Coconut oil. It’s all the rage right now. But is this just some passing trend that will come and go faster than Paris Hilton’s singing career, or is it here to stay? I first heard of coconut oil when I saw people talking about oil pulling on a few months back. I have since read up on some the health benefits of this natural product and have partaken in some of the trends myself. More on that to come.
There is one main reason that I have fallen in love with coconut oil: cooking. Since first starting to use coconut oil in my go-to recipes, you would be hard pressed to convince me not to use it - I cannot get enough of it! My suggestion would be to look for certified organic, virgin (unrefined) or refined, coconut oil. If you go the organic virgin route, the oil will have a soft yet distinguishable coconut flavor and aroma.
I have primarily been using coconut oil for sauteing vegetables - kale, asparagus, mushrooms, peppers. This oil is able to withstand heat better than other options such as olive or sesame oil, making it a better cooking option. The best part? It does not affect the flavor of the food you are cooking. I have started making veggie hash with coconut oil and found myself noticing only the flavors of the vegetables that I used. My mouth and taste buds were not being overpowered by a thick oil taste and texture that you sometimes get with olive oil, vegetable oil, or butter. It is almost as if I hadn’t used oil at all!
I've purchased coconut oil at both Mariano's Fresh Market and Costco. If you plan are cooking exclusively with coconut oil, then perhaps Costco is the way to go! I spent $24.00 on two 42-oz jars, while I've seen a single 14-oz jar going for upwards of $10.00 at a normal grocery store. It's really up to you and how often you plan on using it.
So while I may still be skeptical about the longevity of coconut oil’s health trend, I will 100% stand behind coconut oil in the cooking realm.
Coconut Oil - SMAK Approved!