Green Tip #29 - Healthy Substitutes to Use in Cooking and Baking - Oils

When I first started posting online, it was green tips and poetry that I’d impart to my readers. That’s when I had a full-time job and reveled in writing on the weekends. It was then I let my spirit out that had been shoved in a corner for far too long.

It came to me that I had - and still do have – something to offer to those of you who would like to make green changes in your lives.

Why it just dawned on me is a mystery. After all, I've concentrated on environmental issues and green living in my blog, which is far newer than my re-entry into the world of writing.

Okay, I’m blithering. I’m so glad to see my spirit is back! You see, I have a tendency to blither, but in the end I make you think and give you food for thought, if not information to chew on.

Wow, lots of puns in this intro, huh?

What’s that you say? “Welcome back, Bravewarrior!” I hear you loud and clear. Or maybe I only hear my muse.

Whatever the case may be, I have something you need. It will help you and help me as well. What can be better than that?

I'm a hellacious baker. This is the German Chocolate cake I baked for my son's birthday - from scratch. Is there any other way?
I'm a hellacious baker. This is the German Chocolate cake I baked for my son's birthday - from scratch. Is there any other way? | Source

I’m a good cook and a hellacious baker. No, I’m not being conceited; I’m paying homage to my mother, who not only fed us well growing up, but has served gourmet dinners for members of the United States Cabinet and various members of the upper echelon, in her home. And all of her dinners were (and are) cooked from scratch without relying on caterers.

I’ve learned from the best. To this day, my mom and I swap recipes. I tell her about substitutes I use for the Missouri cooking she grew up on and she shares simple, yet elegant recipes with me that are fit for the elite.

Make no mistake, though. Sometimes there’s no substitute for good ole’ bacon grease when you’re making an authentic country dish! Can you say black-eyed peas?

However, there are many substitutions we can make to reduce cholesterol, fat, and the risk of inflammation without compromising flavor, texture and that feeling we get from the comfort foods we love.

Note: wherever I suggest fresh foods, unless you grow them yourself or buy from local farms, look for labels in your grocery store that are preceded by the numbers 94. This indicates growers and producers who are USDA Certified Organic.

Nutritional label on Smart Balance cooking oil. Notice the ingredients.
Nutritional label on Smart Balance cooking oil. Notice the ingredients. | Source

Here are just a few to get you started:

Oils

Stay away from corn oil, soybean, and canola oil. All of those grains are GMO-grown, which means the seeds are injected with pesticides to keep crops from being attractive to insects. Even vegetable oil is no longer safe.

Read this article on Monsanto’s website. They make it all sound so innocent, don’t they? Look at the main products they admit are GMO grown:

  • Corn
  • Soybean
  • Cotton
  • Alfalfa
  • Sugar Beets
  • Canola
  • Papaya
  • Squash

And you thought you were eating healthy by choosing to eat tofu (soybean curd) and using vegetable-based oils in cooking!

Here’s a photo of the label for vegetable oil on a Smart Balance label (touted as a healthy product).

So, how do you like me now?

Hopefully, you’ll take my suggestions to heart and continue to make the awesome dishes you already do. (You do cook from scratch, right?)

Cookies and Cakes

Substitute equal amounts of organic, unsweetened applesauce for oil or shortening. The applesauce acts as a binder without adding chemicals or elevating cholestoral levels. Your sweet delectables will be soft and moist.

I did this when I was pregnant with my son and had acquired a massive sweet tooth. No one could taste the difference, but this simple change kept my growing baby and me healthy.

Baking Fish and Meats

Forget the sprays. They have gases in them, known as propellants – that’s what makes them build up pressure enough to let loose. Instead, spread a tablespoon or so of organic pure coconut oil in the baking dish or pan. A little goes a long way. Coconut oil is very healthy for the body and is thought to slow or even reverse the effects of Alzheimer’s Disease when taken regularly.

The beauty of it is coconut oil has no flavor so your baked entrees shine on their own. It’s also low in calories and feeds your body with good stuff, rather than load your innards with artery-clogging elements.

Omelets and Grilled Cheese

I’ll be the first to admit that when I’m frying eggs, I want the taste of butter (I’ll address butter in a later post), but when it comes to dishes such as omelets, frittatas, and grilled cheese sandwiches, coconut oil speaks to your taste buds without the need for butter, and reduces your cholesterol intake as a bonus. (One tablespoon coconut oil has 120 calories, zero cholesterol, while butter comes in at 100 calories and 30 mg (10%) cholesterol.)

Although coconut oil contains saturated fat (as does butter), it mostly consists of lauric acid, which is a medium-chain triglyceride. Medium-chain triglycerides are more easily digested, convert to energy, and improve levels of HDL (good) cholesterol.

The saturated fat in butter is comprised mostly of palmitic acid, which can cause the buildup of fatty plaque in the arteries.

Use coconut oil instead. You’ll never miss the butter.

Spread it on your bread when preparing grilled cheese. Add some garlic powder to the outsides of the bread, and tomato slides between the cheeses. The bread will toast beautifully and you’ll benefit from the cholesterol-free spread.

Same with omelets and frittatas: add coconut oil to the pan. Sauté onions, green peppers, and mushrooms before adding your egg mixture and you’ll have no need for butter.

Coconut oil heats well and doesn’t burn when subjected to high heat. It should become a staple in your kitchen. And remember, a little goes a long way, so you may need to experiment.

Grilled provolone cheese sandwich with baby spinach and sliced tomatoes on seedless rye. I used coconut oil on the outsides of the bread instead of butter. Yummy!
Grilled provolone cheese sandwich with baby spinach and sliced tomatoes on seedless rye. I used coconut oil on the outsides of the bread instead of butter. Yummy! | Source

Sautéed or Roasted Vegetables, Salads and More

When you are sautéing or roasting veggies, opt for organic first cold-pressed extra virgin olive oil over vegetable oil. Not only does olive oil add a warm, slightly fruity flavor, but it’s oh-so-good for you, too.

