Friday, February 15, 2013

Solid, Liquid, Schmushy - It's All the Same!

Wow. I just re-read that title and totally realized that it could easily apply to the little monkey's diaper presents. Oops.

Anyhoo, in a recent post about the types of fat that we consume, I mentioned that I had purchased a buttload of coconut oil. For weeks, I just stared at the plastic jar of Crisco-resembling stuff, too intimidated to take the plunge.

Then, one morning I decided to make myself eggs. Since I wasn't making them for my husband (I'm often fearful of making something he doesn't like; he wouldn't mind, I'm sure, but it's the perfectionist in me), I figured it wouldn't hurt to try it out. I threw a pat of it in my pan, tossed in our humanely-treated chicken eggs, seasoned and stirred.

They were fine. Well, they were really good, but not by any stretch exceptional. I wasn't expecting anything extraordinary, so I was ultimately pleased that they didn't taste like coconut (I like coconut, but don't think my eggs should really taste like it) and it acted just like I would expect butter to act...albeit a tad more liquid. Well, of course -- it's oil, after all.

Since the eggs, I've used the stuff to make banana bread and for pancakes, and probably a couple of other lightly-fried stuff I'm not remembering. To use it as liquid oil (in both the banana bread and the pancakes), I melted it and just added in the amount called-for by the recipe. The coolest part is that coconut oil doesn't get altered by heating and re-heating, so you can just throw any leftover melted oil back into the container and once it reaches room temperature, it hardens back up. (It may be a little softer than the rest of it, but it goes from clear back to white, which entertains me to no end. Wheee! So cool!!) Hence the weird title of my post.

When I made pancakes, I also threw it in the pan to fry them up, too, and it worked wonderfully. I've read in different places to use butter or vegetable oil, and over the years I've done both. The neat thing here is that it turns into a completely clear oil (even lighter than veggie oil), so it works just as well as the vegetable oil, but I know that it's more healthful (note I didn't say healthier; I'm happier with the health benefits I can get from something rather than focusing on fat content, etc -- although this stuff is awesome for bettering one's cholesterol :-)).

I know there's a lot more that can be done with it, from salve on a wound to hair conditioner. You can use it in place of butter (which I should try with the rest of my banana bread, but need to get over the "this looks like Crisco..." feeling, LOL). Seriously, here's 101 uses from Wellness Mama. Even if you don't want to use it, read all the stuff you can do with it! I just read that it can increase a Mama's milk supply...wonder if I have to take it straight or if cooking with it is enough of an intake. Either way, I'm becoming a fan!

Has anyone else taken the jump to try coconut oil? Whatchya think? If you're considering it, what's keeping you -- I'd love to hear!

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