Homemade Coconut Butter

This Homemade Coconut Butter is sooo easy - you won't ever think of buying it again. Used in many dairy-free recipes, it also tastes great as a spread, or plain on a spoon :)!

Have you seen coconut butter in recipes and wondered what it is?  Have you seen it on the shelf in your local health food store and wondered how you can ever afford to include it in your frugal pantry?

Well, I have sure done both.

I saw a great recipe one day that I really wanted to try and then read “coconut butter” as being one of the ingredients.  What?  I have coconut and coconut oil in my pantry, and know about coconut flour, coconut sugar, and even coconut manna…but not coconut butter.

So of course I quickly looked online to see where I could get it and how much it would cost.  Well–giant pause– it cost a mere $13.99 for a “giant” 16 oz. container on the first site I checked :-(.

Now, I don’t pay $13.99 a pound for much of anything, let alone something that is made entirely of —  (reading the ingredient list)– COCONUT!  That’s it?!

Well, it took me back to the day when I was trying to find milk substitutes for baking since my oldest was diagnosed with a life threatening allergy to dairy and I saw oat milk on the shelf.  You guess it — the only ingredients in the oat milk on the shelf at Whole Foods were oats, water and a little sweetener and sea salt.  (Sounds of my “you-can-make-this-yourself” mind churning)

So what did I do next?  Of course I tried to see if there was a way that I could make it myself —

Well, I found a post about making it in a food processor.

The post said it took about 12 minutes of whirring coconut in the food processor.  I don’t mean to be the bearer of bad news but — I have a seriously strong food processor.  A Viking Professional (yes I bought it refurbished).  This machine makes quadruple batches of my Savory Hummus a joy, yielding a creamy smooth product in about 1 minute.  So I figured that if any food processor was going to be able to make coconut butter, mine would.

I put about 1 pound of shredded, unsweetened coconut in my processor and let it run–and run–and run– and nothing much seemed to be happening.

That’s when I thought that I’d rather have my food processor than my coconut butter.  So I gave up.

For awhile.

Fast forward several months and I was at it again.

This time — victory!!  For me and all the frugal folks out there.  Here’s how to do it.

Now, brace yourself, because if you don’t have one, you will need a Vitamix.  I suppose that this might work in a regular blender, but I don’t have one anymore.

And though the price of the Vitamix is a little steep, once you see how easy they are to clean, and whip up a lot of coconut butter and:

you’ll see how quickly your financial savings will cover the cost of a Vitamix pretty easily!

(Note:  For those of you who would like to make a go of making coconut butter in your food processor, please try it and let me know what happens.  I just would encourage you to keep an eye on your machine so that you don’t burn it out.)

NOTE:  Occasionally, for some reason, the coconut butter just doesn’t make coconut butter.  I have really despaired of this in the past but we’ve managed to eat it anyway.  However, if that ever happens to you, just add a few things to the blender and you can have these fabulous No Bake Coconut Cookies instead!

So now for the money part.

One 16 oz. jar of coconut butter costs approximately $13.99.  One pound of medium unsweetened coconut costs me (I purchase from Country Life Natural Foods) approximately $1.75.  That’s more than an 87% savings!!

I have always said that whole, real foods do not have to cost a lot of money.  You just need to be a little flexible and a little creative and have a community of whole foodists to share ideas.

Need some convincing about purchasing a Vitamix?

  1. I will soon be doing a post explaining how this great machine has helped our family save TONS of money over the years, so check back soon.
  2. You can get a great deal purchasing one through my website (special deals and free shipping are available and your purchase will help support this blog :-).)
  3. I know this sounds ridiculous, but here’s how I think –With just your cost savings on coconut butter alone, if you make 36 16 oz. jars of it, you will have paid for your Vitamix with your savings.  Since I have heard of these machines lasting 20 years (they have a great 7 year total warranty), I can easily see you making about 1 jar of coconut butter per year :-).  OK.  Now you know what a savings nut I can be.
    4. Check out my post on Inflation – One Way to Beat It for my thoughts on the economy today and big ticket items.

Ways to Use Coconut Butter:

– We’ve spread it on sweet crackers, or just on bread.
– Use in recipes calling for coconut butter, of course.
– My kids like to eat it with a spoon :).
– As a frosting (it will need some sweetener and will get quite hard, like a stiff frosting.)
– As a fat substitute in recipes, but it really needs to be softened first and will make your recipe a little more stiff than otherwise.

For other DIY Pantry Staples, check out:

Easiest Almond Milk
Homemade Coconut Milk
Homemade Nut and Seed Butter
Powdered Egg Replacer
Powdered Sugar Substitute 

Do you have a recipe for coconut butter that you would like to share?  How about something that you would like to figure out how to make at home?
 
Photo Credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/35832540@N03/
 This post contains affiliate links.  Please read my disclaimer.
 
 
 

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  1. John Fisher says:

    I have made coconut butter in my food processor. I pulse it in about 15-30 second increments and then scrape down the sides. Just keep doing that until it starts to get clumpy, then you will know that you are getting close. Only a little bit longer and will start to turn into butter. It only took me about 15 minutes, but I used shredded, unsweetened coconut, so it was a little bit more gritty than what people say they get using flaked coconut.

