I have shared before a few recipes that have coconut oil in them and you may have heard friends talk about coconut oil. So what is the big deal…why do we love it SO much? I am going to share a bit of info about coconut oil with you and the ways I love to use it. There are so many good articles on coconut oil out there on the web – just do a quick search if you want more information.
What is coconut oil?
Coconut oil is made through a process of extraction from mature coconuts. Above 76 degrees, coconut oil is a clear liquid and below 76 it is a white solid oil. A good brand of oil will smell and taste “coconut-ie”. When I bake with coconut oil it does impart a mild coconut flavor. When I fry hamburger with coconut oil, the hamburger does not taste like coconut though.
What to buy…
I look for unrefined coconut oil, preferably organic. Refined is cheaper but the quality is lower. Refined coconut oil has more than likely been bleached and deodorized.
Expeller pressed or cold-pressed or centrifuged derived coconut oil?
I was told several years ago to buy centrifuged because it has more health benefits and it has a higher smoke/heating point. Depending on what you are wanting to use the coconut oil for you might find a different one that fits you best. I think the most important this to look for is unrefined and buy a high quality brand. I love Trader Joes brand. I just picked a jar from costco last month too that I love.
What I use Coconut Oil for:
Cooking: Because Coconut oil doesn’t break down when heated to higher temperatures it is perfect for frying hamburger and popping popcorn!
Baking: Coconut Oil can often be used to replace other oils (sometimes even butter) in recipes.
Skin Care: I use coconut oil on my face or mix with a bit of baking soda to make a wonderful exfoliating face wash. Stubborn Mascara and eye shadows are no match for coconut oil. Just rub a small bit over your eye make-up and wipe off with a wash cloth. Use all over your body for a light moisturizer.
Nutrition: I put a scoop in our smoothies as an easy way for us to get some in our daily diet.
If you do a simple search on the web you will find a long list of health benefits of taking coconut oil daily. Anything from better absorption of calcium, controlling blood sugar, memory loss, to weight loss. I have never experienced any of these personally and there are lots of website you can find some really great testimonials on from people who have benefited from coconut oil.
I don’t need more fat in my diet…but, I personally believe that most Americans don’t eat enough good fat instead they eat too much man-fats. I like to focus on eating real fats like butter, almonds, avocados. Coconut Oil is made up of medium chain fatty acids which can actually boost your metabolic rate. These medium chain fatty acids found in coconut oil also do not have a negative effect on cholesterol. Coconut oil could even potentially lower the risk of heart disease. If you want a more in depth explanation of the dietary science behind coconut oil you can look at these articles from which I pulled some of my information from.
So go grab a jar of coconut oil! Enjoy this quick and easy recipe. Perfect for this summer when you want a treat without heating the oven…
Dairy Free. Feel free to modify to make Gluten free too (just use GF Oats).*
1/3 cup Honey, maple syrup or liquid sweetner of your choice
1/3 cup coconut oil
1/3 cup almond butter (or peanut butter)
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 T unsweetened cocoa powder (or more if you like the cocoa flavor)
1 cup shredded (unsweetened) coconut
1.5-2 cups rolled oats*
Combine the honey, coconut oil, and almond butter in a small saucepan. Heat on low until just melted. Wisk the melted ingredients together with the cocoa powder and vanilla until well combined. Measure the shredded coconut and 1.5 cups of oats into a separate larger bowl. Add the melted mixutre on top of the coconut and oats. Mix until well combined. If the cookies look a bit gooey add in a bit more oats. I like my cookies a bit more on the wet side so I usually don’t add the full 2 cups of oats.