At the moment, I don’t have a bloody clue what I’m meant to be eating my food with. On one hand, the great coconut oil trend of 2013 rumbles on, and on the other, the backlash has begun.
I think perhaps the problem is on my part, that when I woke up one day and found that everyone was using coconut oil to cook everything and anything, I already felt like I’d missed the boat. It was too late to ask someone the simple question: ‘HOW THE BLOODY HELL DO I DO THIS?’
Luckily, coconut nut Lucy Bee, the girl behind Lucy Bee Organic Coconut Oil has got a new book and didn’t mind answering our better-late-than-never questions.
Here’s her tips...
Always go for virgin or extra virgin
‘You get two types of coconut oil- refined and unrefined. So when it says extra virgin or extra virgin on the jar, it means it’s unrefined. That’s when the coconut oil is extracted from the coconut within four hours, it’s white in colour, and it’s in its purest form.
‘Refined actually makes up 90% of coconut oil. It could have been in there for a week, a month, so because it’s brown, they have to de-odorise it and bleach it. So when looking for coconut oil, always go for a virgin or extra virgin.’
The benefits are never ending
‘With coconut oil, it’s a medium chain fatty acid, which the body uses efficiently. You need fats to fuel and it’s the right kind of fat to help your body work it off. With coconut oil, when you cook with it, it doesn’t lose its properties unlike other oils. It’s also high in lauric acid, the only other place you can get this is in mother’s breast milk. It is anti-bacterial and anti-fungal, so your body uses it really well.’
Whether or not you can taste it depends on the person
‘The first time I had coconut oil, my mum gave it to me and she didn’t tell us that it was coconut oil. And we actually had an egg fried in it and none of us knew it was any different. The thing is with it, everyone’s taste buds are different, so, everyone really varies.’
You can use it on toast
With food, I find it really enhances the flavour of food. If you use it as a spread, it’s really good on toast instead of butter – so it’s great for people who are lactose or dairy intolerant. And when you have it in its pure form, you can taste a slight coconut taste, but it’s more of a sweet taste than what you usually think of when you think of coconut.’
And on a roast (really)
‘It’s really great with roast potatoes. You can’t taste it but you it gives that really nice, crispy texture to potatoes. With a roast chicken you can use it on the skin, just a little bit, and it makes the chicken really, really crispy.’
It might seem expensive but you’re probably using too much
‘You can literally use a tiny amount. I don’t know why, but the smallest amount makes a difference so you don’t have to use as much. That’s even with baking as well, you use a third less than what you'd use if you were using butter. Like with the chicken, you literally need to use a teaspoon.’
Use it in your coffee too
‘Use a teaspoon amount in a coffee. A lot of people have that, and don’t actually need to use any sweeteners in it. So for people that are coming off having sugars and honey in their tea, this is great.
‘I’ve also started using little hand whisks just to whisk it up really quickly. With bulletproof coffees (that’s coffee with butter in – it’s a thing), a lot of people do them in nutri-bullets, but to do that they’ve got to go out and buy a nutri-bullet, and it’s a lot to have to buy. So I’ve started using a hand whisk which works amazingly and gives you a creamy sort of texture in the coffee, so you feel like you’ve got milk in there when actually all you’ve got is the coconut oil and coffee.’
Lucy’s first book Coconut Oil: Nature’s Perfect Ingredient (Quadrille) is available now from amazon.co.uk RRP £15.
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This article originally appeared on The Debrief.