Benefits of Coconut Oil and How to Use It

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coconutA friend of mine recently bought a gallon jug of organic coconut oil because she heard it was good for you. But then she emailed me 2 weeks after she bought it because she still hadn’t opened it and wasn’t really sure what to do with it.

If you are like my friend and are intimidated by coconut oil, don’t be.
It is probably one of the most versatile oils there is (even if it is solid at room temperature).

First let’s talk about the benefits of coconut oil.

  • Coconut oil is rich in medium chain fatty acids, which the body converts to energy more quickly, meaning they help stimulate metabolism.
  • It is nut-free, gluten-free, carb-free, Paleo Diet-friendly.
  • The majority of the saturated fat in coconut oil is in the form of lauric acid, which is why many consider it to be a healthier choice than other fat sources. There are studies that show that lauric acid can increase your HDL or “healthy” cholesterol and lower your LDL or “lethal” cholesterol.
  • It’s great for you skin.
  • IT’S DELICIOUS!

Now here are some tips on how to use coconut oil. 

  • Cooking. Instead of reaching for butter or olive oil, use a little scoop of coconut oil. It is ideal for frying because it has a very high smoke point.
  • Skin lotion. Rub it on those elbows, knees, ankles and hands – it’s so great for this time of year. I have a small tub of it in the bathroom and my kids get rubbed down with it after a bath. My son’s eczema has improved greatly with this. (I am not saying it’s a cure, it just really works for my son.)
  • Cradle cap (infantile seborrheic dermatitis). Both of my little ones had this. Rub in their heads and let it stand for 10 minutes, then use a washcloth to gently rub off the flakes.
  • Diaper cream. Stop buying chemicals and try this.
  • Coffee creamer. Use this recipe here! I know it sounds weird, but sooo tasty!
  • Baking. Use it as a substitute for shortening, butter, or other types of oil, and get a sweeter, lighter tasting dessert.
  • Smoothies. To get all the wonderful health benefits, add it to your favorite smoothie recipe. Start with a teaspoon. Just remember to heat it up to liquid form before stirring in.
  • Season cast-iron frying pans. I love my cast-iron pans, but you need to make sure they are always seasoned, so that foods don’t stick. To season, rub coconut oil all over the surface and bake for an hour at 350 degrees .
  • Toothpaste. Combine coconut oil with baking soda to make your own nontoxic toothpaste!
  • Popcorn. I cook popcorn on the stove. It’s easy and my kids love watching the lid of the pot come off with all the kernels. One part coconut oil to 3 parts kernels. Wait until the oil is hot and pour the kernels it. Most importantly, put a lid on it!

How and for what do you use coconut oil?

 

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January 2014
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