Olive oil contains MUFAs (monounsaturated fatty acids) which are known to not only be heart-healthy, but may reduce the risk of cancer, high blood pressure, osteoporosis, rheumatoid arthritis, obesity, and type 2 diabetes.

Note: buy organic extra virgin olive oil that is packaged in dark green glass bottles. Light or clear bottles allow light into the oil, turning it rancid in a short period of time. Also, buy cold-pressed olive oil. This means no heat was used in processing. Heat changes the chemistry of olives.

Instead of buying prepared salad dressings, drizzle some olive oil and organic apple cider vinegar on your salad. The combination adds a light, vibrant flavor to raw veggies without adding empty calories, preservatives, sugars, and words you can’t pronounce. (If you can’t pronounce it, chances are very good it doesn’t belong in your body).

Apple cider vinegar is a wonderful addition to your diet. It aids in digestion, helps keep blood sugar in check, is a natural probiotic (if you use the cloudy kind), prevents indigestion, and may lower cholesterol.

Now, back to olive oil…

Try making garlic bread with olive oil instead of butter. Brush olive oil on crusty bread; add some chopped garlic, oregano, and parmesan cheese. Place the bread on a baking sheet and bake at 350º for a few minutes. Or place it under the broiler.

For a refreshing appetizer, slice tomatoes and fresh mozzarella cheese, drizzle on some olive oil, top with fresh basil and enjoy!

Grapeseed oil is a healthy alternative to shortening and vegetable oils
Grapeseed oil is a healthy alternative to shortening and vegetable oils | Source

Benefits of Grapeseed Oil

I'm curious....

Before you read this were you aware of the healthy alternatives to vegetable oils and shortening?

See results without voting

Deep Frying, Stir-Fry, and Sautéing

We all know that fried foods should not be a frequent flyer when planning our menus. However, sometimes we crave fried chicken, catfish, and good old fried pork chops. A great alternative to shortening or vegetable oil is grapeseed oil. It’s low in calories, contains polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats, and is a good source of Vitamin E. It withstands high heat and has a mild flavor, allowing the natural flavors of your foods to be the star of the show.

Grapeseed oil aids in circulation, can repair broken capillaries, has anti-inflammatory properties, is an antioxidant, and helps keep cell membranes healthy. For more information regarding the benefits of grapeseed oil, read this article.

That’s a wrap for now. I have many more tips to offer, but don’t want to lose your attention, so I’ll save them for subsequent posts.

Until then, if you have any tips for the use of oils in cooking and baking, please share them in the comment section below.

Here’s to your health!

Peace,

Bravewarrior



Shauna L Bowling

Refining, Defining, or Rhyming

All Rights Reserved

© 2014 Shauna L Bowling

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Comments 121 comments

ologsinquito profile image

ologsinquito 2 years ago from USA

GMO's are such a big problem, right along with hydrogenated oils. All of this seems to be making people sick.


lrc7815 profile image

lrc7815 2 years ago from Central Virginia

I love it! I am a coconut oil convert and you're right, I don't miss the butter. Keep "greening" my friend. You're a master at making us want to do things green. Voted up, up, up and sharing!.


bravewarrior profile image

bravewarrior 2 years ago from Central Florida Author

Is it making people sick, ologsinquito. Big pharma is in Monsanto's back pocket and vice versa. That's why I posted this and many other green tips. We can stay healthy and keep big industry from profiting off the illnesses that are caused by the foods they put on our shelves.


bravewarrior profile image

bravewarrior 2 years ago from Central Florida Author

Linda, you're a doll. You're such a great supporter of me, Nature, and what's right. I love you, my friend!


billybuc profile image

billybuc 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

Preaching to the choir my friend, and it's an important message you are preaching. We are so into all of this. Bev does most of the shopping, and she is GMO cognizant and wary of the poisons we are offered in stores. Keep preaching the message, Pastor Sha!


bravewarrior profile image

bravewarrior 2 years ago from Central Florida Author

Pastor Sha? I'm not sure I like that. How 'bout Bravewarrior? I believe and I speak. Hopefully I don't preach. Just messin' with you Bill.

I know you and Bev do what you can to stay healthy and not feed the hands of the wicked.

Something compelled me to come back to the original pulpit I stood behind when I began writing online. Only now, there's more ferocity behind my words. I knew nothing of Monsanto or the poisons we're being fed when I first started my Green Tips series. Now that I do, I have even more reason to share and inform, Brother Bill!


Happyboomernurse profile image

Happyboomernurse 2 years ago from South Carolina

Hi Sha,

Thanks for sharing these great tips. I knew some of them but not all, and never heard of grapeseed oil before.

Also, I knew olive oil was good to use, and it's my oil of choice at home, but didn't know to get it cold pressed.

Your Mom sounds amazing and it's cool that you gave her credit for your love of baking.

Hugs,

Gail


bravewarrior profile image

bravewarrior 2 years ago from Central Florida Author

Gail, I'm thrilled that I was able to pass on some helpful food choices to a good friend and nurse. We really have to look at our options these days.

I was distressed to discover that some of the foods I was served in the hospital recently are processed and packaged by Dole and Kraft, two of the companies that are owned by Monsanto. It made me wonder where the crappy food they fed me came from. Potatoes, meat, corn, etc.

You'd think that hospitals would be more cognizant of the sources of the foods they feed their patients. Then again, big pharma speaks and the world bows. Or are the purchasers and workers totally ignorant to where the food comes from?

