Centuries ago, cooking with coconut oil was popular among Asians because of the abundance of coconuts in the area.
During the sixties however, researchers and scientists started discovering the harmful effects of saturated fats to our bodies. Coconut oil, being filled with saturated fatty acids, was immediately criticized and rejected as a basic commodity for cooking.
After decades of the coconut oil controversy, researchers have conducted further studies to discover whether or not cooking with coconut oil is indeed harmful. Surprisingly, recent researches have shown that the fat in coconut oil does not have unfavourable effects. In fact, it is quite the opposite.
Cooking With Coconut Oil: A Comparison To Other Oils
Dedicated housewives are always on a quest to find which type of cooking oil is the healthiest, and the best to use. There are a good number of oils available in the market, and it can be confusing to choose.
Reports comparing the different kinds of oil usually focus on the fat content. This is where coconut oil draws controversy. When basing on the fat content alone, canola oil has the least amount of saturated fatty acids, with only 7%. Corn oil has 13%, olive oil has 14%, and sesame oil has 15%. Coconut oil on the other hand, has a whopping 92% of saturated fatty acids. This staggering number can be quite alarming when first encountered. However, looking at the number of saturated fatty acids isn’t the only way to classify oils.
Aside from noting the saturated fat content, another way to rate oils is by looking at the chain of fatty acids. Coconut oil is composed of medium chain fatty acids. These are digested easily in the body, turning the fat into energy quickly. Coconut oil has also received numerous studies that all attest to the many health benefits it can give. These health benefits range from antimicrobial action, lowering of blood cholesterol, keeping a healthy heart and overall organ wellbeing.
Coconut oil is also affordable and it brings a certain flavour that no other oil can give.
Coconut Oil Recipes
Now that the speculation and doubt about coconut oil has been removed, it’s time to focus on coconut oil recipes to add flavour to the day. Cooking with coconut oil is not only limited to frying or sautéing, but it can also be used for baking, desserts, and even beverages. Below are some featured recipes on cooking and baking with coconut oil:
- Lamb Stew-Soup With Coconut Oil
- Strawberry Shortcake
* 2-3 tablespoons virgin coconut oil
* 1 1/2 pounds lamb stew meat, in 1.5 inch cubes
* About 1/2 pound lamb bones
* 1/2 large yellow onion, sliced
* Coconut flour (optional, if you want a stew rather than a soup)
* 2 large cloves garlic, cut into matchsticks
* 1 rib celery, cut into 1 inch pieces
* 2 small carrots, cut into 1 inch pieces
* 2 tomatoes, diced
* 2 medium red potatoes, diced
* Black pepper, to taste
* 1 or 1 1/2 tablespoon red wine vinegar
* 2 bay leaves
* 1 1/2 cups water
* 2 teaspoons paprika, divided
* 2 teaspoon cumin, divided
* Salt, to taste
* Coconut flour, as needed
Heat coconut oil in a large pan or oven. Trim the fat off the lamb and add the meat and bones to the pot. Stir the meat until brown. Add all the ingredients except paprika, cumin, salt and coconut flour.
Cover pot tightly and bring to a boil, then set heat as low as possible. Let the stew simmer gently and do not bring it to a boil. After an hour, add the paprika and cumin. Cook until meat is tender.
Check the thickness of the soup and add coconut flour if desired to thicken. Vegetables may be added, and a small amount of wine vinegar can contribute to a tangy taste. Serve hot.
Coconut Tea Biscuits:
* 2 cups organic whole wheat flour
* ½ cup shredded coconut
* ½ cup coconut flour
* 1 tablespoon organic whole sugar
* 1 teaspoon salt
* 2 tablespoons baking powder
* ½ cup coconut oil − cold
* 1 egg
* 1 cup milk
* additional oil for cookie sheet
* cut up fresh strawberries, or fruit of your choice
* about 1 cup heavy cream
* 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
* agave syrup, or organic whole sugar
Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Lightly grease cookie sheet and set aside.
Mix dry ingredients together plus the oil. Use a pastry cutter or your hands to mix. Beat egg in a separate bowl. Add the milk and the eggs to the dry ingredients. Mix everything until it forms into a dough. Be careful not to overwork the dough.
Roll out the dough to a 2 inch thickness. Use a biscuit cutter to cut out the cookies. Bake the dough for 10 -12 minutes in a preheated oven. Cool biscuits on a cooling rack.
Cut up fresh strawberries and whip heavy cream with vanilla extract to taste. Sweetener may be added. Cut tea biscuits in half and top with the berries and cream.
Cooking with coconut oil can bring an earthy and tropical taste to any kind of food. Coconut oil brings an extra kind of flavour that may be the secret to some of the world’s best recipes.
Thank you for reading Cooking With Coconut Oil: Adding Health and Flavour To Food.
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