Coconut oil – it is used in pretty much every dessert but since when did coconuts have oil? And why is it solid?
What is it?
An edible oil which is extracted from mature coconut flesh.
Why is it good for me?
It’s made up of medium-chain-triglycerides which basically means it is easy to break up by the body which is optimum for digestion and absorption. It is immediately converted to energy instead of being stored as fat. This instant fuel means you crave sugar less, feel satiated quicker and for longer. It helps support thyroid function, immunity and digestion which basically means it will help aid any skin condition.
Where to get it from:
Most supermarkets have it these days but to get the best quality and a price, bulk buy from your local farmers market or health food stores.
What to look for:
There is a lot of types out there, but in my experience the best is raw, cold pressed, virgin coconut oil. Non raw varieties tend to taste like an old rubber tyre. Raw varieties have a pleasant mild coconut taste. Just because it is cold pressed doesn’t mean it is raw – crazy, I know. Generally raw is a little more expensive, because it takes longer and is harder to extract the oil compared to heat treated types. If you buy it in bulk it will be cheaper, and in my opinion, heat treated is so inedible, you’re throwing money away by buying the cheaper option anyways.
How to store:
You can keep it in your cupboard or in the fridge. I tend to go through a jar fast, however it will last longer in the fridge.
How to use:
Most recipes require it in liquid form. It is awesome when it turns to liquid in the summer. If it is solid, gently melt the quantity you need in a sauce pan.
When to use it:
Coconut oil is perfect at setting raw desserts due to it being solid at room temperate – examples include raw chocolate, raw custard, raw cheesecake and spreads.
It is also a good alternative to butter or oil for cooking and baking due to its high smoking point. Replace at a 1:1 ratio.
It can also be used in skin and hair care.
You can see examples of recipes with coconut oil here.