Now that I've given off my little rant... Yes, my mom is amazing. She's an awesome cook.


rebeccamealey profile image

rebeccamealey 2 years ago from Northeastern Georgia, USA

How awesome is this. Thanks for all the good info on the healthy oils. I've used canola oil some. I'm stopping! I keep hearing so much good stuff about coconut oil. This is good. I'm sharing it.


tillsontitan profile image

tillsontitan 2 years ago from New York

Grape seed oil for frying is new to me but you can bet its on my next shopping list. I like how you not only tell us what is best to use but you help by telling us ways to use it! Well done GF.

Voted up, useful, interesting, and shared.


RachaelOhalloran profile image

RachaelOhalloran 2 years ago from United States

I hit "post comment" and poof it was gone! I hate when that happens. I enjoyed reading about all the ways to use oils in cooking and baking. I wish I could use coconut oil but I'm allergic to coconut, mushrooms, oranges and corn. Every few years I try eating them, because, well, your body changes organically every few years, but alas, I'm still allergic. I used to get hives, but now it skips over hives and goes right to anaphylactic shock. I carry an epi-pen 24/7. This was a great article chock full of good info. I sent you an email about Monsanto that I thought you might find interesting. Keep posting articles like this one because you never know when it might be the first time someone is hearing it. :) I voted up and across the board.


FlourishAnyway profile image

FlourishAnyway 2 years ago from USA

That grilled cheese sandwich looks like it's out of this world. I'll follow up with two slices of German Chocolate Cake (forget that I'm allergic to pecans -- I'll take some Benadryl and risk it). I particularly like your recommendations regarding coconut oil.


Faith Reaper profile image

Faith Reaper 2 years ago from southern USA

Wow, Sha, I am glad you have shared your Green Tip here. You are certainly passionate and knowledgeable! I will certainly be buying coconut oil and grape seed oil. I have used the extra virgin olive oil for some time now. I learned a lot here. I bet you and your mother are fabulous cooks ... off the charts good no doubt!

Up ++++ tweeting, pinning, G+ and sharing

Blessings and peace


CrisSp profile image

CrisSp 2 years ago from Sky Is The Limit Adventure

Wonderful hub and one that I am certainly bookmarking. I'm quite aware of the many wonderful benefits of coconut oil but haven't really made it a staple in the house. Now, it is going on my grocery list for sure.

Very informative and useful hub. I'm glad I stop by here. Thanks for sharing. I am passing it along as well.

Cheers to good health.


Vickiw 2 years ago

I enjoyed reading this, bravewarrior, and I always enjoy the passion in your writing. It's good for people to read your many tips here, because I think most people would learn something new, even if you thought you knew it all, before you read!

The oils have become an interesting and complex subject in themselves. I usually like to use grape seed oil. Great article to bring awareness, my friend.


mckbirdbks profile image

mckbirdbks 2 years ago from Emerald Wells, Just off the crossroads,Texas

E-haw. I been frying my Deep Fried Butter snacks in grapeseed oil for awhile now. My heart doctor told me to eat healthy and I heard the grapeseed oil was the way to go.

Seriously the substitution to grapeseed oil took place here without fanfare. It is actually reasonably priced.

Green tips help us all.


georgescifo profile image

georgescifo 2 years ago from India

These are something new things for me and was not aware of them until I read this blog... Need to inform back at home that there are healthy alternatives for the oils that are used for cooking.,


vocalcoach profile image

vocalcoach 2 years ago from Nashville Tn.

I made notations in my health-journal from your excellent, health-conscious article. I take pride in eating a GMO-free diet. Now I learn from your hub that canola oil contains GMO. Yikes! This, alone, makes me grateful that you have shared such important information.

Tomorrow I'll buy grape seed oil and I'm about out of coconut oil so will pick up that as well.

Voted up and across and pinning to my 'healthy living board' and more.

Loving your green tips Sha and looking forward to the next one. Hugs, Audrey


Jodah profile image

Jodah 2 years ago from Queensland Australia

Hi Shauna, this is a wonderful article full of good healthy advice. We use only coconut oil, grapeseed oil, olive oil or rice bran oil in all our cooking. GMO's are invading so many of our products and many of them are advertised as healthy which is very misleading to most people. Vote up. p.s. good o see a Graham Connors song...good old Aussie singer/songwriter


marcoujor profile image

marcoujor 2 years ago from Jeffersonville PA

"So, how do you like me now?"

I actually love you, Sha! And I love when you share your wealth of expertise on this subject...it's wonderful to see you bringing back the Green Tip series to HP.

Sharing this with the Chef, who is always looking for healthier ways to prepare his dishes...we are a recent convert to coconut oil and will now be checking out the grape seed oil.

Voting UP and UABI and sharing with others too. Love, mar


bravewarrior profile image

bravewarrior 2 years ago from Central Florida Author

Rebecca, I used to use canola oil too, thinking it was a healthy alternative to corn and vegetable oils. Now all I keep in my house are coconut oil, extra virgin olive oil, and grapeseed oil.

I'm glad you found this useful and are making some healthy changes.


bravewarrior profile image

bravewarrior 2 years ago from Central Florida Author

Mary, I didn't know grapeseed oil was good for frying either. I originally bought it to make a face scrub, which I never did. Then I looked into it's uses and discovered it's an even better alternative for frying than coconut oil.

I'm glad you like my little usage tips. I had that grilled cheese for dinner last night, after making it for this post. It was yummy.


bravewarrior profile image

bravewarrior 2 years ago from Central Florida Author

Rache, I hate when that happens, too. It seems to happen to me when I leave a long comment. Sheesh!

Sorry to hear about your allergies. Perhaps you can make use of the grapeseed oil. The only thing is, it doesn't solidify like coconut oil, so you can't use it as a spread. Or maybe you could if you paint it on the bread lightly.

I saw that I have an email from you. I'll get to it after I catch up on my comments.


bravewarrior profile image

bravewarrior 2 years ago from Central Florida Author

Flourish, that grilled cheese sandwich was yummy. I love spinach and thought it would be a good addition to the sandwich. I was right!

