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In my years of green living, I've found the simplest, easiest way to help others "go green" is through introducing them to the many uses of essential oils. Want to learn more about how I do that?

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Cooking with Coconut Oil: Recipes and Tips

How to cook with coconut oil, from SustainableBabySteps.com

Are you interested in cooking with coconut oil? In our article, Coconut Oil Benefits, Uses and Sustainability, guest author, April Sheets of Primitive Mommy, outlined why coconut oil is such a powerful source of health and wellness. Below she's shared her favorite coconut oil recipes!

But first let's recap what she described in the last article:

  • Coconut oil is a good fat: Not all saturated fats are bad and coconut oil consists of medium chain fatty acids (MCFAs), essential to our health and function.
  • Coconut oil contains lauric acid, capric acid and caprylic acid, and of course its antimicrobial, antioxidant, antifungal, and antibacterial properties making it ideal for immune support.
  • Coconut oil is good for weight loss, thyroid issues and organic function, such as for the kidney's heart and liver.
  • It can also be used for hair care and skin care!

Let's look at some of the favorite coconut oil recipes below to start adding this beneficial oil to our diets.

Cooking with Coconut Oil - Made Easy

Transitioning into cooking with coconut oil is very simple. Coconut oil has a delicious coconutty smell. A good way to know you have a quality coconut oil is by this fragrant smell. It will add a slight coconut flavor to your cooking but it's one I welcome and love. If you prefer to cook with a flavorless coconut oil you can opt for expeller pressed coconut oil. Keep in mind this will not offer as many health benefits and anti-oxidants as the virgin oil will.

Virgin coconut oil has a relatively high smoke point of 350 degrees F (177 C). What this means is that when oil is heated to a high temperature, it reaches its smoke point and this is the temperature that the fats and oils begin to break down. The nutrition and flavor then degrade and the chemical composition of the oil changes at these temperatures. These changes can be harmful to health.

Extra virgin olive oil has a smoke point of 320 degrees F (160 C); butter has a smoke point of 350 degrees F (177 C); canola oil ranges from 225-435 degrees F with the more refined it is having the higher smoke point. These are all conservative numbers. More refined coconut oil would obviously have a higher smoke point as well. (Canola is one of the main ingredients in most vegetable oils and I avoid feeding it to my family.)

With its high smoke point coconut oil is a superior choice for all cooking and baking in addition to its many raw uses. When it comes to baking I search the internet for good recipes where the ratios of substituting coconut oil have already been figured out and experimented with.

Many times if I replace coconut oil in baking, when a recipe calls for vegetable oil, the end product will have a drier texture. This can be avoided by using recipes that call for coconut oil and there are many of them out there now. When frying with coconut oil you would use the same amount you would use of any other oil or butter. Keep in mind it is not safe to go above any oil's smoke point, and the same applies when cooking with coconut oil.

Cooking with coconut oil, via SustainableBabySteps.com

Here are some ideas to get you started in cooking with coconut oil:

  • Spread it on your bread
  • Drop a spoonful or more in your smoothies for a tropical flavor
  • Add it to your soups and sauces
  • Replace your normal oil to saute vegetables with it
  • Put it on your rice, in mashed potatoes or on baked potatoes
  • Fry foods healthier by adding coconut oil

A couple of my favorite simple coconut oil recipes are below.

Honey Butter Spread for bread and muffins:
1/4 cup coconut oil
1/4 cup raw honey

Savory Spread for bread:
1/8 tsp turmeric
1/8 tsp sea salt
1/2 cup coconut oil

Coconut Oil Vinaigrette:
1/4 cup coconut vinegar
1 tsp raw honey
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground  black pepper
1/2 cup coconut oil, liquefied
1/2 cup virgin olive oil
Whisk vinegar, honey, salt and pepper until salt dissolves. Slowly add oils and continue whisking. Allow to stand 5 minutes and serve over crisp salad.

And be sure to check out these recipes that call for baking or cooking with coconut oil:

Where to Buy Virgin Coconut Oil

The healthiest coconut products are ones that have gone through an exact, traditional process of expelling and processing. The higher the quality of oil, the more properties and benefits you'll receive.

This is why we love and support our affiliate, Tropical Traditions. They offer so much research and information and many more natural, organic products for your health, and clearly spell out the difference between "good" coconut oil and the truly great stuff.

Plus, new customers who purchase from our links get a free book!

Their book, Virgin Coconut Oil: How it has changed people's lives, and how it can change yours, includes the research behind coconut oil benefits, over 100 testimonials from coconut oil users and over 85 recipes to incorporate these health benefits into your life easily.

Click here to learn more, order your own, and receive your free book.

April Sheets is a peaceful parenting, babywearing and unschooling mom of three, an alternative medicine and natural immunity advocate, and raw food loving, juicing enthusiast. She is a lactivist, intactivist woman "altruistically trying to save the world from itself." Learn more from Sheets at Primitive Mommy: Instinctual Eating, Parenting and Living.

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