You may have noticed the sudden craze in coconut throughout the consumer market lately. From coconut water to coconut candy, manufacturers are using coconut flavor in everything to jump on board the bandwagon. Interestingly, other countries have been using the power of coconuts for centuries. Americans ate coconut products until the 1950’s and 60’s when researchers began informing the public that the fats from coconut oil was unhealthy. The unfortunate thing is that the studies used hydrogenated coconut oil. It is now understood that it is the hydrogenation process is what makes the fat dangerous to our health and waistline.
Pure, extra-virgin coconut oil is a power food. Many companies that produce baby formula include virgin coconut oil, as it provides essential fatty acids. In fact, 50% of the fat in coconut oil is made up of lauric acid which is actually found in mother’s breast milk. Lauric acid can play an important role in a healthy metabolism and is known for its anti-viral, anti-fungal, and anti-microbial properties. Some people believe that this cholesterol-free fat will become as well known as omega-3 someday.
It is important that you choose organic extra-virgin coconut products. Like we mentioned at the start of this post, many companies are using coconut oils and flavors in their products. If the coconut has been bleached, hydrogenated, or refined, it will have lost it powerful properties. Nutiva and Tropical Traditions are both good brands to look to when buying coconut products.
So, now that you know coconut oil is a super food, you may be wondering how to incorporate it into your diet. After all, experts recommend up 3 tablespoons per day.
Here are several ideas:
- Saute it – Replace vegetable oils with this incredibly heat stable oil
- Bake it – Coconut oil can be substituted at a 1:1 ratio when baking. Coconut oil tends to melt at about 76 degrees F. If it is colder where you store your oil, you can always scoop some out and warm it before adding it to your recipe
- Eat it – Some people actually enjoy the taste and will just eat a spoonful of coconut oil a few times each day
- Spread it – Coconut oil is tasty on muffins and breads in place of butter or spreads
- Melt it – It is a great addition to coffee or tea. Fat can also help with your satiety levels so this addition may help you feel full longer after your morning breakfast
- Blend it in – When making smoothies, to avoid small clumps, warm the coconut oil and slowly add it while the blender is running which will allow it to emulsify
- Make it a treat – Many recipes are available for making truffles and melt-aways using coconut oil (see below)
Here is just one example of a tasty treat, courtesy of Practical Paleo:
Orange Cream and Mint Melt-Aways Recipe
- Base: 1/2 cup coconut oil, 1/2 cup coconut manna (a product that contains meat from the coconut blended with the oil)
- Orange Cream: Add 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract, zest of 1 orange, 2 teaspoons pure maples syrup
- Mint Melt-Away: Add 2 teaspoons fresh mint (chopped), 2 teaspoons mint extract oil, 2 teaspoons pure maple syrup
- Mix the base with the ingerdiants for the desired flavor until smooth.
- Next, pour them into a mini muffin tin lined with paper liners.
- Refrigerate or freeze them until set, serve cold.
In addition to eating coconut oil, it is also a beneficial beauty aide. For a great list of ideas for use, check out Wellness Mama’s list of 101 uses.
So, are you ready to experience to super powers of coconut oil?
If you are still feeling hesitant feel free to send us your questions and concerns. We are always here to help!