I am sometimes a knucklehead.
All over the dino-chow-sphere, my fellow foodies have included coconut oil in their recipes. For no particular reason except the aforementioned knuckleheadedness, I’ve usually replaced coconut oil with olive oil in my recipes.
A week or so ago, Moxy-Boss recommended I try it, just to change things up a bit and to add more saturated fat to my diet.
I know my taste buds have mutated over the years… first, because I ate a steady stream of almost no-fat food and now, because of my dino-chow habit. But I’ll be damned if refined coconut oil doesn’t taste like butter to me. BUTTER, people.
It. is. delicious.
In case you’re on the runaway “saturated fat is bad” train, take a gander at this quote from a pretty awesome entry on the Fat Head blog:
Far from being a heart-stopper, [coconut oil] been spotted in public fighting viruses, promoting healthy thyroid function, assisting in weight loss by boosting metabolisms, and protecting against cancer. Those are hardly the actions of an aspiring bogie-man.
Need more? Here’s Mark Sisson on saturated fat, Robb Wolf on fat and insulin resistance, and Tim Ferris with seven reasons to eat more saturated fat. I was ready to do it just because Moxy-Boss said I should, but these blog posts definitely made me feel even more comfortable with the idea.
In case you’re curious about how coconut oil stacks up nutrition-wise, here’s the label from my Spectrum Organics Refined Coconut Oil:
When I went shopping for coco oil, I just grabbed a jar that said “organic” at our local hippy/punk rock foodie store. When I got home, I did a little research into the refined versus unrefined question.
Unrefined oils are left in their virgin state after pressing, so the natural flavor is more robust… unrefined olive oil tastes more olive-y and unrefined coconut oil tastes more like coconut. Unrefined oils also have a lower smoking point which means you need to use lower heat when cooking with them.
I think y’all know my preferred saute method: crank the heat to high and fry.
I made the right choice with the refined version because I can use medium to high heat, and the Spectrum Organics brand is refined naturally, without chemicals or additives.
I’m alternating my fat sources now: lunch is olive oil; dinner is coconut oil. Cooking in coconut oil has made all of my old favorites taste even better than usual. Cabbage or broccoli sautéed in coconut oil is sublime. And this morning, I pan-fried a cup of roasted spaghetti squash with garlic powder, salt, and coco oil, and my eyes rolled back in my head like a shark while I ate it.
Plus, here’s my guilty secret: on days when I’m a little low on fat – like, if I skip a snack or something – I’ve been mixing a teaspoon of coconut oil into a tablespoon of Sunbutter.
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