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The Battle Of The Coconut Butters

March 10, 2010

So happy to have shared our homemade coconut butter method with all of you yesterday. Many of you have asked what the difference between coconut oil and coconut butter is, and I like to explain it with the following analogy: Coconut oil is to coconut butter as almond oil is to almond butter. The coconut butter contains the meat of the coconut as well as some oil. Therefore, it is naturally sweet and oh so good. Make sense?

I decided to test Artisana’s coconut butter against our homemade version after dinner last night. I never use the microwave to heat up coconut butter. I simply place the jar on the stove top while I cook or in front of my space heater to liquify it a bit. Or, you can try Katie’s brilliant method. 🙂


Last night, I allowed both jars to warm while I stir-fried some veggies for dinner. After we ate, both coconut butters were perfectly spoonable, and I drizzled a bit of each on some slow roasted kabocha squash with cinnamon.


The verdict?

Heather: They taste similar. However, our homemade version is a bit grittier, not as smooth as Artisana’s, but still just as delicious.

CD: I think the Artisana tastes sweeter, and ours is definitely not as smooth. However, I’ll take a $3 jar of gritty coconut butter over a $12 jar of smooth any day.

So, that’s that. We will be making our own coconut butter from now on, but next time I’m going to let it process a bit longer to see if it gets any smoother.

Several readers have already tried making their own with some successes and some failures. I’ve been told it does work in a Vita-Mix, but I think a lot of it may depend on the type of coconut flakes used. Bob’s Red Mill brand does not seem to work. Again, CD and I used unsulphured & unsweetened finely shredded coconut from Whole Foods. Look for it in the bulk bins or in the baking aisle. Also, CD and I didn’t add anything to our batch, but a little coconut oil might help speed up the blending process.

What about you? Have you tried making homemade coconut butter yet? Christie did, and I must say that her coconut butter glazed topped oats looked amazing. 🙂

74 Comments leave one →
  1. March 10, 2010 9:43 am

    i haven’t yet, but i’m planning a trip to WF this week to get some coconut flakes! i can’t wait to try it 🙂 and i’m definitely looking up the rocking recipes on here when i do 🙂

  2. March 10, 2010 9:44 am

    You and Danielle (who also made homemade butter) are GENIUS!!!!
    Just genius. You know I’m going to try it! It might solve my disappearing issue!!

    And thanks so much for the shout-out 🙂
    (P.S. I promise I’m not blog-stalking to get the first comment LOL! I got a pingback.)

  3. March 10, 2010 9:44 am

    Haha wasn’t first anyways 😉

  4. March 10, 2010 9:44 am

    I agree with CD 100%! p.s. I used Bob’s Red Mill but my food processor is very powerful.

  5. March 10, 2010 9:45 am

    Okay…now you have to make your own “cacao bliss!!” I’m declaring next week “homemade” week for myself. I’m pretty excited and definitely getting some good ideas from readers. Just trying to come up with things most people buy but can definitely be made cheaper at home…like your coconut butter…whoa, WAY cheaper 😉

  6. March 10, 2010 9:45 am

    I love Artisana, but I love all things sweet. I really want to try and make my own. I don’t have Bobs Red Mill…I have another brand. I’ll let ya know if it works!

  7. March 10, 2010 9:48 am

    Brilliant, Heather! I am going to try making this later in the week.

  8. March 10, 2010 9:51 am

    Christie, Did you use the Bob’s flakes or his shredded coconut? The reader who said it didn’t work used the flakes.

  9. March 10, 2010 9:54 am

    so happy to hear that it worked out well, even if it’s not as smooth as artisana’s. but hey, i won’t know the difference because i’ve never had artisana’s! maybe that’s one advantage to not wanting to shell out $12 for a jar of coconut butter haha. i’ll make it soon and let you know how it goes! thanks again!

  10. jesstyler permalink
    March 10, 2010 9:56 am

    I am definitely trying this. I bought some Tropical Traditions flaked coconut from my health food store for this exact purpose. I’m going to try the vitamix.

  11. March 10, 2010 10:19 am

    I have a question – could you use meat straight out of the coconut or does it have to be dehydrated? I have a ton of frozen coconut meat.

