Coconut oil is rapidly gaining a reputation as the healthiest fat to cook with, thanks to high levels of medium chain triglyceride (MCT) fats. MCTs have been shown to improve levels of ‘good’ cholesterol in the body, boost metabolism, improve your ratio of fat to lean tissue, curb appetite, and strengthen the immune system.
Coconut oil is also less likely to be damaged by high temperatures, making it one of the healthiest oils to fry with. Go for virgin, unrefined coconut oil for high levels of antioxidants and a more ‘coconutty’ taste.
You can use coconut oil in a simple stir-fry or follow the recipes below for three great ways to include it in your daily diet.
Cajun Coconut Broccoli
Good for: fighting hunger
- 1 head of broccoli
- 1 tbsp coconut oil
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 garlic clove, crushed
- Cajun seasoning
- Cut the broccoli into florets, boil for four minutes and drain.
- Heat the coconut and olive oil in a wok; add the garlic, a shake of Cajun seasoning and stir-fry for one minute.
- Stir the broccoli into the flavoured oil until well coated and serve immediately.
Hot Chocolate with Coconut Oil
Good for: muscle recovery after exercise
- 1 cup semi-skimmed milk or oat milk
- 1-2 tsp coconut oil
- 1 tsp unsweetened cocoa powder
- Dash of vanilla essence
- Stevia, to taste
- Put all ingredients (milk first) in a small saucepan over medium heat.
- Whisk while the drink is heating up to ensure the coconut oil blends in.
- Pour into a mug and enjoy.
Lime Coconut Tofu
Good for: fighting inflammation
- 1½ tbsp melted coconut oil
- Juice of a lime
- 2 x 140g tofu fillets
- Combine the oil and lime juice, and brush it over the tofu fillets.
- Place fillets in a dish and bake in a preheated oven at 180ºC/160ºC fan/gas mark 4.
- Bake for 20 minutes.
This article has been adapted from longer features appearing in Healthy, the Holland & Barrett magazine. Advice is for information only and should not replace medical care. Please check with your GP before trying any remedies.
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