If you’ve spent any time on the Swanson Health Products blog, you know by now that we are huge fans of coconut oil.
It’s a staple in our kitchens, and it has probably found its way into yours as well. But you might not know how to use it in your kitchen. We are here with some coconut-flavored tips!
We have found that coconut oil makes a perfect substitute for other oils such as shortening, butter, margarine, or vegetable oil. If you’re curious about how to replace some of these options with nutrient-rich coconut oil, we’ve rounded up some helpful tips for using it while cooking and baking.
General Coconut Oil Cooking Tips
- Coconut oil is solid at room temperature. If there is a layer of liquid oil on top, stirring it into the solid will help soften it if needed as you prepare to use it for baking or cooking.
- It can also be helpful to measure the oil in the state that it will be used.
Baking with Coconut Oil
- You can use coconut oil in a 1:1 ratio for vegetable oil or butter. Before measuring, melt the oil and cool to just above room temperature.
- It can also be helpful to make sure the other ingredients in the recipe are at room temperature so as not to harden the coconut oil when mixed together.
- You can use ¾ cup coconut oil for 1 cup of shortening. You can also use ½ coconut oil and ½ butter as a shortening substitute. Again, you can melt it first before measuring or, in this case, it’s fine to leave solid.
Pan-frying or Sautéing with Coconut Oil
- Coconut oil works great in the pan because it melts quickly, even quicker than butter.
- To balance its smoke point of 350 degrees Fahrenheit, you can supplement it with oils that have higher smoke points. Safflower oil (510° F), corn oil (450° F), sunflower oil (450° F), or canola oil (400° F) are all good options for cooking over high heat. Use half coconut oil and half conventional oil for this purpose.
Benefits of Cooking with Coconut Oil
- Use coconut oil with other oils to balance bitter tastes. For example, coconut oil and vegetable oil is a great combination to contrast with the bitter taste of sautéed kale or spinach.
- Coconut oil with a strong flavor also adds a great tropical twist to dishes such as shrimp scampi.
- Extra virgin coconut oil will give you a stronger flavor than expeller-pressed coconut oil.
- While coconut oil and other alternatives have similar calorie and total fat content, coconut oil is high in medium-chain triglycerides that the body can metabolize quickly and use for energy.
If you’re looking to switch up some of your favorite recipes, try using coconut oil as an alternative to the other oils in your kitchen.
We think you’ll be pleasantly surprised with the results!
Let us know if you’ve used coconut oil as a substitute in your favorite recipes – what did you think?