Everyone has had their ear talked off about the amazing things coconut oil can do—it's said to do wonders for your skin and hair, raise the healthy kind of cholesterol, and promote weight loss. But what is coconut butter? Is it the same thing? Can you use it the same ways? Not quite. This rich and nutritious spread is gaining attention in the foodie world, with jars popping up in grocery stores everywhere; even companies like Nature Valley are making products with it. Here's what you should know about coconut butter and how to use it.

How Coconut Butter Is Made

While coconut oil and coconut butter are both made from the meat of the coconut, the two are produced differently. Coconut oil is extracted from the meat through a refining process. Coconut butter is made by pureeing coconut meat until it takes on a butter-like consistency, just as nut butters are made from processing the nuts. It has a natural sweetness from the coconut, as well as a distinct coconut flavor, which is different from coconut oil's milder flavor.

The Nutritional Profile

With a low glycemic index, high fiber, healthy fat, and little bit of protein, coconut butter is essentially a superfood. It has a minimal amount of sugar, but all are natural occurring sugars if you're buying a brand that doesn't add any. Coconut butter has a low glycemic index, meaning it doesn't spike your blood sugar levels. Just as coconut oil is a healthy fat source, so is coconut butter. Due to these healthy fats and its fiber content, coconut butter can keep you full, thus promoting satiety and weight loss. 

Ways to Enjoy Coconut Butter

So it's healthy, but what is coconut butter used for? It can be used similarly to coconut oil, but it also has more unique uses. Coconut oil is used for frying, sautéing, and a butter substitute in baking, while coconut butter is mostly used as an addition to recipes or as a spread. Because it takes on a more solid consistency at room temperature, you may need to microwave it for a 15-30 seconds before using it in the ways mentioned below—just make sure to remove any metal lids first!

An Addition to Smoothies

Make your morning smoothie or smoothie bowl extra creamy and more satisfying by adding a spoonful of coconut butter. Extra points if you drizzle more on top. 

As a Spread

Jelly on toast is old news. Step up your toast game with a layer of coconut butter, and enjoy as is, or add nuts and fruit for a delicious, balanced breakfast or snack. Don't limit it to plain old bread, though; banana bread, muffins, and carrot cake also are fantastic with it slathered on.


A bowl of fresh berries and granola can get a serious makeover with a drizzle of coconut butter. Make energy balls for a healthy grab-and-go snack that satisfies. For an indulgent treat, dip a piece of dark chocolate in it, stuff it in pitted dates, or make coconut butter cups. The options are endless.

In Coffee

Move over, Bulletproof coffee. This concoction delivers the same dose of satiating fats as butter does in Bulletproof, but also adds coconut flavor and subtle sweetness.

Changing up Breakfast

Replace the traditional butter and maple syrup on your pancakes with some natural sweetness that also delivers a dose of healthy fat. Stir into oatmeal along with some fruit and shredded coconut for a tropical vibe, or drizzle onto your favorite yogurt parfait.

With a Spoon

Jar to mouth. No more explanation necessary

If you're a fan of coconut, you need to get yourself a jar of this ASAP. Coconut butter's fiber and fat content will keep you full, while the coconut-y sweetness delivers a sense of indulgence, making it the perfect treat. The culinary possibilities for coconut butter are endless, adding new dimensions to your old favorites and inspiring new creations.

Plus, if you want something a little more exciting for your taste buds than plain coconut, many brands, like Nikki's and Binnie's, are making flavored versions, from vanilla cake batter and pumpkin spice to dark chocolate sea salt and coffee macaroon. Coconut butter is definitely here to stay.