Mighty Crumb Baking Company

Food To Live For™

Coconut Oil–A New Staple in My Pantry

Coconut seems to be the “it” food of the moment.  Or maybe it’s here to stay.  With its many varied and delicious gifts including coconut water (see earlier post), shredded and flaked coconut for baking, and my newest favorite–coconut oil, the coconut is the new trend among healthy foodies due to its recently touted health benefits, see below.  This morning I made lemon pancakes and ditched the butter for coconut oil in the pan. OMG! The light, crispy texture, and the delicate coconut flavor were the ticket to push these flapjacks over the top.  Here’s my recipe:

Light Lemony Coconutty Pancakes

1/2 c cottage cheese or ricotta cheese

1/2 c creme fraiche or sour cream

two eggs, separated

zest of 1 lemon

1T lemon juice

1/2 c flour (I used gluten free all purpose flour)

1 1/2 t sugar

1/2 t baking powder

pinch of salt

coconut oil

In a bowl, combine the first five ingredients leaving out the egg whites. In a second bowl, beat the egg whites until they are soft peaks.  In a third bowl, combine the last four dry ingredients.  Heat about 2 T of coconut oil in a 12″ skillet until melted and very thin.  Stir the cheese mixture into the dry ingredients.  Add the egg whites and gently fold the mixture over the whites until whites are incorporated.  Drop spoonfuls of batter into oil and cook about 2 minutes per side.  Add your favorite organic berries and maple syrup on top.

 

Coconut Oil Health Benefits

It took me a while to get past the saturated fat bad rap.  Here’s what I learned:

In the 1950’s scientists discovered a link between heart disease and hydrogenated fats such as margerine.  Along came the assumption among the medical community that saturated fats were also connected to heart disease.  Thus the low-fat food and diet craze was born.  Fast forward to today, and we now know that the true hydrogenated cardiovascular culprit is, and always was, the trans fat. (American Journal of Clinical Nutrition)

While the fat in coconut is 90% saturated fat, 50% of that is lauric acid.  Lauric acid, a rare food nutrient. Our bodies convert lauric acid to monolaurin which has antibactirial, anti-viral and anti-protozoal properties.  It can help fight viruses such as herpes, influenza, cytomegalovirus, and even HIV. It helps in fighting harmful bacteria such as listeria and heliobacter pylori, and harmful protozoa such as giardia.  Further, coconut oil can help prevent atherosclerosis, maintain healthy digestion, kidney and liver function, lower cholesterol, and even support weight loss.

Lastly, some research suggests that coconut oil may be the only oil stable enough to resist heat-induced damage. For example, frying polyunsaturated vegetable oils including corn, soy, safflower, sunflower and canola destroys the antioxidants in the oils and causes these oils to create trans fats and other toxic chemicals.  Other monounsaturated oils, such as olive, which reach their smoking point sooner than coconut oil may also lose their healthful antioxidants and become toxic at high heat.

 

Coconut oil comes in solid form and melts when heated.

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