Friday, May 2, 2014

Vegan Lilikoi Butter (GF/DF/SF)

Our phamily matriarch Aunty Len goes back to Hilo every year or so to visit her in-laws.  She always comes back with the best treats--homemade pickled baby mangoes, chocolate macadamia nuts (macadamias are my favorite thing ever!), and lilikoi (passionfruit) for making butter.  My daughter VL loveloveloves aunty Len's lilikoi butter.  And then one day, I googled the recipe and realized it has dairy (1/2 lb of butter!) and refined sugar!  Sometimes ignorance is bliss.  Sigh.

So I am finally getting around to making a dairy-free, refined sugar-free lilikoi butter.  I used this vegan lilikoi butter recipe but have substituted healthier, real food choices like unrefined sweetener and coconut cream concentrate.  (I have a reaction to agave in all its forms likely do to chemical contamination in the production which means alas, tequila is no longer my friend.  And agave syrup is not without its criticisms besides.)

I just bought the Tropical Traditions Organic Coconut Cream Concentrate and I'm excited to give it a try.  Previously Artisana Organic Coconut Butter has been a staple in our house.  You can google all the benefits of coconut, but from my experience, having a spoonful (or more) of coconut butter a day helped to restore my brain function, stabilize my blood sugar, and boosted my immune system.  I've just given the TT CCC a taste and it's more viscous, smoother and lighter than the Artisana.  I'm presuming the difference is the production; TT is produced in the Philippines from perhaps fresh or fresher, whole coconut.  Artisana is produced in Oakland I presume from dried whole coconut as it is a little denser (not a bad thing per se).  Both are delicious!

We don't eat very much GF bread, but I will have to crank out some paleo bread for the occasion.  

Previously I've made DF/SF apple juice caramel (essentially apple butter with a sexier name) and I forgot how long it takes to reduce.  I'm inclined against the lemon called for in the original recipe.  Usually it is added to fruit preserves to retain the color against oxidation.  Passionfruit is already so tart though that it pushes it even tarter which requires more sweetener to balance and still the tart lingers on your palate afterwards.  I've taken it out of the recipe but in case you are concerned about the aesthetics, add 1-2 squeezes of lemon.

Generally, sugar is added to the reduction process to carmelize and ergo thicken the preserves.  If you are using raw honey, put it after the reduction to retain all the nutrients and keep it from being cooked.  Apricot syrup can be added to the reduction as can palm sugar.  We are fairly low sweet so you should taste and add more/less sweetener to your taste.

I'm very pleased with the way this came out, especially the texture of the TT CCC which is very creamy & silky.  It's almost custard-like in consistency.  In the future, I'm thinking this calls for a classic Hawaiian POG variation--passion fruit, orange and guava.

This recipe has also been posted on Tropical Traditions website.

Vegan Lilikoi Butter (GF/DF/SF)

makes 1.5 cups


  • 18 oz lilikoi pulp*
  • 1 cup Tropical Traditions Coconut Cream Concentrate (or substitute coconut butter)
  • 6+ tbsp raw honey, apricot syrup, or coconut/palm sugar*
Simmer the lilikoi and apricot syrup or coconut/palm sugar in a small saucepan at the lowest heat setting until it is reduced by one-third to one-half (about 60 minutes depending on how hot your burner is).  Turn off the burner.  (A low boil would speed things up but I prefer a slow cook method.  You could also use a slow cooker to achieve the same purpose, but mine is clay and absorbs flavors so its savory smelling).

Stir in the CoCo Cream until dissolved.  If the CCC is solidified, dip a metal 1/4 cup measure into hot water and then scoop.  If using raw honey, add and mix.

Pour into sterilized half-pint jars.  Refrigerate one jar to eat right away.  Can the rest for later using the water bath method or freeze it.

Best served at room temperature as the coconut cream will solidify in the fridge.

* I found this in the freezer section of Mi Pueblo; more likely to be found in Latino-Carribean markets or Japanese-Hawaiian markets.  Give the package a quick rinse before opening to remove any residue, dirt, etc.

Ăn Ngon Lành|Eat Delectably!

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