10 Ways to Use Coconut Oil

coconut oil

I don’t like to play favorites (because, moderation, people). It’s important to mix it up, but I love coconut oil. And I use it constantly. For things you can’t even imagine.

It’s a dream for cooking with because of its high smoking point (which means it can get screaming hot before it burns). It lets you easily create a perfect fry, crisp, or crust. But did you know, it also quite helpful around the house? And indulgent to sneak into your self-care routine?

Below are my ten favorite ways to use coconut oil, plus a quick summary of the main different kinds of coconut oil (including the one you should avoid.).

WHAT KIND OF COCONUT OIL SHOULD YOU BUY?

Choose organic and check the ingredient label!  Below is a breakdown of the types of coconut oil you’re most likely to find:

  • Virgin: It comes from the meat of the coconut (no chemicals used to extract it) – it has a strong coconut taste.

  •  Refined Coconut Oil: This one has least ‘coconutty’ flavor but is not the purest option.  Be sure it’s expeller pressed, which is a natural way to extract the oil that doesn’t involve chemicals.

  • Liquid Coconut Oil: It’s always pourable, but achieving that texture means sacrificing a lot of the natural goodness in coconut oil.

10 Ways to Use Coconut Oil

 

1. Fried Tortillas: When we make tacos or quesadillas, I always prepare the tortillas like this, and they always make the meal. Warm 2-3 TBS of oil in a cast iron over medium-high heat. When it’s almost smoking, add tortilla and then flip with tongs after about thirty seconds.  Repeat process with remaining tortillas, adding more oil to the pan as necessary. (Note: if you fry several, the pan will get significantly hotter and the tortillas will start cooking much faster. Flip after 15 seconds per side.)

2. Fried Eggs: Similar to technique above, warm 2 TBS of coconut oil in cast iron over medium high heat. Crack egg into a small bowl, then gently drop it onto the oil-covered pan. The oil must be hot before you start cooking the egg because the heat will start to cook it immediately and help retain the egg’s shape.

3. Moisturizer: In a pinch, I rub a little oil onto my bare face to moisturize. It can be a bit heavy for some skin types, so avoid any areas of your skin that are naturally oily. I love that I can get an “I’m alive!” glow without having to put on makeup. It can also be used as a body moisturizer on dry spots like knees and elbows!

4. DIY Sugar Scrub: Combine 2 cups brown sugar with 1 cup kosher salt and ½ (melted) coconut oil, then mix until combined. Store mixture in a sealed jar and use it to exfoliate during a hot shower. (Be careful though because the coconut oil can make your shower or bathtub floor very slippery if not thoroughly washed!)

5. Remove Jar Labels: Soak a jar in soapy warm water and rub off as much of the label as you can. Rub a small amount of coconut oil (it doesn’t need to be the good organic stuff!) onto the remaining label and let it sit for a few minutes. Scrape away as much as you can then repeat the process.

6. Coconut Coffee: This is a favorite weekday treat — plus the fat from the coconut oil keeps you energized ‘till lunch!  Get the recipe here.

7. Season a Cast Iron: Clean the cast iron with water (and salt if there is excess gunk!) then rub one tablespoon of oil into the surface. To finish, heat the pan in a low-temp oven for about thirty minutes, then let cool completely before storing.

8. Oil Pulling: This is a little weird, and it takes a little getting used to. Swish one tablespoon of melted oil in your mouth for 8-10 minutes then spit and rinse. (It may take a while to work up to this). Coconut oil is naturally antibacterial, and this oil pulling method is a great way to clean your teeth without using a bright blue mouthwash. Be careful not to swallow the oil — it’s full of the toxins you just pulled out!

9. Makeup remover: To remove eyeliner and mascara, put a tad on a cotton pad and swipe over eyes.

10. Hydrate your hair: Put coconut oil on your hair about midway down to help nourish and hydrate dry ends. Leave it in for at least an hour, and then shampoo your hair as you normally would.

Recipe by guest contributor Lindsay Kinder, of Food La La. Photography by Erica Garlieb.

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