  12. March 10, 2010 10:30 am

    Molly, Yes, Danielle commented yesterday that she used fresh coconuts. Here, I found her post: Looks like she slightly dehydrated the meat first.

  13. March 10, 2010 11:31 am

    SOOO making this today…just happens I bought a big bag of shredded coconut two days awesome!!

    Thank you for your excellant ideas!

  14. March 10, 2010 11:35 am

    I’m going today to get some coconut so I can try this… I’ve been a little obssessed with making cloud cookies!

  15. March 10, 2010 11:36 am

    haven’t tried it yet as I’m without a food processor, BUT I’m hoping to have a breakfast tomorrow that will make you proud 😉

    it involves a frozen treat – or it will as long as Nick doesn’t eat it all tonight!

  16. March 10, 2010 11:37 am

    Mara, Get the shredded coconut as I think it works better than coconut flakes.

  17. March 10, 2010 11:39 am

    I’m heading out to the store to pick up coconut ASAP!! Since I’ve never tried the Artisana kind, well, I have nothing to compare it to!

  18. March 10, 2010 11:40 am

    Brandi, I’m curious…cant’ wait to read. Homemade coconut ice-cream?

  19. March 10, 2010 11:43 am

    I have not tried this, but fear not–I will! I just need more time to find coconut 🙂

  20. March 10, 2010 11:45 am

    That is such an awesome cost savings, I’d give up the smoothness in a heartbeat!

  21. March 10, 2010 11:49 am

    I tried one batch already – didn’t work out but was “reduced fat” organic dehydrated coconut…now I’m trying the non-reduced fat…crossing my fingers!

  22. March 10, 2010 12:19 pm

    I think I’d actually prefer it less smooth- I like having the texture in the nut butter. Always grabbing the pb chunky before the pb creamy… Good work, lady!

  23. March 10, 2010 12:20 pm

    you are too cool. i have yet to try coconut butter (couldn’t justify price). but i have a food processor, and coconut flakes are pretty cheap, so now i have no excuse! can’t wait to try it out!

  24. Margarita permalink
    March 10, 2010 12:24 pm

    Hi Heather! It’s been long time since I commented but I am still a devoted reader! 😉 This post was close to heart, because I did try to make my own coconut butter just last weekend and I FAILED! I used Tropical Traditions coconut flakes, TT coconut oil (just 1T) and even some water. I was blending in VitaMix for close to 20 minutes and it still did not liquify. I was afraid to burn off the motor so I gave up. First I thought I was not patient enough, then, after seeing you making your butter in a food processor, I thought that was the key… but you might be right – shredded coconut may be THE key! 😉 I am going to give it a try again and see. I LOOOVE coconut butter and saving over $5 a jar will be SO worth it. 😀

  25. March 10, 2010 12:29 pm

    Now I’m really looking forward to trying this out! Don’t forget to enter my giveaway too 🙂

  26. March 10, 2010 12:33 pm

    I just have to comment and say you are too cute with you non-microwave methods 😉

  27. Natalie permalink
    March 10, 2010 12:41 pm

    I made this last night! I used flaked coconut in my food processor and it worked great. A little gritty like you were saying though Heather. I’m wondering if I transfer it to a blender after it’s been liquified if it would smooth it out since the space is a little more condensed. Thanks for the great idea 🙂

  28. March 10, 2010 12:49 pm

    I haven’t tried this yet but on my next trip to WF I’m buying some to try it. I refused the $12 price tag to even buy the Artisana brand so it will be all new to me.

  29. Susan permalink
    March 10, 2010 12:50 pm

    Hey, I am a cook addict! LOVE the coconut in anything! Ran home and
    made the coconut butter right away! Presto. It was kind of grainy but
    for the price of it, I wont mind a bit!!!!
    I tried making coconut Ice Cream once (the “healthy” way. I used can
    coconut milk, agave syrup a pinch of salt (to enhance the coconut flavor)pour it in the Ice Cream maker voila!!! If you can get hold of
    Pandan flavor (essence) it will make the coconut Ice Cream as good as
    the one in Thai Restaurant sans the sugar!! It you dont mind milk, add
    some NF milk. It made the flavor of the coconut even better!
    I can talk about food all day long!!!
    My friend sent me your website! Enjoyed reading it!!

