Health Benefits of Cooking with Coconut Oil

If you haven't actually tried coconut oil yet then you've probably at least been hearing some buzz or have seen it popping up in various forms at supermarkets everywhere.  So you may be wondering 'What's the big deal?  It's just another oil'.  But there are a number of reasons why we're excited about using it in our cooking. 

While coconut oil is a saturated fat, it benefits the body in many ways.  It's known to be instrumental in raising good cholesterol (HDL), to lower blood pressure and is anti-inflammatory because of high amounts of antioxidants.  It's also great for our hair and skin. 

Coconut oil is an excellent (neutral) baking substitute.  In case you were wondering, it does not taste like coconut.  Use it in equal amounts in place of butter, 1 TBSP in place of an egg, and 3/4 cup in place of shortening.  It also can withstand high temperatures meaning that it's benefits aren't lost in the cooking process, making coconut oil one of the best cooking oils. 

Warning!  All coconut oil is not created equal.  There are lots of processed varieties out there, which have limited health benefits.  So be sure to look for virgin coconut oil like Spectrum, Trader Joe's and Nutiva. 

So don't be afraid!  Give it the old college try.  Like Zest on Facebook and tell us about your experience! 

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