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Foodie Favorites: Coconut Oil


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Who wouldn't want to use a product that makes their house smell warm and summery, like the Islands??

Widely popular with vegans for it's butter-like qualities: flaky crusts, crumbly scones, etc, WITHOUT the butter -- coconut oil has been circulating in health stores for a long time now.

I'm not sure how I heard about the benefits of coconut oil; The Beefcake tends to pluck this information out of thin air somehow (he almost had me convinced that cow's milk is dubious), and then disseminate to me.

We were unaware how we would actually use this oil in cooking when we picked up a jar of it for $5.99 at Whole Foods, but we were determined to find out!

I quickly learned that coconut oil has a nutty, vanilla flavor. It's even milder and richer tasting than butter, sweeter and lighter textured than lard, and without any of the bitterness you sometimes get in olive oil.

Beefie and I are huge fans of stove-popped popcorn and have experimented with flavored oils in the past. It seemed like a natural place to start -- sweet, kettle corn is one of my favs.

We heated the oil in the microwave for about 30 seconds, until it was soft enough (it has a wax-like texture) to spoon out into our Whirley Pop (I could write a whole separate post praising the invention of the Whirley Pop, but I won't digress now). You only need about a tablespoon of the oil for a cup and half to two cups of kernels.

What we got was a subtly sweet, light flavored snack, with just a hint of coconut that is seriously addictive! To be honest, now I won't make my popcorn with any other oil. Don't confuse this with kettle corn, it's still savory and salty, but there is a pleasant sweet aftertaste with the coconut oil, not overpowering.

Once we worked through the kinks of how to use the oil, we have used it in a lot of different dishes.

It was great in stir fry, fish and sauteing vegetables, and I have yet to use it in baking, but I've heard great things!

To learn more about the health benefits of cooking with coconut oil, click here.


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