The Nut Butter Alternative That'll Take Your Smoothies To Another Level

smoothie selection
smoothie selection - mama_mia/Shutterstock

When it comes to smoothie-making, nut butters like peanut butter and almond butter are a reliable staple that many home cooks love to keep on hand in their kitchen. They quickly and easily enhance any smoothie by bringing a triple-whammy of flavor, texture, and nutrition. Unfortunately, there may be times when using nut butter isn't an option, whether due to an allergy, a special diet, or simply because you have run out of the stuff. In these cases (or just for a fun change), we recommend reaching for an unexpected substitute: coconut butter.

Coconut butter is made from the blended meat of a coconut. It is not to be confused with coconut oil, which is a fat derived from coconut fruits — or coconut cream, which is a thicker form of coconut milk. Coconut butter has a similar consistency to nut butters or other types of sandwich spreads. It is creamy and thick, and has the sweet, mild, and slightly nutty flavor of coconut. While you can slather it on bread, we much prefer using it in smoothies because of the luscious consistency it adds, much like how a nut butter would thicken a smoothie. It also works as a great alternative because just as nuts are filled with satisfying fats, so is coconut, meaning your smoothie will keep you feeling fuller for longer.

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Where To Find Coconut Butter

fresh coconut butter in jar
fresh coconut butter in jar - Gingagi/Getty Images

While coconut butter makes for an excellent nut butter swap in smoothies, be advised that it can be difficult to get your hands on. Most local grocery stores are unlikely to carry coconut butter, so you will have more luck by visiting a specialty food store or a health-food store. You can also find a few direct-to-consumer coconut butter brands online, or you can make your own at home. All you need to do is put unsweetened coconut shreds into a blender or food processor and blitz until smooth and creamy.

The major upside to using coconut butter in place of nut butter is the versatility it offers. Coconut butter's more subtle flavor means that you are less likely to rule out smoothie ingredients due to their incompatibility with its presence. Sure, it works beautifully in smoothies that include nutty ingredients, such as a chocolate and peanut butter protein smoothie, but it can also find its way into smoothies where nut butters would not work quite as well, such as in this tangy mango banana smoothie. But feel free to experiment, or have a look at our 12 refreshing smoothie recipes for more inspiration for adding coconut butter to.

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