It is no secret that coconut oil has been a buzz word in healthy eating communities for some time now. The combination of its MCFAs and its cholesterol lowering properties means that Extra Virgin Coconut Oil really lives up to the hype. If you have never used coconut oil before you may be wondering how you can incorporate it into your own cooking so that you too can get some of the benefit, well let me tell you how, it’s easy!
As a side note when we talk about coconut oil we are referring to the cold pressed extra virgin stuff as this is the type that brings us the most benefit.
Interested? Well, let’s get start started.
Fry Off Meats and Vegetables
Coconut oil has a high melting point of around 78 degrees Fahrenheit which makes it perfect for frying off meats and vegetables. The high melting point means that the quality and integrity of the oil remains even at hot temperatures. Use some coconut oil in your pan for browning mince for a chilli, softening onions or vegetables and even for creating a curry base. You might be wondering if you will be able to taste the coconut in the finished dish but speaking from experience once your herbs and spices have been added the end result is yummy – it enhances the flavour rather than hinder it.
One of my personal favourite uses for coconut oil is to use it to season your homemade potato wedges. It couldn’t be easier, simply wash your potato (or sweet potato for an even healthier meal), chop it into wedges and pour a tablespoon of melted coconut oil over the wedges. Add a sprinkle of smoked paprika, a pinch of sea salt and some chilli powder then simply oven bake turning occasionally until they are crisp and golden. The coconut oil not only enhances the wedges it also is much healthier than slathering them in some other oils such as vegetable or sunflower oil.
Spread it on Toast
I love ditching the butter and spreading my hot steamy toast with coconut oil instead. It is a wonderful way to swap an unhealthy fat for a healthy one without feeling like you are missing out. As coconut oil is solid in most kitchens at room temperature here in the UK, you can simply take a knife, run it across the top of your solid oil and spread onto the toast whilst it is warm.
Replace the Unhealthy Fats in Cakes
When baking cakes and muffins swap the butter, margarine or vegetable oil for coconut oil, I love how it leaves cakes nice and moist whilst providing you with some healthy fats, not forgetting the immune boosting benefits. If your recipe calls for oil; melt the solid coconut oil before adding it to your cake mix. If the recipe suggests butter then soften the coconut oil slightly to make it an easier consistency to work with.
There are so many fun ways to use coconut oil both in cooking, beauty and the home, it is a versatile yet healthy product that quite rightly is being appreciated world - wide.
Are you going to make the switch?
This post was written by Becky Whittaker for online speciality food store Taste Box.
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