With all the rage of goodness and health benefits, coconut oil is the new black. Once deemed evil because it is one of the richest sources of saturated fat, it is now far from that with a long list of health benefits because it is high in essential fatty acids. As well as being brilliant for your body on the inside, it helps to protect and moisturise hair and skin too. Its brilliant as a make up remover and mouth wash also.
I use coconut oil all the time in my cooking as it lends itself so well to South East Asian cuisines such as Vietnamese and Thai. It has a high melting point which means it doesn’t turn itself into something harmful like vegetable oils do. I do use a variety of other oils like extra virgin olive oil, rapeseed oil, butter and animal fats as I don’t want to cut them out of my food chain and virgin coconut oil is one of my must-have kitchen staples.
Here are 4 ways to use coconut oil and to include it daily at home in the kitchen.
Fry a beautiful fresh egg with coconut oil or make an omelette with it instead of using vegetable oils. Just a teaspoon to cover the frying pan with fat. There is a nutty flavour, nothing too dominating that would subtract from the lovely flavours of egg. Its also lovely in smoothies and coffee.
2. Use As A Spread
There are so many things you can do with coconut oil. First and foremost it is simply delicious on toast just on its own. Add jam if you wish. During the colder months, the oil will be more solid like butter whereas in the summer its more like an oil. You can use coconut oil to make your own almond, cashew or peanut butter – simply blend the raw nuts with the coconut oil, add a pinch of salt to bring out the flavours. You can also use cocoa powder and hazel nuts, just add them to the blender with a big dollop of coconut oil. Its a great way of intaking the goodness of nuts and coconut oil in a healthy snack/ meal which is home made and non processed without comprising on flavour.
Try making lemon or lime curd with coconut oil instead of butter too. It is so delicious! Add some lime or lemon zest at the end of cooking after the mixture has cooled down or grate some fresh zest on top of your spread. Use unrefined sugars or maple syrup instead of caster sugar if you’re avoiding it.
Its as simple as! Sterilise some jars and keep in a cool place or refrigerated (*if you keep it refrigerated, bring to room temperature before serving as the coconut oil turns it into a very hard solid)
3. Roast Vegetables
Either melt some coconut oil in an oven tray in the oven for 15 mins first or just coat coconut oil all over your lovely cleaned and cut vegetables. Season well with salt & pepper before roasting it for half an hour – forty five mins at 180c with your other trimmings and bits like a roast chicken. I always add some hardy herbs such as rosemary or thyme just 15 mins towards the end of the roast for the extra zing of flavour.
In recipes where butter or oil is used, replace it with coconut oil. Its so good. This is a Victoria sponge sandwiched with fresh fruit. I also use coconut oil in Asian cakes like chiffon cakes with pandan and coconut flavour – its excellent with blueberries too and makes the cake rise perfectly with the softest and lightest of textures.
I have been using coconut oil long before for flavour and goodness but with this post, I have partnered with Vita Coco.