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Why Choose Coconut Oil Over Other Cooking Oils?

Updated on July 21, 2014
Nature's Way makes an affordable organic extra virgin coconut oil
Nature's Way makes an affordable organic extra virgin coconut oil | Source

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

16-oz glass - Gold Label Organic Virgin Coconut Oil - 1 pint
16-oz glass - Gold Label Organic Virgin Coconut Oil - 1 pint

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

Baking with coconut oil is easy! You can make healthier versions of old favorites, like these Paleo chocolate chip cookies.
Baking with coconut oil is easy! You can make healthier versions of old favorites, like these Paleo chocolate chip cookies. | Source

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.

Tropical Traditions

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

My almost-gone jar of TT's coconut oil
My almost-gone jar of TT's coconut oil | Source

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.

Nature's Way Organic Extra Virgin Coconut Oil 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.

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

Nature's Way Organic Extra Virgin Coconut Oil- Pure, Cold-pressed, Organic, Non-GMO, Gluten-free- 16 Ounce
Nature's Way Organic Extra Virgin Coconut Oil- Pure, Cold-pressed, Organic, Non-GMO, Gluten-free- 16 Ounce

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?

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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!

Thanks for sharing your thoughts!

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    • Radcliff profile image

      Liz Davis 3 years ago from Hudson, FL

      Thank you, lrc7815. I wrote this a while ago, but my love for coconut oil is still strong! I put it in my coffee every morning--some people think it's weird, but I love it.

    • lrc7815 profile image

      Linda Crist 3 years ago from Central Virginia

      I have been using coconut oil now for about a year. Thank you for giving me some new ideas. Great hub.

    • Radcliff profile image

      Liz Davis 4 years ago from Hudson, FL

      Coconut oil is amazing stuff, for sure! We have much to learn from people around the world who have been using it for generations. Thanks for the comment, Devika!

    • DDE profile image

      Devika Primić 4 years ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

      Coconut oil is such a useful oil in the Indian community and so glad you mentioned it here, I have learned new ideas here, it didn't cross my mind until recently reading so much about this wonder oil to cook with is most unusual.

    • Radcliff profile image

      Liz Davis 4 years ago from Hudson, FL

      Oh my goodness! It's amazing for diaper rashes. I used it on my little one and it always cleared the irritation right up. I use it as a moisturizer as well. I'm glad you're on the coconut oil bandwagon, too! Thanks, ExpectGreatThings :)

    • ExpectGreatThings profile image

      ExpectGreatThings 4 years ago from Illinois

      We are on the bandwagon! I'm not too fond of the coconut taste but like you said, it isn't overpowering in baked goods. And it's great for chapped skin or diaper rashes :)

    • Radcliff profile image

      Liz Davis 4 years ago from Hudson, FL

      Hahah! I'm sorry that frightening event happened to you, but that moral is priceless.

      Kona is a smart kitty. I'm sure the coconut oil is good for his coat, too.

      Aloha, Joe!


    • Radcliff profile image

      Liz Davis 4 years ago from Hudson, FL

      Thank you, Vacation Trip! I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.

    • hawaiianodysseus profile image

      Hawaiian Odysseus 4 years ago from Southeast Washington state

      I, too, have tried it in my coffee! It created a slight film, of course, but it tastes great. Wanna know something funny? Our cat, Kona, loves coconut oil! We add it to his solid cat food every now and then. This dog came sprinting after me the other day. I swear it was going to bite me, so instinctively, I faced it down and made like I was going to kick it if it came any closer. In so doing, I fell off the curb and landed on my back with my head right on the busy highway where cars were going 55-60 mph. I was really embarrassed but also very afraid that I was going to lose my head. As it turned out, I just scraped my knee. Long story short, I put some coconut oil on my scrape, and it healed quite nicely. Moral of the story? Take some coconut oil when you go walking so you can calm an angry dog.

      Aloha, Liz!


    • Vacation Trip profile image

      Susan 4 years ago from India

      I don`t use too much of coconut oil on my food. But after reading this hub I am going to replace other oil with coconut oil. Thank you for sharing such useful hub. voted up.

    • Radcliff profile image

      Liz Davis 4 years ago from Hudson, FL

      I still love olive oil for a lot of things, but I use coconut oil a lot more. It's much better for baking and doesn't oxidize as easily. I even put it in my coffee!

      Thank you, Billy! Have a great Sunday rest.

    • Radcliff profile image

      Liz Davis 4 years ago from Hudson, FL

      Coconut oil tastes great on bread. I also really like coconut butter, which I've heard you can make yourself by grinding unsweetened shredded coconut in a food processor for ten minutes or so. It's so good. Thanks for your comment, ologsinquito!

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Look at all the interesting stuff I learn from you. We use olive oil, but it never dawned on me to use coconut oil....I'll show Bev and I'm sure we'll be using it soon. :)

      Thanks, Lizzy! You are a fountain of health information and my body thanks you.

    • ologsinquito profile image

      ologsinquito 4 years ago from USA

      Yes, I use coconut oil instead of butter on my toast. It takes great. I actually prefer it to butter. I've used Nature's Way brand before and loved the taste.