off day at my health food store. So we’re talking $2.70/pound.
(Warning: Whatever you do, do not buy the sweetened “angel flake” coconut in the baking aisle at the grocery store. It’s loaded with sugar. Stay away.)
Okay, you’ve got your coconut. Dump it in your food processor – I do a good four cups of coconut at a time. Now turn on your food processor, set a timer for 5 minutes, and go do something else.
When the timer goes off, go scrape down the walls of your food processor, then give it another 5 minutes or so. You may need as much as another ten minutes, but not more. You want a smooth, thick liquid – that’s your coconut butter. (It will harden if you refrigerate it.)
Scrape your coconut butter into a container with a tight lid. You don’t even really have to refrigerate it, since coconut oil is very slow to go rancid. You are now the proud possessor of homemade coconut butter, and I have just saved you $9/pound. You’re welcome.
By the way, this takes a decent food processor; I have a professional grade Cuisinart. If you have a teeny, cheap food processor it might overheat from running that long. My Cuisinart did when I made two batches right in a row, but I only did that because I was standardizing the recipe.
However, if you eat a lot of coconut butter, you’ll save enough money on this alone that a good food processor should pay for itself within the year. Here’s a cookie recipe using your coconut butter! Feel free to use sugar-free imitation honey in these, to cut the carb count. I did.
This is one of a few coconut butter cookie recipes that will be in my upcoming book 500 Paleo Recipes. These come out gooey in the middle, yum!
- 1 cup coconut butter (3 cups of shredded coconut make just about exactly 1 cup of butter.)
- 1/2 cup almond butter
- 1/2 cup honey or Nature’s Hollow “Tastes Like Honey” Sugar Free Honey Substitute
- 1/2 teaspoon French vanilla liquid stevia (NOW supplement company makes a great one; that’s what I used.)
- 1/2 teaspoon salt, optional
- 2 egg whites
Preheat oven to 350, and either grease a couple of cookie sheets, or line them with baking parchment. (I love baking parchment!)
Simply combine everything in a bowl and use an electric mixer to beat until you have a thick, gooey batter.
Drop by tablespoonfuls on the prepared cookie sheets, and bake for 15 minutes. Cool on wire racks.
Yield: 2 dozen, each with: 90 Calories; 6g Fat; 2g Protein; 8g Carbohydrate; 2g Dietary Fiber; 6 g usable carb. This analysis assumes real honey. Cut that by a good three grams per cookie if you use the imitation honey.
NOTES : Look for a health food store that sells freshly ground almond butter in bulk. Not only will it be better than the packaged stuff, it will very likely be cheaper, too.
© 2012 by Dana Carpender. Used by permission of the author. What do you think? Please send Dana your comments to Dana Carpender.