Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Why I Love Coconut Oil!!!!

Today I thought that I would share with you my latest obsession! About 2 years ago I noticed that a lot of the food blogs that I follow were starting to include coconut oil in their recipes. Now I'm sure that coconut oil has been around for much longer than that, but that was just when I noticed it. Anyway, I thought that coconut oil would be one of those things that would be ridiculously hard to get my hands on in Dunedin and even if I could it would be ridiculously expensive.

About October last year I made a trip up to Wellington to see my sister and attend the amazing wearable arts show. Browsing the supermarket one evening for some food to take back to my sister's apartment for tea I noticed a jar of coconut oil. On closer inspection, this jar of coconut oil was only about $8, well within my student budget considering 1 alcoholic beverage on a night out in town will cost me just as much. So I bought the coconut oil and used it once or twice but mostly it just sat there in my pantry.

Earlier this year when I started reading up about real food practices, I noticed a lot of praise for coconut oil for its health benefits and also for how versatile it is. Ever since then I have had something of a love affair with this product. Hungry male thinks I'm being silly with my obsession with this 'hippy' product, but I challenge you to try it for yourself and not fall in love with it. says that coconut oil is rich in lauric acid which can protect against infection, can help to improve cholesterol and can actually help you lose weight.

Here are some of the ways that I like to use coconut oil (and its not just for in the kitchen)

1) Use it in place of olive oil or butter as a fat for cooking. Coconut oil is able to survive high temperatures and don't worry, your food won't taste like coconut. I swear that coconut oil makes the crispiest homemade fries!!

2) Use it in candy and baking. Coconut oil is solid at room temperature so to use it in baking you have to melt it a little. What is great is that when you re-chill whatever you are making the coconut oil re-hardens. This makes it perfect to make things like rice bubble slice, fudges and candy-like things.

3) Makes delicious sauces and drizzles. Probably one of the main ways I use coconut oil is to melt 1tsp with 1 tsp peanut butter and a little honey and then drizzle it over my fruit. So so good!!

4) For your face. I sometimes get really bad combination skin, especially in winter. This means that I have acne with dry patches right beside it. I have taken to using coconut oil as a cleanser. What is so great about this is that apparently the coconut oil is antibacterial so treats the acne while at the same time leaves my skin really nicely moisturised. All you need to do is take a very small bit of coconut oil, rub it between your hands to melt it and then massage it into your face. Wash it off with some warm water.

N.B. I would recommend only using coconut oil at night as it leaves a bit of a residue initially that may cause issues with make-up.

5) As a hair mask. Melt 1/2 Tbsp coconut oil and massage and comb it evenly through your hair (Yes your hair will look like a horrible greasy mess at this point). Wrap it up in a towel and leave for 20-30 mins. Wash in the shower using your usual shampoo and conditioner, however, you will only need a very small amount of conditioner. If your hair still feels a bit greasy after shampooing once you may need to do it 2 times. This left my hair soft, shiny and looking really healthy.

I really am hooked on this product!

For those of you in New Zealand I have been able to get coconut oil from New World Supermarket in the specialty food section, from health food stores and from organic shops. In Dunedin, the cheapest place to get it is from the Taste Nature shop down by the casino.

Do you already use coconut oil? What is your favourite way to use it?

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