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Sugar-Free Strawberry Coconut Butter

April 13, 2012

News & Notes

 

Thanks for all the comments about my autoimmune/thyroid elimination diet. I love hearing your perspective on the whole thing, not only in terms of my Hashimoto’s disease, but simply your thoughts on medically restrictive diets in general. I’ve already done a couple coaching sessions via phone and Skype, and I’m really excited about helping others navigate the world of autoimmune diseases, thyroid disorders, adrenal dysfunction, hormonal imbalances, food allergies and intolerances, and other mysterious symptoms and unresolved health problems.

I promised to start sharing autoimmune- and thyroid-friendly recipes with you soon, and today, I begin to fulfill that promise. And boy, do I ever have a treat for you!

This recipe was originally inspired by a strawberry “cream cheese” recipe that my friend Brittany over at Real Sustenance came up with. The first thing I thought, upon seeing it, was “Why have I never mixed coco butter with strawberries?!” I then promptly forgot about it for a few months. But when organic strawberries showed up at Whole Foods recently for $4.99 a pound (they’re $5.99 year-round, but I don’t let myself buy them till they start coming into season and the price drops by a buck. Every dollar counts!), I snapped them up, and luckily had the presence of mind to remember that I wanted to blend them with coconut butter. I make my own coconut butter at home on the cheap (I even put a “recipe”/set of instructions for homemade coconut butter in Practically Raw), so throwing this together was a cinch. And luckily, this recipe is completely autoimmune- and thyroid-friendly! Want to know why?

  • Coconut: Coconut is one of THE most healing foods for the thyroid. Its medium-chain saturated fats (i.e. medium chain triglycerides, or MCTs) can potentially boost the production and conversion of thyroid hormones in those of us with sluggish metabolisms. Coconut fat is also particularly excellent for anyone with digestive ailments. It’s antibacterial and antimicrobial, and since MCTs don’t require bile from the gallbladder to be digested, they can be sent directly to the liver and burned for energy instead of being stored as fat. Don’t listen to the misguided low-fat preachers—fat does NOT make you fat!

(Side tangent: I can’t help but give you my take, as a linguist, on the very word “fat.” It’s an unfortunate circumstance of the English language that the words for dietary fat and body/adipose fat are the same word: fat. In many other languages, this is not the case—they are two separate entries in the lexicon. For example, in Spanish, you’d say a person is “gordo/gorda,” but that a food contains “grasa.” Make sense? Fat rocks; don’t be afraid of it!)

  • Strawberries: Strawberries are low-sugar, low-glycemic, high-fiber little wonder fruits with a high content of potent antioxidants such as vitamin C, which help reduce the oxidative stress associated with inflammation. Strawberries do contain goitrogens – compounds that can inhibit thyroid function in some people – but their goitrogen content is so low, it’s not worth worrying too much about.
  • Stevia: Since I have quite the sweet tooth, I wanted to add sweetness to this recipe beyond the natural sugars contained in the berries. Using stevia allows me to keep this recipe free of added sweeteners, which lessens the impact on blood sugar levels and keeps the pancreas from releasing too much insulin.
  • Sea salt: Good-quality sea salt contains trace minerals and is very important for proper adrenal function. People with thyroid and autoimmune diseases often have overtaxed adrenal glands; a healthy amount of sea salt in your diet can better help your body deal with mental and physical stress.

Make sense? Sound good? Then on to the recipe! If you’re a fan of my raw white chocolate coconut-macadamia nut butter, you will LOVE this.

Sugar-Free Strawberry Coconut Butter

(Inspired by Brittany’s strawberry “cream cheese”)
raw, vegan, gluten-free, soy-free, grain-free, nut-free, oil-free, sugar-free

1 cup coconut butter (or 3 cups unsweetened shredded coconut*)
1 1/2 cups sliced fresh (or thawed frozen) strawberries
1 to 2 packets stevia (preferably NuNaturals)
Big pinch of sea salt

*If you don’t have coconut butter on hand, place 3 cups unsweetened shredded coconut in a high-speed blender or food processor and blend until completely smooth and buttery. In a Vitamix or Blendtec, this will only take about a minute (use the tamper to move the mixture downward). In a food processor, this will take 5 to 10 minutes; be patient!

