As most of us plant-eaters would agree, toast is the on the weekly breakfast line up. Whether it's almond butter toast, avocado toast or unicorn toast (😛) we are always looking for something new to slather on it. This time it's homemade coconut almond butter spread and it's divine. Not only is this coconut butter rich, creamy and divine, it's also super healthy and super easy to whip up at home in your food processor.
I had a fun conversation recently with the folks over at a local health food brand here in town. We were discussing whether using the term "vegan" hurts or helps a brand. It was a super interesting topic and of course I was a tad biased because I would for sure vote for HELPS! But I'm curious what you guys think, too. Vegan has a bad wrap because of the "hate" and judgement that is often associated with the people that follow it. But on the flip side I think anybody who is super passionate (myself included sometimes) about something can get lost in the frustration and/or excitement about it. The tendency to wonder why others don't see it the way you see it can be torture at times.
I AM part of the vegan crowd because I follow such a diet for the most part but at the same time, I get it, I get that it's often not a "healthy" atmosphere and if you eat honey every so often you're like shamed for using the word vegan when talking about yourself. Or your carseats are leather, etc. It's all pretty confusing to me because as seriously as I take my diet (which is pretty seriously), I can't take anything that seriously only because there are so many things I care about and I have to find balance and also find sanity and peace.
Vegan to me is a descriptive word I use to explain my daily diet which is plant-healthy and void of animal products.
However, Plant-based is the new term people are using to disassociate with the "dogmatic vegan lifestyle". BTW - this is all just an explanation for those who don't understand it all or get confused sometimes at the difference - I'm not actually saying that I feel this way about the word vegan or vegans themselves; I'm merely trying to explain the culture and the politics around it.
Anyways...although it's basically the same diet people usually affiliate with one or the other and not both. Vegans are more into the ideas that no animal is harmed in the process of making the food or product they are consuming. Meaning, jellybeans are vegan. Oreos are vegan! You get my drift. But whole foods plant-based diets are more about eating foods that come from the ground, do not come from packages and contain no dairy or meat.
But aside from the stigma that comes with that word vegan, whether you know and like it or not, vegan diets are saving lives (literally) and being prescribed to many patients to not only lose weight but to reverse disease. A whole foods plant-based diet free of processed, overly cooked foods helped me rid my life of all kinds of health problems. I can't say enough about how great and healthy I feel daily. It's crazy how quickly you can change the inside of your body by making just a few (but very big) changes in your diet.
Back to my original conversation here - often people who are new to the vegan diet want to easily grab products from shelves...right? They don't want to read a million labels. So the little V (stands for certified vegan) on the package helps a consumer know that there is no meat or dairy in the foods they are purchasing. Easy. Quick. Not complicated. No label reading necessary.
The complications arise when a product is super clean and uses plant-based ingredients that are free of dairy and meat but might use honey for example (which to me is so healthy) but can't use the famous V on their labels. Or when companies are afraid to hop on the V train because they think it will hurt their brand? This is where I'm curious what you guys all think. Do you think it hurts or helps?
I have a solution - maybe we need to create a plant-based certification. Is anybody even listening because this is a great idea here. 😜
As a food manufacturer who packaged and sold my own goods to consumers, I do feel like the Vegan label was helpful because when it comes to cookies, for example, I believed they should be vegan. No need for eggs to sit on a shelf for six months and no need for white processed sugar either (when there are some great healthy alternatives out there).
Now it's recipe time! Coconut butter is really simple to make. All you need is coconut chips, a food processor and some patience. Then voila - you have creamy coconut butter. Use it in smoothies, on toast, in recipes, for vegan frosting, etc. The possibilities are endless.
Add some almond or cashew or even walnut butter to your coconut oil with a touch of raw honey or maple syrup and you have an amazing spread. Store is in an airtight container so it's easily accessible to your kids and husband or wife (partner).
Creamy Coconut Almond Butter Spread Recipe
yields approx 12 ounces
- 8 oz organic coconut chips
- 1 1/2 cup raw almond butter
- 1 heaping Tbsp raw honey
- pinch sea salt (optional)
- In a food processor add coconut chips. Let the food processor run for a good 3 minutes.
- Then using a spatula you'll want to scrape the sides of the bowl.
- Process again for another 3-5 minutes. Check the coconut and repeat first two steps if necessary.
- Once your coconut chips become oil/butter, you'll want to add raw almond butter to the coconut oil.
- Add the honey.
- Mix the ingredients up until totally smooth and well combined.
- Store in an airtight container for 3-4 weeks. Refrigerate for a longer shelf life.
Note: The texture of the coconut almond butter spread mixture will become pretty hard after you refrigerate it for a day or so. That's ok. I suggest using it right away on your warm toast, that will melt it back to room temp and make it super easy to spread.
Check out my quick tutorial video below - on how to make your own coconut butter at home (super simple recipe!).