Thursday, January 24, 2013

How to Cook and Bake with Coconut Oil


How to Cook and Bake with Coconut Oil
I think it’s safe to say that I’m addicted to coconut oil. We use coconut oil in everything and have the gallon container to prove it! There are many ways to use coconut oil,  we use it for personal items like deodorant, toothpaste, and diaper cream but we also use it in the kitchen.

Perhaps you are new to coconut oil and are confused on just how to use it. It definitely is a unique oil with its ability to be either a solid or a liquid depending on how warm it is. However, because of this characteristic you can use it as a substitute in almost everything. Any recipe that calls for butter or oil you can use coconut oil instead. You could even try substituting coconut oil for shortening.

How to Cook with Coconut Oil (aka in a pot or pan)

Measure your coconut oil and add to the pot or pan. I normally do not bother with melting it first since it will just heat up in the pan, however if you want an extremely accurate measurement then go ahead and melt the oil first. 

How to Bake with Coconut Oil (aka stuff in the oven)

Replace oils, butter, or shortening at a 1:1 ratio.

If using coconut oil to replace butter: Measure and use coconut oil in the same form as the butter is called for (softened, cold, melted).

If using coconut oil to replace oil: Melt oil before you measure it.

If using coconut oil to replace shortening: Use coconut oil in room temperature/solid state.

When baking it is always best to have all of your ingredients at room temperature (eggs, milk, flour) this is especially true when using coconut oil as ingredients that are cold will cause your coconut oil (if in liquid form) to cool and thicken quickly. 

Always add melted coconut oil to a recipe last. Once again this is because the oil will thicken and it will be harder to mix all the ingredients in. Even when you do add the melted coconut oil at the end, it is very likely that your batter will seem thicker than normal. This is okay as it will melt back up when you put it in the oven to cook.

Note: Coconut oil does melt at a lower temperature than butter so in some cases coconut oil may not be the best choice. Just be aware that some baked goods may not turn out the same if you substitute coconut oil for butter. I have yet to have a baked good that didn't turn out when I substituted but I know others have.  

If you are curious as to what brands of coconut oil I use, I like Nutiva Extra Virgin Coconut Oil or Tropical Traditions Gold Label Virgin Coconut Oil . Of course any virgin (or extra virgin) coconut oil that is either expeller pressed or cold-pressed is fine. You just really want to avoid the chemically refined stuff.




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