By now you've probably been snowed with a barrage of emails and Facebook posts on various pink-coloured heart-shaped Valentine's Day recipes. But I've never been a big proponent of the event - it seems a rather commercialised way to show your love to others. I'm a much bigger fan of spreading the love randomly in non Valentine's Day moments. So today I'm sharing with you a decidedly non-Valentinesy recipe, which is neither pink nor heart-shaped. It is however ridiculously delicious and can be made with one single ingredient. Leaving you lots of extra time to devise a random act of kindness for someone you love, on a day they least expect it.
This coconut butter is another of my favourite easy pantry staples. I highly recommend you start making a few of these staples each week (as well as some of my healthy sweet treats), as after a month or two you'll have a fridge, freezer and pantry full of delicious healthy condiments and snacks to add to your cooking and meals when you're short on time (brilliant).
You can buy coconut butter pre made in jars, but it's quite expensive, and this super easy recipe is so simple once you've tried it you'll never buy the pre made stuff again. It's rather tasty too, and has so many uses. My partner Tony (hand model featured above) was holding this scoop of coconut butter while I took photos, then after said 'ok can I eat it now?'. After which he declared that this coconut butter was far too delicious and I couldn't possibly share it. All the more reason to share it with you!
I've made three variations of this coconut butter, all of which are delicious. If you like the sound of all three I definitely recommend making them at the same time, as there's not much extra work involved (just make a triple batch of the recipe below). The plain version is literally one ingredient, desiccated coconut, and yields a deliciously oozy creamy spread that can be used on anything from toast to ice cream to curries. The vanilla meanwhile has a lovely subtle vanilla bean flavour with a hint of sweetness, and can again be used as a spread or to make a healthy Coconut Ice (see recipe below). The chocolate is rich and dark, and I've been known to just eat this one out of the jar. Actually all three are completely direct-from-the-jar-consumable.
Everyone's Coconuts Over Coconuts
You've probably noticed the recent surge in popularity of coconut-based products. Not that I want to elevate these bowling balls of goodness above their plant-based peers, but they certainly do have many benefits as well as being a very versatile part of a plant-based wholefoods lifestyle.
Coconuts have been consumed for centuries by Pacific Island and Asian communities. However they fell into disrepute during the 80's and 90's when there was a lot of research published on the correlation between saturated fat consumption and cholesterol, heart disease and cancer. What wasn't made clear was that the vast majority of these studies reflected animal-based saturated fats (and animal-based foods in general), as opposed to their plant-based cousins.
This information has more recently come to light, and coconuts have experienced a subsequent resurgence. They are one of the only saturated plant-based fats, which means they can chemically withstand very high temperatures without oxidising, going rancid or changing their molecular structure. The only other fats that also have this stable property are animal-based ones such as butter, with most plant-based fats being unsaturated with much lower heat-stability points. This makes coconut oil brilliant to cook with, and it's my personal oil of choice for everything from pan-frying to roasting vegetables. Its high smoke point means it's also solid at room temperature, making it great for holding together raw sweets and treats.
Once you've made this gloriously easy coconut butter, here are some of my favourite ways to use it. Feel free to add any more in the comments below!
Or make this easy Coconut Ice recipe using your base here.
Would love to see your jars of gooey coconut butter goodness on Instagram - tag your shots @begoodorganics and #begoodorganics so I can share the best images on my IG and Facebook pages. Also a quick preggie update if you're interested - am 40 weeks and 2 days today and still no sign of the little one. I'm feeling much more relaxed though - we finally ordered and set up a bassinet and got our labour bags packed (completed on the evening of our due date...!) so are pretty much ready to go. It's quite a calming feeling knowing that everything's mostly ready and she's happily reached full term. Now we can just relax and enjoy doing normal adult life things until she decides to make an appearance! Will keep you posted of course.
PS If you like this recipe, I'd love you to share it on Pinterest (hover over any of the images and click Pin It), Instagram (regram or make your own), Facebook or Twitter (hit the buttons up top). Thank you!
Makes 1 300ml jar
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Always use certified organic, local and fairly traded ingredients wherever possible
5c desiccated coconut (around 350g)
c = 250ml cup, tbsp = 15ml tablespoon, tsp = 5ml teaspoon
Herbs and Natural Supplements - An Evidence-Based Guide (Braun, L., & Cohen, M.)
The Food Pharmacy (Carper, J.)
Healing With Wholefoods (Pitchford, P.)
Whole: Rethinking the Science of Nutrition (Campbell, T.C.)
The China Study (Campbell, T.C.)