Peek into my clothes closet, it would be tough to accuse me of being trendy.
A few years ago I became like that with food too. Sick of the expensive trends, ingredients promising to rule the world, the diet of the day, etc. I rolled my eyes over the hype of coconut oil and didn't bother digging any deeper because I was so tired of the "latest" super power food.
I drew the line until this weekend and in a weak moment I cracked. Hard. At Costco.
Coconut Oil is what broke me. I have been holding out for what feels like years with this trend. Really truly, it was because of the cost as much as it was the trend.
$25 for twins wrapped snugly together with a band of shrink wrap piled with their buddies prominently on an end cap pallet. It’s organic and kosher. Big Deal. Blinders on and keep on walking...for years.
One 48 oz bottle of canola oil adds about $2.50 to the grocery tab. I prefer canola oil math to coconut oil math. BUT canola oil is made mostly with round-up ready GMO rapeseed. AND it's heavily processed with harsh chemicals. Maybe I need to re-think my math.
Possessed by demons? Maybe. I started to dig deeper into this fascination with coconut oil. I did what anyone else would do, I asked my family what they thought.
Consulting my mother in law and sister in law this weekend each one exclaimed wide eyed and with conviction how much they loved it. Ok, my sister in law has gorgeous huge eyes anyway, I was just adding drama.
It all comes down to processing and Medium Chain Triglycerides.
PROCESSING - the label states it's cold pressed and not chemically treated during production. Very cool. Very much an unadulterated whole food which is my language.
MEDIUM CHAIN TRIGLYCERIDES. DON'T FALL ASLEEP, this is not Chemistry Class anymore. These babies are super cool because they aren't stored immediately as fat as other fats are. They are metabolized in the liver the first time through which means they are used as ENERGY fueling our cells immediately. SUPER COOL! Fat not stored as fat as long as you are moving enough to burn the calories you are consuming.
Asking my family how they use coconut oil, this is what they shared.
- Melt a tiny bit on air popped popcorn and sprinkle with a tiny bit of salt
- Sauté vegetables in the coconut oil
- Grease the griddle before pouring on pancake batter
- Smear on dry scaly skin
- Antibacterial properties can be used to help treat skin infections
My resolve was that for $25 bucks per twin pack, I was going to use it in places where it mattered. Small amounts in food we eat regularly.
- Melt in pan before scrambling eggs - will they taste like coconut eggs? ummm, not so sure that would be awesome
- Definitely in the pan as we sauté summer squash (we eat squash about 5 times a week)
- Use in place of canola in the homemade granola that I eat daily
- Gussy up fancy popcorn for the kiddos parties with friends – air popped popcorn, COCONUT oil, salt, pepper and freshly grated parmesan cheese
- Tried it in a pie crust for a pumpkin pie this weekend...still on the fence as to how much I liked the coconut flavor with pumpkin
The more I learn about this trend, the more excited I am becoming over this ingredient.
As I chew on deciding if this is something I will buy again, I wondered something. One could argue that the premise of Think Inside the Blender may be a trend too. Naaaw, on second thought I disagree. Trends are things that come and go.
We have focused on this way of eating - specifically with fruit and vegetable smoothies for over 4 years. Our trend of eating whole foods, whole grains, fruit and veggie smoothies, while eating as much as we can that has been home grown is now a lifestyle which elevates it from trend status.
Eating this way comes with no fancy package or marketing dollars from corporate giants. It is propelled instead by readers like you who have seen how eating this way makes a difference.
You feel better, your kids are healthier, you visit the doctor less, well-checks or annuals are met with good news most of the time.
Adding coconut oil will not change the foundation of how we eat, but adding and tweaking small things will strengthen our foundation. Maybe I will keep using it.
How do you use coconut oil? Please share your insight with me!
Happy Home Cooking!