I'm afraid you'll have to wait 'til next July for German Chocolate cake. It's an all day affair and I only make it on request. That was my son's choice for his birthday cake this year.


bravewarrior profile image

bravewarrior 2 years ago from Central Florida Author

Faith, my mom is an awesome cook. Unfortunately, I don't cook a lot anymore. I'm divorced, so it's only my son and me. He works until 9:00 at night, so we rarely have dinner together. On the nights he works, I usually have breakfast for dinner. I do try to cook when he's off though. The last dinner we had together was catfish, cheddar parsley potatoes, and black-eyed peas. I fried the catfish in coconut oil, but next time I'll use grapeseed oil.


bravewarrior profile image

bravewarrior 2 years ago from Central Florida Author

Thanx, Cris. You'll find coconut oil on the shortening shelf in your grocery store. It takes on a solid form when stored at temps up to 76 degrees. It softens in temps higher than that. I store mine in a cabinet. It stays solidified until I put heat to it. It melts quickly. As I stated, a little goes a long way, so experiment with quantities when you first start using it.

Thanx for the shares!


bravewarrior profile image

bravewarrior 2 years ago from Central Florida Author

Thank you Vicki. I had no doubt you use healthy alternatives. You've very health conscious and love to cook. I don't know many people who bake their own bread from scratch, like you do. Your house must smell wonderful 24/7!


bravewarrior profile image

bravewarrior 2 years ago from Central Florida Author

Mike, you're right. Grapeseed oil is reasonably priced. Tell me - what are deep fried butter snacks?


bravewarrior profile image

bravewarrior 2 years ago from Central Florida Author

Georgescifo, I'm glad you found this information useful. Your family will thank you for passing on the information and I thank you as well.

Thank you for stopping by and taking the time to comment.


bravewarrior profile image

bravewarrior 2 years ago from Central Florida Author

Audrey, thank you so much for your beautiful comment. If you and others have gained useful knowledge from this post, then I've done my job. I will continue with this series. I've made a list of substances I want to address, so there will be plenty more to come.


bravewarrior profile image

bravewarrior 2 years ago from Central Florida Author

John, I'm glad you appreciate the video. Frankly, I've never heard of him, but found it when I was looking for some music on the topic during my research.

You're so right about the hidden dangers of foods that are touted as healthy. Have you seen the latest Monsanto commercial? I can't believe they have the nerve to air it with all the controversy going on about them lately!


bravewarrior profile image

bravewarrior 2 years ago from Central Florida Author

Mar, I'm sure the Chef and his clients will love the changes. They're not noticeable, but are so much better for our bodies. In fact, they enhance the flavor of our foods rather than disguise them as some oils can do.

Enjoy your day, my friend.


mckbirdbks profile image

mckbirdbks 2 years ago from Emerald Wells, Just off the crossroads,Texas

Hi Sha - Truth is I looked up Deep Fried Butter. Just trying to be humorous.


PegCole17 profile image

PegCole17 2 years ago from Dallas, Texas

This actually gives me a good reason to purchase that coconut oil I've been picking up and putting back for months now. I thought it would impart a taste of coconut, which the hubby doesn't like. Thank you for this explanation about the different oils and the Green Tips.


bravewarrior profile image

bravewarrior 2 years ago from Central Florida Author

Ya never know, Mike. Living in the South (as I do), it could very well be a delicacy. Sorry, my sense of humor wasn't fully awake this morning. LOL


bravewarrior profile image

bravewarrior 2 years ago from Central Florida Author

Peg, coconut oil has no flavor at all. That's what's nice about it. In fact, my jar of LouAna 100% pure coconut oil says, "refined from the meat of mature coconuts so there is no coconut flavor or aroma".


Jodah profile image

Jodah 2 years ago from Queensland Australia

Shauna, I have never seen a commercial here in Australia for Monsanto believe it or not. They possibly do air but I have never seen one.


DJ Anderson 2 years ago

Sha, this is a most informative article. I like that you gave a few tips and did not try to overwhelm us with too much. I have a daughter-in-law

who has gone to the far side of healthy. However, she does espouse

the benefits of coconut oil in, an on everything. (She also thinks it's fun

to go out in the summer heat and run 8-10 miles a day.)

Thanks for bringing some common sense healthy substitutes to us.

Great Hub!!

DJ.


btrbell profile image

btrbell 2 years ago from Mesa, AZ

Thank you, Sha, for the great tips! We are also coconut oil converts both in the kitchen and in the bathroom! It is a great product! I am curious about where we find the number 94. Is it at the beginning of the product number under source?

Up+


bravewarrior profile image

bravewarrior 2 years ago from Central Florida Author

John, they've just been airing here recently. I looked on You Tube to see if I can find it. I don't see it, but take a look. There are others posted. It's enough to make you scream.


bravewarrior profile image

bravewarrior 2 years ago from Central Florida Author

DJ, you're welcome. I originally intended to cover about 9 topics in this post. Once I saw how much information I was sharing on oils alone, I decided to break it down. There's nothing worse than reading an article that goes on and on and on. I don't want to lose my readers or get them so bored the information gets missed.

Tell your daughter to be careful. Running in the heat of the day can lead to heat stroke. Maybe she can do it in the early morning or dusk hours?


bravewarrior profile image

bravewarrior 2 years ago from Central Florida Author

Randi, right now the 94 is only found on fresh produce labels. It precedes the 4-digit number found on non-organic produce. It's usually at the bottom of the peel-off sticker.

