Here’s the deal. I knew that coconut oil was special. I just bought a case of Trader Joe’s Organic Virgin Coconut Oil when I was in California last, only because it is half the price of the non-organic coconut oil from a market here. But, quite honestly they’ve just been hanging out in my pantry since then. Then, I was at a friend’s house and I was chatting with her as she cooked up a yummy vegan meal and I noticed she plopped a glob of coconut oil in her fry pan before adding some veggies. And I’m like “wow, so that’s what you do….” (yes I claim to be a food blogger, no I do not claim to know EVERYTHING). She told me that coconut oil is the only oil that does not lose its nutrients when heated. Hmmmmm….really? Thus begun my trip to nerdville. A place I travel to quite often and with much earnestness.
I am not a fan of coconut. As I have mentioned before in prior posts, I have been traveling to Kauai, Hawaii every year or so since I was sixteen (not so much recently as my “crew” has grown quite large and I am at that phase in my life where I have a mortgage). I remember my Dad picking me up from the Lihue airport, driving along the Kuhio Highway and then just pulling his little pick-up over to the side of the road like a madman, grabbing a machete out of the bed of the truck and holding the blade in between his clenched teeth as he scaled a coconut palm. He quite vigorously chopped down a coconut letting it fall to the ground. As he scaled back down the palm and started to chop the bejeezus out of that coconut I finally “came to” as I had been frozen with my mouth gaping in the truck, eyes unable to blink and my tongue down to my knees as flies flew in and out of my mouth. You’d think I would be use to this behavior by now, but alas, my Father will forever be a wonderment to me. So then he handed me the freshest coconut you can imagine through the car window and told me to drink. I took a sip, trying to choke back the coconut milk that was just…not my cup of tea. I said, graciously as he did just climb a freakin’ tree for me, how delicious it was, but that I had way too much guava juice on the plane and I’ll pass….(God bless Hawaiian Airlines and their fresh, cold, complimentary guava juice).
With all that said, I still wanted to give coconut oil a good go not only because I had a case of it in my pantry but because I keep hearing amazing things about it. So amazing that it almost seems unreal. So I put on my nerd glasses hopped into my nerd-mobile, took out the coconut oil map and I realized, all of this research has already been done. That I am totally tardy for this party (who just got a kick out of the title being read? Anyone? I love reading the title of the book, in the book. Gets me all giddy). For starters, let me just piggy-back on a Pinterest post of 52 ways to use coconut oil (thank you www.poshglam.com)!:
- Eat a spoonful when you need an energy boost.
- Use it as the base for a homemade body scrub.
- Use to condition your wooden cutting boards.
- Use as a super conditioner on your hair (apply to dry hair, leave in as long as possible and then shampoo as normal).
- Use as a styling agent if you have really dry hair. Just rub a tiny bit on your palms and apply to your hair and style as normal.
- Keep a little container in your purse for lip moisturizer.
- Add a spoonful to your dog or cat’s food. CO is great for our furry friends!
- Replace nasty, unhealthy vegetable oils in your cooking and baking with CO.
- Make healthy Magic Shell ice cream topping.
- Use it for oil pulling (learn about oil pulling here).
- Use a tiny dab on your underarms for a natural deodorant.
- Use coconut oil instead of shaving cream.
- Add to your bath tub for a moisturizing soak (a drop of peppermint oil is wonderful!).
- Use as a makeup remover.
- Use it to help sooth chicken pox, shingles, or other rashes or skin irritations.
- Use it to treat athlete’s food, ringworm, or other fungal or yeast infections.
- Take a spoonful with your vitamins to help improve absorption.
- Spread a thin layer on cuts or burns to speed up healing.
- Take up to 5 spoonfuls per day for improved thyroid function.
- Add a spoonful to your smoothies for extra nutrition and flavor (here, here, and here).
- Use on the delicate tissue around your eyes to help prevent wrinkles and sagging.
- Use as the base for homemade toothpaste or lotion.
- Use in place of massage oil.
- Use on your baby’s diaper rash or cradle cap.
- Use to help reduce visibility of stretch marks or to prevent stretch marks.
- For nursing mothers, use coconut oil on your nipples to prevent cracking and irritation.
- For nursing mothers, consuming coconut oil will help increase your milk flow.
- Apply to bee stings or bug bites to soothe and heal the wound.
- Women can use in the nether regions to relieve yeast infections, dryness, and/or discomfort.
- Eat a spoonful with each meal to improve digestion.
- If you’re prone to nosebleeds, coat the inside of your nostrils with coconut oil regularly.
- Helps soothe and heal hemorrhoids.
- Take to helps reduce or eliminate migraines.
- Use as the base for homemade vapor rub.
- Mixed with peppermint, lemon balm, rosemary, or tea tree oil makes an excellent insect repellant.
- Mix with baking soda for a non-toxic “Goo Gone”.
- Use to help detox the body during a cleanse or fast.
- Use as a metal polish, but always test a small area first.
- Use as a leather moisturizer.
- Season your cast iron pans.
- Use to oil your pans and baking dishes instead of pan spray.
- Got gum stuck in your hair? Try using coconut oil to remove without cutting your hair.
- Use instead of WD-40.
- Use as a personal lubricant (not safe with latex).
- Take a spoonful to help with heartburn, acid reflux, or indigestion.
- Use as a natural sunscreen.
- Mix with a tiny bit of fresh lemon juice and use as a furniture polish (always test a small area first!).
- Mix with butter and toss your popcorn in it.
- Use on cracked or rough heals to help smooth them out.
- Massage into your nails and cuticles to help strengthen them.
- Use as the base for homemade chocolate candy (like peanut butter cups).
- Take a couple spoonfuls every day to help overall immune function.
And if you check out www.coconutoil.com you can find a plethora of information from reversing Alzheimer’s to boosting metabolism and curing the common cold in a night with a teaspoon.
So really, this post is just to A: teach me as I apparently was a last-minute invite to this party and B: to supply a few awesome websites as either a reminder to all you “yeah yeah, old news” peeps or maybe people who had their invites lost as I had.
Here are a few suggested ideas for coconut oil, but truly, supplement it anytime you would use oil.
I pop popcorn old fashion-style on the stove top as those microwaveable bags to me is synonymous as injecting poison into your veins. I take a tablespoon or so of coconut oil, 1/2 cup of organic corn kernels and put it in a pot with a lid, on high heat and wait for the popping to begin. Once the popping starts you need to shake the pot so as no kernels burn. Do that until you no longer hear popping. Add some sea salt and you’ve got yourself one heck of a fine snack.
Tonight, I just made red curry chicken and browned the chicken in a few tablespoons of coconut oil before adding the red curry sauce (would you like the recipe for that? Hold on, let me get the Trader Joe’s Red Curry Sauce bottle from the recycle container…..yes I cheated tonight). Yum.
Again, use it anywhere. Doesn’t matter, just use it.