Do you know that coconut oil can be extensively used in a cup of hot coffee or tea? Surprised! Oh yes it is not just for dressing salads and baking only.
Coconut oil has become a darling of the whole food movement with good reason. It’s now considered a healthy fat and has antibacterial properties. It also tastes delicious in baked goods or on vegetables before roasting.
Here are 3 reasons why we love it –
Why Coconut Oil?
1. Cooking with coconut oil, which is mainly a saturated fat, is ideal because it’s able to withstand higher temperatures than other oils (perfect for slathering on roasted veggies and using in stir fries).
2. Although it’s a saturated fat, studies have shown that the saturated fat in coconut oil is mostly lauric acid, which means it has a more neutral effect on long-term heart health.
3. Coconut oil can be substituted one for one with butter in baked goods, making the results taste a bit lighter and with a touch of coconut.
What Should I Buy?
There are two kind of coconut oil widely available commercially: “virgin” or “extra virgin” — or cold-pressed coconut oil — that contains antioxidants and has a stronger coconut flavor and aroma; and refined coconut oil — “expeller-pressed” — which is more processed and has a more neutral taste and scent and a higher smoke point than virgin. Both cold-pressed and expeller-pressed coconut oil can last about two years without refrigeration stored in a cool, dark place, but there are so many ways to use coconut oil I doubt you’ll have any hanging around that long.
How Can I Use It?
Use refined coconut oil for pan frying: preheat the oil in the pan to 350℉-375℉ and try it in your favorite fried chicken recipe. Or toss vegetables in a tablespoon of coconut oil and roast until lightly browned. Vegans will love using coconut oil as a sub for butter in dessert recipes.
Remember that coconut oil has a melting point of 78 degrees, so if you’re in a warm climate your oil may be liquid at room temperature. You may have to gently warm your coconut oil in the microwave or stove when a recipe calls for a liquid fat.