When I first started including coconut oil in my diet, it was recommended to me to take one tablespoon by scooping some out of the container, popping it in my mouth, chewing until it had melted, and then swallowing. Can I just tell you that was a disgusting experience was?! I even still get the shivers thinking about it now.
This article is not going to go to into every single proposed health benefit of coconut oil since they are seemingly endless, but just a few of the many reasons to include this healthy fat in your diet are the following:
- Increases fat loss
- Keeps you feeling full
- Anti-fungal and anti-bacterial properties
- Improves brain function
- Increases energy
- May reduce your risk of heart disease
Without further ado, lets discuss:
1. Your Morning Coffee
This is how I start every morning (after my glass of water, of course!), 1 TBS of coconut oil mixed into my morning coffee. I find that if you add the coconut oil to your cup first, then pour the coffee over, it melts and mixes better. You can also make a frothy coffee by combining your coconut oil and coffee in a Ninja or other high-powered blender cup.
For more about ideas about coffee and coconut oil.
2. Use for Stir Frying
Coconut oil has a smoke point of about 350 degrees Fahrenheit. This makes it a great oil for medium temperature cooking, but not extremely high temperatures.
Stir frying vegetables in coconut is a great way to add a subtle tropical flavor. Plus, it is quick and easy to do. I like to pick up the large bags of frozen mixed vegetables from the grocer, melt one tablespoon or two of coconut oil, add a couple cups of frozen vegetables, and cook through.
You can also add cut up chicken or shrimp to the above stir fried veggies with a couple splashes of coconut aminos and serve over brown or long-grain rice to make a complete meal.
3. Add to Your Smoothies
If you are using a high-powered blended to make smoothies or protein drinks, adding one tablespoon of coconut oil can be a pretty much tasteless way to add this fat to your diet.
4. Cook Eggs
Instead of using butter or olive oil to cook your morning eggs, you can do the same with coconut oil. I know this might sound a little crazy or weird – I certainly thought so at first, but now, I can’t eat my eggs without it! The taste might take some getting used as the coconut flavor really comes through with your eggs.
Here are 3 ways that I do this:
- Scrambled eggs: use about 1 tablespoon per 3 eggs. Use a whisk instead of a spatula for fluffier eggs.
- Fried Eggs: melt 1 tablespoon of coconut oil per three eggs over medium heat. Add the eggs, let cook for 3 minutes then flip and cook for an additional 2 minutes and serve.
- Egg & Veggie Scramble (my favorite!!!): melt 1 tablespoon or 2 of coconut oil in a frying pan. Add 1 cup of mixed frozen vegetables and heat through. For each cup of veggies, add three eggs and scramble. Top with a handful of cheddar and cook until melted.
5. Replace Shortening when Baking
Here a couple tricks on how to incorporate coconut oil into your baking.
- Instead of greasing pans with shortening, vegetable oil or even olive oil, try using coconut oil. You can use a piece of wax paper or your fingers to add a thin layer to the inside of pans to make them stick-proof.
- For recipes that call for shortening or vegetable oil, you can use coconut oil instead. When substituting for vegetable oil, use the same portion of melted coconut oil. As a shortening replacement, use 25% less coconut oil than called for to replace.
6. Zap-it and Drink
This might sound a little desperate, but it beats chewing and swallowing a chunk of oil – trust me. Coconut oil may melt in your mouth, but the texture is pretty bad while doing so.
Quick and easy way to prepare, the process of drinking straight coconut oil is simply to melt the coconut oil in the microwave before drinking. I find it takes about 25 seconds to melt one tablespoon of coconut oil, but this will vary depending upon the wattage of your microwave.
7. Pop Popcorn
If you have not heard, the common microwaved popcorn bag might not be the healthiest way to pop your popcorn. The liner of bags can contain chemicals that leach into your popcorn, and that buttery flavor is not likely real butter…you get the idea.
The good news is you can pop your own popcorn in coconut oil. It adds a nice flavor, while the popcorn pops up nice and airy. Here is a simple method:
- Add 1/4 cup coconut oil to a large pot.
- Melt over medium-high heat.
- Remove the pot from the heat.
- Add 2/3 cup of popcorn kernels.
- Put the covered pot back over your burner.
- Give the pot a little shake until the popcorn is done popping, about 2 minutes.
8. Include in Your Morning Oatmeal
I can’t say I am a big fan of this method, but I’m not a huge oatmeal person either unless it is overnight oats, which I don’t think this would work for since the coconut oil would congeal.
Cook your oatmeal like you normally would and add a tablespoon of coconut oil. You may want to add a little less water than normal. Oatmeal is known to keep you full, adding a little bit of coconut oil will make it even that more satisfying for the long run.
9. Eat from a Spoon
This one works – if you can handle it. I know I couldn’t, but I am hugely sensitive to texture. You simply take one tablespoon of the oil, pop it in your mouth. You can let it melt or chew it up and swallow. Just pretend it is like candy, and you’ll be fine. At least that’s what Dan tried to tell me, lol.
How Much Coconut Oil to Include in Your Diet?
Generally speaking, a little is better than none. Coconut oil is still a fat, so enjoy only in moderation. Nonetheless, it is considered a healthy fat with numerous actual and possible healthy benefits. Just make it part of a healthy balanced diet, or talk to your health care professional if you have any concerns.
Personally, I like to get in at least one tablespoon daily in my coffee. Some days, I’ll do some of the above, but I’m not stringent on getting “X” amount in daily, and it’s seemed to work well for me so far!
Have any tips for getting more coconut oil in your diet? Please leave a comment below.