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Coconut oil has been touted as the latest superfood on the market with an abundance of health benefits. From fighting off disease, to stabilising blood sugar levels and even lowering blood pressure, this naturally occurring oil is definitely something to include in your diet.
Raw, cold-pressed coconut oil is best to use in your cooking but swapping from traditional cooking oil to coconut oil can be a bit daunting. Some find the flavour a bit intense when they first start to use it, but if you incorporate it slowly into your diet and daily life, you'll soon start to like it and feel the difference it makes to your overall health.
To help you, we've listed three easy ways to cook with it and include it in some tasty meals and treats.
1. Add it to smoothies
Smoothies are a great way to get some of your five-a-day in one go, but it is also a good opportunity to add some coconut oil if you're looking to disguise the taste or texture. Melt 2-3 spoons of coconut oil until it is soft and just about liquid form, and then slowly add it to the smoothie as it is being blended. This will help the oil emulsify with the fruit and yogurt and you'll hardly notice the addition.
2. Use it for stir frys
Stir frys are a really great dinner option and coconut oil can help make them even healthier. Because coconut oil has a high smoking point, it's ideal for stir frys and other recipes that require a hot pan. Once you coat the pan with some of the solid coconut oil, it will melt down and become a really versatile oil you can use for any pan-cooked dishes.
3. Use it in baking
Coconut oil can work as a substitute for butter, vegetable oil or margarine in most recipes. So if you're looking to make your brownies less calorific, or your chocolate chip cookies more diet-friendly, swapping the butter with coconut oil is an easy change to make.