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Cooking with Virgin Coconut Oil

Virgin Coconut Oil (VCO) can be used as a substitute for most other cooking oils.  VCO can be used for frying or baking, as it handles high heat better than most oiIs. 

It adds a healthy and delightful coconut flavor to the cooked foods, especially things like curries, rice, pasta, and bread products.

At Also Island, we use our VCO to cook EVERYTHING, as this is the norm in Fiji.  But here are some coconut oil tips from an expert:

Sautéing vegetables (and fruit)
A delicious way to make vegetables more exciting (steamed broccoli can definitely get boring, right?) is by cooking them in coconut oil. I love sauteing kale, spinach, or other leaf greens in coconut oil and then adding a little sea salt for a sweet and salty mix. Additionally, I melt coconut oil and then pour it over vegetables for roasting. My favorites: sweet potatoes, broccoli, and butternut squash. Sliced banana sauteed in coconut oil with cinnamon is also one of my favorite treats!

Pan-searing fish
Instead of cooking a plain fillet of fish, I add coconut oil to my pan for some subtle coconut flavor. First, I melt the coconut oil, let it get hot, and then I sear the fish on either side. I further increase its flavor profile by adding a little salt, garlic, and a sprinkle of ginger powder. A boring piece of fish becomes a gourmet meal in no time!

Replacing the fat in baked goods
In liquid form, coconut oil is a great substitute for vegetable oil or butter. One cup of solid coconut oil will melt to approximately one cup of liquid. I melt coconut oil in a sauce pan on medium-low heat on the stove and use it in my baking as I would any other oil or melted butter. It adds a very subtle coconut flavor and plenty of moisture to my baked goods. 

By Tina Haupert, Excerpted from Health.com



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