7 Uses for Coconut Oil in the Kitchen
There’s no denying that coconut oil has become one of the hottest new household items. It can be used to make homemade lotion bars that smooth out dry, wrinkled skin; to produce deodorant that keeps us smelling fresh throughout the day. It can even create a homemade mayonnaise that doesn’t use less healthy vegetable or animal fats.
But there’s more to coconut oil than that. It’s also great in the kitchen (surprise, surprise) and can help you keep your family away from less healthy alternatives. So, what exactly can you substitute coconut oil for?
If there’s one thing many of us need to cut from our diets, it’s sugar. Overconsumption of the sweet stuff can lead to obesity, type 2 diabetes, and many other serious health conditions. In fact, physicians everywhere are pressing Americans to avoid high-sugar snacks and sweeteners.
That’s where coconut oil comes in. It can be added to your morning coffee to give your brew a unique texture and flavor. Unlike sugar or artificial sweetener, coconut oil won’t manipulate your blood sugar levels and lead to a jittery crash later in the day.
2. Cooking oil
Many of the oils we use to cook our food, like peanut oil, palm oil, vegetable oil, or shortening, contain loads of unhealthy compounds that can lead to obesity and other serious health conditions. That’s why doctors everywhere are telling people to try alternative cooking oils.
One of the most popular new uses for coconut oil is cooking. Coconut oil has a high smoke point, which means that, unlike many other oils, it won’t emit dangerous free radicals that can lead to serious health problems. Just toss a dollop in the pan and go from there.
3. Salad dressing
When it comes to salad dressings, there may not be a better one-two combination than olive oil and balsamic vinegar. But not everyone likes the taste of olive oil and even if you do you may be interested in changing things up once in a while.
Surprisingly, coconut oil makes a wonderful substitute for olive oil in salad dressing. It features a similar (though slightly heavier) texture with a sweet, subtle flavor that matches virtually any type of salad.
There’s no denying that butter is an essential part of the cooking experience. But if you’re looking to keep yourself and your family feeling fit and healthy, you might consider swapping out the butter in favor of coconut oil, which features a similar texture but far less saturated fat.
So, the next time you make toast, try spreading some coconut oil and cinnamon on top. You may be surprised by how incredible the slightly nutty and very sweet flavor of the oil mixes with the texture of the bread. It’s a great way to ditch the less healthy butter in the morning.
Yogurt has many uses – it can thicken up a weak smoothie and it offers a satisfying snack at mid-morning or in the afternoon. But yogurt, which contains probiotic properties, can sometimes do awkward things to our digestive systems. Generally, that’s good – but it’s not always desirable.
That’s why you should consider reaching for the coconut oil instead. It features a thick and creamy texture similar to yogurt, which means it can easily substitute yogurt in a smoothie or as a standalone midday bite. Add some berries and a few sliced almonds and you have one heck of a healthy snack.
Right now the United States federal government is implementing legislation designed to get unhealthy trans fats out of our diets. Much of that trans fat comes to us through baked goods, which are often made using lard or shortening.
That’s why many health experts recommend using far healthier coconut oil as a substitute for lard or shortening. Not only does it add a subtle, sweet flavor, but it results in a nice, light consistency when baking pie crust or biscuits.
If you use a cast-iron pan for your cooking, you know that it’s important to grease up your cookware after every use. But slathering your cookware with vegetable or animal fats can be unhealthy.
The good news is that you can use coconut oil for this purpose. Simply drop a scoop of coconut oil in your pan and smooth it out across the side and bottom to ensure that food won’t stick to it, creating an awful mess. And unlike vegetable or animal grease, coconut oil is packed with healthy compounds that will keep your family feeling good.
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