Wednesday, July 17, 2013

The Joy of Coconut Oil

The Joy of Coconut Oil

My latest favourite product is coconut oil. Because we don’t use any dairy products, I’ve been trying so hard to find a suitable substitute for butter – not an easy task! I’ve baked with a few different oils and found that both olive oil (‘light tasting’) and rice bran oil are good substitutes, though I can still taste a difference, and the results are never quite satisfying. And…I was really missing Vegemite!! Because anyone knows you can’t eat vegemite without butter, right? Until…I found coconut oil. Talk about amazing.

So after some experimentation, I discovered that two types of coconut oil can be used in different ways. Firstly, there is the ‘standard oil’. It tastes like coconut, but not really strongly. Although you do need to buy the ‘good stuff’ and different brands taste better, in my humble opinion. The brand that I prefer is JT’s Coconut Essence – Pure Coconut Oil. It’s cold pressed (good) and organic (very good!). It has a slight coconut taste, so is beautiful in baking.

Then there is the ‘tasteless’ option. And this is where it gets kinda exciting. Because if you spread this stuff on toast or crackers, then add vegemite, I swear it’s almost the same as using butter. The brand I’ve discovered, that is the bomb as they say, is Biomedicals Certified Organic Coconut Oil (Tasteless). I use it as a butter substitute (when I don’t want the coconut taste) and it’s beautiful in both raw and baked recipes. And just in case you haven’t come across coconut oil yet, it’s actually solid when kept cool, which is why it can be spread.

And the best thing is, that coconut oil is incredibly healthy!!! Which makes me a happy Vego Mama. Both of the links I’ve provided have lots of info. I will add a disclaimer here and say that of course, coconut oil is a fat (and it’s a saturated fat), so it needs to be used sparingly, as with any other fat. But…the health benefits are said to be in abundance, even in small amounts. And I’m a big believer that cutting healthy fats out of your diet so you can remain skinny is neither healthy nor sane. But that’s just me : )

I’ll add a couple of coconut oil recipes soon - a vegan chocolate pudding that we’ve been experimenting with, and some biscuits that my friends said are ‘to die for’.

Have a great week!

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