Combine the coconut butter, strawberries, stevia (I used two packets, but if you have less of a sweet tooth, you may want to start with just one), and salt in a high-speed blender or food processor. (Or, if you made coconut butter from scratch as directed above, simply add the strawberries, stevia, and salt to the blender/food processor.) Blend until completely smooth; taste for sweetness and adjust as desired. Transfer to a glass jar to store—the butter will keep at room temperature for up to two days; for longer storage, keep in the refrigerator.

Yield: about 2 cups
Per serving (2 tablespoons): 97 calories, 9.1g fat (8g sat), 4.3g carbs, 3g fiber, 1g protein

Substitution option
If you don’t have (or don’t like) stevia, you can use coconut palm sugar, xylitol, or organic granulated white sugar in its place; start with 1 tablespoon, then sweeten to taste.


Freshly-made coconut butter


Heap up your measuring cup with strawberries


Blend, baby, blend

I’m sure this lovely pink butter would make an amazing spread for toast.

You could also go crazy and dip more fresh strawberries in it.

How about slathering it on graham crackers? (I put a recipe for raw Graham Crackers in Practically Raw!)

I’ll be honest with you, though…

…I pretty much ate this entire jar’s worth of Sugar-Free Strawberry Coconut Butter…

…right off the spatula.

ENJOY!

 

3 years ago this week…
March leftovers
White bean & broccoli pasta toss
2 years ago this week…
No-bake almond butter balls
1 year ago this week…
P90X weeks 11-13: the wrap-up

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124 Comments leave one →
  1. April 13, 2012 9:06 am

    I need to make this ASAP! What a lovely spread. I would just dip strawberries in that butter. YUM!

  2. April 13, 2012 9:22 am

    I love this recipe AND blog entry.

    I usually do an un cream cheese cake out of cashews AND THIS looks like it is going to be my replacement. I can do your recipe for un cream cheese cake in almond crumb crust.

    Thank you for posting ❤ ❤ ❤

  3. hungryvegantraveler permalink
    April 13, 2012 9:31 am

    My goodness, that’s pretty!

  4. Alayna @ Thyme Bombe permalink
    April 13, 2012 9:42 am

    Wow, that looks good! I love your little aside about the difference between fats as expressed through other languages. I never realized just how much our language could influence common incorrect beliefs about fat. Neat stuff.

    • April 13, 2012 10:02 am

      Oh yes! If for any reason you ever want to dork out about that aspect of language, do some reading on the Sapir-Whorf hypothesis. It’s a little out of date nowadays, but still fascinating. 🙂

  5. April 13, 2012 9:42 am

    Fantastic idea! I have a fear that I would be eating it right out of the jar with a spatula as well….

  6. April 13, 2012 9:43 am

    That would be a great sub for cream cheese on a bagel! Yum!

  7. Roseann permalink
    April 13, 2012 9:57 am

    Wow…. I can’t wait to try this. Thanks sooo much for sharing !!!

  8. April 13, 2012 10:50 am

    This looks so good, can’t wait to try 🙂 I think it would also be good as a spread for a “dessert pizza”.

    Also, I just noticed this blog post on hypothyroidism at 23andMe, which is a direct-to-consumer genetic testing company. I thought you might be interested: http://spittoon.23andme.com/2012/04/13/no-hype-over-hypothyroidism/

    Looks like scientists are at least making some progress in untangling the genetics of these autoimmune diseases!

  9. April 13, 2012 11:25 am

    Wow! Does that look delightful. I might try it with blueberries, since they’re in season by me. Then I’ll have to drizzle it over the top of a big bowl of berries…mmmm…

  10. April 13, 2012 11:28 am

    Hi Amber! I’ve gotten so behind on a lot of blogs, and didn’t realize all that you were going through. I read back through your other posts, and I’m in shock. I’m so sorry that you’re going through so much, but I find it so admirable that you’re willing to share your story and talk about it with others. That takes bravery. I have no doubt you’ll be able to manage well with the guidance of your doctor, and the healthy meal plan you have set out for yourself. Strawberry Coconut Butter? Yes, please! 🙂

    take care!! xoxo

  11. April 13, 2012 11:51 am

    Oh my gosh, this looks so delicious. I would eat it straight off the spatula, too!

    And I’m so glad you mentioned your linguist perspective on the English use of the word “fat.” I wish we had separate terms like they do in Spanish! Perhaps that would make people fear the dietary type less, becuase I absolutely agree that fat doesn’t make you fat!

