Coconut oil has gained popularity like never before. Be it the kitchen shelves or beauty jars; you can find this miracle oil everywhere. It is now being used in for cooking, skin care, and many other household remedies.
Coconut oil is not just a health fad; there is a tremendous amount of research on the numerous benefits of coconut oil. Let us learn how a few teaspoons of this miracle oil can be used in the kitchen to improve our health.
1. Add it to smoothies
Add a teaspoon or two of coconut oil to your fruit smoothie. It adds a smooth texture and a delicious taste to your smoothie. You also benefit from the healthy fats that it adds to your diet.
2. Pop some corn
Use coconut oil instead of butter to make popcorn. It will add a pleasant aroma to the corn. You can also add extra flavor by adding melted coconut oil on your popcorn once they are ready.
3. DIY nut butter
Grind two cups of almonds, cashews or pecans with two tablespoons of coconut oil till it is smooth and creamy. Add some honey, cinnamon and flax seeds or even ground coffee, depending on your taste, to make a healthier and tastier version of nut butter.
4. Add to your toast
Butter your toast with coconut oil instead of conventional butter. Not only is it much healthier, but it also adds to the flavor.
5. Non-dairy coffee creamer
Add a teaspoon of coconut oil to your coffee instead of a dairy creamer for that extra boost of energy as you start your day. Many athletes use coconut oil like this to boost their performance.
Blend your coffee with some coconut oil and a sweetener for a rich, creamy and flavourful coffee.
6. Healthy spread
Mix a tablespoon of coconut oil with a half tablespoon of chia seeds and spread it on some whole grain bread. This quick snack will give you the energy boost that you require during the day.
7. Healthy fondue
You can make a healthy dessert by using coconut oil to make fondue. Melt one tablespoon of coconut oil and add around two cups of dark chocolate to it.
Heat this chocolate mixture in a double boiler till it has completely melted. Now transfer this fondue to a fondue pot and dip your favorite fruits in it and enjoy a healthy dessert.
8. Healthy mayonnaise
Use coconut oil along with olive oil to make healthy homemade mayonnaise. In a blender mix four egg yolks, ½ teaspoon mustard and one tablespoon ACV.
Now while the blender is still running, add one cup melted coconut oil and ½ cup olive oil to make the perfect healthy mayonnaise.
9. DIY granola bar
Mix three cups of oats, two cups of chopped almonds, two teaspoons of cinnamon, ½ teaspoon salt, 1/3 cups of honey and 1/3 cup of coconut palm sugar.
To this mixture add 1/3 cup of melted coconut oil and bake it in the oven at 350 degrees for 15 minutes. Wait for this mixture to cool down and cut into bars.
10. Sore throat remedy
If you have a sore throat, coconut oil can be highly beneficial. Instead of taking throat lozenges, have a spoon on coconut oil instead. Not only does it ease the pain, when combined with licorice root tea, it also soothes the throat.
11. DIY sports drink
Make your own high energy sports drink by mixing coconut oil and chia seeds in water along with fresh fruit.
12. Add with to oatmeal
Cook your oatmeal in a regular manner. Once it is ready, add a spoonful of coconut oil to it. This oatmeal recipe will make your breakfast healthier and give you an instant boost of energy.
13. Fry with it
Coconut oil consists of 90 percent saturated fats which makes it extremely stable at high heat. It has a high smoking point of 175 degree Celsius. Use one or two tablespoons of this oil to fry fish, meat, eggs or vegetables.
14. Baked potatoes
You can use coconut oil to make delicious sweet baked potatoes. Just add coconut oil instead of butter to the sweet potatoes and sprinkle with cinnamon.
15. Non-stick cooking
If you do not have a non-stick pan or you find eggs sticking to your non-stick pan, coconut oil is your one-stop solution. Spray or pour a teaspoon of coconut oil to your skillet or pan before you cook anything.
Not only does it make cooking much more manageable, but it is also much easier to clean up your pans.
