Thursday, January 10, 2013

The Wonder of Coconut Oil

If you are on pinterest at all or read any type of healthy living books or magazines I am sure you have heard of Coconut Oil.  We started cooking with it last spring and love it! I gave you some brief information on it in my Kettle Korn recipe this summer, but we use it on much more than popcorn and you should too!

My favorite Coconut Oil is from Trader Joe's and I stock up with about 6 bottles at a time since the  closest store is 3 hours away.  I have never had it go rancid on me, 1 jar lasts us about 2 months.  I would try a few different brands and see what you like, and then stock up when it's on sale.  Depending on what brand you buy its about $10 a bottle, but TJ's is only $6.  I know any natural grocer will carry it, and if your conventional grocery store has a natural/healthy section you will likely find it there.  I know Whole Foods and Walmart have a no questions asked return policy, and I am sure many other stores do as well.  But if you are anything like us, you won't be returning this jar!

I was confused when I first heard the term coconut oil and looked for it in a large bottle like Olive Oil.  It is not in liquid form like traditional oils and it's also not the same thing as Coconut Milk found in a can or the dairy case.  It is usually found with the other oil products and baking section.  It can also often be found in the health & beauty section since there are multiple uses for it besides eating that I will explain below.  Usually you will see multiple types. 

    Virgin (unrefined) coconut oil tastes and smells coconutty and is great for cooking and baking. You can use it for anything but it will impart a mild coconut taste and odor. Unrefined coconut oil retains the most nutritional value and is superior to refined oil.  Since we are always trying to eat the least processed foods, unrefined is the best choice for us. 
    Expeller pressed (refined) It does not have a coconutty smell or taste. It is still outstanding to use but does lose some of it’s health properties during the refining process, and is usually a little cheaper.
I use a spoon of it every morning to cook my eggs and use it in place of butter or oil in any recipe. It is easily melted to liquid form or you can just scoop it.  If you store it in the refrigerator it hardens up and doesn't spread easily, so we keep ours out on the counter.  When I am making popcorn I use it in melted form and just put the closed jar in a sink of hot water and it easily melts.  It's not like beer, it can go back and forth from the counter to the fridge everyday if you want.  It's super versatile! 

Coconut Oil is a true Multi-Tasker!  There are literally hundreds of ways to use it.  It's great as a moisturizer, lightens age spots and works as aftershave.  I've also used it as a deep conditioner for my hair and slept in it.  I normally have greasy hair anyways, so I was worried about putting more oil in my hair, but it worked great.  It's also wonderful to use in healing cuts, scraps and bruises. 

It has also been known to prevent or relieve a whole host of diseases and disorders including Alzheimer's, Cancer, Cholestrol, Colds/Flu, Energy, Gallbladder, Liver Disease, Cramping and Urinary Tracking Infections.  These health issues can also be lessened by including coconut oil on a daily basis: Acne, Sore Muscles, Cellulite, Decongestant, and Ear Infections.  It is also a great natural healer for your pets including Digestive Disorders, Bad Breath, Hairballs, Wound Healing, Clears up Itchy Skin, Eliminates Odor in Fur and Makes Coat Shiny. 

Whether you are trying to be frugal or just use less chemicals (or both!) you can also make Goo Gone, Insect Repellant and Furniture Polish from this miracle oil.   

Be on the lookout for a recipe next week using coconut oil.  It's another popcorn one! 

Do you use coconut oil?  What is your favorite way to use it or what are some options I have left out?  If your New Year's Resolutions had anything to do with healthy living, this is a must try!

1 comment:

  1. I just bought my first jar & love it. It has made a huge difference in my skin. Can't wait to experiment more.