We all know by now the magical powers of coconut oil – unless you haven’t been on the internet in the past year or so. If you HAVE, you’ll have seen that coconut oil is all the rage, and for good reason.
Coconut oil is basically an all-in-one beauty product. It’s a great, natural conditioner for your hair, it gives your skin a glowing complexion, and it can even whiten your teeth.
Is there anything you can’t do, coconut oil?
But our favorite oil initially rose to fame when it was discovered as a healthy replacement for some bad oils (see butter, cooking oil, ect.) in your baking and cooking. It tastes DELICIOUS in brownies and cakes, and works great for your regular weeknight dinners, too!
So, with this deliciousness in mind, we’re here to ask the burning question on everyone’s mind: can I eat coconut oil straight from the jar?
To answer this question, here’s everything you need to know about what coconut oil is and just how edible it is.
WHAT IS COCONUT OIL?
Coconut oil is an extracted oil that is pulled from – you guessed it – coconuts. The oil is extracted mainly from the meaty part of a harvested coconut.
IS COCONUT OIL BAD FOR YOU?
In the past, coconut oil was thought to be pretty bad for you. Why? Because it has a high amount of saturated fats, with about 90% of calories coming from from saturated fats.
Those words sound scary, yes, but we now know that saturated fat is quite good for you, in moderation. Saturated fats can help fight off bacterial infections and even help lower your cholesterol. New studies have even found that saturated fats are NOT associated with heart disease, something they have been linked to for decades.
However, coconut oil does contain a high amount of calories, making up about 8% of a person’s daily caloric intake with just two tablespoons.
SO…CAN I EAT IT OFF THE SPOON?
If you wanted to, absolutely! Coconut oil is 100% edible and quite delicious. Although with its high percentage of calories and fats, it’s essentially like you’re eating a more-delicious stick of butter than anything else.
Watching your calories? Use little bits of coconut oil in your cooking, but we would suggest to skip eating it straight.
However, if you needed a quick burst of energy, it could be just the snack you need. Coconut oil has the ability to turn into ketone bodies when processed through the liver, which give you a healthy, long-last boost of energy. So nibbling on some coconut oil to get you through you mid-morning slump might not be so bad.
If you’re thinking you’ll pass on eating coconut oil straight from the jar, but still want to incorporate it into your diet more, here are a few easy ways to eat coconut oil daily.
1. Add to Your SmoothiesThe Kitchen is one of our favorites using coconut oil.
5-MINUTE VEGAN BREAKFAST SMOOTHIE
- 1 cup almond milk
- 1 ripe banana, sliced
- 1 cup frozen fruit medley (favorite: strawberry, mango, pineapple, papaya)
- 1 tablespoon coconut oil
- 1-2 tablespoons chia seeds
- 1 teaspoon powdered ginger
1 . Combine the almond milk, banana, frozen fruit, coconut oil, chia seeds, and powdered ginger in a blender and purée until smooth. Pour into a glass and serve immediately.
Now that’s a good way to start off your day.
2. Use In Your Cooking
Coconut oil is a great choice for cooking. Not only is it a healthier option than heavy cooking oils like butter, but it has a high smoking point of up to 400 F. Using Virgin coconut oil works best of all in cooking because it’s less refined and pure.
When your pan is heating up for your nightly stir-fry, throw in a teaspoon of coconut oil to grease up the pan and add some flavor rather than a pad of butter. You can even use coconut oil when you’re frying something up (homemade chicken tenders, perhaps?) for a lighter variation of your favorite crunchy dinner.
3. Add to Your Coffee or Tea
More of a coffee person? Forget Half and Half, use coconut oil! Coconut oil goes great in coffee – it gives it a really smooth, frothy taste and texture. Just add a dollop into your java and stir until the oil has completely dissolved.
If you’re a tea drinker (and you like a little sweetness or creaminess to your tea), coconut oil also works fantastically.
4. Use In Your Bakingchocolate chip cookies, featuring coconut oil.
WHOLE WHEAT CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIES
- 1 cup lightly packed brown sugar
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1 cup extra-virgin coconut oil, soft but not melted (see note)
- 3 large eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 2 1/2 cups (11.5 ounces) white whole wheat flour (see note)
- 1 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 1/4 cups quick oatmeal
- 1 1/4 cups old-fashioned oatmeal
- 12 ounces chocolate chips
1 . Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
2. In a large bowl, cream together the brown sugar, granulated sugar and coconut oil until light in color, 1-2 minutes. Add the eggs and vanilla and whip the mixture for 2-3 minutes. Stir in the flour, baking soda, salt, and oatmeal until barely combined – there should be a lot of streaks of dry ingredients remaining. Add the chocolate chips and mix until combined.
3. Scoop and roll the cookie dough into 1-inch (or so) balls and place 1-2 inches apart on a lined (with parchment or a silpat liner) or greased baking sheet.
4. Bake for 11-13 minutes until the edges are lightly golden and set but the middles are still soft.
5. Let the cookies sit for 2-3 minutes on the baking sheets after removing them from the oven before using a spatula to place them on a cooling rack to cool completely.
Do you use coconut creatively in your diet? Do you love to eat the good stuff straight off the spoon? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.