What's The Story With Coconut Oil?
When Cole and I created this book, we hoped to include information about the ingredients our recipes called for. When an ingredient was shown to aid health, we wanted to share this information with our fellow chefs. However, we definitely did not realize how big of an undertaking this book would be. 286 full-color pages later, it became clear the sections we envisioned would have to wait for the next book or find their way into a blog.
So here we are. Blog Post #1
One of the best things about cooking and baking is that you control the ingredients you use. We had to avoid certain ingredients for our family because of Cole’s food sensitivities and allergies, dairy being one of them.
If you know Cole, then you know that he has inherited his mother’s sweet tooth, and he loves desserts. Because butter is a staple in most baking recipes, we had to find an alternative. After our research, we decided that substituting butter with coconut oil would work best for our family.
And I think that is important to quickly note- you should always use the ingredients that work best for you and your family. We are not experts, and we are not professional chefs. We are simply people that LOVE food and enjoy making it!
Most of the baking recipes in Cole’s book call for coconut oil. In many of the recipes, we called specifically for refined coconut oil. Why is this? Our kiddos aren’t in love with the taste of coconut. Unrefined coconut oil is more processed, and the coconut taste fades in this process.
However, because refined coconut oil is processed and further away from its original form, it also loses its valuable antioxidants. If you’re lucky enough to have family members that enjoy the taste of coconut, opt for unrefined (also called virgin or cold-pressed) coconut oil because it will be most beneficial.
REFINED VS. UNREFINED.
WHAT DOES IT ALL MEAN?
Unrefined, or Virgin, Coconut Oil is made with copra, dried coconut meat. It’s removed from the shell and pressed to extract the natural oils. Unrefined Coconut oil will have a nutty coconut taste to it. It will not lose its beneficial properties when being made.
Refined coconut oil goes through a refining process that uses high heat and sometimes chemicals. This process destroys its coconut flavor, but also its beneficial antioxidants.
Both refined and unrefined coconut oil is firm at a cool or room temperature but will liquify in warmer temperatures. In Cole’s book, we suggest heating the coconut oil in a pan at a low temperature, but you can also put the jar in a pan with a bit of water and heat on the cooktop.
HEALTH BENEFITS OF UNREFINED COCONUT OIL
The health benefits of coconut oil are vast, but as for everything we write about or introduce you to, please don’t take our word for it. Instead, research and make the decision that is best for you!
Coconut Oil is high in medium-chain fatty acids (MCFAs), including Caprylic acid, Lauric acid, and Capric acid. MCFA’s are antimicrobial, antifungal, easier to convert to energy (instead of being stored as fat), and easier to digest. Because of these things and other essential properties:
Coconut Oil is anti-inflammatory, and because arthritis is inflammation of the joints, coconut oil can help reduce inflammation and symptoms from arthritis.
Coconut Oil is high in natural saturated fats, which help increase HDL cholesterol (the healthy one). In addition, it has been shown to help prevent high blood pressure and heart disease.
Coconut Oil helps support your immune system. This is because coconut oil contains lauric acid. Lauric acid has been shown to reduce candida, fight bacteria and create a hostile environment for viruses.
Coconut Oil can help improve brain function, memory, and energy levels!
Coconut Oil can help improve digestion.
Coconut Oil can help with the health of your skin and with various skin infections.
Coconut Oil can help improve Type II Diabetes and Osteoporosis.
Coconut Oil can aid in weight loss and building muscle.
Coconut Oil can help with hormone imbalances.
It’s easy to see that Coconut Oil has many health benefits, but like any food, even if it is considered healthy, it may not work for you, and that’s OK! Always listen to your body, particularly when it comes to eating new foods!
BAKING WITH COCONUT OIL
In the substitution section of Cole’s book, you will find that you can substitute 1 cup of coconut oil for 1 cup of butter when baking. By doing this, you may find that the dessert might turn out a little denser but will still taste amazing-we promise!