Nutty for Coconuts
I first fell in love with coconut oil back in 2006 when I was living in NYC and attending the Institute for Integrative Nutrition. There are so many reasons to love it besides the fact that it taste like coconut. I grew up in the Dominican Republic with a coconut tree in my backyard (literally) so to me it tastes like home. I love going home and eating real, delicious, fresh coconut. Who knew coconut oil was so good for you? After all, it’s loaded with fat! I love it so much I recently bought a gallon jug of it!
Lets face the fat first. Coconut oil is a medium-chain fat which means the body burns it quicker than vegetable oils which are long chain fatty acids. I’m not going to get into the chemistry of fats, that would make for a very long and boring post. I’ll stick to the standout facts (in my opinion). The main fat in coconut oil in lauric acid (also found in human breast milk) which happens to be anti fungal, antimicrobial, antiviral. It can even improve HDL to LDL ratio. To me those are excellent reasons to eat buy a gallon of oil.
It does really well in high temperatures and won’t turn rancid. You can use it as a butter subsitute or use it for baking just about anything. My husband is not at all a coconut fan and is pretty good about making the appropriate gagging sounds when I try to trick him into eating it, so sadly I don’t cook with it as much as I could. Annabelle and I love it though. Sometimes I’ll steam or roast carrots, butternut squash or sweet potatoes and toss half of it in coconut oil for Annabelle and myself and the other half in organic pastured butter for Andrew.
Coconut oil is not just for eating though. I have 3 jars of coconut oil in different places around the house. Keep in mind all of the antibacterial properties, it’s a great supplement during cold and flu season, and year round really. Here are some of my favorite things to do with coconut oil:
1-body lotion / massage oil
2- diaper rash cream
3- eye makeup remover
4- salve for cuts, scrapes, bumps, bruises, unexplained rashes and itches
6- body scrub (I mix it with brown sugar and keep a jar in the shower)
7- use as a carrier oil to make garlic oil for ear infections
8- helps regulate thyroid function when taken internally
9- 3 1/2 tbsp daily is said to increase milk supply
10- helps relieve menstrual cramps when consumed on a regular basis
11- improves HDL (good cholesterol)
12- Insect repellent when mixed with pepermint oil
13- Home made vapo rub when mixed with essential oils
14- seasoning cookware
15- cooking, baking, sauteing…
16- in oatmeal
17- home made ice cream, milk shakes, popsicles
18- wood polish
There are a ton of other uses for coconut oil, these are just some of my favorites. Did I mention I haven’t gotten a cold sore at all since I started taking it almost daily? I always get cold sores with temperature changes and we’ve had some crazy temperature changes in Texas this winter and I haven’t gotten one!
So now you’re sold right? If you’re nutty like I am and want a gallon let me know. The best kind to get is unrefined, virgin, organic. Next best is expeller-pressed (removes the scent and the coconutty flavor). Industrial coconut oil which you can even find at Walmart is made by extracting oil from dry coconut meat and is refined, bleached and deodorized (bye, bye vitamins) to make it edible. Make sure to read the label!
I know I missed a ton of other uses. What are some of your favorite ways to use coconut oil? I’d love to come up with an interactive list!