Why Choose Coconut Oil Over Other Cooking Oils?
Coconut Oil: A Centuries-Old Superfood
Are you a card-carrying member of the coconut oil fan club? Or are you still unsure about boarding the bandwagon?
Coconut oil is a healthy replacement for toxic vegetable oils. It has been shown to help take inches off the waistline when taken daily with a nutritious diet and physical activity (more so than just diet and exercise alone). Coconut oil is also great for natural skin and hair care, and even helps reverse the symptoms of Alzheimer's disease.
And did you know that coconut oil is a natural anti-bacterial, anti-viral, and anti-parasitic substance? You can use it as a supplement to avoid illness or on a cut to speed healing.
The US is late to the party when it comes to coconut oil. Many other parts of the world have used coconut products as part of their traditional lifestyles for hundreds--even thousands--of years. These cultures have much to teach us about health and longevity!
Outside of shredded coconut, our society isn't accustomed to using this fruit/nut/seed. But coconut oil is easy to use, and tasty at that. Here are some tips that can help you get acquainted with the ins and outs of coconut oil for baking and cooking.
My Favorite Quality Organic Coconut Oils
Tropical Traditions produces coconut oils using traditional methods of the Philippines that have been passed on for generations. These techniques preserve the health benefits contained within the oil.
Just Add Coconut Oil!
Coconut Oil for Baking
Coconut Oil Recipes
- If CaveMom Baked Cookies
Lots of recipes that use coconut oil and other coconut products.
How to Bake with Coconut Oil
Coconut oil can replace vegetable oil 1:1 in any recipe. The only real challenge is that it solidifies at 76 degrees.
(In fact, coconut oil enthusiasts judge the changing of the seasons based on the state of their oil: when it's solid, that means fall is in the air; when it's in liquid form, summer has arrived!)
If your oil is solid, heat it in a saucepan over a low temperature. Use your whisk to keep stirring as it melts. When it's about half melted, take it off the heat and keep stirring until it's fully melted. This takes only a minute or two.
Make sure that the oil isn't hot. If it is, pour it in a bowl and allow it to cool down a bit.
After you melt the coconut oil, you don't want it to harden again when it comes into contact with cold ingredients. Bring refrigerated ingredients, like eggs, down close to room temperature. Otherwise, when you add the oil you'll end up with small clumps in the batter.
If your oil does create little clumps from cold ingredients, don't worry. It's not difficult to melt them. You can use a double boiler to slowly raise the temperature of your mixture. I don't have a double boiler, so I take my Pyrex mixing bowl and put it on top of a saucepan of boiling water. If you do this, be careful! The bottom of the bowl gets super hot, and you need to make sure that the bowl sits sturdily on top of the pot.
As you can see in this photo:
Fill the pot with about an inch of water. Bring it to a boil, then reduce the heat. Place the bowl on top of the pot of water. Whisk the ingredients to help the oil melt. This takes only a minute or two. Your wet ingredients should only get lukewarm, not hot.
But if you do have some tiny clumps of oil, your recipe will turn out fine. I bake with coconut oil all the time, and I don't always get it fully liquified. Just make sure you don't have big glaciers of oil floating around in your batter.
Go to Tropical Traditions website and get on their email list. They send out an email about once each week with sales and other offers. I like to take advantage when they offer free shipping. They have a quite a few organic products, including einkorn wheat, grass-fed beef, and soy-free eggs.
Tropical Traditions Organic Gold Label Virgin Coconut Oil
Why It's Important to Choose the Right Coconut Oil
Coconut oil is a superfood, for sure. But not all forms are created equal.
Virgin coconut oil provides all of the benefits that coconut oil has to offer. Tropical Traditions Virgin Coconut Oil, Gold Label (affiliate) is produced in the Philippines using traditional methods, preserving more antioxidants, enzymes, and nutrients. It has a smooth texture and a light, coconut taste. Their Gold Label Virgin Coconut Oil is by far my favorite coconut oil on the market.
Although they regularly offer discounts and sales on their products, Tropical Traditions is usually pricier than other brands. I use quite a bit on a daily basis, so I have to supplement with a less-expensive brand.
is a low-price alternative. I have this one sent to me each month from Amazon. Using their Subscribe & Save option, I save 15 percent and get free shipping to boot. They send an email notification in advance to tell me that they are going to send my monthly order out, so I have the opportunity to cancel that month's delivery if I choose. This is an awesome feature. Nature's Way Organic Extra Virgin Coconut Oil
These products aren't the same as refined coconut oil, which doesn't provide the health benefits of virgin coconut oil or traditionally produced expeller pressed oil. Unfortunately, it's easier to find refined coconut oil in your local grocery store. And it's cheaper, which also makes it more a more attractive choice. But chemical solvents and bleach are used in its production, taking away many of its advantages.
If you like the flavorless and odorless nature of refined coconut oil, expeller pressed is a better option.
Nature's Way Organic Extra Virgin Coconut Oil
I like Nature's Way because it's a virgin coconut oil at a great price. I order from Amazon using the Subscribe & Save feature. It arrives at my doorstep each month with free shipping and a discount. The one thing I don't like is that it comes in a plastic container.
What About You?
Do you use coconut oil?
When to Use Expeller Pressed Oil
Coconut oil may add a light coconut flavor in some recipes. The flavor isn't as noticeable in baked goods, but it may add a slight coconut taste to your savory dishes.
And if you aren't particularly fond of a coconut taste, you may be more sensitive to its flavor. In these cases, Tropical Traditions expeller-pressed coconut oil (affiliate) is an excellent alternative.
Expeller pressed coconut oil has no taste or smell. I've used Tropical Traditions expeller pressed oil myself, and found that it works well when I'm cooking dishes that would taste weird with a coconut flavor. I don't know how they do it, but it's a handy oil to have around. I love that it's organic and doesn't use any chemical refining methods.
Make Coconut Your Go-To Oil
If you don't have a health food store nearby, finding virgin coconut oil can be a challenge. But affordable high-quality coconut oil is easy to find online. There are many benefits to adding this superfood to your menu and skin care routine, so go for it and make the switch today!