Coconut oil is the edible oil extracted or pressed from the mature coconut meat.
This oil will be solid at room temperature and melts around 76 degrees F. When possible always choose organic cold pressed oil and stay away from any coconut oils that say hydrogenated. Not only is coconut oil great for cooking and eating, but you can also use it in several other ways in your beauty routine.
How to Use:
Use as a cooking oil, for roasting, stir into warm quinoa, pasta, roasted vegetables (it melts great!), use in desserts, add to smoothies for healthy fat and an easy way to sneak in calories (if that’s your goal). Also great to use for those who have sluggish digestion or suffer from malabsorption. To use as a beauty product: use in hair as a deep conditioner (you’ll need to wash it out after) or as a skin moisturizer.
Health Benefits of Coconut Oil:
*for specific coconut sources and their nutrition information check out this great chart resource
Fat — saturated fat (65% MCT, medium chain triglycerides)
Fatty acids in coconut — 49% lauric acid, about 18% mysteric acid, 9% palmitic acid, capric and caprylic acid at 7-8% respectively, 5-6% oleic acid, about 3% stearic acid, and 2% linoleic.
Much more data and studies need to be carried out with coconut oil and its effects on health, in general, a couple of things noted from studies show coconut oil may help with fat loss, weight control, increasing metabolic rate (i.e. metabolism), antimicrobial properties, digestion, improving skin and moisturizing skin, and tastes great.
Where to Purchase:
Health food stores, grocery stores, farmers markets, or online retailers ( Trader Joe’s, Nutiva, and Artisana)
Tips and Tricks:
Since coconut oil is a saturated fat, it’s composition is solid at room temperature, unless it’s a warm room then the oil will be melted. If you need to use coconut oil for a recipe and it’s in the solid state, simply run the jar under warm/hot water until the coconut oil starts to melt (it doesn’t take that much heat to start melting). Store in your pantry for quick use.
For a more in-depth review of coconut oil, check out Spotlight On Coconut post.