People look at me funny when I go on about the virtues of coconut oil. Many members of my extended family can’t get the bad rap that coconut oil was given a few decades ago when it was declared to by the devil incarnate as far as saturated fat was concerned. Eat a bunch of coconut oil and you may as well prepare for a full on heart attach they thought. However, they were talking about the foul hydrogenated coconut oil of yesteryear, which is indeed a trans fat with all the hideous evils that that entails.
Pure, virgin coconut oil, however, is a t0tally different thing – not even in the same family, and despite the hype that you may think is a load of marketing nonsense, it actually is a serious health food. It contains lauric acid, capric acid, and caprylic acid, which the human body converts into monolaurin. Monolaurin ostensibly helps fight a number of health issues and diseases including high cholesterol, viruses, and bacteria. It’s also been found to speed up metabolism and help prevent dementia. If you’re interested, you can find lots of medical research at the Coconut Research Center. Keep in mind that it has to be either “pure”, “raw”, or “virgin” coconut oil to have these benefits.
Here’s how I love to eat/use coconut oil:
1. Baking: I substitute it for shortening in baking. It’s delicious when baking cookies, scones and cakes – obviously way healthier. If a muffin or pancake recipe calls for “vegetable oil”, I always use coconut oil.
2. Eating it straight: You can eat it raw. If you can’t face a huge tbsp of it, try: topping your oatmeal with it instead of butter, or use it on pancakes instead of butter.
3. Frying: It’s got a very high smoke point, so it’s excellent for frying (healthy too). I use it to fry pancakes, fried chicken, fish (sometimes), and veggies for curry.
4. Hair & Scalp Treatment: It makes the best ever deep conditioning treatment ever – way more intense than a hot oil treatment. Just keep in mind that you hair will require two washes to remove the oil. You can add a few drops of tea tree oil to create a dandruff scalp treatment. Just massage it into your scalp and leave overnight.
5. Skin: Plain coconut oil is a brilliant remedy for seriously dry skin. Use it on your cracked heels or your dry knees/elbows.
6. Lubricant: It makes a fantastic lubricant.
7. Massage oil: Try the Kuumba Made infused coconut oils for massage/lubrication and you’ll be in seventh Heaven!