Friday, December 7, 2012

10 Uses for Coconut Oil

Tropical Traditions saw my DIY Deodorant Cream post and was kind enough to send me an quart of their fantasticly fancypants unrefined, handmade organic Gold Label Virgin Coconut Oil to play with. Oh, the fun I am having!

A quart of coconut oil is a lot; the good news is there are hundreds of culinary and personal care uses for coconut oil. In just 2 days I've used it in the following ways:

I used it as substitute for margarine when baking vegan peanut butter cookies. Delicious! Normally I use Earth Balance when baking, but I much preferred the slightly sweeter, more natural flavor of the coconut oil. Lots of folks on the internet say they don't notice the taste of coconut when it's cooked or baked, but the four friends who tried my cookies said they could taste the difference a little. It wasn't overwhelmingly coconut-ty, but definitely noticeable. 

I added a tablespoon of it to a cup of brown rice while it was cooking. OMG! Flavor City! I think I will always make rice this way! Again, it tasted of coconuts.

I sauteed tofu and broccoli in the coconut oil instead of my regular olive oil. It was mildly coconut-ty and superyummy, but broccoli is my favorite food so it's not fair to judge. (I once saw a bunch of raw broccoli in the middle of the street, slightly damaged from being run over by passing cars, and felt hunger pangs.)

I popped popcorn in it. Eh. I was underwhelmed. Canola oil remains my favorite popcorn popping oil.

I used it on my hair. I deep conditioned my supercoils (#team4A, yay!) with about a tablespoon of it overnight. The next day I washed and conditioned my hair, and spritzed it with a mix of aloe, water, and essential oils, then sealed in the moisture with another half tablespoon of coconut oil. This has been part of my hair ritual for a while. I've tried coconut oil, olive oil, and various conditioners/ moisturizers marketed for curly hair, but this was my first time using this brand and grade of coconut oil. Tropical Traditions did not disappoint. My hair feels supersoft and is very shiny!

I used it to moisturize my skin when I got out of the shower, after washing my hands, and as a lip balm after brushing my teeth. This has long been my favorite use for coconut oil. Tropical Traditions was excellent. It feels supercreamy- perhaps creamier and richer than other kinds I've tried, maybe because it is unrefined- and it smells divine.

I even tried oil pulling, an Ayurvedic practice where you swish oil around in your mouth for twenty minutes first thing in the morning. Holding the oil plus twenty minutes worth of saliva (eek!) in my mouth was harder than I thought it would be, but I did it- twice- and I think I'll keep on doing it. My teeth feel so clean afterwards, I feel a little guilty about drinking my morning coffee.

I totally want to make hot cocoa with it too. I've been overdosing on the aforementioned cookies so in the interest of muffin-top prevention, I'm waiting until next week to try it.

I've totally been dying to try some of Renee at MadeOn:'s hard lotion recipes. Perhaps Santa will give me a kit. (I hope Santa reads this blog!)

And because I'll try anything twice so long as it's tweaked a little, I'm considering trying the oil cleansing method again. This time with coconut oil and a fat stack of washcloths. I'll be sure to keep you tuned in!

Check out these links for other uses for coconut oil:
No More Dirty Looks: 10 Amazing Things You Can Do with Coconut Oil
Hybrid Rasta Mama: 333 Uses for Coconut Oil

Do you use coconut oil? How? If you've never used coconut oil before, be extra sure to stay tuned and enter the Tropical Traditions coconut oil giveaway I'll be hosting soon!

Wanna know what's so special about Tropical Traditions Gold Label Virgin Coconut Oil? It's handmade the traditional way on small family USDA certified organic farms in the rural Philippines. Check out the video:

Disclaimer: Tropical Traditions provided me with a free sample of this product to review, and I was under no obligation to review it if I so chose. Nor was I under any obligation to write a positive review or sponsor a product giveaway in return for the free product.

Olivia Lane is a Blogger, Green Living Educator, and Health Coach trained at The Institute for Integrative Nutrition. She's also author of Baking Soda & Bliss: The Healthy & Happy Guide to Green Cleaning 

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  1. I believe and I couldn't agree more with all the uses of coconut oil that were mentioned here. I have tried using this oil myself so I know that it is really healthy and it's really different from any other kinds of oil.

  2. Just as an update: I never tried oil cleansing method with coconut oil. I'm too scared to go down that path again!



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