Chances are you have seen or read recently about all the great benefits of coconut oil: it has easier-to-metabolize saturated fats, it’s better for high-temperature cooking like stir frying, and it can be a healthier substitute for vegetable or canola oil in baking, not to mention its delicious slightly nutty, tropical flavor. Isn’t it time you tasted it for yourself? Here are just a few ways to get started cooking with coconut oil. (Note: coconut oil is packaged in solid form – for many recipes, you may need to warm it in the microwave a bit to liquify it before using).
1) Make a smoothie: Add richness and a hint of the tropics to your next smoothie. This blueberry coconut smoothie with coconut oil may be your new favorite on-the-go breakfast.
2) Spread it on toast: Spread some coconut oil on warm toast instead of butter for a healthier breakfast.
3) Drizzle it on popcorn: Try using liquified coconut oil for a unique twist to traditional buttered popcorn.
4) Add it to granola: Substitute coconut oil for vegetable or canola oil for your favorite granola recipe. This recipe is my absolute favorite!
5) Whip up a salad dressing: This sweet potato and spinach salad calls for a warm coconut oil and balsamic vinegar dressing – a perfect fall lunch!
6) Bake healthier french fries: Whether you prefer white russets or sweet potatoes, you can make crispy, baked french fries in the oven with minimal fuss using coconut oil. Make the process even easier by following the helpful tip in this recipe from the Northeast Organic Farming Association of New York to melt the coconut oil on the baking sheet while the oven preheats!
And don’t forget that you can use coconut oil for much more than just cooking! Check out Tipsaholic’s 10 Uses for Coconut Oil.
Julianne Puckett is the creator of Yankee Kitchen Ninja, a blog about what she calls “stealthy homemaking” — healthy recipes that are quick and easy to prepare, DIY gardening tips and the occasional craft project. A designer, writer and former suburban-dwelling IT professional, she lives in rural Vermont, where she struggles to balance the siren call of her inner farmer with her love of cute shoes and cocktails.