In my last blog, I expressed my love of avocados and thought this week to share my love of coconut oil.   I must say that there are few foods that I truly love, and avocados and coconut oil are on the top of the list.

I first became acquainted with coconut oil when studying food therapy at the Natural Gourmet Institute four years ago.  What initially intrigued me was learning that coconut oil is fast burning, thus supplying you with a quick source of energy without the down spirals of  sugar as an energy source.  Being fast-burning you are also much less likely to gain weight from the oil than you would with a slower burning one.  Coconut oil has indeed living up to its expectations.  Some foods that we eat are energizing and others, like highly processed foods, are depleting.  Coconut oil always energizes me and it has not added pounds over the years.

While there are a variety ways to serve coconut oil, I have a some tried and true favorites.  A tablespoon on a piece of whole grain toast in the morning gets the morning off to a good start.  When cooking eggs, adding coconut oil to the pan instead of butter is a wonderful blend of flavors.  Try roasting or baking vegetables in coconut oil for another great flavor.  Kale, butternut squash, and Brussels sprouts partner especially well with coconut oil.

Aside from having coconut oil as part of your diet, it has many off-diet uses.  Coconut oil can be used during the day as a skin cream and is well-absorbed, leaving a glow, but without a greasy appearance.  I have used it on and off for four years now, alternating between coconut and olive oil as skin cream.  I always buy extra virgin coconut and olive oils for the best quality and in dark containers so that they preserve well.

I also try to keep in mind that coconut oil is anti-microbial, and works to fight off bacteria, viruses, and fungi.  This leads me to my latest use of coconut oil, which is as a toothpaste and an underarm deodorant.  When brushing my teeth, I mix the coconut oil with a small amount of baking soda, and swoosh away.  Overdoing it with baking soda can erode tooth enamel over time.  As a deodorant, just a slight bit of coconut oil is needed.  It leaves no oily residue and is protective throughout the day.  Some people mix equal amounts of baking soda with coconut oil as a deodorant, but in my experience the baking soda was too abrasive on the skin.  Just experiment with it and see what works best for you.

If any readers have their own great ways to use coconut oil, please feel free to share your ideas!  We can all learn from one another.

“Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food.”- Hippocrates

Photo- June Rousso