50 Shades of Coconut Oil: how coconut oil can make your life better.
Is there anything that coconut oil cannot do?
I love the stuff.
And I should. Being Sri Lankan this stuff is easier to come by than water. We use it for everything. No seriously. My mum remembers cleaning the floors with it.
So what do I use coconut oil for?
Cooking - well duh. That's pretty obvious. Coconut oil is the one of the only oils I cook with. Due it its high smoking point, it's chemical composition stays the same during cooking unlike other oils that become carcinogenic (ie cancer causing - olive oil, I'm looking at you.) Plus being high in good fats, coconut oil is a winner.
Seasoning Cast Iron Cookware - Since cast iron has none of that scary non stick coating, it needs to be heated to a very high temperature with oil to seal and season it. I use coconut oil to do this because of its high smoking point.
Protecting wooden chopping boards - I use only wooden chopping boards, they are great, but bugs can live in them if they are not clean properly leading to cross contamination and food poisoning. To clean my chopping boards, I wash them in hot soapy water, scrub them with salt and then rub them with some coconut oil and allow them to dry. The oil helps nourish the wood and the anti bacterial properties off the oil stop mold and bacteria growing on the board.
Raw Treats - Coconut oil is excellent at helping set raw cakes and balls because it is a solid at room temperature.
Super Supplement - Anti bacterial, high in lauric acid (which is mostly found in breast milk), high in good fats, anti inflammatory and anti fungal, coconut oil has been liked to weight loss, Altzimers prevention, brain boosting, helping with the symptoms of autism, increased digestive function, managing of candida, improving sleep, increasing breast milk supply, regulating hormones and thyroid function, increasing energy levels and helping with allergies. I wonder how it finds the time...!
Hair treatment - How do I keep my quiff so luscious? Coconut oil. After a warm shower I simply slatter my hair and scalp in the coconut oil (it was a liquid when I lived in Darwin, which made it easier, but here in the cooler climate I still manage) and rub it in. Usually I leave it in overnight or all day if I'm at home. Then wash it out with my Sukin shampoo and conditioner for silky locks. Plus it has been know to help your hair grow faster.
Body and Face Scrub - This one is a great one. Because I usually have so much almond pulp left over from making my almond milk, I mix it with a few tablespoons of coconut oil and a drop or two of lavender oil to make the most relaxing and nourishing scrub ever. Thrifty and saves waste too.
Moisturizer - Did you know that coconut oil is actually absorbed deeper than any commercially made lotion? Add to that it's organic, not based on petrol like most other cosmetics, cheap and smells lovely. After a shower, while you are still damp and warm, rub the oil all over your body until it is absorbed. I usually slip on a robe and wait til it is fully absorbed before I get dressed. Also excellent as an after sun lotion or for babies nappy rash or dry skin like cradle cap. Both my girls get lathered in the stuff at least once a week too.
Deodorant - No seriously. While I'm rubbing my body with the coconut oil, I never neglect my under arms. Coconut oil has been the BEST natural deodorant I have EVER used. It has anti bacterial properties so while it won't stop you from sweating ( we should sweat anyways) it will stop any odder. I kid you not, I can work a full day and still smell awesome. I even got my husband on to it. I like to roll on a little essential oils for a more refined fragrance. I use a combo of Vanilla, Clove and Cinnamon oils. It makes me smell like baking.
Shaving Cream - Hydrate and get a close shave. Plus is perfect for those of us with sensitive skins. It's also good as an after shave balm.
Make Up remover - The good thing about coconut oil is that it doesn't take you skin away along with your foundation. Just rub some in and wipe away with a warm damp cloth.
Oil Pulling - This is a new one I have been doing. Oil pulling is an ancient Ayurvedic treatment where you detox your body through you mouth and tongue. Make sense since there are a variety of drugs that take effect by being absorbed through the mouth, so why not go the other way? Simply place 1 tablespoon of the oil in your mouth and gently swish it around for 20 minutes. Then spit and rinse with warm salty water. I did this for a week and noticed whiter and stronger teeth.
Cutical Cream - The rubbing action combined with the moisturizing capacity and anti fungal abilities makes it a good cutical cream that helps your nails grow.
Toothpaste - Although I haven't tried it, mixing some bicarb, coconut oil and mint oil is said to make a refreshing toothpaste. I'll give it a go and get back to you.
Leather Treatment and protector - When I lived in Darwin, leather tended to mold during the wet season. Years ago I discovered a quarter of a cup of coconut oil with 2-3 drops of clove oil will condition, clean and protect any leather good from bags, shoes and jackets.
For my fur babies - I add a little coconut oil to my dogs food to help with keeping parasites in check and over all health (heck if it's so good for us, why not?). Plus being sharpei's, they can get a little itchy. They're sensitive like that. Rubbing a bit of coconut oil on their skin helps to keep them shiny and itch free.
Ok so perhaps I don't have 50 uses for it...help me out, what other ways do you use coconut oil?
Looking for ways to use coconut oil? What about in a cake? Check out my paleo cake e-cookbook. There are recipes for a lamington cake, a humming bird cake and a double chocolate cake complete with icings and decorating tips FREE here.