what i do with: coconut oil

it has come to my attention that i should explain how i use some of the products in my kitchen. so, beginning with this post, i am now featuring a section called "What i do with...." which you can find on the learn page.

first up: coconut oil. 

coconut oil is literally one of my very most favourite things. ever since i first discovered the overly expensive jars of it on the shelves of my favourite scottish health food shop, i have been obsessed. my curiosity about the benefits of coconut oil however, did not fully emerge until i noticed the 5lb bags of it for sale at a grocer in India. during my time on the continent, my lovely cooking teacher Mary taught me how she cooked just about everything in coconut oil. it was her base for curries, what she fried homemade chapati's in, and what she lathered on her skin.  Mary used coconut oil more than anything else in her home - except for Vick's vapour rub (?!). ever since then, i have always had at least one 1.6L tub of coconut oil in my cupboard, and it has become a major staple in my diet and lifestyle.

a cholesterol free saturated fat, coconut oil is made up of a blend of short and medium chained fatty acids - primary Lauric Acid - which are easily digested, rather than stored. it is great because it:

- increases satiety, which makes you feel fuller for longer, 
- eases digestion,
- supports immunity,
- boost metabolism,
- fights candida + yeast infections, 
- helps reduce sugar cravings,
- and has anti-fungal, antibacterial, antimicrobial and anti-oxidant properties.

here are some of my favourite ways to use it:

  • eat it by the spoonful
  • use it in place of butter when i bake -- just remember that coconut oil and butter are not ALWAYS interchangeable, but here are some examples of when it works: cupcakesbanana bread, brownies, bars, macaroons, flaky pastry and muffins. If you want more ideas about baking with coconut oil, ask me.
  • make my favourite: marshmallow-less rice krispie squares
  • make dairy-free chocolate cupcake frosting or strawberry frosting
  • make granola
  • make chocolate kale chips -  or use the same recipe as a basic chocolate sauce to drizzle on ice cream, cookies, yogurt, cereal, granola bars, or directly in your mouth.
  • sautee vegetables in coconut oil in a frying pan or drizzle on any vegetable and roast it in the oven (my favourites are quartered acorn squash, diced sweet potato, onions, zucchini and mushrooms)
  • use it on my cuticles when i have hang nails (just rub some of that stuff right on your nail bed)
  • make raw chocolate - the recipe for this one will be up on the blog soon, but i typically use part cacao butter + part coconut oil melted with raw cacao.
  • add it to smoothies for some extra fat
  • drizzle it on top of pancakes or waffles
  • season my cast iron pan
  • oil my wooden butchers block cutting board
  • use it as a lip balm if my lips are super dry (this works wonders - even on my 5 year old niece)
  • pop popcorn in it 
  • use it as a hair de-frizzer (rub a 1/4 tsp between your hands, smooth out hair from ends to roots).
  • melt a tbsp of coconut oil and add a few drops of peppermint or orange oil, allow it to harden in a small sealable container. rub it on your body as a natural moisturizer, deodorizer, bug-repellant and anti-fungal.
  • rub it on my leather boots as a shoe shine and conditioner.

What do you do with coconut oil?