Four digit numbers indicate non-organic growing methods (and are more likely to contain GMOs). Six digit numbers (beginning with 94) indicate certified organic produce.


btrbell profile image

btrbell 2 years ago from Mesa, AZ

Thank you! I'll look for that!


bravewarrior profile image

bravewarrior 2 years ago from Central Florida Author

You're welcome, Randi! BTW, how do you use coconut oil in the bathroom?


btrbell profile image

btrbell 2 years ago from Mesa, AZ

It's more like for the body! We use it as a moisturizer, sunscreen, after sun soother, hair conditioner. It works on diaper rash and helps nursing moms. I write a hub about it about 2 years ago. At that time, I hadn't even tried it for cooking! I was so smashed at how useful it was, already!


bravewarrior profile image

bravewarrior 2 years ago from Central Florida Author

I've heard of using it as a lotion and hair conditioner, but never tried it. I'll have to give it a shot. Thanx, Randi!


fpherj48 profile image

fpherj48 2 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

Sha......You're just a little GREEN pixie, aren't you? I must tell you that this is a really great article.....very useful and health-minded.

I'm in total agreement that we remain vigilant in the kitchen. This is all very sensible

Confession: My relationship with my kitchen has gone sour. I cook as little as possible and there's this nice little old lady in the village that does all my baking......she owns The Sweet Shop.

When I retired, a co-worker friend said this to me, "It's not so much what you want to do now, Paula.....it's much more about NOT HAVING TO DO WHAT YOU DON'T WANT TO DO ANYMORE."

I remember thinking she was the smartest woman I'd ever met!! LOL

Terrific hub, girlfriend.....UP++tweeted & pinned.


MartieCoetser profile image

MartieCoetser 2 years ago from South Africa

Sha, I never thought coconut oil could be a replacement for vegetable oil. Thank you so much for all these tips. I am going to keep them in mind as I turn slowly but certainly green during the next year :)


bravewarrior profile image

bravewarrior 2 years ago from Central Florida Author

Paula, your friend is quite the wise one. And I don't mean that sarcastically. As I mentioned in one of my comments, I don't cook much either. With my son's weird work hours, I'm alone at mealtime more often than not. It's a hassle to cook for one. However, tonight I am going to make a shrimp and pasta dish. I found a bag of Porcini Mushroom Egg Pasta (at Big Lots, of all places!). I'll sauté jumbo shrimp and portabella mushrooms in garlic, olive oil, and white wine, then pour it over the mushroom pasta. I'm looking forward to it. Should be yummy. Care to join me?


bravewarrior profile image

bravewarrior 2 years ago from Central Florida Author

Martie, I can't remember the last time I used vegetable oil. I can't even remember the last time I bought canola oil. I don't miss it in the least. Why don't you start small? Buy some coconut oil and use it the next time you would normally use vegetable oil and see what you think. You'll still have your veggie oil on hand, so you really have nothing to lose by trying it now rather than later.


DJ Anderson 2 years ago

Sha, it is my daughter-in-law. Not daughter. She is a personal trainer

and fitness guru and vegetarian. She does marathons just for the fun of it. I do love her, but dread their visits as she has to know every ingredient in every thing. She is a sweet heart but, it is best if we go out for every meal.

My husband and I are having toasted cheese sandwiches with tomato soup, tonight. Hey, just call me Gourmet Chief DJ. :-)


Barbara cook 2 years ago

Wow!! I have been using organic virgin coconut oil for my face and all over body rub after bath, (and you know how fussy I am about oils for skin. Top shelf at my grocery store. Much better than chemically loaded lotions. Dentists use it as a mouth wash. Good for the cooking you mentioned.


fpherj48 profile image

fpherj48 2 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

Hey GF.....as long as someone else is cooking.....I'll eat anything!......OH wait.....NOT IF BILL IS COOKING!!!!


bravewarrior profile image

bravewarrior 2 years ago from Central Florida Author

Mom, I had no idea! I guess I'm out of touch. Last I knew you were using Clinique products. I never thought of using coconut oil as lotion. I currently use Nivea, but to be honest, I've never looked at the ingredients. I've had another reader tell me she uses coconut oil in the bathroom. I need to pay heed.

No wonder your skin is so gorgeous! I look so much older than you. I should have consulted you years ago for your secret.

How is it used as a mouthwash? You'd have to bring it to high heat first, so how does it work and how to you apply it?


bravewarrior profile image

bravewarrior 2 years ago from Central Florida Author

Yeah, Bill likes cheeseburger pie casseroles, Paula. But something tells me Bev has corrected that bachelor way of eating! Especially now that they're growing their own food. I'm sure the good stuff puts a smile on his face, not to mention in his heart and arteries.


bravewarrior profile image

bravewarrior 2 years ago from Central Florida Author

DJ, throw some tomatoes and spinach in there and you've hit all the food groups!


Iris Draak profile image

Iris Draak 2 years ago from Boise, Idaho

Thanks a lot, Shauna! You could have warned me...It's 5:15 and I'm starving! I thought I'd read your article while I wait for my ride home. Now I'm destroyed! I want one of those grilled provolone and spinach sandwiches followed by German chocolate cake. That was not very nice of you. ;)


Ghost32 2 years ago

Thanks, Sha. Between the two of us, Pam and I were aware of the alternatives...but had not been using them. So, before commenting, I just now hopped over to Amazon and ordered a batch of coconut oil and one of grapeseed oil. :)


Barbara cook 2 years ago

No need to bring to high heat. When the oil becomes solid, I simply put the jar in a bathroom sink of hot water and it melts down to the liquid oil consistency. Read instructions on label. Chinese women have been using this oil for ever. Blot excess "greasiness" with towel and you are good to go.


bravewarrior profile image

bravewarrior 2 years ago from Central Florida Author

Sorry, 'bout that, Iris! The grilled cheese is easy to make. I spread coconut oil on the outsides of the bread. Put one piece, oil side down in your pan. Add some baby spinach, then two slices of provolone. Add 2-3 thinly sliced tomatoes, 2 slices provolone, and more baby spinach. Top with the other piece of bread, oil side up. Brown, then flip and brown again. Yum Yum!