    • April 13, 2012 11:54 am

      Agreed! And it’s not just Spanish, or even just Romance languages. Other Germanic languages outside of English have separate words – in German, for example, “Fett” is the noun fat, while “dick” (yes, really) is the adjective fat. I do usually adore the English language, but in this case, we’ve got it wrong!

  12. Tara permalink
    April 13, 2012 12:16 pm

    Hi Amber!
    I really enjoyed this post. I can’t wait to try the strawberry coconut butter! I bet it would be awesome on your banana bread squares, which I have fallen in love with. Good luck with your new diet and your beautiful new apartment. Thank you for sharing this recipe and all of the info with it!

  13. April 13, 2012 12:29 pm

    Oh Amber, this sounds so incredibly delicious! I think it would be divine rolled up in romaine leaves too!

    I _love_ your talk about why it’s such a healing combo too, and really appreciate your language lesson about fat/adiposity–you are so right! I have to say, though, I did gain weight two years ago when I was eating _a lot_ of coconut oil (tho’ not as much as my ND wanted me to eat)–but perhaps I should also confess that at the time I had lost too much weight and theoretically “needed” to gain weight, so maybe it wasn’t the coconut oil’s ‘fault.’ This is coconut butter, not straight oil, too, so kinda different with the fiber in there.

    One question—why do you prefer NuNaturals stevia?Just curious–I like to use pure stevia with nothing added, and I thought NuNaturals added some sort of ‘natural flavoring’ or maltodextrin.

    love
    Ela

    • April 13, 2012 12:39 pm

      True, I don’t believe calories can ever be completely discounted from the equation – and I’m sure they played a part in your experience with coconut oil excess. But in reasonable quantities, I’ve come to believe that coconut does behave differently enough from other fats that it can be eaten more liberally than other oils. And you’re right, the fiber in the butter probably helps!

      My preference for NuNaturals is purely a taste thing – it’s by far the least-bitter kind I’ve found. But if your taste buds are already accustomed to the pure stevia, you could certainly use it instead!

      • April 13, 2012 12:43 pm

        Thanks, Amber–I think you’re right about the pro-metabolic effects of coconut overall. Like I said, my situation back then was kind of unusual (well, maybe not unusual for me,lol). Interesting about NuNaturals taste–I’m intrigued to try it now. Just tend to be shy/leery of extra ingredients.
        love
        Ela

  14. Heather permalink
    April 13, 2012 12:56 pm

    There’s a very strong possibility (like 100%) that I will be making this over the weekend! YUM! Thank you for the recipe!

  15. April 13, 2012 2:51 pm

    Sounds absolutely delicious! On a side note, I finally ordered your book a few days ago and am excited to pore over it, hopefully this weekend!

  16. Kelli permalink
    April 13, 2012 3:43 pm

    Amber, you are so gracious in sharing so much info! I have the ingredients to make this… now to just get off work to get home. 🙂

  17. April 13, 2012 5:03 pm

    Oh, this looks heavenly. My body isn’t a fan of the coconut oi/butter (my damn seisitive blood type…I’m one of the ‘weirdos’ whose risks actually outweigh benefits when it comes to coconut fat and things like raw butter, both of which do amazing things for other people’s bodies)…although I do love the taste. But I bet a few Tbsp. of this wouldn’t be so bad, especially with the straberries blended in. That would be scrumptious on a g-free, vegan baked goodie when you can get back to eating them!

    • April 13, 2012 5:14 pm

      Aw, that SUCKS about the coconut stuff! But you’re right, this is at least half strawberries, so I’m sure you could enjoy a tablespoon or two here and there 😉 You could even stretch it further by adding another 1/2 to 1 cup of strawberries!

  18. April 13, 2012 7:40 pm

    this is so amazing!!! you rock girl 🙂 i respect you so much for sharing your hashimotos story with us. I am also verrrrrry sorry you are having to go through that. I know how it is to juggle having a ‘fun looking’ blog when your health doesn’t feel too fun itself… also not wanting people to think what your eating is causing it! I actually suspect i could have some thyroid issues; but my levels were in the ‘normal range.’ although im not sure i can trust those tests completely. anyways… this is definitely a go-to recipe when im off my anti candida no sugar diet! it looks so yummy; and i love how you talked about coconut oil being good for the thyroid and digestive system. So true!
    Xoxo!

