Friday, September 2, 2011

Recipe: DIY Coconut "Manna"

Make it yourself! A friend of mine enjoys this product called Coconut Manna, which she gets from Whole Foods ("Whole Paycheck").  I'd heard about it on some of the blogs that I follow, so when she mentioned how much she likes it and offered me a try, I said sure, checked out the nutritional information (1 gram net carbs per tablespoon), and dug in with said tablespoon.  It was really good: coconutty, creamy... delicious.  Turns out that it costs about $10 for a 15 oz jar.  There is another, similar product on the market, by Artisana, but that is even more expensive. 
I checked out the ingredient list, and the only item on there is Organic Coconut.

It was time for kitchen experimentation.  I made my own pureed coconut product, and I am very happy with the results.  The yield was exactly 2 cups (16 oz).  The cost was a mere $3.99 for 1 pound of the pricey, organic-y shredded coconut they sell at Whole Foods.

The taste was great.  Here's what I did:

16 oz of unsweetened, dessicated coconut (at Whole Foods, you can scoop your own out of a bin)

  1. 1. Put the coconut in the bowl of your food processor fitted with the standard blade, and press the on button.  Let it go for 8 minutes.
  2. Return to the food processor and turn it off.  Check out your stuff.  It will be smooth and creamy, and probably pretty warm to the touch, thanks to the heat generated by your food processor's motor running at full speed for 8 minutes.
  3. Scrape down the sides of the bowl, and run the food processor for another 2 minutes or so, until there are not little coconutty bits left, and you have a uniformly smooth product.
  4. Use a rubber spatula to scrape your coconut goodness into a clean mason jar. 
Right out of the food processor, the texture will be runny, kind of like a glaze.  Leave the jar out at room temperature for a few hours, however, and the coconut will firm up into a thick paste; this is a good texture for spoon snacking.  If you put your coconut paste into the fridge, it will harden into a block, and be impossible to extract.  I have some ideas for how to take advantage of the thermal properties of this coconut paste, and I will continue to experiment!

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