Ever since reading about coconut oil (in a book whose title I can’t repeat), I have wanted to try it. When I first looked for it at the grocery store I couldn’t bring myself to buy it (it was in a rather small jar and was $9). But I finally purchased a jar for a little less and I’m so glad I did. The first thing I noticed is that it is solid at room temperature, so when I scooped some onto the spoon to dump in the frying pan I felt like I was using lard or Crisco. I also immediately noticed how quickly it heats and becomes a liquid. Another interesting thing I noted was that there was absolutely no coconut flavor in the oil (I guess I expected it to smell like the suntan oil from my stupid high school tanning days). Instead, like peanut oil, coconut oil simply takes on the flavor of whatever you are cooking.
I am not a nutritionist, so I don’t know much about the health benefits of different oils, but I decided to do a little research and find out a little about this oil. Here are a few of the things I discovered:
Coconut oil helps in improving the digestive system and thus prevents various stomach and digestion related problems including irritable bowel syndrome.
The saturated fats present in coconut oil have anti-microbial properties and help in dealing with various bacteria, fungi, parasites, etc., that cause indigestion.
Coconut oil also helps in absorption of other nutrients such as vitamins, minerals and amino acids.
Although it is high in fat, coconut oil is composed predominately of medium-chain fatty acids (MCFA), also known as medium-chain triglycerides (MCT). MCFA are different from the long-chain or small-chain fatty acids in that they do not have a negative effect on cholesterol and actually help to protect against heart disease.
I made stir fry vegetables with coconut oil, and cooked them a little longer than usual so that the veggies were crisp…and so delicious! It seemed like the oil brought out the flavor of the vegetables, and with a little sea salt (and my favorite Janes Krazy Salt), I didn’t have to add any other spices for flavor. For delicious recipes (with pictures) using coconut oil visit:Love Veggies and Yoga. I bought a jar that said “Virgin coconut oil”, and I have heard that it is better to buy than the regular kind, however I have had some people tell me it doesn’t matter. For more information on the process behind “virgin” or not (or to purchase it online), see the following link.
Have you tried coconut oil? What recipes have you made using this oil?