    • April 13, 2012 8:05 pm

      Thank you SO much, Em, for relating to me! So you can’t have strawbs on your candida diet? Damn! Still, be sure to make this as soon as you can 😉

      Also, you’re totally right not to trust those tests. The “normal range” or “laboratory range” does NOT = the FUNCTIONAL range. So it’s important to find a practitioner who deals with functional ranges. I know my past ED behaviors contributed to the weakening of my thyroid, so it’s very possible the same has happened to you. Let me know if you’re ever interested in personalized coaching – I’m betting I could tell you some stuff about your bloodwork that your doctor didn’t bother to notice!

  19. April 13, 2012 8:20 pm

    this justs looks so darn good. i imagine myself making this and then just eating it by the spoonful.

    and raw graham crackers sound perfect with this! you are a raw genius 😉

  20. bitt permalink
    April 13, 2012 9:20 pm

    yum amber! this recipe is right up my alley. i need to make homemade coconut butter, one of these days with my own dehdyrated coconut. coconut butter is so good to me that I hardly could even think of a way to improve it and you did! i just thought of something for those who can’t eat strawberry, some vanilla bean or strawberry extract (all natural of course) would be awesome. i have been into those lately when i can’t do fruit.

    • April 13, 2012 9:22 pm

      Great idea with the extracts! I’ve only tried strawberry extract once, in a raw cake at chef school, and it was pretty amazing. Do you use Medicine Flower, or another type?

  21. Kari @ bite-sized thoughts permalink
    April 13, 2012 11:30 pm

    Gosh, this looks amazing! The pictures make me think of creamy softserve strawberry frozen yoghurt, but this would be even better!

  22. April 14, 2012 5:34 am

    Swoony-mcswoonerston! Must admit, I’m not the hugest fan of strawberries but my mind is whirling with possibilities. Fuyu persimmon coconut butter! Fig persimmon butter! Kiwi mango coconut butter! With cacao nibs!

    All from the spoon. No other way. (I just finished scraping the last of the White Chocolate Wonderful peanut butter jar with my finger. ‘Cause I’m classy like that.)

  23. April 15, 2012 7:17 am

    Wow this looks so good. I’m going to try and find coconut butter next time I go to the store, otherwise I’ll just make it on my own.

  24. Marie-Guy Maynard permalink
    April 15, 2012 7:38 am

    I really want to try this, but I don’t have any stevia. What could I replace it with?
    Thanks!

  25. April 15, 2012 7:02 pm

    Looks delish! Love coconut butter – great idea to add the berries.

  26. Stefanie permalink
    April 16, 2012 11:43 am

    That looks dangerously good. 🙂

  27. Tracy permalink
    April 16, 2012 2:48 pm

    Looks amazing! I just got a hand me down Vitamix and have been wanting try my hand at coconut butter- I think I will be making this version!

  28. April 16, 2012 3:44 pm

    Hi Amber,

    This looks so divine. And I do, in fact, have a ton of coconut butter on hand. I’ll have to try this one for sure! I’m all about easy, and this looks super easy…and super delicious! Just can’t go wrong with that combo! 🙂

    Hugs,
    -Amber

    • April 16, 2012 3:46 pm

      Hi Amber! It was so cool to discover your blog today. Another healthy-eating, chronic-disease-battling Amber with multiple food intolerances – what are the chances? 🙂

      • April 16, 2012 4:06 pm

        Dear Amber,

        So funny…I was thinking the same thing!

        I was just reading your bio and history and just can’t believe what you have been through! I’m so sorry to hear about your health struggles. I know all to well what it’s like to have your health quickly change, so I can most certainly empathize with you! You sound strong and determined to fight this, and I admire you for taking control of your health in this manner. It’s not easy. I’m also glad to hear you found a doctor that listens to you! Thank you for connecting with me today, Amber. I appreciate meeting others who are using food and holistic remedies to live a better quality of life. I started my blog a few months ago to connect with others, and the relationships have been invaluable. You can probably relate to this, but it can get pretty lonely, you know, when you struggle each day with health and food is sort of the center and focus of concern. But we do the best we can, right! I’ll be following your blog more closely here and look forward to exploring your recipes in more detail.

