Friday, May 11, 2012

Coconut Butter (GAPS, Paleo, Primal, gluten Free, grain free, dairy free)

By Kristen

Coconuts are clearly a gift from tiny tropical loincloth wearing leprechauns to all Primal/Gaps people. How can something so sweet have so few carbs? How can there be so much nutritional goodness and culinary possibility encased within such an odd hairy shell?

The coconut is classified as a true nut, but has few features in common with its crunch botheren. To start with it does not contain polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs). Fat in the human body is made up of roughly 50% monounsaturated fat, 45% saturated fat, and 5% polyunsaturated fat. So while your body does need some PUFAs, it is easy to go nuts with the nuts and ingest too many, which has been shown to lead to weight gain in women. Coconut oil, on the other hand, is choc full of supurb saturated fat. One key aspect of the fat in coconut oil is that it contains saturated fat that is primarily medium-chain fatty acids (MCFA), also known as medium-chain triglycerides (MCT), which means your skin will love it if you don't mind smelling like a tropical drink all day.

Coconut oil has a zillion other health benefits. It is associated with weight loss, heart disease, healthy thyroid, and cholesterol. Additionally it is antimicrobial, antiparasitic, and antifungal. If you are just beginning the GAPS diet you should go easy on it as it can accelerate die off. Seriously I could go on about the mighty coconuts virtues for ages. Instead I will give you the recipe for the most uncomplicated deliciousness you have ever encountered.

Ingredients:

1 pound dried coconut, shredded (large or small shreds)
1/4 cup coconut oil (I like Dr. Bronner's)

Put the 1/2 dried coconut in your food processor using the regular blade. Process for 2-5 minutes until there is room. Scrape the sides with a spatula and add the rest. Process until the coconut is smooth like  melted butter. You may have to scrape the sides a couple more times. Add coconut oil and stir (sometimes I just swirl it all little, not mixing completely). Store in a pint sized jar.

Coconut oil will solidify at room temperature. It tastes delicious either way.

Permutations:
-If you want chunky butter add some coconut flakes at the end.
-Mix some fruit in and enjoy right away.
-Add some cocoa powder.
-Stir in some chocolate chips.

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