Wednesday, May 4, 2011
If you were to google cocount oil you would find a wealth of pages to choose from. There are long lists of potential health benefits that are atttributed to coconut oil, in fact so many that it sounds suspiciously like good ol' snake oil - buy a jar of this and you will never have any health or aging concerns. Apparently it will fix every little thing that ever goes wrong from hair care to brain health. I don't claim to have any kind of comprehensive knowledge about the oil but the reading I have done has been enough to prompt me to use it and see what I think. And I think I like it.
On first opening a jar I was surprised to find a very solid pure white substance. Surprised because oil to me is a liquid. Deterred, I put it back on the shelf and resorted to my favorite standby - EVO. But I kept reading tidbits about the health benefits and decided to give it an honest try. Initially I used it for the little bit of frying that I do - it has a very high smoke point and is considered the healthiest oil to use for frying. I was happy to discover that a very little bit goes a long way for frying foods - much less than say canola or olive oil. It does have a slight taste (as do all oils) but it is not at all a bad taste. For Asian dishes the taste is actually a real enhancement. But the use I am most excited about is substituting coconut oil for other vegetable oils when baking. I am still a huge fan of butter for baking - I know it is not a super healthy choice but I continue to believe that it is a much healthier choice than margarine -yuck! - and the taste cannot be beat. Of course, many cannot choose to use butter because of issues with dairy and then coconut oil becomes quite exciting. I use coconut oil in place of canola oil in my granola now and it is a really nice replacement - I think the granola is actually much better.
Anyway, bottom line is that I (currently) think coconut oil is a great oil to use and recommend that you google it and try it yourself. Who knows? It may in fact be the miracle we are all waiting for and if not, well, it makes great hand cream ;)
I am not endorsing any particular brand - this jar just happens to have been the brand that was at the store the last time I bought coconut oil. I can say that I like it though. Do buy the Extra Virgin Coconut Oil.