        Have a beautiful day beautiful girl…and keep fighting the good fight!!

        Hugs,
        –Amber

      • April 16, 2012 4:40 pm

        Thanks so much for relating to my health struggles, Amber. Chronic diseases can be so hard to deal with, not only because they’re so persistent, but because those around you (unless you tell them) don’t see the hurt going on inside. (And if you DO tell them, they may just find you whiny and annoying, because you may not “look” sick!) I absolutely relate to the loneliness…oh man, do I ever. I’m so thankful for the online/blog community and the friends I’ve made here. I now count YOU among them!

        • April 16, 2012 4:45 pm

          We have to stick together girlfriend!!!! 🙂

          Have a great rest of your week…and may it be filled with laughter and good health!

          Warmly,
          –Amber

  29. April 16, 2012 3:45 pm

    I’m glad that you love it and it’s good for your body too! What a great combo! I wish it looked good to me… Maybe I should just try it and I’ll like it. Isn’t that what my mama told me? 🙂

    • April 16, 2012 3:47 pm

      It doesn’t look good to you? What planet are you from?! Haha, I’m totally kidding. To each her own! You could always try it with another fruit you like better – someone made it with blueberries and said it was fantastic!

  30. April 16, 2012 6:30 pm

    Hi Amber. I’m thinking of you today and can relate to gaining weight when you don’t want to (I’m on insulin). I really think our food is poisoned with some nasty stuff. Hard to know what triggers what. Anyway I wish you the best and hope some rest will get you right as rain my dear!

  31. April 16, 2012 6:33 pm

    So this was incredible but I had some trouble making the coconut butter in my Vitamix due to the dryness of the unsweetened almost powdery flakes. So I added some flavored “Hint” brand water-watermelon flavor. The result is a bit thinner but I literally had to just step away from the mixer as I ate so much if the holy stuff! Also, on the coconut subject-they say that cultures that eat coconut have less belly fat-if you look at those cultures around the world that eat a normal diet and eat a lot of coconuts it seems true but who knows.

    • April 16, 2012 6:38 pm

      The age of the shredded coconut can sometimes affect how dry it is, but you did the right thing by adding a drop of extra liquid to get it moving. So glad you love the result!

      I’m all about coconut fat – great stuff. 😀

  32. April 16, 2012 6:42 pm

    Oh and to me it tasted like Strawberry Shortcake when I ate it on a piece of Toasted Bread. Heaven! Thanks for sharing!!!

  33. Tame permalink
    April 16, 2012 11:15 pm

    Reblogged this on T&J and commented:
    this recipe looks so good, I just had to add it to my blog 🙂 and she’s LOCAL!! Meaning in Missouri!! SQUEE 😀

  34. April 17, 2012 5:24 am

    Thanks for all the info on coconut oil and healthy fats – I knew that coconut was good for you, but not the specifics. My family has a history of underactive thyroids, and I also have trouble with digestion, so looks like I need to make this ASAP! Thanks for the tip on how to make coconut oil in a food processor as well.

  35. April 17, 2012 11:59 am

    Oh. My. Why didn’t I think of that?! Looks awesome. I’d stick my whole face in it.

  36. April 17, 2012 4:15 pm

    my oh my! i love coconut butter, and with stawberries? yes please! i bet mango would be outstanding too…so making this, thank you! pinned

  37. Carol Ann permalink
    April 17, 2012 7:11 pm

    Oh I want to eat it now! Mango sounds great as well. have to wait until tomorrow, as I have to shop.

    • April 17, 2012 7:18 pm

      So far people have tried it with strawberries (of course), mangoes, and blueberries – and all have been wildly successful! 🙂

  38. Jessy (squeezetheday) permalink
    April 18, 2012 12:47 am

    O yum, I haven’t thought of adding fruit to homemade nut butters! But I assume this would change how long they can keep? Homemade coconut butter lasts pretty long in our house, so I’m afraid if I added strawberries it would go bad too soon.

