Coconut–it’s everywhere. From coconut milk, to coconut oil, to coconut palm sugar, and not to mention coconut water, you can’t seem to get away from it. Although I don’t mind, I have always had a love for coconut. But mainly the shredded kind.
Recently with the popularity of the Paleo diet, coconut has become a star player in the world of healthy eating. I know many people have started using coconut oil for cooking and baking, and I have been known to buy coconut milk creamer from time to time as a dairy-free alternative.
But I didn’t know much about these coconut products. And to be honest all the buzz about these products really sounds too good to be true. So I started doing a little research and thought I would share it with you here in this “Coconut…So Hot Right Now” series.
I have been pretty slow to the game when it comes to coconut oil. In fact, I just recently purchased my first jar (like 2 weeks ago). But I’m not going to lie, I thought about that jar of coconut oil the entire car ride home from the grocery store. Who knows why I never bought it before? I could hardly contain my excitement to get home and try it out.
First up: my morning eggs. I have my morning over-easy eggs down to a science–I use a little butter, flip when most of the white is cooked, then add some parmesan cheese and dill, and enjoy. I have always said the key to a perfect over-easy egg is the butter…until now.
Coconut oil has officially changed my egg-making techniques. It melts faster and doesn’t burn as quickly, it crisps the eggs just the right amount without them feeling greasy, and adds a subtle buttery flavor. Plus if I get some on my hands, I just rub it in for a little moisture boost that day. I am seriously sold.
Many vegans use coconut oil as a replacement to butter and now I see why. Since I am new to this oil I haven’t had the chance to try it out a ton, but I am looking forward to substituting it in a few of my favorite recipes.
Like coconut milk, there is still some controversy over the type of saturated fats found in coconut oil which you can clearly see in the articles posted below. This collection of articles also does a good job explaining some of the benefits of using coconut oil vs. other oils you generally cook with.
This article talks about the science behind the oil and why there are some misleadings in previous negative health claims. It also talks about ways to cook and bake with coconut oil.
Gotta love Dr. Oz… In this article these medical directors of Inner Source Health speak to the benefits of coconut oil like helping our bodies to resist viruses and reducing cholesterol, hair and skin improvements, and includes tips on how to use coconut oil.
Again, here is another article that discusses the saturated fats in coconut oil and how all saturated fats are not created equal. Plus it has some good insights about cooking with different “healthy” oils.
This is a pretty comprehensive overview on coconut oil. It talks about the focus of coconut oil studies and its health claims, as well as provide some good information on the different kinds of fats and their effects on cholesterol.
Coconut oil is an oil. And it’s still fat. So as with any oil you prefer to use…moderation, moderation, moderation.
And if you remember anything about coconut oil from this post, it’s that you need to buy virgin coconut oil. There are hydrogenated versions out there so beware; you definitely don’t want to use those.
Coconut oil so far is turning out to be a solid substitute for me to cook with. Mainly because one of the great things about coconut oil is its high smoke point and its stability, which cannot be said for many oils out there.
I like what Dr. Joseph Mercola states in the article posted above, “There is only one oil that is stable enough to withstand the heat of cooking, and that’s coconut oil. So, do yourself a favor and ditch all those ‘healthy oil wannabes,’ and replace them with a large jar of fresh, organic, heart-supporting coconut oil.”
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