Whether you know it in the form of coconut butter or coconut manna, this creamy creme goes well with everything from dark chocolate to flavorful curry.
Just when you thought coconut had no more great stuff up its sleeve, it turned out that it can turn into butter too.
You won’t miss the milk butter when you get your hands on the coconut version, which is just as rich, creamy and has lots of great health benefits.
What Is Coconut Butter?
Coconut butter is made by mixing coconut meat until it looks like a butter spread. It’s dairy-free, making it a popular butter substitute in the paleo community. It is an amazing home improvement that can save you time and money.
However, if you don’t want to make your own coconut butter, it is available at most health food stores and online.
6 Benefits of Coconut Butter
You’ve probably heard of the many benefits of coconut oil, and coconut butter has all of these benefits and more. This is because coconut butter contains all of the parts of the coconut, including water, meat, and oil.
Here are the top six reasons you should be using coconut butter regularly.
1. Boosts Immunity
Coconut is a rich source of lauric acid, an antimicrobial compound that regulates your immune system while protecting you from viruses and bacteria. It’s the same compound that’s abundant in breast milk to help a developing baby grow up healthy and strong.
Coconut is the second-best source of lauric acid after breast milk.
2. Fights Viruses and Bacteria
In addition to helping regulate your immune system, lauric acid is a powerful antibacterial, antiviral, and antifungal agent. Studies show that monolaurin can specifically help to inhibit gastric viruses and potent bacteria such as E. coli and staphylococci, as well as fight urinary tract infections.
3. Aids in Weight Loss
Coconut is high in medium-chain fatty acids (MCTs), which your body uses for instant energy instead of being stored as fat. MCTs can also boost your metabolism. One study showed that a tablespoon or two of MCT per day increased the number of calories burned in participants by 5%, or about 120 calories per day.
Additionally, other studies show that medium-chain fatty acids help you feel fuller and happier after a meal, even when compared to other types of fat. This makes it a natural appetite suppressant that can potentially help you lose weight indirectly.
4. Boosts Athletic Performance
Because your body immediately uses medium-chain fatty acids for energy, it is an excellent, readily available fuel. Studies show that MCTs can be used as fuel for exercise as quickly as glucose, which can help increase your endurance during exercise.
5. Lowers Cholesterol
Coconut can be good for your heart too. Studies show that it lowers “bad” LDL cholesterol while increasing “good” HDL cholesterol in just eight weeks. (9) Since cholesterol levels play an important role in the development of heart disease and other heart problems, trying coconut butter can help prevent heart disease.
6. Enhances Brain Function
Research shows that the ketones produced in your body from consuming medium-chain fatty acids can help alleviate the symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease and even improve brain function. Researchers believe that ketones are an alternative source of energy for the brain when it is struggling to use its normal source of energy, glucose. In Alzheimer’s disease, brain cells have difficulty using glucose as an energy source, which can lead to cell death. When fed with alternative fuel, brain cells may be able to work more efficiently.
How to Find a High-Quality Coconut Butter
Store-bought coconut butter can also be referred to as coconut manna and coconut spread. They are all the same.
The key to finding quality coconut butter is to look for one that doesn’t have any ingredients other than coconut or maybe vanilla. Ideally, coconut butter should be raw and organic, which means that in addition to blending the coconut into butter, it has been minimally processed.
How to Make Coconut Butter at Home
It is easy to make your own coconut butter at home. All you need is some shredded coconut and a food processor or high-speed mixer. Yes, it’s that simple.
While you can make smaller batches, we recommend starting with 12 ounces for the best, smoothest, softest butter.
15 Ways to Add Coconut Butter to Your Diet
Coconut butter is extremely versatile in a variety of recipes. Try any of these 15 ideas!
- As a topping on toast. Spread coconut butter onto warm almond flour bread as a replacement for regular butter.
- As a fruit dip. Serve fresh fruit with warm coconut butter as a dipping alternative.
- Blended into smoothies. Add extra creaminess to shakes and smoothies by adding a dollop of coconut butter to the blender.
- Frosted over baked treats. Frost Paleo cupcakes and cakes with coconut butter (wait for them to cool first so it doesn’t melt).
- Made into fudge. Mix coconut butter with equal amounts of nut butter to whip up a DIY fudge. Blend the two, then put in a loaf or glass baking dish in the freezer until solid.
- Use as a coffee creamer. Add a dash of coconut butter to your coffee in place of milk.
- Over pancakes. Spread coconut butter on Paleo pancakes in place of regular butter.
- Blend into a jam or fruit purée. Add a tablespoon of coconut butter to your favorite fruit jam recipe for an ultra-buttery texture.
- Drizzle over curry. Add one or two tablespoons of coconut butter to savory curries to add a rich texture.
- Stuff in dates. Stuff coconut butter into dates for a quick, satisfying snack or dessert.
- Use in salad dressings. Melt a tablespoon of coconut butter and add to DIY salad dressings to thicken the texture.
- Add to chocolate. When making your own chocolate, sub ½ coconut oil for coconut butter for a thicker, chewier chocolate texture. Or try these dark chocolate mint maca coconut butter cups!
- Drizzle over squash and sweet potatoes. Skip the dressing and just drizzle a little melted coconut butter over roasted veggies.
- Spread on Paleo crackers. If you’re craving a quick sweet and salty snack, this will do the trick!
- Eat it with a spoon!