    • April 18, 2012 9:24 am

      Yes, that is true Jessy – it won’t last nearly as long as plain coco butter. But it’ll still keep at room temperature for up to two days (it may last a day longer, even, but I can’t say for sure, because my jars are always gone by then!), but for longer storage, you can keep in the refrigerator – I bet it’d last up to a week in there, or at least 5 days or so. And you could always halve the batch! 🙂

  39. brogg permalink
    April 18, 2012 1:53 pm

    have just made this strawberry coconut butter, sort of. i ground up shredded coconut in the food processor forever, it didn’t get quite as smooth as a jar of purchased coconut butter but delicious nonetheless, i threw in maybe 10 strawberries and really resisted the urge to put too much stevia in – maybe just 4 drops of this vanilla stevia i have. wow, yummy. my sweet tooth and the newly discovered h.pylori in my gut are screaming for three times as many strawberries or oh, raspberries, and way way more stevia 😉 HOWEVER i have been very interested in reading about your food plan for your body – i have had something similar recommended, as i have some health struggles myself, i had a mashed sweet potato salad last night with dandelion greens, a bit of sliced apple and lightly sweetened with stevia coconut butter drizzled all over and coconut oil in the mashed sweets – it was GOOD.

    • April 18, 2012 1:57 pm

      Yeah, the food processor can’t get it quite as smooth as a Vitamix, but it still does the job!
      Oh wow, you have an H. pylori infection too? I’m a little over 2 weeks into treating mine (botanically); I’m told it’ll probably take about a month to kill it. Until it’s gone, I’m not going to experience much improvement in my other problems. =/ What are you doing to treat your H. pylori?
      Your dinner last night sounds amazing! 🙂

      • brogg permalink
        April 18, 2012 2:55 pm

        I just got my confirmation of the h.pylori yesterday, and am hoping once it’s cleared out I’ll feel and function better – I also have the low thyroid happening… I asked that we hold off on the intense bout of antibiotics for a few weeks to try a dietary natural way first, so I’m doing no sugars at all (just 2 fruits a day, no super sweet like tropicals), no grains or psuedo-grains, no dairy, no beans or legumes; no soy or derivatives; things have gotten so bad I’m trying a non-vegan approach which will include animal products which I am having a hard time wrapping my mind around, but I’m only 30 I need my health and vigor back! Lots of coconut, avo, nuts & seeds for fats, tons of vegetables, thankfully i can have sweet potato as I love them especially with no grains that starchy factor will help..
        I’ll retest in 2-3 weeks and if my symptoms are eased stick with the diet longer too… Man that coconut butter is good, I’ve already eaten at least 1/2 cup!

      • April 18, 2012 3:12 pm

        That sounds almost JUST like my current diet. Good luck! Keep me posted on your results.
        So glad you like the coconut butter!

  40. April 30, 2012 3:05 pm

    Drool.

    Can I eat it with a spoon…? From the jar…?

    At your house?!

  41. May 2, 2012 7:45 am

    With several autoimmune diseases of my own, including Hashi’s, I am always thrilled to find another vegan thyroid chef out there — although I am so sorry to see your all-too-familiar tale of illness and diagnosis. I was sick for 10 years before they figured out what it was and I sympathize with the horror of it all and with the dissonance between “living and promoting a super healthy lifestyle” and “then suddenly being pretty damn sick” when you’re only in your 20s. Anyway, this treat looks fantastic! I have to disagree about the salt selection though. I always use iodized salt b/c iodine is essential to thyroid function and so very hard to get into the diet without iodized salt. And with the possible impaired absorption due to all the autoimmune inflammation, it’s another thing among so many that we have to worry we’re not getting enough of. I only found your blog a few weeks ago but I love what you’re doing and wish you all the best in dealing with this. You’re not alone!

    • May 2, 2012 9:53 am

      Hey Xina! So sorry to hear you’re dealing with some similar afflictions. 😦

      Interesting point about the salt – for years I always thought iodine was an important thing to “up” in my diet, and even just last year I was taking kelp pills to get iodine. But Dr. Kharrazian (the doctor who trained MY doctor) has written at length about the harmful effects of iodine in Hashi’s patients. (Here is a small summary.) I was skeptical at first, but after talking to my doctor a great deal about it, I’ve been convinced that it’s a good idea for me to avoid it…he goes so far as to say that to take iodine with Hashi’s is “like throwing gasoline on a fire.” However, my research has told me that iodine MAY not have harmful effects IF and only if you’re taking 200-400 mcg of selenium a day along with it.