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bravewarrior 2 years ago from Central Florida Author

Awesome, Ghost. The changes ought to help Pam - and you, too!


bravewarrior profile image

bravewarrior 2 years ago from Central Florida Author

Thanx, Mom! I haven't had luck with commercial moisturizers; they make my face too greasy. I'll have to give this a try.


Sunshine625 profile image

Sunshine625 2 years ago from Orlando, FL

Yum! I want a grilled cheese prepared with coconut oil! I've never considered using coconut oil...until now. Thank you and Welcome back, Bravewarrior! :)


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bravewarrior 2 years ago from Central Florida Author

Linda, it's delicious and you'll never miss the butter. I just bought a loaf of 7-grain Italian bread. I'm going to experiment making garlic bread. Coconut oil on some and butter on the others so I can see if I taste a difference.


always exploring profile image

always exploring 2 years ago from Southern Illinois

I thought canola oil was the best kind of oil to use. I started using coconut oil after reading your article on alzheimer's disease. I will now use it for all my cooking, I've just been putting it in my oatmeal. I never have heard of grapeseed oil. I will look for it. I am into healthy eating and instead of buying salad drsy. I will try the olive oil. Thank's so much for good info. I'm a firm believer that you are what you eat...


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bravewarrior 2 years ago from Central Florida Author

Ruby, I was duped by canola oil, too. I haven't used it in years. I even read packages of breads, etc. to see what's in them. Many of them contain soybean oil and/or canola oil. When I see that and/or high fructose corn syrup, partially hydrogenated oils, and words than end in 'ate', I put them back on the shelf. You'd be surprised at how much crap is stocked on our grocery shelves under the guise of being healthy.

You'll find grapeseed oil where you find olive oil. Read the ingredients to make sure there are no additives.

When I shop, I read the labels of everything I pick up. I recently had bread crumbs on my list. I reached for the brand I've used for years and found it contains high fructose corn syrup. So did every other brand on the shelf. I put it back. Guess I'll be making my own from now on, but have to be careful about the bread I use.

For salad dressing, you can also use fresh lemon juice with the olive oil, as a switch from organic apple cider vinegar. You can make your own Italian dressing by adding herbs to the mix, such as oregano, basil, parsley. Throw in a little garlic to give it some kick. If you pick up a cruet from Good Seasons, you can follow the guidelines on the bottle. It shows you how much oil, water, and vinegar to add. Add your seasonings to taste and keep it in the fridge.


suzettenaples profile image

suzettenaples 2 years ago from Taos, NM

I cook and bake with oil and I learned my cooking from my mom too. I also cook and bake mostly from scratch. Cooking from scratch can be an art and so much more interesting to me than throwing something in the microwave. There are times when I am swamped and busy and then the microwave comes in handy, but I prefer to cook from scratch. So much more healthy. Thanks for sharing this with us. I enjoyed reading it.


Eiddwen profile image

Eiddwen 2 years ago from Wales

Brilliant Sha ;interesting and very useful. You certainly know your stuff and so glad you are sharing.

Enjoy your day and I vote up and share.

Eddy.


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bravewarrior 2 years ago from Central Florida Author

Suzette, when you cook from scratch you know exactly what's in your food. You can also make up recipes based on flavor, texture, etc. I love making up recipes, especially when they turn out to be delicious.

Thanx for stopping by!


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bravewarrior 2 years ago from Central Florida Author

I'm glad you found these tips useful, Eddy. Thanx for the share and enjoy your day!


Vellur profile image

Vellur 2 years ago from Dubai

Very useful information, thank you for sharing. GMO has always been a big problem. Cooking with natural oils is the best way to go.


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bravewarrior 2 years ago from Central Florida Author

Yes, it is, Vellur. We really need to be label conscious when we're doing our grocery shopping.


bravewarrior profile image

bravewarrior 2 years ago from Central Florida Author

Yes, it is, Vellur. We really need to be label conscious when we're doing our grocery shopping.


Chriswtmj profile image

Chriswtmj 2 years ago from Norwich

Woah, reading that's just made me very hungry!

The thing is it's not just for the sake of eating ,ore healthily either; in fact, where you ask whether we still like you, well, you know my answer. I just think there's no substitute for organic food. And kids are so often put off their greens because they're simply not organically grown, and so lack in taste.

Basic green peas, potatoes, are so much nicer - I don't use sauces with these basic staples. And steamed? Go, get me a napkin - Pacino impression - my mouth's wardderin' - Hooooo Haaaaaghh !!

Great blog, dear friend !


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bravewarrior 2 years ago from Central Florida Author

Chris, organic is definitely the preferred way of eating. Especially with all the garbage and poison that's in commercially grown foods these days.

Gotcha hungry, did I? Go make yourself a grilled spinach, tomato, and cheese sandwich. Yummy for the tummy!


teaches12345 profile image

teaches12345 2 years ago

Ooooh, your sandwich looks so yummy! We try to use coconut oil for baking and cooking. It is a nice benefit to the body, as you mention here.


bravewarrior profile image

bravewarrior 2 years ago from Central Florida Author

Dianna, I did an experiment with garlic bread. I used 7-grain Italian bread and spread 3 pieces with butter and three with coconut oil before adding the toppings. The coconut oil pieces were more crispy, whereas the buttered pieces were kinda soggy from the butter. Other than that, there was no difference in the taste.

Coconut oil has many uses. If you've read the comments, you'll see that. I learned a lot from my readers.


Shyron E Shenko profile image

Shyron E Shenko 2 years ago

Shauna, you make me want to make those sandwiches for breakfast right now. I have this article book marked and yes I do use coconut oil.

And I will call on you when I need a special dish.

