Does adding coconut oil to your food have health benefits? A lot has been written about the health benefits of coconut oil over the past few years. And yes, adding coconut oil to your food can have health benefits. However, it is important that you use the right kind of coconut oil.
Health Benefits of Virgin Coconut Oil
Just like with any other, it is important to buy the right kind of oil to make the most of any health benefits. Adding refined coconut oil will not offer any health benefits. Coconut oil from the Coconut Company is not refined and is the best choice for you and your family.
Although coconut oil is a fat, it is not a processed fat and therefore still contains essential fatty acids along with vitamins. As a matter of fact, four of the vitamins in Virgin coconut oil, are hard to find in other foods.
Coconut oil is one the richest natural sources of vitamins such as A, D, E and K. As we all know, our bodies need a daily intake of vitamin D to stay healthy.
The oil is made up out of Medium Chained Fatty Acids which are less likely to end up as extra fat in our bodies. When compared to saturated fat found in meat and cheese, natural sources containing Medium Chained Fatty Acids, are much healthier for you.
Adding Virgin Coconut Oil To Your Cooking
Is adding Virgin coconut oil to your home cooking difficult? Doing so is not difficult at all. Bear in mind that Virgin coconut oil has a distinct taste, so it is best to find recipes that work well with this particular oil. However, in general, using pure coconut oil in food preparation is not very different from using Virgin olive oil. It is just a matter of finding the right taste and flavour combinations.
Two Savoury Dishes With Coconut Oil
Virgin coconut oil tastes get in Oriental dishes. Here is one recipe that you should try.
Oriental Fragrant Noodle Bowl
- 1 tbsp miso paste
- 750 ml of boiling water
- 1 lemongrass stalk or 1 teaspoon of lemon grass puree
- 2 tbsp of soy sauce
- 100 grams of dried noodles
- 3 tbsp Virgin coconut oil
- 2 pak choi
- 50 gram cashew nuts
- 1 large courgette
- 4 spring onions
- 30 g fresh root ginger
- 2 garlic cloves
- 1 red chilli
- Put the miso into a jug of boiling water, add the lemon grass, soy sauce and pour the water of the dried noodles. Leave to soften.
- Chop up all of the vegetables, and heat up two tablespoons of the coconut oil. Add the vegetables and cook until soft. Then add the remaining ingredients including the cashew nuts, spring onions, ginger and crushed garlic. Once you have done that, add the remaining coconut oil and stir in the noodles.
- Dish up in between two pre-heated bowls and serve.
Vietnamese Pork Courtesy of the Hairy Bikers
- 1 tbsp coconut oil
- 4 shallots
- 600 g belly pork with all of the fat and skin removed plus cut into chunks
- The inner part of 2 lemongrass stalks
- 75 g soft brown sugar
- 3 star anise
- 1 tsp Chinese five-spice
- 1 tbsp fish sauce
- Fry the shallots in the coconut oil and then add the belly pork and cook for several minutes until brown.
- If you would like, you can at this stage add a little more oil. Slowly add the remaining ingredients one at the time, and then cover to cook for about one hour to two hours. The recipe is best prepared in a wok with a lid, but you can also brown the belly pork and cook all of the ingredients in a slow-cooker on high for about 5 hours.
- Serve with steamed rice and perhaps a few stir fried vegetables on the side.
What About Desserts With Coconut Oil?
Yes, you most certainly can create delicious desserts using coconut oil. The best thing about coconut oil, is that it is a high smoke point. That means it can be easily added to make dishes such as pancakes. You can come up with your own flavour combinations, but here is a word of warning for you.
Once you have tried coconut oil with blueberries, you will never look back. It is one of those taste sensation that can tickle your taste buds and that you will remember for a long time.
Coconut oil works particularly well in gluten-free recipes. It adds lots of taste to both gluten-free bakes and pancakes.
Gluten- Free Pancakes With Blueberries
- 4 tbsp melted coconut oil
- 4 eggs
- 4 tbsp boiled water
- 2 tbsp maple syrup
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 unwaxed lemon, juice and zest
- pinch of salt
- 4 tbsp coconut flour
- ½ bicarbonate of soda
- Serve this dish with coconut yogurt or vegan cream cheese. Also, don’t forget to add the blueberries once you have cooked the pancakes.
- Simply mix all of the ingredients together, let stand for about 30 minutes and then fry in even more coconut oil. Sprinkle over the blueberries and add the yogurt on the side.
Gluten-Free Cupcakes with Tahini Icing
Ingredients for the cupcakes:
- 300 g cooked butternut squash
- 140 g buckwheat flour
- 1 tbsp ground cinnamon
- 4 tbsp melted coconut oil
- 4 tbsp maple syrup
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 tsp gluten-free baking powder
- 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
Ingredients for the tahini icing
- 1 ½ tbsp maple syrup
- 130 g coconut oil
- 2 tbsp tahini
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- Preheat your oven to 180 C and mix all of the ingredients together. Line a baking tray with paper cases and spoon about 3 tablespoons of the mixture into each case. Bake for about 18 – 20 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean.
- Leave to cool and then make the icing. Add to the cupcakes with a spatula or pipe the mixture on.
Coconut oil really does make the perfect store cupboard ingredient as it lasts for longer than other fats. Don’t be afraid to experiment with it and remember it works well with both gluten-free and regular recipes.