10 easy ways to use coconut oil
By: Prosecco & Plaid
I was in the grocery store the other day and found myself gazing at an aisle of coconut oils, coconut aisles if you will. The shimmering white jars lulled me into a stream of my own musings, mostly at the vast array of adjectives that decorated each: cold-pressed, hot-pressed, tepid-pressed, expeller pressed, centrifuge extracted, virgin, extra virgin, not a virgin, not a virgin at all, promiscuous, organic, all-natural, refined, unrefined, etc. (some of these may be a product of my imagination).
"Do You Know You Can Get That at BJ'S for Half the Price"
My stream of consciousness was interrupted by a woman behind me, then making me aware of the variety in price, as well. I reached for one that was unrefined and cold-pressed, meaning it didn't undergo any heat therapy and all of the nutrients were cozily inside the jar. These kinds typically have a mild coconut flavor, which I like for cooking flavor and DIY beauty purposes.
The sudden boom in coconut oil parallels nicely with the constant memes of ***pours coconut oil over entire life*** that saturate Instagram. And speaking of saturation, coconut oil was originally labeled as a bad guy because of its incredibly high saturated fat content. But the benefits of coconut oil come from the specific type of saturated fat. More than half of its saturated fat content is lauric acid, which is shown to increase HDL levels, and in turn boost good cholesterol. This type of fat is easily converted to energy.
Olive oil vs. coconut oil. The bottom line is there are still more studies using olive oil than the coconut stuff. When choosing one or the other for cooking, reach for coconut oil when heating food to high temperatures, as it is more stable at high heat. Olive oil, due to its chemical structure, is susceptible to oxidative damage when exposed to high temperatures.
Beyond cooking, there are a variety of ways to use coconut oil and I've shared a few of my favorites below. Try some. Go ahead, get (coco)nuts with it.
1. Make into a body scrub (use old coffee grounds, already filtered through, brown sugar, coconut oil, vanilla extract) – great for exfoliation after sun burns have faded while simultaneously serving as a moisturizer: 1 Cup ground organic coffee, 1 Cup organic sugar or salt, ½ Cup organic coconut oil, ½ Tablespoon cinnamon (optional), 1 Tablespoon vanilla (optional)
2. Use as massage oil and/or lotion and/or any kind of lubricant, hint hint wink wink (can help speed healing of sun burns)
3. Make golden milk into popsicles for those summer colds (2 cups of frozen peaches sautéed in 2 tbsp coconut oil, juice from one orange, 1 tsp turmeric, 1/4 tsp black pepper, 1 can full fat coconut milk, and 1 tsp vanilla extract. Sauté for 5-7 minutes, until fragrant, then put into popsicle molds.)
4. Rub into hair to stimulate growth as well as hydrate after days by the pool
5. Make into granola for a summer breakfast (2 cups rolled oats, 1/4 cup oat flour, 2 tbsp flaxseed meal, 2 tbsp chia seeds 3/4 cup almonds, 3/4 cup cashews, 2 tsp cinnamon, 1/4 tsp nutmeg, 1/4 tsp sea salt, 1/4 cup coconut oil, 1/3 cup honey, 1 tsp vanilla extract. optional: dark chocolate, dried cherries, coconut flakes – recipe by Ambitious Kitchen)
6. Put some on your lips as a natural for of chapstick (try brands like CocoKind)
7. Add 1 tbsp to a cup of coffee and blend. Tastes almost like a coconut latte and slows the coffee's absorption to avoid that jittery feeling.
8. Bring raw cashew coconut bites to a picnic or to the beach as a sweet treat (1/2 cup cashews and 1/2 cup dates, soaked in hot water for 10 minutes. Add to food processor with 1/2 cup coconut flakes, 2 tbsp coconut oil, 1 tsp cinnamon, and 1/4 tsp vanilla extract. Blend and form into balls. Optional: roll in coconut or chia seeds)
9. Make a face mask at home to moisture skin: mix equal parts in a bowl until well combined. Apply the mixture to your face and neck with your fingertips. Remove after 10 minutes.
10. Add it to a smoothie or salad dressings to increase the nutrient absorption of fruits and vegetables.
smoothie: 1/2 cup frozen spinach, 1 banana, 1/4 cup frozen mango, 1/4 cup frozen pineapple, 2 cups coconut milk, 1 tbsp coconut oil, 1 scoop vanilla plant-based protein powder
salad dressing: 2 tbsp coconut oil, 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar, 1 fresh tsp ginger, 1 tbsp fresh basil, pinch of salt and pepper
So what to do if you're still struggling to figure out what to do with with coconut oil? POUR COCONUT OIL OVER ENTIRE LIFE.