A sustainable and renewable resource, coconut trees are abundant in the tropics and while not a local food source to most of mainland North America, it is a renewable one with coconut trees growing abundantly in tropical regions.
Using even the healthiest of organic vegetable oils, including olive oil, in baking and frying creates free radicals because all vegetable oils oxidize, especially when used in cooking. Organic virgin coconut oil does not oxidize even at 170 degrees celsius. In addition, nearly 50% of the fatty acid in natural coconut oil is lauric acid, which converts to the fatty acid monolaurin in the body. Lauric acid has adverse effects on a variety of microorganisms including bacteria, yeast, fungi, and enveloped viruses. It destroys the lipid membrane of such enveloped viruses as HIV, measles, Herpes simplex virus, influenza and cytomegalovirus. Coconut oil also contains caprylic acid and capric acid, both natural anti-fungals known to fight yeast overgrowth.
Here are just a few ways you can add coconut oil to your diet:
1. Coconut milk is a great base for smoothies. Blend one banana, 1 cup coconut milk, and one cup orange juice.
2. Whenever you stir fry, use coconut oil for a tropical, healthy flavor.
3. As a substitute for butter have multi-grain toast in the morning with coconut oil (which melts nicely on the warm bread) and organic blueberry jam. In addition, substitute coconut oil in pancake batter, cookies, muffins, and cakes. Try adding coconut oil to your popcorn instead of butter.
4. For a creative dipping oil, mix 3 ½ tbsp. coconut oil, 2 tbsp diced onion, 1 tbsp diced garlic, ½ tsp. basil, ½ tsp oregano, ¼ tsp paprika, ¼ tsp salt, and 1/8 tsp cayenne pepper. Combine all the ingredients in a saucepan and heat until the mixture begins to simmer. Turn off the heat and let cool. Use this as a dip for bread, a topping for pasta or veggies, or as a salad dressing.
5. Add it to tea and coffee. This is a great substitute for milk or cream.