Full disclosure, I don’t even LIKE coconuts. Well, I like the flavor, but not the texture of the actual fruit. But, what I do LOVE, is coconut oil. Andy makes fun of me because it’s almost like I am the father from My Big Fat Greek Wedding with the Windex. Something’s wrong? Put coconut oil on it.
Coconut oil is literally the jack of all trades. I cook with it, bake with it, and use it for skin care and other health issues. Here are just some of the things that I think it’s amazing for.
In the kitchen
I’ve made chicken cutlets, pork chops, and more with coconut oil. While you may not get the same crispy texture you may with vegetable oil, it splatters less than olive oil and is definitely the healthier option. So, I do this once in a while in an effort to watch my cholesterol. I’ve also substituted coconut oil for vegetable oil when making gluten free brownies by FoodStirs (a favorite company of mine, shout out to SMG!). I’ve found that the best things to cook with coconut oil are fish and vegetables. You can’t tell that you didn’t use vegetable or olive oil. It’s light, so it’s great for roasting in the oven or sautéing on the stovetop. One thing I am dying to try is drizzling warm coconut oil over some popcorn and sprinkling with toppings. We do this now, but use a butter substitute (again, I have to watch my cholesterol, womp womp).
Health and beauty
Here is where I really use this stuff. For the past 6 or 7 years, I have been a big proponent of using oil on my face. I know that at first thought that sounds like, ew, but hear me out. If you have oily skin, using a skin care oil or natural oil is really beneficial, and here’s why: think of a bottle filled with half oil and half water…they don’t mix, right? Then imagine that same bottle with two oils…they do mix, because oil can penetrate oil in a way that water can’t. I’ll go into more detail of this in another post, but my point is, coconut oil works wonders on skin.
Back in January, the medicine I was on for my ear infection made my skin go nuts, so for two weeks, I only used coconut oil as a makeup remover, cleanser and moisturizer. Just remember, if you use this on your skin, a little bit goes a long way. Coconut oil is also used in our house to fight infections and help heal minor cuts, burns, or any skin issues in general. It’s my first go-to before putting any medicated lotions or chemicals on our skin. Just the other day, I mixed two tablespoons of coconut oil with ten drops of tea tree essential oil and Andy and I both used it as a moisturizer on some sensitive skin issues. It really is soothing, works wonders, and is totally natural, so you don’t have to worry about what you’re putting on your skin or in your body.
I often use coconut oil as a delivery oil for essential oils (more on this in an upcoming post, but you should never apply an essential oil directly to your skin). I’ll add some lavender or peppermint and put it on my feet with socks before bed. Super relaxing and you wake up with clean, smooth, feet. Another favorite way to use this is to make a scrub. If you make a pot of coffee, keep some of the grinds! You can store them in the fridge for about 5-7 days. Mix a spoonful with some coconut oil, and you’ve got a spa experience at home! It makes an awesome mask/scrub for your face and body. Just be careful that if you use this in the shower, it gets slippery, so be sure to rinse well!
The benefits of coconut oil are just awesome. First of all, it’s heart healthy – high in natural saturated fats (the good fat), so it is good for controlling cholesterol and fighting heart disease. It’s also anti-fungal, so it’s a great way to help fight infections and stay fresh. Most that you’ll see in stores are gluten free, and have no trans or hydrogenated fats (the bad kinds). They don’t contain GMOs or chemicals, so it’s literally JUST coconut oil. There are tons of uses for this magical stuff, so when I am sick or have something going on, the first thing I do is see if coconut oil can help! I know it’s not cheap, but since a little bit goes a long way and it has so many uses, it’s really a bargain.
I’ve tried a few different brands, and my favorite is Carrington Farms. I find that the cold pressed oil lasts longer and is less messy. Carrington Farms makes theirs 100% organic, extra virgin, pure and unrefined. There are lots of brands out there, so I suggest reading the labels carefully before choosing one to try.
I will admit that for me, coconut oil does not work on my hair. My hair is way too fine for the stuff, and even a little bit made my hair way too oily. But, for men and women with thicker, coarser hair, it really does make a nice conditioner and leaves hair really smooth, and helps with scalp issues also.
I’d love to hear the ways that y’all are using this stuff, so leave me some tips or ask questions in the comments!