When we started our real food journey one of the first changes we made was to switch out our cooking oil (canola oil) for a healthier oil, coconut oil! Cooking with coconut oil isn’t as difficult as it seems. Here are some of the things I’ve learned over the years that have made cooking with coconut oil a pleasure rather than a frustration.
- To avoid the need to hack away at your coconut oil you can simply melt it and pour it into ice cube trays. Refrigerate the coconut oil until it’s solid. Pop the coconut oil cubes out of the tray and store them in an air tight container. As long as your kitchen isn’t too warm the coconut oil cubes will not melt. You can also keep them in the refrigerator if you prefer. These coconut cubes are handy to have on hand when you want to toss a dollop of coconut oil into your pan.
- If you need to melt coconut oil for a recipe the best way to melt it is to heat it over low heat in a saucepan. Coconut oil will liquefy at 76°, so it will melt fairly quickly.
- We keep a jar of coconut oil on our stove top always. I usually have something simmering on the stove, so it’s a great spot to keep coconut oil for when you need it. I use this coconut oil for baking so I don’t have to melt it and dirty up a pan.
- Did you know you could whip coconut oil? I usually keep a jar of whipped coconut oil in my bathroom but it’s also great in the kitchen. You can easily scoop whipped coconut oil with a spoon without having to hack away at it!
- You can use coconut oil in place of butter, shortening and oil in most (if not all) of your baking. Remember, coconut oil will solidify if added to cold ingredients (i.e., eggs and milk) so it’s best to make sure all ingredients in the recipe are at room temperature before you add the coconut oil.
- Virgin coconut oil is best. Make sure to only use refined coconut oil that has not been processed with chemical solvents.