Coconut oil is the latest vegan superfood, but how do you eat it and what good does it do you?
Recently, coconut oil has become the must-have superfood that every vegan likes to have in their cupboard. The fact that, more often than not, it costs a tenner a jar doesn’t seem to put people off.
It must be said, that many other oils have wallet-busting price tags too – not least the top of the range olive oils. So, being healthy can be a costly business.
When I was a kid, a coconut was that hard thing you won at the fair. You could crack it open and drink the, what I thought at the time was yukky, milk and, if you had the patience, scape away the coconut flesh and devour it.
As the years progressed and my hairline regressed I came to see coconut as a curry ingredient. Coconut milk has always been the must-use liquid for me when making home-made veg curries. But, I must admit, I was a bit caught out by the rising popularity of the oil, I was also a bit confused as to how I was supposed to use it!
Firstly, let’s look at why it’s classed as a “superfood” Obviously it doesn’t wear a cape and recue cats stuck up trees! However, coconut oil has been linked with weight loss (it helps you burn more fat and it also reduces hunger as it makes you feel fuller) and, studies are beginning to show it can reduce seizure rates in children with epilepsy (findings indicate the MCTs in coconut oil can increase blood concentration of ketone bodies, which can help reduce seizures in epileptic kids).
Coconut oil has also been linked with improving blood cholesterol levels, which can, in turn, lower the risk of heart disease. The fatty acids contained within the nutty elixir are said to improve brain functions too.
You can also take it out of the kitchen and use it in other ways – it makes a great pre-shave for men with sensitive skin – remember, we vegans are a sensitive bunch after all. It also doubles as a sunscreen – it’s around factor 4, a moisturiser, massage oil, lubricant during sex (but not with latex condoms), make-up remover (I haven’t tried it myself), tattoo healing lotion, toothpaste (mix with baking soda) and an insect repellent (mix with peppermint oil)
In other words, it has uses in the kitchen, bathroom and bedroom – and if you love it that much, you can indeed have sex with it, so it seems!
But how can I eat it Paul? Well, if you’re that way inclined, you can simply eat a teaspoonful – see it as a health supplement. You can add it to your smoothies, which is another healthy way of taking it. You can add it to tea or coffee – I already use coconut milk, so it would just enhance the flavour I guess, I have yet to try it this way and you can bake with it. It can also be used for frying – it’s an oil remember.
Why not use coconut oil instead of olive or vegetable oil to drizzle over your kale chips before you bake them? As kale is already a fellow superfood, this match made in heaven will produce a super super food offspring for your late night snacking delight.
People seem to constantly worry about our nutrient intake as soon as we turn vegan. The truth is, many vegans are more in tune with health foods and superfoods than our non-vegan friends, so if anyone asks about your health, just show them a jar of coconut oil.