Coconut oil is one of few oils that offers a huge amount of versatility. I began using coconut oil about 10 months ago after a cousin mentioned that she uses it for cooking her vegetables. She told me it was flavorless and I would not be able to taste the difference in my food. So I decided to buy it during my next grocery shopping trip. The very first dish I cooked with it was cabbage and portobello mushrooms. My cousin was right, it was flavorless and my dish did not taste any different.
Health Benefits of Coconut Oil
According to OrganicFacts.net, “The health benefits of coconut oil include hair care, skin care, stress relief, cholesterol level maintenance, weight loss, boosted immune system, proper digestion and regulated metabolism. It also provides relief from kidney problems, heart diseases, high blood pressure, diabetes, HIV, and cancer, while helping to improve dental quality and bone strength.” It is hard to believe that one single item can provide so much! Coconut oil contains lauric acid, capric acid, and caprylic acid. Their respective properties include antimicrobial, antioxidant, anti-fungal, antibacterial and soothing qualities. Talk about a wonder in a jar!
How I Use It
I don’t fry a lot of food, but when I do, it is normally tilapia fillets or chicken breasts. Instead of using shortening or vegetable oil, I always pull out my coconut oil. Coconut oil heats up fairly quickly and fries meat just as good as its counterparts.
As I previously mentioned, I have cooked cabbage (and other veggies like broccoli and spinach) in coconut oil, replacing the usual globs of butter. By doing so, the vegetables keep their nutritional value and your body is even more grateful that you ate your veggies.
I love to make popcorn on the stove. Before coconut oil, I used vegetable oil to make my yummy snack. One day on Pinterest I saw a woman say old movie theaters years ago used coconut oil to cook popcorn and that the taste was incomparable. She was right! After adding a little unsalted butter and sea salt, I then have theater-style popcorn.
Any recipe that calls for oil, whether vegetable, canola, or olive, I use coconut oil, especially when baking. You cannot tell the difference in taste and makes eating sweets not SO bad for you. My favorite sweets to use it in brownies, zucchini bread, waffle mix and banana muffins.
Coconut adds moisture and shine hair. My daughters’ hair love it! I can easily style their hair with a little water and coconut oil. It helps to reduce the frizz that they normally see and also helps tame their edges. I sometimes use it along with conditioner on wash days on my hair and on the girls’ hair as well.
During the winter months, skin has a tendency of becoming extra dry. This is especially common for those with eczema, like my youngest, Laila. She does not have an extreme case of eczema, but when her skin becomes dry and patchy, it is evident that she needs a little more moisture. I like to apply her lotion like normal and then apply coconut oil on top of that to seal in the moisture. As a result, her skin stays nice and moisturized for the entire day.
Once in a while when I am playing with my homemade skin products, I will apply coconut oil as my moisturizer. I usually do this at night, as coconut oil can leave your face looking slightly greasy. It leaves my face feeling so smooth and moisturized.
For more ways to use coconut oil, Check out Wellness Mama’s 101 Uses for Coconut Oil.
Have you tried coconut oil? What is your favorite way to use it?