Have you ever wondered what the difference is between coconut butter and coconut oil? Did you think they were the same? Well, I did. After all, they're usually both sold in glass jars and have a cloudy, pasty white look. As I became more and more savvy, I discovered that there is actually a big difference between the two - the coconut meat

Coconut oil is made from extracting the oil (obviously) from coconut meat (the kernel). Like other oil, it's essentially 100% fat—the good saturated fats, polyunsaturated and monounsaturated. This is why in the hot months of summer, your coconut oil turns to liquid. It's quite versatile—aside from being used in many sweet and savory dishes, it's also incredibly useful as a natural beauty remedy for dry skin and hair. 

Coconut butter, on the other hand, is made from the whole meat of the coconut, as opposed to just extracting the oil from the meat. It is made by the same process as nut butters: grinding the coconuts into a paste. Since coconuts are so different from other types of nuts (well, technically they're drupes), however, the result is a "butter" with a very different texture and consistency. It hardens in cool temperatures, and becomes softer in warmer environments.

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Weichen Yan

I use coconut butter as a spread on toast and as an oatmeal/chia pudding topper. But it's also great to bake with, and it can help you reduce the amount of butter and oil in your baked goods. You can also make savory dishes with it, for example, using it in place of coconut cream in Southeast Asian curry dishes for a richer flavor. Since coconut butter is made from the entire coconut meat, it typically has 2g of fiber per 14g (1 tbsp) serving.

So, are you team coconut oil or team coconut butter? Or, if you're like me, why not have both?