10 Dishes That Are Better with Coconut Oil
10 Dishes That Are Better with Coconut Oil
By: Maurine Anderson
If you’ve spent any time in the blogosphere or on social media, chances are you have come across at least one blogger proclaiming the miracles that can be wrought with coconut oil. Coconut oil seems to be one of those household staples that can be used in cooking, baking, skincare, daily hygiene, and everything in between. I, myself, can’t vouch for coconut oil as a skincare and beauty product (it makes me break out), but as an avid baker, I can vouch for coconut oil as a trusty cooking and baking ingredient. Coconut oil is a healthier alternative, after all, to fats like butter and shortening, due to its high level of medium-chain fatty acids (which you can read more about here). Plus, it makes for a great fat substitute when you’re trying to make things a little vegan friendly.
Because I’ve seen quite a few hits and misses as I’ve experimented with using coconut oil in the kitchen, today I wanted to share with you ten foods that I’ve found work and taste better (or at least just as great) with coconut oil.
Note: I recommend using virgin, unrefined coconut oil in your cooking and baking. Refined and partially hydrogenated types of coconut oil do not offer the same health benefits that virgin coconut oil does. In addition, still be sure to limit your daily coconut oil intake to one tablespoon or less, as coconut oil is higher in saturated fats than other types of oil.
Rice krispies treats
Ever tried swapping out the butter in classic rice krispies treats for the same amount of coconut oil? You won’t miss the butter, and you’ll feel that much better eating your delicious treats knowing they aren’t full of butter.
Chocolate chip cookies
Chocolate chip cookies are another classic that coconut oil can add some unexpected, delicious flavor to. Use coconut oil just like you would butter in your chocolate chip cookie recipe, following the directions given for the butter (using it at room temperature, melting it first, etc.) Keep in mind that coconut oil can harden when combined with cold ingredients, so be sure to let your other ingredients reach room temperature before starting.
If you’ve never made hot chocolate at home, I challenge you to try it this winter! Coconut oil makes for a perfect addition to gourmet homemade hot chocolate containing other ingredients like cacao, coconut sugar, sea salt, and almond milk.
Mmm…coconut oil in waffles. I’ve found that coconut oil pairs naturally with ingredients like whole wheat flour and coconut sugar when making waffles, and you’ll often end up with a crispier edge and more tender middle of your waffle. You can also use coconut oil on top of your waffles in place of butter or syrup.
Coconut is a common ingredient in dishes like Pad Thai and curry, so it makes sense to add a little coconut flavor to your stir fry with coconut oil. Tip: Keep in mind that coconut oil works best on the stove at temperatures of 350°F or less.
Sweet potato fries
Baked sweet potato fries taste great when made with olive oil or vegetable oil, but it’s fun to mix things up and toss sweet potato wedges with coconut oil for a change in flavor. Try pairing your fries with curry seasoning or avocado sauce for an intriguing flavor.
Similarly, it’s fun to swap out your usual tossing oil for coconut oil when making roasted vegetables. I love tossing coconut oil with broccoli, bell peppers, and zucchini.
Ever tried making dressing at home? Using coconut oil as the oil for your dressing makes for a fun touch to salads—especially those that feature avocado or cilantro as key ingredients. Try making a delicious cilantro coconut or avocado coconut dressing.
Crackers are so much fun to make, and making them with coconut oil adds an unexpected, yet delicious flavor. I love making crackers with ingredients like flaxseed and shredded coconut to complement the subtle coconut oil flavor.
You’re probably used to adding chopped fruits and vegetables to your smoothies, but next time try adding up to a tablespoon of melted coconut oil while you’re at it. The healthy fat boost will help keep you fuller longer, and it adds the slightest hint of tropical flavor. I find that coconut oil goes best in smoothies featuring pineapple, banana, strawberries, and other tropical ingredients.
My favorite thing about using coconut oil in the kitchen is that the recipes that feature coconut oil tend to include other healthy ingredients as well. So as you cook and bake more with coconut oil, your overall diet will likely become healthier, offering you countless health benefits like those listed here. What foods do you like to prepare with coconut oil? Share your favorites in the comments!