Continuing my Oil theme, I want to extol the wonders of my new favorite oil: Coconut Oil. I know many people are on the fence about this natural oil because it is packed with the evil saturated fat!!!
Well, my friends, there is good news. Firstly, take a look at the populations that are the largest consumers of coconut oil and related products (due to the fact they live in an area that provides oodles of coconuts as a natural resource). These populations tend to have much less heart disease or diabetes than North America and many European countries. Then read here to learn more about studies on coconut oil which contains lauric acid which is excellent for heart health. Finally, head off to one of my favorite blogs, Hybrid Rasta Mama where you will find wonderful news about coconut oil and some delicious ideas for its use.
I have found that I cook with coconut oil almost all the time when cooking for the boys. My relationship with this oil began when my son’s nutritionist (when undergoing chemo) helped me create menus that would build up my son from frail waif to superman. She explained that this oil would provide healthy fats which were much needed…this worried me that I would gain weight too, but she assured me that the fats were actually good for maintaining a healthy weight and reducing the waistline.
I recently posted about making a protein breakfast with coconut oil used for the scrambled eggs. Delicious! I also use coconut oil when boiling pasta, sautéing vegetables, and making popcorn. Some people use it for baking (I don’t bake so I can’t rave about it personally). There are also several non-culinary ways I use this versatile oil:
1. Lib balm: straight from the tub, scoop a little out and use a finger to rub on lips. Just make sure you don’t lick it off if you love coconut! I have not had chapped lips all winter.
2. Hair treatment: Scoop a quarter-sized scoop from the tub and massage into scalp. Better than any product merely containing coconut oil! I do mix with olive oil also to help the oil massage more easily. I am left with gorgeous smelling, shiny, and healthy hair. I don’t go for trims as often as I don’t get split ends. (I will comb the oils down the shaft of my hair to coat it all over after a lovely scalp massage.
3. Boo boos: Yes, I have spread coconut oil on my kids’ boo boos before. The oil contains anti-fungal, antibacterial, and antiviral properties. it also speeds up the healing time of bruises.
4. Skin softener: a great alternative to olive oil as a moisturizer.skin softener. As I become more worldly about the junk marketed in pretty bottles, I find myself wanting to use only ingredients safe enough to eat on my skin…the largest organ of the body!
5. Dog/Cat coat glosser: Again, just like olive oil, this oil glosses up coats and also lubricates the inner workings of our pets beautifully.
6. Deodorant: don’t look so shocked…it works. I mix with baking soda for even better results.
So that is my little list of great things I do with coconut oil. This list is tiny in comparison to my friend, the true coconut oil expert over at Hybrid Rasta Moma who has 160 uses to date. She is my inspiration and I will be visiting her site to develop my own repertoire of uses. If you haven’t tried coconut oil yet, I suggest you give it a whirl….it’s wonderful!