$13.49. That’s the price for a 16 oz (1 lb) jar of Artisana coconut butter on Amazon.com currently [Update: the price is $18.95 + $2.99 shipping on Oct 7, 2015]. I definitely know that this can get costly. So, what’s the solution?
Make your own of course!
This is a post explaining in detail how you can make this deliciousness at home with just 1 or 2 ingredients (including how to overcome the most common problem in making coconut butter at home).
Overcoming the Biggest Problem of Making Coconut Butter At Home
Ok, the main problem with making coconut butter is that the coconut flakes will stick to the sides of the blender (as you can see in the photo below) instead of getting blended by the blender blades.
However, I’ve found several different ways of solving this problem (depending on what blender or food processor you’re using) and these are detailed below.
1. Blendtec or VitaMix
If you have a Blendtec blender: use the Twister Jar (it’s sold separately) as this will allow you to twist the top of the jar to scrap the food off the sides of the container while blending.
If using a VitaMix blender: use the tamper that comes with the Vitamix to scrape down any coconut flakes that stick to the sides of the container while blending.
For both of these blenders, you just place around 6 cups of coconut flakes into the Blendtec of Vitamix and set it on high – it will take just a few minutes for the coconut butter to be ready. (Feed Your Skull states that it takes only 44 seconds to make coconut butter. Whole New Mom states it takes 2 minutes (with a brief rest in between each minute).)
2. Other Blenders
If you don’t have a VitaMix with a tamper or a Blendtec with the twister jar, like me, then there’s another solution….add some coconut oil (after all, the coconut flakes are basically producing coconut oil).
The process is simple – add in 6 cups of coconut flakes and start blending on high (you need a minimum of around 3 cups of coconut flakes for it to work). When the flakes get stuck to the sides of the blender, turn off the blender and use a spoon to push the flakes down. Repeat 3 times. Then add in 2 tablespoons of melted coconut oil (you can melt it in the microwave) and blend on high for 10 minutes.
3. Food Processor
As you can see from the photo below, the same problem of the coconut flakes sticking to the bottom and to the sides occurs with the food processor. Adding 2 tablespoons of melted coconut oil to 6 cups of coconut flakes will help again. However, if you have the time and patience, you can keep scraping down and heating up the coconut flakes to make coconut butter without adding any coconut oil (method from TheKitchn).
4. Mini Choppers
I’ve seen a few people suggest that it may be possible to make coconut butter using a mini chopper or one of the chopper attachments to a hand mixer. I haven’t tried this, but it would probably depend on how fast the chopper blade rotated (it might work ok). But note, don’t use an immersion blender as it’ll spray the coconut flakes everywhere!
How do you know when Coconut Butter is Ready?
When you first start blending or food processing the coconut flakes (or coconut shreds), you’ll find that the flakes will lose their dryness and become slightly oily. They’ll start to clump together too.
After a while, enough oil will be produced so that it becomes runny and creamy. The heat of the blender or food processor will make the coconut butter liquidy (even though it will solidify usually below approx. 76F or 25C).
Note that the longer you blend it, the more creamy and less gritty the end coconut butter will be. I personally like my coconut butter to be as creamy as possible, but I know some people like a slightly gritty texture to it.
Here’s how it should look when you pour the coconut butter out of your blender:
What type of Coconut Flakes or Shreds to use?
Any type of unsweetened coconut flakes or shreds will work. An alternative is to use coconut powder, which is ground up coconut flakes. (Note that coconut powder is not coconut flour because coconut flour is defatted. This means that there is no oil left in coconut flour, so you can’t make coconut butter from it.)
Is it Cheaper to Make Coconut Butter rather than Buy it?
The cheapest brand of coconut butter on Amazon.com is the Kevala brand at $9.29, although I typically buy the Artisana brand (which is organic and costs $13.49). Both are 16 oz (1 lb) jars.
To make your own 1 lb jar of coconut butter, you will need 1 lb of coconut shreds (which is approx 5 cups). For 1 lb of organic unsweetened coconut shreds from Let’s Do Organic (if you buy 6 lbs from Amazon), the cost is approx. $5.40 (non-organic is cheaper).
So the saving is approximately $13.49 – $5.40 = $8.09
This is definitely worth it if you have a VitaMix with a tamper or a Blendtec with a twister jar, but it’s still a pretty hefty saving even if you have to spend 15-20 minutes using a blender or food processor and adding in coconut oil. You might also lose a bit of coconut butter because it’s hard to scrap every last bit out of the blender or food processor, but it’s probably still worth the savings.
Does it taste the same?
I think the only difference is that homemade coconut butter is slightly more gritty than the Artisana one, but it’s not bad. You can also add in other ingredients to flavor the coconut butter while you’re making it (e.g., cocoa powder, spices, or even other nuts). In fact, adding some nuts can even help the process if the nut produces a lot of oil (in which case the additional coconut oil might not be needed).