I love butter, it is a habit I can’t give up. However, I do only use it SUPER sparingly as a treat on warm bread. Come on! Who can say no to hot bread with melty yummy butter? No one, and you know what, I don’t want to live in a world where I can have some bread and butter.
However, I want to introduce you to butter’s healthier cousin, coconut butter. First thing is first, coconut butter is NOT the same as coconut oil. I use both and love both but for very different reasons. Hello coconut oil all over my body, I love the subtle smell and taste of coconut oil (coconut butter is much more in your face coconut, so if you don’t like coconut, I would skip). I use on my skin, my hair, to sautee veggies, over popcorn. I love oil but coconut butter is something everyone should get into as well.
Why coconut butter? First let me explain the difference between the oil and butter. They are easy to confuse.
Coconut oil is pure, unadulterated fat. It will usually be solid and opaque, unless it is warm in your home, then it could be liquid. Why? Well, it is comprised of more than 90 percent saturated fats, which solidify at room temperature. It’s also different than other oils in that less than 60 percent of the fats in coconut oil are medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs), compared to longer-chain fatty acids in olive oil or fish oil. MCTs are unique, as they are very easily absorbed in your digestive tract (unlike other fats which requires special transport/absorption) and thus are readily used as energy. This is why they are ALL the rage right now. Hello, bulletproof coffee.
Coconut butter, on the other hand, contains similar nutritional characteristics, but since it is comprised of pureed, raw coconut meat (not only the oil) so it is not made exclusively of fat. One tablespoon of coconut butter provides 2 grams of fiber as well as small amounts of potassium, magnesium, and iron.
Just as you wouldn’t use avocado mash and avocado oil the same way in cooking, you wouldn’t use coconut butter and coconut oil interchangeably. Coconut oil is perfect for sauteeing veggie; its high saturated fat content makes it great and safe for high temps. On the other hand, coconut butter is much thicker in texture, so real coconut lovers may use as a spread just as you would with regular butter. What is coconut butter great for? Great in smoothies, coffee (try it! Think bulletproof coffee), on oatmeal, spread on toast like regular butter. SO. GOOD! (omg! you need to try it on cinnamon toast), english muffins, I swear you can even use on pasta for a sweet flavor with a pumpkin type of ravioli. Yum!
I know coconut oil and butter are highly touted for their nutritional benefits and looked at as health food darlings, however, I do warn people of going to too crazy with either, because while they are good fats, they are still fats with a high caloric count! While both contain healthy nutritional value, they are still calorie-dense—packing 130 calories per tablespoon of oil and 100 calories per tablespoon of butter.
I hope that clears up some cocofacts for you.