By Kate Maxey
Coconut oil has been all the rage lately so I decided to dive in and see for myself what all the fuss was about. Coconut oil comes from the mature, hard coconut flesh. It is antiviral, antimicrobial and anti-fungal and has the highest level of energy of any oil and the least amount of calories. It is a great oil to use for frying, for it can be heated to high temperatures without converting to a trans fat like other oils do.
Coconut oil has many health benefits which are attributed to the presence of lauric acid. When it is present in the body, lauric acid is converted into monolaurin, a compound that is highly toxic to viruses, bacteria, funguses and other microorganisms because of its ability to disrupt their lipid membranes and virtually destroy them. So think about Coconut oil as a great tonic in the winter months.
Coconut oil is rich in medium chain triglycerides or MCT’s. MCT’s are a form of saturated fat that does not get stored in the cells but utilized in the liver and are quickly converted to energy. MCT’s provide easily digestible energy without the storage of fat in the body.
Coconut oil is also great as a body care ingredient. I use it in creams and body butters for my very dry skin. It”s all about these MCT’s again. They get absorbed into your skin, where they can be directly utilized for nutrition and energy by the mitochondria – the power house of our body cells. This provides all the energy your skin needs to heal and maintain itself. For deep hair conditioning, a teaspoon or two on damp hair left for as long as possible can give an ultra-nice shine. Leave it on overnight and see startling results. (http://www.naturalnews.com/029120_coconut_oil_hair_conditioner.html)
I also love to bake with Coconut oil. I have recently put together a Coconut Bread recipe that I would like to share with you. It’s a great bread and is best served toasted in the toaster oven with melted butter on it. Oh so yummy!!
1/2 cup shredded coconut, lightly toasted
2 cup flour
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp ginger
1/8 tsp cardamom
1 cup coconut milk
1/4 cup coconut oil
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup dried cherries, chopped
1 4 oz dark chocolate bar, chopped
**Preheat the oven to 350 degrees
**Combine the flour, salt, baking soda and powder, cinnamon, ginger and cardamom and the toasted coconut in a large mixing bowl.
**Gently melt the coconut oil over low heat and combine with the beaten egg, sugar, and vanilla, then add the coconut milk and stir well.
**Chop up the cherries and chocolate
**Add the wet mixture to the dry and stir in the cherries and chocolate.
**Butter a bread loaf pan and pour batter into it.
**Bake for 50 minutes.