If you are looking for a healthier oil, you may want to consider cooking with coconut oil. Previously, coconut oil was labeled as bad for you; however, that has since been proven not to be the case. Populations of people who eat the highest amounts of coconut are amongst the healthiest people on earth. And why shouldn’t they be as everything about the coconut offers a wide variety of health benefits. Cooking with coconut oil and adding it to as many of your recipes as possible may be one of the easiest ways to incorporate this little health miracle into your daily diet.
Facts About Coconut Oil
Coconut oil is solid at room temperature and will begin to liquefy at temperatures slightly above room temperature. This is normal and does not mean your coconut oil is going bad.
Coconut oil is about 90% saturated fat; however, it’s a medium chain triglyceride. In other words, it’s the good stuff! It’s rich in lauric acid, which helps kill microbes, bacteria, fungi and viruses in your body.
Coconut oil can improve your blood lipid profile, which means it can reduce your total and LDL cholesterol, triglycerides and then increase your HDL, which is the good type of cholesterol.
Coconut oil also has many other health benefits, such as:
- Helps you grow healthy hair
- Helps ward off heart disease, high blood pressure and aids in preventing atherosclerosis
- It’s great for skin care
- Useful for weight loss and thyroid function
- It’s good for your immune system
- Aids in digestion
- Helps prevent and cure Candida
- Improves bone health
- Helps maintain healthy blood sugar levels
- Prevents diseases affecting the liver and kidneys
- It helps stop and prevent tooth decay
- And much, much more!
The Different Types Of Coconut Oil
There are two different types of coconut oil – refined coconut oil and unrefined coconut oil.
Refined Coconut Oil
The refined coconut oil is made from pre-dried coconut, then bleached and deodorized to filter out impurities and make it more stable. The refined coconut oil is not considered as healthy as the unrefined coconut oil, which is completely raw. However, it still has many of the same healthy medium chain fatty acids. The issue in question is about the extraction process and what chemicals have been added to it.
Unrefined Coconut Oil
The unrefined coconut oil is generally labeled as “virgin” or “extra-virgin” and is refined by pressing the raw coconut without using chemicals or any other mechanical methods. A high quality coconut oil will be called raw, unrefined virgin or extra-virgin and will have a very slight hint of a coconut flavor and scent. There really is no noticeable difference between the virgin and extra-virgin coconut oil though. It’s all about the marketing and an attempt to get you to pay more for the product. However, either product will work great with your favorite recipes!
Helpful Tips For Cooking With Coconut Oil
Coconut oil is very heat-stable and has a high smoking point, which makes cooking with coconut oil more superior to cooking with other types of oil. However, if you are going to be deep frying, you may want to consider using sustainable sourced palm oil, which has an even higher smoking point.
When coconut oil is in its solid state, you may find it difficult to work with. If that’s the case, try portioning out some slightly softened coconut oil into ice trays then put them in the freezer. Once frozen, you can easily pop them out of the ice trays and will have perfectly portioned servings ready to use. You can make them up in bulk and store them in the freezer for future use.
If you find you regularly need softened coconut oil, you can keep a small jar on your stovetop so it’s ready to go when you need it. Coconut oil makes a great substitution for butter and it tastes great!
When cooking with coconut oil, it’s best that you don’t dump the liquid coconut oil down your drain. Rather, let it solidify at room temperature, then scrape it out of the pan and throw it in the trash.
How To Properly Store Your Coconut Oil
Coconut oil doesn’t need to be refrigerated. It has a high saturated content which makes it resistant to oxidation. Therefore, if you want to save a little money, you can buy your coconut oil in bulk as it has a shelf life of about two years.
You can store your coconut oil in the refrigerator if you want it to continually remain in a solid state. Or you can store it in your pantry where it could develop into a liquid, if the temperature rises above room temperature. Either method of storage is suitable as your coconut oil will not go bad.
The Bottom Line
Cooking with coconut oil will add flavor and depth to all your recipes. Once you have used coconut oil to cook with, especially knowing all the wonderful health benefits it will provide you and your family, you will wonder how you ever lived without it!