  30. March 10, 2010 12:52 pm

    Thanks for reading Susan, and glad the coconut butter worked for you. Thanks for the coconut ice-cream recipe. Sounds divine and much cheaper than store bought brands. 🙂

  31. March 10, 2010 12:58 pm

    Nice to see a review! I was imagining that the homemade one would not be as smooth, but am happy to see that it is just as delicious!
    One thing you may try Heather is the dried coconut you can find in the freezer section of grocery stores. It is just plain shredded coconut, no sugar, no nothing.
    I am from Brazil, where I find coconut in abundance and when I moved to the US (11 years ago…) I hated the sweetened coconut I found at the baking aisle, that is nooo coconut, that is sugar, yuck… That’s when I went to find better coconut options and I discovered the ones at the freezer – that was before there was a whole foods with wonderfully natural delicious stuff in my city!
    Anyways, the shredded coconut I find in the freezer of supermarkets (with the frozen fruits/dessert/topings/or whatever they call that section) is a little more moist than the one in the bulk bin. Maybe that would produce a moister/less grittier coconut butter.
    Let me know if you end up trying it.
    One of the things I love and miss so much is fresh coconut water. I like the ones oh the little boxes just as much as you do, but there is no such thing as fresh coconut water! Or coconut for that matter! But that coconut butter is amazingly good, that is just as good as fresh!

  32. March 10, 2010 1:02 pm

    Thanks Ana. Never thought to look in the freezer section. I’ll have to try that, and yes, nothing better than water from a young coconut. Agreed! 🙂

  33. March 10, 2010 1:16 pm

    I was actually at whole foods this weekend and had the artisana in my basket but decided to put it back in order to save some cash. Im glad I didnt splurge because I will definitely be making your version…and cant wait to experiment with nut butter or chocolate variations! thank you!!

  34. Danielle permalink
    March 10, 2010 1:20 pm

    I’m thinking maybe it would be less gritty in the vita-mix?? I’ve made regular nut butter in both the vita and the food processor and it makes all the difference. And maybe if you warmed it up a little to release the oils before blending, it would be easier?? Ok, obviously I need to just try this for myself! 🙂

  35. March 10, 2010 1:23 pm

    It’s so funny that you had the idea to blend dried coconut to make coconut butter, because I had the same one just a few weeks ago! I, too, was sick of the heavy price tag for Artisana coconut butter (as delicious as it is). I make mine in the vitamix and add a bit of coconut oil to make processing easier. I find that the brand of unsweetened shredded coconut I used didn’t produce as sweet of a coconut butter, so I added a few drops of vanilla stevia. Delicious!

  36. March 10, 2010 1:30 pm

    Great post Heather. I like your verdicts – clear and concise. Anything that saves money. I actually (gasp!) found coconut butter downtown in a small hole-in-the-wall uber-expensive store that I will never get to again (oye)…and it is like nearly $14…so yeah…it would have to last longer than the nut butters…but way to save money.

  37. March 10, 2010 1:31 pm

    By the way, are there benefits to the Coconut Butter versus the Nut Butters? It’s “all the rage” !! 🙂 (and yes, I have read up on it…less protein it seems, same fats – more saturated?…)

  38. March 10, 2010 1:39 pm

    This might be a stupid question, but why no microwave?

  39. March 10, 2010 1:44 pm

    Eatmovelove, Yes, the difference is in the fats. Most nut and seed butter are high in Omega 6’s, and coconut butter is made up of mostly saturated fats. Personally, I like to focus on getting more of the saturated stuff.

  40. March 10, 2010 1:45 pm

    Anna, One reason is because our microwave broke about a year ago, and we never bothered to get it fixed since I never used it. I also don’t like the thought of changing the molecular structure of my food. Doesn’t seem natural.

  41. March 10, 2010 1:53 pm

    I need to get on the make your own coconut butter train. I used it all the time in my gluten free baking.

    Thanks for the comparison and process!

  42. March 10, 2010 2:13 pm

    How long will coconut butter keep? I’m debating whether or not to make a big batch, or just smaller batches as I need them…

  43. March 10, 2010 2:14 pm

    Like many others, I literally ran home from work and made some immediately.