  2. So was the difference the blender/food processor you used between your 1st & 2nd attempts?

    • I’m not sure I understand Chaya. Could you clarify please?

      • Sure, sorry for the ambiguity. You said that on your first attempt you used your “seriously strong food processor” but that it was a failed attempt. And then you mentioned success with the vitamix…but later you said that once in awhile, it just doesn’t work no matter what. I was curious if you credit the vitamix for the success the second time around as opposed to using a food processor. I ask b/c I would be using a food processor. Thanks!

        • I can’t figure out why but I think if you don’t have enough coconut in the blender it’s a problem and if there is any moisture in there, like from cleaning it out. I have never done it in an FB and fear it would burn it out but others have done it. Good luck!

  3. Hi! Finally got a Vitamix and tried this tonight….but my Vitamix (5200) was very, very angry with me. ;-) My husband and I thought it sounded like it was stripping the gears/ruining the blade somehow. After 5-6 min. (stopping for 1-2 min. between each minute “session”) it was starting to stick together, at least, but getting really warm and not really blending. I used 7 cups, but it was really hard to push down with the tamper, and like I said, it sounded really upset with me! After cleaning it out everything looks and sounds fine, but while the coconut was in there it was screaming, harshly. Is that what yours sounds like, too, and you just keep going, or is that a “stop and quit the experiment” moment? :-) Thanks!

    • Hmmm.. was it completely clean when you did it and did you have at least 7 cups in there? I’ve had trouble on and off but typically it works. If there’s moisture in there it for sure won’t work. I turn the “not working” batch into my No Bake Coconut Cookies: http://wholenewmom.com/recipes/no-bake-coconut-delights-sugar-dairy-egg-and-grain-free/

      • Yup, clean, dry, 7 full cups….it’s hardened now and usable for whatever, but I was just worried about my machine. It just didn’t sound right, and I wasn’t sure what to expect. When I use apples to make applesauce and have to push down on them with the tamper pretty hard, it sounds frustrated, but not ANGRY like with the coconut, LOL! ;-)

        • Have you done nut butters? They react similarly to the coconut butter. Apples are much softer – :).

          • No, I haven’t yet…our oldest has a tree nut allergy so it hasn’t been high on my list yet. But either way, the almost-stripping-gears sound might just be normal for my machine, then? I just wish I could watch someone else do it in person! You don’t have any YouTube videos of you making the coconut butter, do you? ;-)

            • It just might be. You can call vitamix and hold the phone to your machine to see what they think. It’s pretty loud :). No you tube – maybe I should do that. I’ve never done a video – yikes :).

  4. Hi is it posible to make with a freshly grated
    Cocnut or does it only work with dry cocnut.
    Looking forward to make some ????

  5. I have a vitamix 6000 automatic. Do you know which preset time I would use?

  6. Deborah says:

    Did you use the dry container or wet container on your vita mix when making the coconut butter.

    Regards

    Deborah

  7. Jessica Parke says:

    I make “Monkey Butter” with coconut butter. 14 oz crushed pineapple (I grow my own pineapple) about 4C sliced bananas (I grow my own), I cup coconut powder (I made my own) 1 1/2 c coconut butter 1 1/2 T lemon juice (used bottled but would have used real if I had on on hand). Cook and kinda stir/mash with a whisk. As it continues to cook it starts to thicken nicely, no need even for pectin. I put it in recycled containers and freeze. It has to be frozen or left in the fridge once opened. I have a friend who uses this mixed with tapenade as a salad dressing or on fish!

  8. Hi Jessica

    I am just wondering if you live in Michigan
    because I also order from Country Life Foods.
    I live in Fowlerville and have been enjoying reading so many
    If your posts and recipes. I haven’t made anything yet
    But I really want to!!

  9. I haven’t read the comments all the way down, so perhaps I’m repeating things, but I too had difficulty making this work with my VitaMix. I am using the 5200 series (previous to current model as of Oct 2014) with a wet container. I used 7 cups of dried unsweetened coconut that I purchased from the bulk bin at Whole Foods. It also turned brown on me and never liquified and I had to add about a tablespoon of coconut oil to salvage it. It pretty much now has the same consistency as my commercial coconut butter except mine is now tan colored. I also experienced that it made my container leak. The last time this happened to me, I called vitamix and they sent me a new container since it is still under the 7yr warranty. This is my almost brand new container now, so I was bummed. This time, I just stuck a wooden spoon in the blade and hand torqued the black ring on the bottom and it doesn’t leak now. I could have torqued it with a wrench to help it be tighter. So far so good. I think I will try again with my branded bulk coconut from the buying club and if it doesn’t process in a couple minutes I will stop. I think it all depends on the fat content and if you find a product that works, stick with it. The bulk bin at Whole Foods might change. Good luck!

  10. How about using a Kitchenaid blender? Anyone ever try that? The coconut butter sounds delicious!

  11. Davilyn Eversz says:

    Thought I might mention this in case some people are not using organic coconut so as to save money. A while back in the Asian countries, the coconut trees started to die in the plantations. It was becoming epidemic and they could not find a way to fight it. It was a fungus of some sort I believe. They finally found that injecting formaldehyde into the tree killed the fungus. This is a regular occurrence now, to do this. However, it is not allowed for use in the producing of organic coconuts.