Voted up across the board and shared.


colorfulone profile image

colorfulone 2 years ago from Minnesota

I honestly didn't know about the benefits of using Coconut Oil until last year when I made that switch. I love it for baking and cooking, and take it my the spoonful as an oil pull. Its been a healthy step to make both Mom and myself.


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bravewarrior 2 years ago from Central Florida Author

Thanx for book marking and sharing this, Shyron. Call on my any time!


bravewarrior profile image

bravewarrior 2 years ago from Central Florida Author

Colorfulone, I'm so happy you've made the switch. I'm sure you and your mom both feel better after having done so. Thanx for stopping by!


sgbrown profile image

sgbrown 24 months ago from Southern Oklahoma

I found this extremely interesting! I have tried one oil, then the next. I am so confused I went back to plain ol' vegetable oil. I have heard good things about coconut oil, but didn't know anyone that used it, now I do. I am pinning this and will be buying these varieties of oils for future cooking at my house! Thank you so much for the information!


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bravewarrior 24 months ago from Central Florida Author

Sheila, your body will thank you for it. Make sure you buy organic.

The oils I mention in this article are not born of GMO seeds. Corn and vegetable oils are.

You're very welcome. I'm glad I was able to provide helpful information.


DDE profile image

DDE 24 months ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

In my culture I grew up using coconut for my hair but did not use for cooking. A very interesting idea.


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bravewarrior 24 months ago from Central Florida Author

DDE it's the opposite here in the States. Coconut oil is now being used as a skin and hair conditioner in addition to a cooking oil. It's very versatile and has so many benefits. I hope you'll try it in cooking.


FlourishAnyway profile image

FlourishAnyway 24 months ago from USA

Sha - Since this hub, I've had German Chocolate cake on my mind. Going over my mother's today for a slice or two. Woo-hoo!


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bravewarrior 24 months ago from Central Florida Author

Enjoy it, Flourish - and the effort that went into it. German Chocolate cake is a very time consuming endeavor when you bake from scratch, but oh so worth it!


aviannovice profile image

aviannovice 23 months ago from Stillwater, OK

Great material! I get organic and GMO-free canola made by Spectrum, but I think I might switch to the coconut oil and see how I like that.


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bravewarrior 23 months ago from Central Florida Author

Even if you don't try the coconut oil, you're on the right track, Deb!


CrisSp profile image

CrisSp 23 months ago from Sky Is The Limit Adventure

Since this hub is in my bookmark, I came back to re-read it and to let you know that I've been using coconut oil since after reading this hub the first time. Now, in my pantry, I only have coconut oil (solid & spray), olive oil and sesame seed oil.

Thanks again Sha.


bravewarrior profile image

bravewarrior 23 months ago from Central Florida Author

Cris, that's great to hear. I'm glad you've made the healthy switch. Your body will love you for it and your taste buds won't know the difference.


peachpurple profile image

peachpurple 23 months ago from Home Sweet Home

olive oil is used in salad and pasta, I use sunflower oil for cakes.


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bravewarrior 23 months ago from Central Florida Author

Peach, I've never tried sunflower oil in cakes. Actually, I've never used oil in cake. None of my recipes call for it. I know the box cakes call for oil. Sunflower is certainly a better option than vegetable oil.


pstraubie48 profile image

pstraubie48 22 months ago from sunny Florida

This is so helpful. I knew a few of the oils and the applesauce substitute but others I have not used.

Thank you for sharing with us.

Voted up+++ shared

Angels are on the way to you this afternoon. ps


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bravewarrior 22 months ago from Central Florida Author

Patti, I'm glad you found this helpful.

The other night I made catfish for dinner. It's really the only food I eat fried anymore. Anyway, I fried it in grape seed oil. It was light and had no oily taste. It really let the seasoning on the catfish (and the fish itself) come through. It was oh-so-yummy!


peachpurple profile image

peachpurple 22 months ago from Home Sweet Home

I used sunflower oil, healthy or not?


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bravewarrior 22 months ago from Central Florida Author

Peachpurple, right now sunflower oil should be safe. However, according to an article posted by GMO Compass, dated February 1, 2015, "work is underway on genetically modified sunflower oil".


PegCole17 profile image

PegCole17 22 months ago from Dallas, Texas

I like your tip to use applesauce in recipes. I'll be trying this in the next cake I bake. Our family was fond of German Chocolate cakes and yours looks yummy.


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bravewarrior 22 months ago from Central Florida Author

Peg, I haven't used applesauce in cakes, but I have used it in cookies. I baked a lot when I was pregnant and always substituted applesauce for fat when I made cookies.

Let me know how it works in cakes.


cygnetbrown profile image

cygnetbrown 21 months ago from Alton, Missouri

I was talking with a young friend other day about this subject. Many of the oils that you recommend are not only good in cooking and baking, but they also make a great base for handcrafted personal care items!


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bravewarrior 21 months ago from Central Florida Author

Cygnet, you're so right. My mom uses coconut oil as body lotion.


aesta1 profile image

aesta1 21 months ago from Ontario, Canada

I just bought Canola Oil thinking that it's the best oil to use. Although I use coconut oil, it is just for my hair and scalp. I have friends who take a teaspoon of virgin coconut oil everyday but I am not yet convinced. Maybe, this is a good start, use coconut oil first in cooking.


bravewarrior profile image

bravewarrior 21 months ago from Central Florida Author

Aesta1, canola oil and most vegetable oils contain GMOs. Coconut oil does not. I've learned a lot from my readers after posting this article. I've only used coconut oil in cooking, but even my mom uses is as a body lotion and facial moisturizer.

I only use coconut, olive, and grape seed oils for cooking. Too many foods out there contain GMOs. I hope you make the switch. Your body will thank you.


