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Why Coconut Oil Should Be In Your Pantry

September 03 2013 - 1:00 PM

Now that the olive oil craze is slowly winding down, health buffs need a new oil and healthy fat to obsess over. After reading up about coconut oil quite a bit and trying it out for myself, I am a convert to say the least. Coconut oil aids in digestion, is good for your thyroid and blood sugar, and it can also increase your metabolism and energy. It’s even good for your skin and hair, with tons of antioxidants. Here’s why I use it.

1. It’s a great alternative to oil for cooking

I make a mean stir-fry. It’s an easy way to use leftover veggies, protein and rice. Throw in some soy sauce, garlic, ginger and fry up your ingredients in coconut oil for a slight coconut flavor that is perfect for any Asian dish. If you normally would use canola or vegetable oil, coconut oil is a more nutritious alternative. Plus, if you’re making a dish with a heavier sauce, you likely won’t be able to taste the coconut flavor at all and it’s just a nice way to incorporate those health benefits.

2. It’s spreadable

Coconut oil melts extremely quickly. While butter hardens in the fridge and takes awhile to defrost, coconut oil is the perfect alternative. Spread it on some toast or an English muffin with jam and it’ll melt right on the warm bread in a few seconds.

3. It makes a nutritious cooking spray

If you just aren’t sure how to incorporate coconut oil into your diet, use it to oil your pan when you’re cooking or baking. Trader Joe’s makes a great coconut oil spray that I use just as I would a Pam or olive oil spray.

4. Bake with it to add in some nutritional value

While your cookies will lose their crunch if you substitute in coconut oil for butter, it does work for a number of baked goods. I made some homemade banana bread for friends using coconut oil as the fat, and no one could taste the coconut flavor or tell the difference. It certainly doesn’t taste like a healthy alternative!