Monday, 3 March 2014

My Secret Ingredient / Coconut Oil


I discovered coconut oil a few months ago, and honestly I haven’t looked back since. How did I live before? Okay, slightly dramatic. But seriously, it is incredible. I use it to cook with in nearly every recipe and I also use it as a beauty product. It seems strange at first using something on your skin that you can also eat for dinner, but once you realise the health benefits you will be worshipping the stuff!

Make sure you buy unrefined, virgin coconut oil so that it’s good to eat and use cosmetically – mine is by Biona Organic. Because I knew I’d be using it cosmetically as well as cooking with, I bought a huge 800g tub of it on amazon and separated it into little pots – one for cooking and one for my hair and skin. I use the mummy tub simply to refill the baby tubs. It’s not a good idea to use the same tub for the various uses so I highly recommend separating it into smaller jars. You could even wash out old jam jars for this.


Two Glass Jars with Cork Top – Tiger
Plastic Tub (shown above) – Boots

Beauty
Coconut oil has many cosmetic benefits especially for hair and skin. There are hundreds, literally HUNDREDS of ways to use coconut oil but I’ve got into a routine of how I use mine. 

  • When not in use, the oil solidifies into a waxy consistency but as soon as it warms up it melts. After a shower I rub a small amount of coconut oil between my hands to melt it and then use it as an all over body moisturiser. It takes a few minutes for it to soak into the skin, so wait a while before getting dressed as oil can stain clothes. It’s so hydrating and it has also been proven to reduce scaring – it’ll work wonders on those stretch marks. 


  • I apply a small amount to the tips of my hair after washing it. This strengthens and conditions the hair and will put it in great condition. You will only need a very small amount and only to the ends otherwise it will greas-i-fy your hair. Many people use it as a hair treatment over night, which I am yet to try. 
  • Once I have completed my facial night routine I rub a small amount of coconut oil around my eyes to reduce puffiness, dark circles, and prevent aged skin – it’s never too early to start!
Other uses include an eye make up remover, shaving cream, a body scrub by adding sugar, and massage oil. The possibilities are endless.
Cooking
I use coconut oil in the same way I did with normal cooking oils such as olive oil and vegetable oil. Oh and incase you were wondering, it really doesn’t make your food taste like coconut… I promise! The reason I have switched to coconut oil is purely because it’s a great healthy alternative. It is high in saturated fat but it’s the ‘good fats’. In fact, it has been proven to lower Cholesterol and prevent heart disease. Coconut oil plays a huge part in the daily diet of people living in tropical countries around the world, particularly the Philippines, where records of heart disease is very low. It can boost metabolism and reduces appetite, which is great news if you’re trying to lose weight!


  • I use a good amount of coconut oil in a pan to stir fry vegetables; to pan fry chicken or fish; to make pancakes; pretty much anything. It’s a mild taste so can be used for sweet or savoury foods. Some people even stir it into their porridge or cereal in the morning.


  • I love roasted vegetables so I use a couple of teaspoons of coconut oil in a roasting tray with a mass of Mediterranean veg such as peppers, quartered red onions and courgettes. Delicious!
You can also use coconut oil as a butter substitute on bread and when baking. 

I’d love to know if any of you already use coconut oil and what you use it for so please comment below. If you’ve never used coconut oil before I hope this has inspired you to try it. There’s plenty of uses to chose from!

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