      If your doctor has told you iodine is ok, then that’s great! Although I will still say that I’d still avoid iodized salt. It’s processed, bleached, demineralized, and packed with fillers like “anti-caking agents,” whereas sea salt contains a full spectrum of essential minerals and is unprocessed and un-messed with! I’d stick to kelp tablets or powders (or other seaweeds) for iodine, if you choose to supplement. 🙂

      Always happy to hear I’m not alone in all this – thanks for your comment and readership!

      • May 2, 2012 8:10 pm

        That is an interesting read, I had not seen anywhere else that iodine receptors were at all specifically connected with TPO. I have not noticed any change in my symptoms or my labs since using iodized instead of sea salt, but perhaps for curiosity’s sake I’ll switch back and see what happens. Between this and my other health issues I’ve found too often that what is good for the body overall or good for one particular disease is contraindicated by another, and you wind up having to choose the lesser of the evils. It’s no surprise to consider iodine fits the bill.

      • May 2, 2012 9:09 pm

        Oh man, I know EXACTLY what you mean. Story of my life these days. Nothing can just be straightforward with this disease, can it?

        Rapid weight gain and persistent bloating are my two biggest issues at the moment. Have you ever dealt with that? Did anything in particular help you combat such things?

        • May 3, 2012 7:33 am

          Bloating I find only gets bad when I happen to eat nightshades, gluten, and some of your general goitrogens like kale and broccoli. I’m actually a bit of an anomaly in that although my labs are hypothyroid and therefore my diagnosis Hashi’s, my symptoms are almost all hyperthyroid — rampant weight loss has been my greatest hurdle. It’s started to come under control just sticking to a strict diet and getting a lot of gentle exercise and happy thoughts, but it’s taken years and I expect it’ll be really hard to maintain it now that I’m here. I know Hashi’s patients that have struggled with their weight in spite of doing everything just right, and they are continuously fiddling with their diets and prescriptions hoping to find their own unique key. I have that problem with my acne. It’s both a good and bad thing that nothing is straightforward and that everyone reacts a little differently — it means we don’t all have to give up broccoli, but it also means that giving up broccoli isn’t guaranteed to help or that if it doesn’t bother you now, it won’t start to bother you in a few months! The entire thing is as frustrating as it is fascinating, but what are enterprising young health nuts if not up for the challenge? 😉

        • May 3, 2012 9:44 am

          I love your attitude about it! I agree, and can’t help but that think that even though it took me THREE years to get diagnosed, it might have taken me much, much longer (and I might look and feel even worse) if I wasn’t already so on top of taking care of myself through diet, exercise, and lifestyle.

          • May 4, 2012 11:15 am

            I feel the same way — no one else I know was diagnosed before mid-life, so we are quite fortunate to have an extra 15ish years to figure things out!

  42. May 22, 2012 10:50 am

    This made my mouth water and my stomach growl! I definitely am going to have to try it out.
    I am horrified at the $$ you are having to pay for organic berries! I am so blessed with Kroger. I regularly buy org. strawberries for about 30 cents more than conventional – and this past week got them for $2 a pound. I hear this over and over from friends around the country that don’t have a Kroger near by. Sometimes the organic stuff is CHEAPER than the conventional ~ go figure!

  43. May 27, 2012 4:08 pm

    where do you find coconut butter? I have only seen coconut oil? I love this recipe… still want to buy your book.. I have a lot of questions for you.. about going vegan, your platform before the book? and chef… Do you have a facebook page?

  44. Tiffany permalink
    May 27, 2012 7:34 pm

    Maybe you can help me… I made my own coconut butter. It was butter-like for about a day and then it hardened like a rock!!! Of course, it’s in a glass jar now and I can’t figure out how to get it out!!! But I was wondering if you’ve ever had that problem or if you know why that would happen? I want it out so I can put strawberries in it! This recipe looks awesome!!! 🙂

    • May 27, 2012 10:13 pm

      Hi Tiffany!
      Never fear – coconut butter always hardens like that in the fridge or at a cool room temperature. You just have to soften it back up before using it. Simply set the (sealed) glass jar in a large bowl and fill it with hot water to surround the jar. Leave it there for 10-15 minutes, then come back and stir. If it’s not melted yet, just replace the water with fresh hot water again.
      Hope that helps!

  45. Jacquelynn permalink
    May 28, 2012 9:53 pm

    I can’t wait to try this! I am fairly new to the vitamix, but do you have any tips on getting all of the butter out of the blender? Thanks!