    It’s gritty, but that makes it taste like icing. I’m not talking the buttery fatty icing on supermarket cakes, but the old school, sugar-crispy mid-eighties birthday party cake icing.

    That’s my way of saying I LOVE IT.

    Coconut ice cream shouldn’t be hard to make from butter… since it gets hard once it gets cold anyway. You’ll probably have to add some nut milk, maybe some tahini, and of course, stevia, and something to keep it from getting too hard. I made pumpkin ice cream without an ice cream maker, so I’m sure it can be done.

    Btw. HEABs if I was you, I’d watch my back… keep an eye out for Artisana hitmen… cos they lost a lotta money this week! 🙂

  44. March 10, 2010 2:35 pm

    Andrea, Not sure…I would think it would take a while to go rancid. I wouldn’t know though…we eat ours too fast. 🙂

  45. March 10, 2010 3:42 pm

    I still havent ventured into homemade butters of any sort! Aaaand I’ve still not tried coconut butter! I’m hesitant to make the leap because i DETEST coconut. However, it looks so delicious on everyone’s blog (uuuuh that pic of the kabocha with coconut butter! gaah!) that I so badly WANT to like it. Think there’s any hope?

  46. March 10, 2010 3:50 pm

    The Foodie Diaries, You’ll never know until you try it. 🙂

  47. Kate permalink
    March 10, 2010 4:21 pm

    I tried a steaming method on my jar of coconut butter today to liquify it and it worked out great! I just boiled some water in my electric kettle then placed the jar of coconut butter in a big pot on a little steaming stand then poured the water in, without touching the jar. I put a lid on and checked back in 10 minutes and it was perfect spreadable consistency! I don’t like using the microwave either only because of the fact that I don’t like to dirty another dish haha.

  48. kelli permalink
    March 10, 2010 4:31 pm

    Love how you made your own and save so much money!! I saw a recipe you would like for coconut ice cream 😛
    keep cooking!

  49. March 10, 2010 4:45 pm

    Thanks for the link Kelli. Sounds amazingly yummy. 🙂

  50. Ginny permalink
    March 10, 2010 4:45 pm

    I made some this afternoon and it turned out perfect. It is a little gritty but it tastes wonderful. I used unsweetened coconut from the bulk bin at Earth Fare and let it process for about 6 or 7 minutes. Pure heaven!! Thanks for sharing how easy it is. This is som much cheaper than buying the premade stuff.

  51. March 10, 2010 4:48 pm

    Glad it worked for you Ginny!

  52. March 10, 2010 4:50 pm

    I don’t blame you…saving that extra $8 would be worth it in my book too! 🙂 I love how creative and pro-active you are! So refreshing!!

  53. March 10, 2010 5:14 pm

    I just made some, and it worked great! A little gritty, but I added stevia to make it nice and sweet. I used the Bob’s Red Mill shredded.

  54. March 10, 2010 5:16 pm

    Yay Kristy, So glad it worked…and that your food processor did not die. 🙂

  55. Carolyn permalink
    March 10, 2010 5:48 pm

    Yum food…If i was a veggie i would fear that fry pan.. You are not messing around.. nice pan ma’am… 😉

  56. March 10, 2010 6:15 pm

    Can’t wait to try making it myself! I think it was seeing your post over the last few days that drove me to Whole Foods to get.. Coconut Butter & Kabocha! :p .. I also picked up oat groat & kasha.. I’m loving trying all these new grains 🙂

  57. March 10, 2010 6:43 pm

    All I have are coconut flakes and I just saw your comment about how shredded coconut will work better. So I’ll have to wait. I’m definitely doing it though!!!

  58. Michelle permalink
    March 10, 2010 6:54 pm

    Hi Heather,

    Just wanted to let you know that I made coconut butter tonight . . . and with great success! I had some coconut that I bought from the bulk bins at Whole Foods just last weekend (my first time trying it) . . . used my old Cuisinart Mini-Prep Plus . . . and seriously, it took no more than 5 minutes. I couldn’t believe it! And it tastes delicious–I’m in love!

