Do you cook with coconut oil?

My cousin recently got me into coconut oil as a health food. It’s full of good saturated fat (like avocado) and helps lower bad cholesterol. Plus, it has a lovely tropical fragrance. My favorite thing to make with it is baked sweet potatoes. I like to make sweet potato fries served alongside panko-crusted cod for a healthier version of fish ‘n’ chips. And, like my cousin, I’ve started adding a bit of coconut oil to baby food (E loves it!) — fat helps babies absorb the food’s nutrients better, and with coconut oil they also get the extra health benefits and lovely aroma.

Try substituting coconut oil for butter in desserts (use 25% less than what’s called for, since it has less water content). You can also apply it to your skin and hair as a moisturizer. Check out this NYT article for more information and ideas on how to use coconut oil. Make sure to get the unprocessed, extra virgin (and preferably organic) kind, since the partially hydrogenated kind contains trans fats, as the article points out.

Images from here and here.