    • May 28, 2012 9:55 pm

      Sadly, no – that’s the one thing I don’t love about the Vitamix, I always feel like I lose a couple tablespoons to the crevices!

  46. June 3, 2012 6:25 pm

    I personally have the answer to the Vitamix problem. My husband. He used to be a fisherman before he was vegan. He is used to doing time consuming tedious things–he has transformed that from unknotting fishing lines to cleaning out our Vitamix.

    Yes, I can well imagine consuming this straight off the spatula. Makes perfect sense to me. 🙂

  47. June 27, 2012 3:09 pm

    hey there, I’m going to make that recipe. I like the jar and label. Did you make the label? If so how? What kind of jar is that and where do you get them?

    thanks

    • June 27, 2012 3:49 pm

      Hi Maria – the jar is just a basic Mason jar; you can find them at hardware stores and some grocery stores. The label was just a sticker I wrote on myself!

    • Dana permalink
      August 21, 2012 11:37 pm

      Hi Maria, this is obviously way after the fact and I’m sure I’m taking a chance that you’ll even get this…and by now, you’ve probably found what you were looking for, but just in case you haven’t…the jar is a “quilted” mason jar. Ball glass makes them (there may be others). You can find them either on line at Amazon at a great price (just search for quilted jars and they will pop up). Also, if you have an Ace Hardware near you, they also carry them. I love the quilted as well. 🙂

  48. July 17, 2012 6:21 am

    I’m new to the raw food thing & I don’t really know how to go about making or preparing raw dishes I’d like to eat. After seeing your photos & the creative ways you’ve prepared raw dishes it seems possible for me to exist on a mostly raw diet & have it be a pleasurable experience. I’m grateful that you take the time to do what you love & share it with the rest of us so we can enjoy it too. :))

  49. August 16, 2012 8:09 pm

    Oh my gosh, this sounds DELICIOUS!!!! I tried raw coconut butter for the first time last week, but I could definitely see myself blending it with fruit + dipping graham cracker pieces in. I came up with a fun recipe, for chocolate coconut butter candies – all raw ingredients. Its not sugar free, but it only has a minimal amount of sugar. Check it out!

    http://www.shortgirllongisland.com/2012/08/coconut-butter-chocolate-candy.html

    Michele
    short girl, long island

  50. bebopsbaby permalink
    August 18, 2012 6:22 am

    OMG ive been madly pinning all your recipes and just laughed to myself cos there is no way i can pin them all. They are already all here for me, there are just too many i want to try!! Excited 😀

  51. Dana permalink
    August 21, 2012 11:48 pm

    Hi Amber ~ Just curious if you have any idea as to how long this Strawberry Coconut butter will keep in the frige? If you mention it anywhere or someone asked the same q, I must have missed it. But yah, I made it and have a small jar left (believe it or not). I sort of forgot it was in there. I know, how could I, right? It’s probably a good two weeks old by now, if not longer (oh boy). I fear it is no good since fresh strawberries ARE an ingredient. If so, what a horrible waste (boo whoo!). Any advice will be appreciated. Thanks so much.

    • August 22, 2012 9:44 am

      Hi Dana,
      2 weeks does seem like an awfully long time for it to stay good, even in the fridge…
      My totally unscientific way of testing that, though, is to simply taste it (if you feel it’s safe)!

      • Dana permalink
        August 22, 2012 10:15 am

        I know, common sense, right? Well, I pretty much knew you were going to say that. I think I’m just going to chuck it. So sad. 😦 I can only guess that it stays good for, perhaps, up to one week.

      • August 22, 2012 10:17 am

        Aww…sorry! Yeah, with the water content of the strawberries…it’s probably gone bad 😦

  52. Tess permalink
    October 21, 2012 12:50 am

    This looks amazing! Strawberries mold so quickly in my fridge…but I can see as soon as the mold starts to sprout. How long does this keep? I’d be concerned when the strawberries start to go, I wouldn’t be able to see in the pinkness of the butter.

    • October 23, 2012 9:22 am

      Thanks Tess! It’ll keep at room temperature for up to two days (it may last a day longer, even, but I can’t say for sure, because my jars are always gone by then!), but for longer storage, you can keep in the refrigerator – I bet it’d last up to a week in there, or at least 5 days or so. And you could always halve the batch!

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