What is a time of joy for many women was my darkest hour.
I think I have A Problem. Is it normal to consume so many sugary treats in one sitting that you have a hangover the next day? Is it okay to not be able to stop once you start eating Cadbury Creme Eggs (because they were on sale after Easter for $1.77 for a pack of four at Target, duh). How many cupcakes MUST one consume before she gives herself diabetes? And sugar-induced irritability is totally normal, right?
I love delicious, bad food just as much as the next gal. And I can see that it might not be a good idea to demonize food -- even food that I know isn't doing anything good for me nutritionally -- but I have to face facts: I am addicted to sugar, and I should probably stop eating it. Because sugar is no good for me.
I've quit sugar so many times, you guys. I quit it, and then I think I can eat it again like a normal person, but I am coming to terms with the fact that I can't -- I will eat it until I make myself sick with migraines and I'm plunged into some sort of hypglycemic hell, and yet I never learn. It doesn't matter that the bulk of my diet is pretty nutritious and includes a lot of vegetables; when I start eating sugar again, it's all I want to eat. There's a reason that Tosca Reno, the Eat Clean Diet lady, calls sugar "the legal cocaine." For some of us, it truly is an addictive substance.
So I'm working on a quitting-sugar plan, and I think I've found something I can eat when a sugar craving strikes: COCONUT BUTTER.
I've been a long time fan of coconut oil. I use it as a moisturizer on my skin, I use it for cooking, and sometimes I just eat a spoonful of it straight from the jar because I’m disgusting. (But hey, I knew a kid once who liked to eat butter sandwiches, i.e., a stick of butter inside a hotdog bun. So who’s the disgusting one here?)
Coconut butter is totally different from the oil, though. How did I not know about this stuff? It's creamy, slightly sweet, and full of delicious fats that not only take my mind off of how much I'm jonesing for ice cream, but make my skin look like a million bucks as well.
Best of all, coconut butter is so easy to make, even Emily could do it.
-- a food processor (or, if you’re lucky enough to have one of those Vitamix things, use that)
-- an airtight container for storing your coconut butter, if you don’t eat it all right after making it.
1. An eight ounce package of unsweetened shredded coconut (it’s okay if it’s a little more than 8 ounces -- the brand I used last time was 8.8 ounces, and it came out just fine)
2. Two tablespoons of coconut oil, melted
3. ½ teaspoon of sea salt
4. ½ to 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract and/or the innards of a vanilla bean pod, to taste
1. Dump all ingredients into the work bowl of your food processor.
2. Turn it on, and process for about five minutes, or until you get a creamy paste. (If you have a Vitamix, you lucky devil, it will only take about a minute.)
AND THAT’S IT. You may need to periodically turn off your food processor and scrape down the sides of your work bowl with a spatula, but other than that, there is very little effort required for such deliciousness.
Put that your new favorite edible substance in an airtight container, store it at room temperature, and use it however you want. You can even use it in gluten-free no-bake brownies (do you guys want a recipe for that? I have a recipe for that).
Or, you could just eat it directly out of the jar, which I heartily recommend. I’d say I average about three or four tablespoons of the stuff a day. It’s just so good.
The other thing coconut products are good for is energy -- which I need lots of these days, what with my new day job, and the fact that my brain is no longer being fueled by a steady supply of jelly beans and those chocolate honey-mint things from Trader Joe's.
Are you obsessed with coconut butter? Do you buy it premade, or do you make it? And how many times do you think I would have to link to the Vitamix site before I can get them to give me a free Vitamix? I really want one.
When Somer isn’t shoving spoonfuls of coconut butter in her face, she sometimes tweets: @somersherwood