Coconut is amazing. Every single part of that big brown nut can be used for something, even coconut water. And it’s becoming a far more regular occurrence in daily life to come across something that’s got coconut in it, whether it’s shampoo or hand crème.
But it’s invading our kitchens, too. Once relegated to cakes and chocolate, the world is opening its eyes to the huge benefits of coconut products, and coconut oil, milk, cream, and butter are becoming ever more ubiquitous.
But this might have you wondering. You know what coconut oil is, but what about coconut cream? And coconut butter? What’s the differences between the two, and if you were choosing between coconut cream vs coconut butter, what should you go with?
What is coconut butter?
Coconut butter is the meat of the coconut, blended into a thick, creamy consistency, similar in texture to thick peanut butter.
It’s incredibly simple to make, to the point that you can make some at home with just a blender.
Simply blend as much meat of the coconut (the white stuff) as you want. It can take up to 15 minutes, depending on the climate and the particular coconut, but after a few minutes, the solid part of the coconut and the fat content will have blended together, leaving you with a nice, creamy raw coconut butter.
If you try this recipe at home, and it doesn’t seem to be working, you can cheat and help it blend by adding a spoonful of extra virgin olive oil.
One consideration. Be careful with coconut butter around the oven and microwave. It’s surprisingly flammable and will go up like a candle if left in the heat for too long.
What is coconut cream?
Coconut cream is coconut milk that has been reduced, leaving it with a thicker, less watery consistency.
Shredded coconut is simmered gently in a milk or water base using steel, copper, or ceramic cookware, then strained. The liquid is coconut milk, which is the same coconut milk that you might buy in the supermarket.
As it cools, the thicker, solid part rises to the top, as it would with normal milk. This is then skimmed off and used as coconut cream.
Since coconut butter and coconut cream are similar except when it comes to consistency. For the rest of this article, feel free to substitute coconut butter with coconut cream wherever we’ve written it.
What is creamed coconut?
Wait, what? Isn’t coconut cream the same thing as creamed coconut?
Confusingly, no. Whilst coconut cream is coconut milk that’s been dehydrated slightly to make it thicker, denser and more concentrated, creamed coconut is fully dehydrated coconut meat that has been ground and formed into a single solid white block, ready to be used.
In fact, creamed coconut is almost identical to coconut butter, save texture, and can be used in exactly the same way. So don’t feel bad if you’ve accidentally bought the wrong thing. We all do that from time to time.
Coconut butter benefits
There’s a load of benefits to coconut butter. It’s weird because it tastes amazing, and the ways you can use it make it seem like a guilty little secret. Except it’s actually amazing for you.
The benefits of coconut butter include:
- Being packed full of healthy, metabolism boosting fats that actually help you lose weight.
- Containing high amounts of lauric acid, which is a massive immune system booster. Breast milk is 10% lauric acid, and besides that, nothing except coconut butter is anywhere near this height.
- Antibacterial properties, that can help in fighting issues as varied as colds, cold sores, bronchitis, yeast infections, ringworm, and herpes?!
- Aids in treatment and prevention of diseases like diabetes, Crohn’s, and possibly even cancer!
- Is high in fiber, which can help regulate your bowel movements and promote a healthy gut.
- Is high in iron, which helps us produce more red blood cells. Considering as many as 10% of American women are iron deficient, this is a great benefit.
- Coconut butter can also oddly make for a fantastic hair treatment. It’s easily absorbed by your hair and skin, and the unique combination of fats and nutrients it contains nourish your hair and encourage strong, healthy growth.
Coconut oil nutritional information
100g of coconut oil is incredibly nutrient dense, containing:
- 556 calories
- 21 grams of carbs
- 54g fat
- 6g protein
- 15g fiber
- 15% of your recommended daily intake (RDA) of iron
- 3% of your RDA of vitamin C
- 3% of your RDA of calcium
As you’ve probably realized by now, there are huge benefits to integrating coconut butter or coconut cream into your daily life and diet. It really is a superfood and a hidden secret.If I was a betting sort of person, I’d put money on the fact that coconut butter will explode in popularity in the next few years.
There are hundreds of uses for it, you can make it at home, and it tastes amazing. Whether you’re already using it, or we’ve convinced you with this article, there really is no downside to starting to use coconut butter more often. Coconut cream vs coconut butter – whichever one you choose, you’ll get all you need from just one tablespoon of either.