So everybody knows about Coconut Oil, Coconut Cream and Coconut Milk, but have you ever heard of Coconut Butter? If your answer to this is no, you are not alone and until recently, I too had never heard of this delicious and nutritious little morsel of goodness! So what exactly is it?
Often referred to as the peanut butter of the tropics, organic coconut butter is a nutritious and delicious melt in your mouth spread which certainly packs a punch! Packed full of the whole coconuts benefits, coconut butter is a popular staple for health enthusiasts, foodies and particularly those on paleo and sugar-free diets.
Why is this so? Well, you see, the fats found in coconut, medium chain triglycerides (MCTs), behave differently to other fats. The body quickly absorbs and uses MCTs as a fuel source, rather than storing as fat like other saturated fats. Studies on the health benefits of diets containing MCTs saw a reduction in waist circumference, increased levels of good cholesterol (HDL) and decreased bad cholesterol ratio (LDL:HDL).
Not nearly as well known as coconut oil, coconut butter is produced in a very different way. Rather than extracting the oil from the flesh of the coconut, coconut butter is produced by pureeing the meat, along with the oil, into a thick and creamy nut butter. It has a stronger coconut flavor than coconut oil, as it contains all of the aromatic constituents and has a high level of fiber, potassium, iron, magnesium and protein.
Well, that’s all wonderful, I hear you say, but what exactly do you do with it then?! Well, according to the jar, you can actually use coconut butter to make your own coconut cream and milk. I am yet to try this, but what a wonderful notion… the idea of using one product to make many others and therefore reducing our waste! This is definitely on my list of things to try and I will certainly keep you in the loop as to how this goes. But the reason why I tried this product was certainly quite different!
I have always loved to cook, and for me cooking is love! With an ever expanding circle of gluten free, sugar free, dairy free, vegan and ketogenic friends, I was faced with the problem of what to bake for my special friends for Christmas… Which led me to Coconut butter!
Having researched a multitude of recipes, I had finally narrowed it down to all but a few that I felt would pass the strict criteria! This one was a winner, I was sure of it! Sugar-free Coconut Almond Bark…. mmmmm!!!
And what a winner it was! So much so, that I knew this recipe was one which simply had to be shared! Perfect for the nights where you are just craving that little bit of something extra….. this coconut bark is rich and delicious, filling the space and satisfying those cravings! But bear in mind, it’s richness means it can only be eaten in small quantities and needs to be kept in the fridge or freezer between pickings to avoid it melting into a soft, gooey mess!!
So here it is my friends….
Sugar-free Organic Coconut Almond Bark. Original Recipe taken from https://www.healthfulpursuit.com/
- 1.5 cups Honest to Goodness Organic Coconut Butter (340ml)
- 2 Tbs Honest to Goodness Organic coconut oil
- 1/2 tsp almond extract
- 1/2 tsp Organic Vanilla bean extract
- 1 cup of whole pecans, toasted
- 1/2 cup slivered almonds (I used my whole organic almonds and roughly chopped these)
- pinch Honest to Goodness Himalayan Pink Rock salt
- 1 cup unsweetened Organic shredded coconut (available through our website)
- Line a cooking tray with baking paper and set aside
- Heat a large frying pan on the stove on medium heat. Add almond slivers and pecans. Reduce heat to medium-low and toast until slightly golden, rotating frequently to prevent burning. This is important as these tend to burn quite quickly! You can add some coconut oil to the pan if you wish prior to adding the nuts, however I tend to just dry roast them without the oil.
- Once toasted, remove from heat and sprinkle the nuts with the Himalayan Rock salt. Set Aside.
- Place a large metal or glass Pyrex bowl over the top of a saucepan filled with boiling water- make sure it doesn’t touch the bottom of the pan! Place the coconut butter in the bowl with coconut oil and stir until it melts!
- Add extracts, roasted pecans and almonds. Mix well
- Drop mixture onto prepared baking tray and spread the mixture into a thin layer.
- Press the shredded coconut onto the top.
- Place the tray into the fridge or freezer and let it set for about 15 minutes or so- I placed mine in the freezer as I was too impatient to wait… this worked perfectly!!
- Remove and break into pieces! Keep Almond Bark in the fridge or freezer between pickings!
Now, the final question that I’m sure you’re all wanting to know is… did it pass the kids taste test! Well, I am pleased to tell you it certainly did! So much so, that I had to tell them there was none left as I wouldn’t have any left for gifts!! Not bad eh…?
Happy eating! x