What is Coconut Butter, Coconut Manna and Coconut Cream Concentrate?

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Every time I see a recipe which calls for this product, there are many questions and much confusion. I believe that is mostly due to manufacturer's using different names for the same product. I have seen it referred to as coconut butter, coconut cream concentrate, and coconut manna.

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For the sake of simplicity, I will refer to this product as “coconut cream concentrate”.

What is coconut cream concentrate?

From Tropical Traditions:

“Coconut Cream Concentrate is whole coconut meat in concentrated form. It is sometimes referred to as “coconut butter.” It contains no additives* (not even water). The dried coconut meat is ground very finely, giving it a creamy consistency due to its high fat content, much like other nut butters. Since it is 70% fat, it is a rich source of pure coconut oil. Note: this is a food, not a cooking oil.”

I can definitely see why there is confusion, even Google is confused:

Google's definition for coconut butter Cocoa butter vs. coconut butter

I think someone at Google thought “cocoa butter”. Because cocoa butter is a solid fat used in the manufacture of soap, candles, ointment, etc. When you chill cocoa butter, it turns very hard and solid. However, when cocoa butter is melted, it becomes translucent and could be mistaken for any kind of oil.

In contrast, coconut cream concentrate (coconut butter), when warmed, becomes thick and creamy like nut butter. It is opaque and nowhere near being translucent, and contains a good amount of fiber.

Coconut cream vs. coconut cream concentrate

And then there is the confusion between coconut cream and coconut cream concentrate. Again, two very different products.

Coconut cream is very similar to dairy cream. It behaves in the same way as dairy cream in that the heavier fats rise to the surface. You can skim the coconut cream off the top. When chilled, coconut cream is thick, but when melted has a texture like dairy cream.

Again, warmed coconut cream concentrate will have the texture of smooth peanut butter.

Coconut butter vs. dairy butter

Finally, there is the confusion between coconut butter and dairy butter. Yet again, two different products. When you melt dairy butter, it becomes liquid. As already stated, coconut cream concentrate (or coconut butter) is not a complete liquid, but more the texture of a creamy nut butter.

Substitutes for coconut cream concentrate

You may substitute nut butters for coconut cream concentrate, coconut butter or coconut manna.

Do not substitute any product that turns to a clear liquid when melted, otherwise your recipe will fail miserably.

My favorite coconut cream concentrate, the one I've been using for years is produced by Tropical Traditions*. I have noticed that they now have both phrases “Coconut Cream Concentrate” and “Coconut Butter” on the label. *If you use my link and are a new customer to Tropical Traditions, I will earn a discount coupon and you will receive a free copy of their book Virgin Coconut Oil : How it has Changed People’s Lives and How it Can Change Yours.

Make your own

It is simple to make your own coconut cream concentrate! Simply place unsweetened shredded coconut into a high powered blender or food processor and blend until it turns to a smooth, creamy texture like peanut butter.

Popular brands of coconut cream concentrate/coconut butter/coconut manna:

Some facts about coconut cream concentrate:

  • It contains fiber whereas butter or oils do not
  • When warmed, it has the texture of smooth peanut butter
  • It can be used in place of flour in some recipes
  • It can be used to thicken soups and gravies
  • Mix 1-2 teaspoons water to 1 cup water to make a coconut milk drink
  • Use as creamer in coffee or hot cocoa

Have you ever used coconut cream concentrate?

*

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