16. Prolong freshness of eggs
Rub the shells of the eggs with coconut oil to seal all the pores of the shells. This method will prolong the life of the eggs for up to 2 weeks.
Make your baked products much healthier by merely replacing vegetable oil or butter with coconut oil. You can replace one tablespoon of butter with one tablespoon of coconut oil without affecting the recipes.
Why is coconut oil so good?
Though coconut oil is almost 90 percent saturated fat, not all saturated fats are the same. The saturated fat in coconut oil is mostly lauric acid, caprylic acid, and capric acid.
The medium-chain fatty acids in this oil are easy to digest and are the perfect source of energy for the body. The liver processes them, so they are instantly converted into energy instead of being stored as fats.
Here are some of the health benefits of coconut oil –
- Coconut oil increases the good cholesterol in the body and decreases bad cholesterol, and this helps prevent heart disease.
- The antibiotic properties of coconut oil help clear up urinary tract infections and kidney infections.
- The antioxidants in coconut oil help reduce inflammation and treat arthritis.
- Coconut oil contains lauric acid, which reduces candida, fights bacteria, and creates a hostile environment for viruses.
- The medium chain fatty acids in coconut oil can fuel brain cells more efficiently. They can help the patients of Alzheimer’s by repairing their brain function.
- Coconut oil helps in weight loss. It helps burn calories and decrease appetite.
- Coconut oil lowers oxidative stress and helps support detoxification by reducing stress on the liver. This property of coconut oil helps slow down the aging process.
- Lauric acid in coconut oil helps in naturally balancing hormones. So consuming this oil may be helpful during menopause.
How to store and cook with coconut oil?
Coconut oil is liquid above 75 degrees and solid below it. If it is in the solid state, it is white, thick and creamy. If it is in a liquid state, it is clear and easy to pour.
You can store coconut oil in both solid and liquid form. You do not have to store this oil in the refrigerator. Coconut oil has a long shelf life, and you can keep for around two years.
Do not cook this oil beyond its smoke point as it will deteriorate and turn yellow. When this happens, you must discard it.
Different types of coconut oils
Thanks to the recent increase in popularity of coconut oil, the supermarket shelves are packed a vast variety of different kinds and brands of this oil, which can be quite confusing. So let us help you decode the labels and claims of various coconut oils.
Organic coconut oil: If you see the ‘USDA Organic’ label on the coconut oil bottle, it means that the coconuts used were grown without the use of pesticides.
Refined coconut oil: The refining process takes the coconut flavor out of the oil. It also has a higher smoke point as compared to the unrefined oil. However, make sure that the refined oil that you choose has been refined using a chemical-free process like friction, heat, and spinning.
Raw or unrefined coconut oil: This oil is made from fresh, raw coconut meat. Heat or chemicals are not used to refine it further. It retains all the benefits of coconut oil and also is more flavorful.
Virgin and extra virgin coconut oil: Unlike olive oil, there is not much difference between virgin and extra virgin coconut oil. This oil is extracted from fresh coconut meat with expeller, without using any heat.
Cold pressed coconut oil: This oil is made from fresh coconut flakes. It has a stronger coconut flavor.
As a general rule use organic, virgin, cold-pressed coconut oil for non-heat or low –heat cooking as it provides the maximum flavor. For cooking on higher heats use organic, virgin, expeller pressed coconut oil.
Research has shown that coconut oil is thermally stable, which means that the antioxidants are not lost during the heating process.
In fact, the wet-milling fermentation method followed by hot extracted virgin coconut oil produces the highest levels of antioxidants.
Avoid using chemically processed hydrogenated coconut oil.
Coconut oil is the most healthy and versatile oil known to man. It can be used for cooking, baking, making healthy spreads and smoothies and also for soothing the throat.
Adding coconut oil to your diet helps provide many health advantages including balancing hormones, boosting immunity, reducing inflammation and helping with weight loss.
Do not be confused with the wide variety of different kinds of coconut oils available on the market. Choose health organic, chemical-free coconut oil and enjoy its benefits.