DJ Anderson 21 months ago

Hey, Sha,

Wanted to let you know I bought the coconut oil. Was sauteing something and wanted a butter flavoring. I used the coconut oil and just a bit of butter. It worked beautifully! The coconut oil has no taste and

the pad of butter was all that I could taste.

Great info!!

Thanks,

Debbie


bravewarrior profile image

bravewarrior 21 months ago from Central Florida Author

DJ, that's the beauty of coconut oil - no taste. I'll have to remember the butter trick, especially when I fry eggs. I definitely want that butter taste with fried eggs. If butter can be mixed with olive oil, why not coconut oil? Makes perfect sense to me!


Jeannieinabottle profile image

Jeannieinabottle 21 months ago from Baltimore, MD

I obviously need to give coconut oil a try. It sounds like it would be much healthier for me. I once tried coconut oil in my hair because I read an article about how it is good for frizzy hair. I would NOT recommend that... I will stick to using it for cooking. ;-)


bravewarrior profile image

bravewarrior 21 months ago from Central Florida Author

Jeannie, I've heard of that, too. However, I wouldn't try it myself. I'm on septic here. Coconut oil solidifies like shortening when it's not warm. I'm afraid it would disrupt the workings of my tank. As it is, I don't pour any oils down my drains for that very reason.

Try the coconut oil. You won't be sorry.


SheGetsCreative profile image

SheGetsCreative 20 months ago from Seattle, WA

Great info for cooking alternatives. I've used the applesauce substitute in a cake recipe before and it turned out super moist. :)


bravewarrior profile image

bravewarrior 20 months ago from Central Florida Author

Angela, I've only tried applesauce in cookies. I love chewy cookies, so it worked well in keeping them moist. I'll have to try substituting applesauce in the next cake I bake.

Thanx for stopping by!


peachpurple profile image

peachpurple 20 months ago from Home Sweet Home

canola is better than sunflower oil?


bravewarrior profile image

bravewarrior 20 months ago from Central Florida Author

Peach, canola is not better than sunflower oil. Sunflower oil contains more nutrients than canola oil and has a higher burn rate, so it's better for frying than canola oil. Plus, so far, sunflowers are not grown from GMO seeds.

You might find this article helpful: http://oilypedia.com/sunflower-oil-vs-olive-oil-vs...


Shyron E Shenko profile image

Shyron E Shenko 18 months ago

Hi Sha, I am glad you put this out here, I sometimes wonder about all the oils. I use coconut oil for pan cakes and peanut oil for fish, per: my stepson who is a gourmet cook.

I love all the information you have here. I will print this and keep it handy for reference.

Blessings and hugs

Shyron


bravewarrior profile image

bravewarrior 18 months ago from Central Florida Author

Shyron, I'm glad you found this useful. I would recommend switching to grape seed oil for frying. It withstands high heat, has no flavor, and isn't made from GMO seeds. Peanut oil is very fattening and has a distinctive flavor, which takes away from food's natural flavor. Grape seed oil contains 120 calories per tablespoon, only 1.5 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams trans fats, 10 grams polyunsaturated fats (that's a good thing), and 2.5 grams monounsaturated fats (good fats). It also adds 25% of the daily requirement of Vitamin E to the diet (good for hair, digestion, and is an antioxidant).

I use coconut oil for dressing garlic bread instead of butter. You'll never taste the difference, but you get the health benefits of coconut oil.

The only oils I use now are coconut, olive, and grape seed. Make sure they're all organic and come in dark containers. When light hits any oil, it changes the composition.

My mom's a gourmet cook, too. She has changed the oils she uses after reading my articles. Remember when we used to use old bacon grease to flavor our dishes? Substituting for the oils I mention reduce the added cholesterol intake and let the natural flavors of the foods you're preparing shine.


pstraubie48 profile image

pstraubie48 14 months ago from sunny Florida

Thanks for the tips, all of them.. The coconut oil instead of spray is a goodie...I had no idea.

It seems we have to be ever watchful to insure what we ingest is safe and healthy.

Thanks for the heads up!!!

Angels are on the way to you this morning ps


bravewarrior profile image

bravewarrior 14 months ago from Central Florida Author

Patti, in today's environment we have to be so careful about what we put into our bodies. Almost everything is tainted these days, whether with pesticides or genetic engineering.

I'm happy you found this information useful. Coconut oil is good for the body, both inside and out.


pstraubie48 profile image

pstraubie48 13 months ago from sunny Florida

Shauna

Hi hope all is good with you and yours today.

I may (pretty sure I did) read this before but I have just changed my whole eating style of late (working on a hub which will mention that) and wanted to take another peek at this.

This is being bookmarked so I can check it out again as needed.

Angels are on the way ps

shared pinned g+ tweeted


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bravewarrior 13 months ago from Central Florida Author

Pat, I'm thrilled that you are bookmarking this hub. I pass this info on to most people I meet, so I do walk the walk as far as what I provide in this hub. It's never too late to work on better health options, right?


Sunshine625 profile image

Sunshine625 13 months ago from Orlando, FL

This hub is a wealth of information! I don't cook or bake much anymore, but my daughters do and they will appreciate the tips! :)


bravewarrior profile image

bravewarrior 13 months ago from Central Florida Author

Linda, I don'r cook or bake as often as I used to either. Between my and my son's schedules time is limited. Howrver, when I do, I implement these healthier options.

I'm glad you're passing this along. Your family will thank you for it and so do I.


tillsontitan profile image

tillsontitan 13 months ago from New York

I can only echo the comments on this great hub. The healthier we become the better our "gold years" will be.

I recently started using grape seed oil but have used olive oil and coconut oil for years. (Love coconut oil for hair repair too.)


bravewarrior profile image

bravewarrior 13 months ago from Central Florida Author

Mary, I actually made pork chops last night lightly breaded and fried in grape seed oil. They were delicious!

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