Coconut butter is different from coconut oil. It is made from the meat of the coconut as well as the oil. It’s a two-in-one. You get this buttery, creamy texture and the nutritional profile from the oil. Coconut oil’s nutritional benefits are pretty impressive. Not only is it great to take internally but also can be used topically as an everyday moisturizer or skin ointment for rashes. For years, many believed that the fat in coconut oil was detrimental to health. That is not the case. Coconut oil contains medium chain triglycerides (MCTs). These healthy fats are easily digested by the body and put to use as a quick source of energy. They have also been found to promote a healthy cholesterol balance by increasing HDL (good cholesterol), healthy weight management and a reduced risk for heart disease. Another beneficial component of coconut oil is its source of lauric and caprylic acids. These are natural antifungals which help combat candida (yeast overgrowth) and other viruses and bacteria, thus helping the body to protect against infections.
Coconut butter can be eaten plain, spread over toast, or incorporated into many recipes including these Cashew Coconut Butter Truffles. They are a great pick me up in the afternoon, a sweet and healthy dessert, or a topping for yogurt which I did this morning (chop up truffles before adding.)
Cashew Coconut Butter Truffles
½ cup roasted salted cashews
½ cup coconut butter, melted*
¼ cup gluten-free oat flour*
2 tablespoons agave syrup
1 tablespoon coconut sugar
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
¼ cup unsweetened shredded coconut for coating truffles.
In a food processor, add cashews and blend to a creamy consistency (like peanut butter.) You may need to stop and scrape down sides of the bowl. Add melted coconut butter, coconut sugar, agave, and vanilla extract. Blend until all ingredients are incorporated evenly. Place mixture in bowl and add oat flour. Mix well and place in freezer for 10 minutes. Prepare a small baking tray or cutting board by lining with wax or parchment paper. In a shallow bowl, pour in shredded coconut for coating. Remove mixture from freezer and form into gumball size truffles. Roll them in the shredded coconut and place on a baking tray. Once you have coated all of the truffles (recipe makes 12) place back in freezer for at least 20 minutes. After that, you can place truffles in an airtight container and store back in the freezer until ready to eat.
*You can purchase oat flour at the store or you can make it yourself by adding oats to a food processor and blending them down.
*To melt coconut butter, use a double boiler. Place a small saucepan with a little bit of water on the stove and heat to simmer. Place a metal bowl on top of the saucepan. Add coconut butter and continue to stir with a heat-proof spatula until creamy.