Tuesday, December 6, 2011

All you need to know about coconut oil

 For the past year we've been using plenty of coconut oil in this house. Many people don't know much about it, so I thought I'd give you the basics.
Coconut oil basics:
* Yes it's high in fat, but guess what? It's good fat (the kind you get in avacados, olive oil, etc) and can actually lower your bad colestorol.
* High smoke point makes it ideal for use in certain dishes and excellent for popcorn
* Great for uses besides cooking
* A natural oil. Unlike many other oils, which use hydrogenation to manipulate and create an "oil"
* Half it's fat is from lauric acid which has antibacterial, and antiviral properties
* A middle-chain fatty acid makes it easier for your body to break down, which some believe can increase your metabolism
How to use- in the kitchen:
* use in baking as a one for one replacement for butter
* use anywhere else oil is called for in cooking. Many health professionals say coconut oil and olive oil should be the only oils in your kitchen!
- Outside the kitchen:
* apply to lips for a natural lip balm re-placer
* some people say that they use as a deodorant....I still prefer baking soda, but everyone's different
* eye makeup remover
* luxurious body butter or night cream for face (and it smells like you're in the tropics)
* help for dry scalp- put on scalp in eve then wash in am-this really helps!
What/Where to buy?
It seems pricey, but when you compare the cost to what you would spend on organic butter, it's about the same. I usually purchase the NUTIVA brand online at vitacost.   You can also find it at Trader Joes, and most co-ops or Natural Food stores. It is important to make sure you get cold pressed, so that the oil still contains its beneficial properties.

Whole Wheat Gingerbread Cookies

   I really like this recipe featured on the Tropical Traditions website for whole wheat gingerbread cookies that just so happen to be vegan friendly too. Enjoy!

Whole Wheat Gingerbread Cookies

  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon cloves
  • Dash of nutmeg
  • 3 cups whole wheat flour
  • 2/3 cup black strap molasses, generous
  • 1/3 cup coconut oil
Preheat oven to 350 F. Grease cookie sheets with additional coconut oil and set aside.
Mix all dry ingredients together and add molasses and oil together and slowly. Blend into dry ingredients well. If it is too dry add a tablespoon or two of water. Cookie dough should be of rolling consistency. You can roll and cut with cookie cutters or roll into a ball and use fork to press the cookie out.
Bake for 8-10 minutes for cookie cutter cookies and about 15 minutes for rolled and fork mashed cookies.