Coconut butter? Oil? Aminos? Flour? Are you having trouble keeping them all straight?!?! I sure did when I first started cooking. I had no idea what the difference between coconut oil and coconut butter was- let alone what to use each of them for. I found myself today with most of the coconut products I use in my household, so I though I’d share each type and what I use it for. This would be helpful if you’re just getting into health/paleo cooking and you’re not sure what each thing is used for!
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This is my favorite type of coconut! I regularly like to eat it directly out of the jar with a spoon. However during cold weather, it stays hard so you have to warm it up to get it into a “butter” consistency. I usually warm it up to and top my sweet potatoes or carrot fries with it, eat it on banana bread. But this stuff is so good you will find it hard to resist just eating it straight from the jar. Since it is the actual coconut meat- the coconut taste is very strong.
This is the stuff you want to use while cooking- since olive oil or vegetable oil should NOT be used when you’re heating food up. It also stays in solid form when it’s cold. If you live somewhere warm you probably won’t have this problem. I usually take a glass cup and melt the oil in the microwave, and then pour it over whatever I’m cooking. If I’m sauteing food, I just put a big glob into a pan and let it melt, then add the food. I’ve also used coconut oil in baking, and I do the same melt-in-the-microwave technique. Some oils I’ve used DO taste like coconut (the extra virgin kind), but I’ve also had some that don’t. This particular brand I got on sale at Marshall’s and I’ve never had before, but I like it strong coconut flavor it has! If you don’t like coconut and don’t want the taste, try this brand.
I don’t use this that often, it’s kind of expensive, however this is a Paleo-approved type of ‘soy sauce’. You can use it as a substitute for soy sauce in any Asian-type recipe. Add it to stir fry, or soups to add a deeper flavor. I like to make the Paleo Pad Thai from the 21 Day Sugar Detox with this- it has an amazing flavor. I have never eaten this stuff straight up so I have no idea if it tastes like coconut- I use it with other flavors that are strong.
I definitely need this at ALL times in my house. It is a substitute for regular flour, but be careful because coconut flour CANNOT be used 1:1 in recipes with white flour. I add a tablespoon of coconut flour to banana or plantain pancakes, make zucchini fritters, banana bread, and to make some paleo-approved goodies when I feel like it. This is a DEFINITE must for your healthy kitchen. Some things I make with coconut flour will retain a slight coconut taste- but for the most part you can’t taste the coconut flavor too much- depending on the brand. I usually use this one.
Last but not least, shredded unsweetened coconut can be used to make your OWN coconut butter (if you’re patient). I also use it to make energy balls or top my paleo cereal with it. If you like coconut, these are good to have on hand.
What’s your favorite type of coconut product?
Do you like the taste of coconut?