Ingredient of the week: Coconut Oil

Last week I initiated a new post strand focussing on the new ingredients I’m currently discovering.  This week it’s time for….

Coconut Oil



Product description:  Coconut oil is naturally saturated oil which is free from trans-fats. For this reason it is stable at high temperatures so is great for cooking if you are wanting to avoid trans-fats. Coconut oil is great both nutritionally and as an all purpose moisturiser. It is suitable for everyone from the babies to the men. Coconut oil makes natural hair and body conditioner as well as great for cooking, on salads or in smoothies. It is a good functional food and is high in aluric acid (one of the main components in breast milk).

I can’t believe I’d never cooked with coconut oil before 6 months ago because it’s absolutely amazing.  Along with Extra Virgin Olive Oil it’s the only oil I use for cooking.  I switch between the 2 depending on the key flavour of the dish – Anything Mediterranean is better with olive oil, but for curries coconut oil rules!  Really, an organic one is preferable (I’ve got the biona one in the above picture) but as I use it so often I’ve also got a slightly cheaper one bought from the exotic section of my local supermarket.  I personally can’t tell the difference in savoury dishes, but for chocolate or cakes, the organic one is much better quality.

Unlike olive oil Coconut oil is in solid state but melts in a frying pan in seconds.  If you’re using it to oven roast veg I would usually melt it first before pouring it over the veggies.    Here are some of my favourite things to do with coconut oil;

  • Great for roasting veg such as sweet potatoes
  • Heat on a griddle pan and then scorch some peppers to add to a cold salad
  • Use as a sub for butter fat in cakes (it’s in my chocolate loaf cake and also my biscuits)
  • Can be used to make raw chocolate (see recipe)

I would never go back to using vegetable oil ever again – Enjoy!!!

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