Friday, May 18, 2012

How To Eat Coconut Well On A Budget

Coconut cream concentrate. I LOVE this stuff! We like to use a lot of coconut milk and coconut butter around here and this is a very healthy and cost effective way of doing it. Coconut cream concentrate is also called coconut butter and is basically coconut meat and oil that has been dried and put in a jar. The fabulous thing is that you can add 1-2 teaspoons of it to some water and make coconut milk, however you may want to add a little more for extra richness and flavor. A small 16 oz. jar of coconut cream concentrate will give you 96 servings of coconut milk (at 2 tsp. per 8 oz. of water) for about $12. Wow! It keeps really well too, we will be buying a large jar for food storage after our current one runs out. I use coconut cream concentrate in candies, Hot Pink Breakfast Smoothies, and also when I make Thai and Indian curries. We bought a jar about six weeks ago and even with heavy use it's low, but still not out yet. I'd estimate a 16 oz. jar will last about two months. I buy it at Good Earth, a local health foods store in my area. Make sure that before you use your coconut cream, you warm it by placing it in a bowl of hot water and letting it melt inside the jar, then stir the meat and oil together.

Another great coconut savings is buying bulk unrefined coconut oil from Mountain Rose Herbs.  We use it as lotion, deodorant and in cooking, so one little jar doesn't last us very long and adds up really quickly. So we go to Mountain Rose Herbs and order their 5 gallon bucket of coconut oil. (They are a business focused on supplying herbalists and natural personal care products, so I imagine they probably thought the only people who would be using 5 gallons of coconut oil are those who make and sell body butter, but it's the same stuff in the tiny jars at the grocery store, so it's completely edible and very high quality.) This requires some money up front (about $250 plus shipping, unless you are REALLY lucky like I was once and they had it on sale for $80), but is well worth it because even with heavy use, one bucket lasts us about 8 months. Unrefined coconut oil keeps very well for months on end, so again, it is a great food storage item.

Malamute and I really like buying things we normally eat and that keep well in large quantities because it insulates more from financial ups and downs. If we have large quantities of something on hand, then even if we meet with tight finances, we have some extra food to see us through. We are really excited to start building our food storage, so I will probably have a couple more posts coming on this topic!

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