    Couple of questions though (not sure if they’ve been asked already–sorry): So I can continuously reheat the entire jar of coconut butter even if I only want a spoonful? I should store this in the fridge, right? Also, I saw someone else mention this . . . could you do a post on the benefits of coconut butter (I’m still a little hesitant about how calorie dense and full of fat it is–I’m feeling a bit guilty about licking the bowl afterwards–who know how much I consumed during this process!), and the best uses you’ve found so far?

    Thanks so much! I’m so excited about this . . . and very excited about adding it to my diet.

  59. March 10, 2010 6:58 pm

    Michelle, No, I never store my coconut butter in the fridge. It’s fine at room temp. I would just try warming a spoonful at a time. CD noticed today that both the homemade version and the Artisana version didn’t re-solidify evenly after I melted 100% of the contents of both jars last night.

    Yes, I’ll post about the benefits of coconut butter and uses for it soon. Glad yours turned out well! 🙂

  60. March 10, 2010 7:30 pm

    My food processor has been going for like 20 minutes…it’s molding down a bit..but not by much :S Hope my food processor does not bite the big one tonight!

  61. March 10, 2010 8:04 pm

    Love the coconut butter comparison! thanks for sharing. We will have to give this a try ourselves 🙂

  62. March 10, 2010 8:29 pm

    Can’t wait to try this!
    ps I love your skillet! I have been looking for a high sided non stick skillet for a while! What kind is that?

  63. March 10, 2010 8:32 pm

    Sonia, Not sure. It was a Christmas gift, but I know CD bought it at Costco. We love it.

  64. Cherie permalink
    March 10, 2010 8:50 pm

    I’ve never tried the coconut butter either because of the cost. I can’t wait to make this! You two are the best!! Thanks!

  65. March 10, 2010 9:09 pm

    Puh to save that kinda money I’ll take chunkage any day!

  66. HEAB N00b permalink
    March 10, 2010 10:16 pm

    I just made some, put it in an old peanut butter jar, and refrigerated. I was going for 10 mins in the Cuisinart (that’s an amazing thing to watch), then the political pollster called, and I probably went a total of 15 mins. Yeah, it’s rough, but really interesting. I’ve never even tried coconut butter (or oil) before, but I’m on board with it’s heart health benefits. I didn’t realize until today that coconut has weight loss value too! I found this site as part of my own weight loss odyssey, and love it. Thanks HEAB.

    Next for me: saving money with homemade almond butter!

    p.s. my Whole Food had the bulk coconut flakes on sale today. 1 lb made filled one empty peanut butter jar.

  67. March 11, 2010 9:07 am

    Thanks for the tip about th VitaMix! I don’t have a food processor but I’m dying to try this. 12$ a jar is too pricey for my taste:)

  68. March 11, 2010 9:27 am

    What a brilliant idea! I love my coconut butter… but it has been a rare “treat” on my budget! Now I can have it more often! Wahoo!!

    Thanks! 😀

  69. March 11, 2010 11:14 am

    I wondered about the grit factor too. I have never had Artisana’s, but the homemade I did the other night has some grit. Like you and CD I am ok with that for the money saved.
    I have been putting on it EVERYTHING. Well not everything, but a few things. The first night I think was the best though

    Frozen raspberries heated on the stove with cocoa powder, top with some coconut butter


    The next morning I made my usual buckwheat for breakfast and did the same (plus a little of my mixed nut butter) Yum…
    Last night I ran out of raspberries and did it with strawberries, also really really good.

    This morning I only had blueberries and ran out of cocoa powder (ack!) so i used ground up cacao nibs. it was still good but not AS good. 🙂

  70. Liz permalink
    March 11, 2010 11:17 am

    How do you slow rast the kabocha? Like the sweet potatoes — 30 mintues on 350 and then 20 minutes on 400?

  71. March 11, 2010 11:32 am

    Marissa, I tried your idea with blueberries last night – really good with a little almond milk added to the mix. I still want to try it with cherries! 🙂

  72. March 11, 2010 11:33 am

    Liz, I wash my kabocha and place it on a foil lined baking sheet in a 275 degree oven for 2 hours. That’s it. Much easier to cut open after slow roasting. 🙂


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