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Deliciously Organic: Coconut Oil

Deliciously Organic

A blog devoted entirely to simple, wholesome, organic cooking.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Coconut Oil

If you've been reading my blog for any amount of time you've probably noticed that I cook with a lot of coconut oil. I began cooking with this oil several years ago when I learned about all of the health benefits it contains and the versatility it has to offer. Coconut oil is a very stable oil with a very high smoking point. When an oil reaches its smoking point, the oil breaks down and begins to create free radicals. Free radicals damage the cells of the body so, of course, you don't want to create them in the foods you prepare. Coconut oil is a medium fatty acid chain and so therefore the body does not store it as fat. MCTs (medium chain triglycerides) are immediately used in the body for energy. Another great benefit of coconut oil is that it is rich in lauric acid and also has very high anti-viral properties. It's fantastic to use when cold and flu season comes around. Whenever anyone in our home begins to feel the symptoms of the flu or a cold we take 3 tablespoons of coconut oil a day and it has knocked out whatever virus we have. My husband actually travels with a jar of it since it's a quick remedy when he starts to feel sick. (perfect for this time of year when the flu is such a big concern!)

I use coconut oil anytime I am sautéing above a medium heat or when I am roasting, grilling, or broiling. Olive oil is a very popular oil to use for sautéing and roasting but it is important to understand that it has a medium smoking point. So, if you use olive oil above a medium heat it will reach it's smoking point and oxidize thus turning it into something that is harmful for your body.

As there are different grades of olive oil, there are also different grades of coconut oil. It is important to find an oil that is extra virgin and also centrifuged. This ensures the least amount of processing and in the end a product that has the greatest health benefits. My favorite oil is from Wilderness Family Naturals.  I've been buying from them for years and have always been completely satisfied with their product.

When you purchase coconut oil it will either be a solid or a liquid. This is because coconut oil is a solid at 76 degrees and below and a liquid at 77 degrees and above. So don't be concerned if your oil goes back and forth between these two states because this is completely normal.

If you would like to read more about the research that has been done on coconut oil and more about its health benefits click here. Personally my favorite article is called, "The Oiling of America". It's a fascinating article about the oils we consume today and why we consume them. Personally I found this article as good as any spy novel, but then again, I'll stay up all night reading a book about the studies on cholesterol so that really isn't saying much.


Blogger monicajane said...

I've been using coconut oil more as well for all the reasons you state but I simply don't like it's flavor in everything...

is there any that is still wholesome and mostly unprocessed that doesn't taste so much like coconut??

I can't imagine using the stuff I have in's very pungent.

October 11, 2009 at 5:48 PM  
Blogger Deliciously Organic said...

The more processed you get the less coconut flavor there is. I really like the one from Wilderness Family Naturals b/c it has a faint coconut aroma but not much flavor. I'd stay away from the brand "spectrum" it is super sweet. WFN does make one that is expeller pressed that would have less aroma of coconut.

I have also learned that I don't need as much as I usually think I do to cook. I would try using a very small amount to saute, roast, etc. and go from there. At the beginning I was using way to much and everything tasted like coconut!

If it helps, my husband can't stand coconut but doesn't notice when I use the oil in my cooking.

October 11, 2009 at 6:01 PM  
Blogger monicajane said...

well...I recently used some to flavor a pumpkin soup and I wanted it to taste like coconut but I didn't taste it at all...(I didn't put all that much in) But my husband did taste it and that's strange because in general I'm the one that can pick out any flavor in food and he just does not have that skill.

so now I'm concerned he won't like it.

anyway...I'll do what you suggest and see how it goes.

October 11, 2009 at 6:11 PM  
Blogger Heidi said...

It also makes a great moisturizer. I keep a big tub in the kitchen and a smaller one in the bathroom. Nothing like a good natural moisturizer for the largest organ in/on our body. It's worked wonders keeping my skin softer at this high altitude in CO.

Thanks for the tips and recipes, Carrie.

October 12, 2009 at 8:50 PM  
Blogger Kristen said...

Carrie, how timely your post is! I just ordered more c.o. last night. It's been several months since we've had any. We have had sickness in our home since the beginning of August. Right now, Clara is on her 2nd case of antibiotics due to Strep. Agh. We were so healthy from the time that we began using c.o. to cook with. I truly hope that as we refocus, get the junk out of our diets and begin using c.o. again that we will see wellness return. Thanks for your thoughts!

October 14, 2009 at 11:24 AM  
Blogger Unknown said...

Coconut oil for the cold or flu? Please tell me more! Carrie, do ya'll actually swallow 3 Tbsp if you feel a cold coming on? I would like to know for future use! Thanks!

November 16, 2009 at 10:45 AM  
Blogger Deliciously Organic said...

Hey Noelle, You crack me up! I actually do swallow the oil but my hubby and oldest daughter have a hard time with that. Other options are to put it in your tea or coffee, spread it on toast then top with honey or some kind of nut butter, or you can just rub it on your skin. It also makes the BEST deep conditioner for your hair. Smear about a tablespoon over your hair, let it sit for about 30 minutes and then wash it really well with shampoo. Ok, and I also use it on my face. My husband jokes that soon I'll be using it for our car too. :)

November 16, 2009 at 12:15 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

Love your blog. Have you heard of organic coconut oil
? You might wish to partner with them on some of this stuff, I think you would be good partners. Taylor p.s. I love your site design! Nice work

December 20, 2009 at 1:08 PM  
Anonymous nakedbeet said...

And now I've found another blogger that regularly posts with coconut oil recipes. Hooray! We use it on everything here, sweet and savory. I've been using Nutiva for awhile now, replacing it with grapeseed 1/2 the time and using olive and other oils for dressings. I'm so glad I found your site through Tartelette!

February 9, 2010 at 10:38 AM  

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