Cooking with coconut oil is an activity that has grown over the years and should be tried once in a lifetime.
Using coconut oil for cooking is the same as other types of oils or shortenings, but with healthier nutritional properties for people and greater utilities in the kitchen.
It is a versatile product, which can be used for cooking or as an ingredient in your recipes, as well as being used in personal care treatments.
Take a look at the types of coconut oil, what you can cook with coconut oil, the benefits it offers and some tips for cooking, health and beauty.
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- Types of coconut oil
- What can we cook with coconut oil?
- Basic tips for use
- What to do besides cooking with coconut oil?
- Coconut oil off the cooker
Types of coconut oil
Coconut oil for cooking is commonly available in a solid form, as long as it is stored in a room temperature below 24 Celsius.
Above that temperature, it will quickly begin to turn to liquid. You can distinguish it by its white block or cube appearance and hard texture
Beyond its physical characteristics, coconut oil for cooking is divided into two types: refined and virgin.
In the case of refined coconut oil, the coconut pulp undergoes various refining processes, such as being deodorised or bleached.
Refined coconut oil has cooking benefits such as being colourless, has no coconut flavour – a characteristic that does not go well with any food – and withstands cooking temperatures of up to 232°C, without producing smoke or taking on a fatal flavour.
However, you should be wary of coconut oils that have been subjected to chemical substances or processes during refining, such as partial or complete hydrogenation.
Cooking with hydrogenated coconut oil can lead to health problems, such as an increased risk of cardiovascular disease or an excessive increase in cholesterol.
In the case of virgin oil, it is extracted by pressing the coconut and no chemicals are added to alter its taste or preservation.
This oil has an aroma of coconut and vanilla, without being very intense. In terms of texture and taste, it is sweeter and lighter than any butter.
It is of higher quality than refined coconut oil, as it is 100% pure and retains all of its nutritional properties. Therefore, it is usually more expensive than refined coconut oil for cooking.
As for its maximum cooking temperature, it can reach 171° Celsius without the oil starting to burn and produce smoke.
What can we cook with coconut oil?
Coconut oil for cooking is a product that can certainly replace other types of oils on the market.
You can use it for sautéing, frying, baking, sweetening drinks, sautéing, grilling, dressing, preparing desserts or basting. Each of these uses proves that cooking with coconut oil is a favourable alternative
if you are about to make a change in your restaurant’s cooking style.
Basic tips for use
When using coconut oil for cooking, keep in mind some basic tips on how to use it so that you don’t fail
As a first point, remember how the oil behaves at certain temperatures. As long as its temperature is below 24° Celsius it will have a butter-like consistency, perfect for spreading or melting.
If, on the other hand, it has a temperature higher than 24° Celsius, it will be used as a normal cooking oil
Another tip is that when using coconut oil in solid form, do not melt it before placing it in the pan. Pour as much as you need and let it melt with the heat of the fire.
Finally, when baking, keep in mind that if you put coconut oil next to cold ingredients, it will return to its solid state
So make sure the ingredients are at room temperature or warm before adding it.
What to do besides cooking with coconut oil?
Coconut cooking oil has many uses beyond cooking and frying food in a pan.
Each of the uses mentioned below will surprise you so much that you won’t be able to wait to put it to use in your kitchen.
Salad dressings can be made with coconut or olive oil for cooking, mixed with balsamic vinegars and other ingredients.
Unlike olive oil, using coconut oil as a dressing gives a subtle sweet taste that goes perfectly with vegetable or fruit salads.
Leave out sugar and sweeteners. Coconut cooking oil is a better alternative for sweetening.
Rather than tasting sweet, it will have a slight coconut flavour and you’ll combine the nutritional properties of the oats with that of the oil for more energy throughout the day.
For nutritional drinks, coconut oil for cooking offers benefits in taste, texture and properties.
Adding a teaspoon to smoothies provides healthy fats, a light coconut flavour, antioxidants and other energy-giving properties.
Recipes for baked goods always indicate that large quantities of oil or butter should be used.
Even if you don’t eliminate them from recipes, it is good to switch from unhealthy alternatives of oils or shortenings to those that provide nutritional benefits.
Coconut cooking oil has the necessary characteristics to replace regular cooking oil in these recipes, ensuring it retains its nutrients and offers a delicious flavour.
Coconut butter? It’s possible!
Butter is a high-calorie food containing fats that have no health benefits for consumers.
To replace it, coconut oil has a similar texture and tastes good. Also, its fat is not harmful to health.
When drinking coffee with sugar, it is common to add more than the recommended amount. This over-consumption can lead to diabetes and obesity in the future.
Coconut oil for cooking is an ideal supplement to avoid long-term health problems, as only a few drops are needed to sweeten coffee.
Popcorn is a delicious appetizer or snack for any time. If you want popcorn to be healthy, replace olive or sunflower oil with coconut oil for cooking.
Cooking popcorn with coconut oil accentuates the flavours and gives it twice as many healthy nutritional properties
Ideal for baking
If you don’t have paper towels or non-stick spray to cover the tray when baking, coconut cooking oil is your solution
Take some coconut oil and spread it across the tray. This will prevent your recipes from burning underneath and being difficult to unmould.
Coconut oil off the cooker
We’ve already highlighted the many benefits of cooking with olive oil, but what if we told you that it’s also very useful for health and personal care?
Let’s discover together all that its consumption has to offer in terms of personal care, its impact on health and daily life.
Just because the word oil is in its name, it does not mean that it is bad for your health or that it will make you fat
The fat that makes up coconut cooking oil travels through the intestine to the liver to begin ketosis, which is the burning of fat in the body. In doing so, the metabolism speeds up and helps to increase the feeling of satiety.
It also has incredible medicinal properties by being able to fight fungi, bacteria and infections, due to its high concentration of lauric acid
Skin and hair
In terms of the body, coconut oil is an excellent product for moisturising the face and hair
It can be used as a daily sunscreen, as it provides protection against UVA rays. It is also often used as a make-up remover, lip moisturiser, anti-ageing cream, deep cleanser, anti-stretch mark cream, exfoliator or body cream.
Recommended for use at night as a cream that provides the repair the skin needs, with deep hydration and control of the skin’s natural oil
Another advantage of using coconut oil on the skin is that it helps to restore the skin’s pH and prevent the onset of acne and infections.
For hair, it is recommended to combat dry hair by applying a few drops and leaving it on overnight
Coconut oil is also good for making deep cleansing scalp masks to regenerate hair fibres and keep hair moisturised.