Give your favorite dishes a healthful and tasty makeover this week with some coconut oil.
Coconut oil has become the oil of choice because of its concentration of medium-chain fatty acids, specifically, lauric acid. Lauric acid is a type of saturated fat that hasn't been shown to be harmful to the heart. This type of fat is also processed through the liver instead of being stored in the body as fat, which is why coconut oil is also recommended for weight management.
Coconut is produced by pressing the meat and/or shells of fresh coconuts (Cocos nucifera). It's solid and opaque at room temperature and becomes a clear liquid when heated. When shopping for coconut oil, look for extra virgin and cold-pressed coconut oil -- this means the oil has been less processed and not heated, keeping its nutritional qualities intact.
Here are 12 of our favorite ways to use coconut oil in the kitchen, whether you're in the mood for something sweet or savory:
1. Coat your pan or griddle with coconut oil before making pancakes for a delicate sweetness. You can also use coconut oil instead of butter as a topping.
2. Saute vegetables like carrots, snap peas and bell peppers for a delicious Asian-style stir-fry. Add a protein and put over brown rice or quinoa for a complete meal.
3. Add coconut oil to recipes for baked goods instead of butter and other forms of oil or shortening. Your desserts will still be moist and delicious.
4. Brush coconut oil over meat, tofu or vegetables and then top with seasonings before roasting or baking.
5. Blend coconut oil into a smoothie with banana, pineapple and mango for a tropical treat.
6. Swap out the butter you may use to cook your morning eggs (any style) or top them with coconut oil at the end before eating.
7. Drizzle melted coconut oil over your freshly popped popcorn for a sweet and savory taste.
8. Create a delicious curry by cooking ingredients in coconut oil, or stirring some in before serving. This works especially well is you're making a curry with coconut milk in the base.
9. Create a vegan butter cream-style frosting by using coconut oil instead. Use it to top cupcakes or larger desserts for a decadent treat.
10. Add a light coconut flavor to your coffee, latte or hot chocolate by stirring in some coconut oil while hot.
11. Combine coconut oil with cocoa powder and liquid stevia to sweeten. Let harden and enjoy -- you've made chocolate!
12. Grease your muffin tin or cake pan with coconut oil instead of cooking sprays, which can be full of artificial ingredients.
Shop for coconut oil and save at eVitamins and then get cooking. Have a great week!