Another topic I can’t stop talking about to my friends and clients is, what I consider, one of the best oils to cook with. Enter …. the delicious coconut oil.
The first time I heard about it was in 2009 following my husband’s cancer diagnosis. I was researching changes to help my family have a healthier life. I was extremely intrigued reading about coconut oil as I had never heard about it before, so I started digging deeper until I became convinced it is a great oil to use and started exclusively using it in all my cooking and baking.
I recently added olive oil and grape seed oil to the mix. I use these two oils mostly for cold foods – salad, mayonnaise, etc.
Coconut oil is mostly (approximately 85%) a saturated fat. There are different types of saturated fats (long chain, medium chain, and short chain). Coconut oil has medium-chain saturated fats. These types of fats can be absorbed easily by the body and used for energy.
The smoke point of coconut oil is high (between 350F and 450 F – lowest values for less refined oil). So one can safely use it for cooking and baking as it does not burn easily.
A lot of research has been done (and it is still being done) on the benefits of medium-chain saturated fats. What I read so far convinced me that coconut oil is one of the healthy oils to use on a regular basis. It has been shown to play a role in boosting the immune system, preventing atherosclerosis, lowering blood sugar level, etc.
I encourage you to do your own research and to choose the best one for you and your family. A good place to start is this article.
Fun fact about coconut oil: at low temperatures (basement pantry, fridge) it becomes solid and at high temperatures (hot summer day, on the stove, or in the oven) it becomes liquid. I think it would be a fun experiment to show your child how something solid turns liquid at one temperature and turns back to solid at another temperature.
There are many brands of coconut oil to choose from. Some have a strong coconuty flavour and taste, and others are so mild that you can’t to tell you are using coconut oil. I like the Omega Nutrition brand as it comes in a 7-lb. bucket (I use a lot of coconut oil on a daily basis), is organic, and does not smell or taste strongly of coconut.
What is your favourite oil to use in your kitchen? Have you ever used coconut oil in your cooking or baking?