Somewhere in the throes of summer, I received a delivery from Earth’s Finest with a basket full of their products to sample. This was an indication to get back to work in more ways than one. It was about time I came up with a blog post lest the *google rankings start falling*. But more than that, I was eager to try some or all of its contents on the husband, the daughter, the dog and in the kitchen.
Since moderation is key in my book, I choose not to delve on the rather complex debate of consuming coconut oil. Instead, I’ll reveal the top 5 ways I use it in the household, just so you know how multifaceted this super food is.
In the kitchen: Coconut oil is an acquired taste. As long as the flavor and aroma of the coconut itself is not a bother, you can use it to cook virtually anything. Think eggs, gravies, soups, smoothies, muffins, cookies and even bread. My favorite coconut-oil recipe is granola, a standard breakfast for the family 3 times a week.
Home-made granola is healthy and hearty as opposed to store-bought ones, loaded with sugar and unhealthy oil. Unless you want to end up with a batch of dry oats, adding some medium of fat while making it is a must. Coconut oil, in particular works well because 1) it is nutritious and 2) it adds crispness, a subtle sweetness and that dose of good fat to the recipe. For vegetarians and vegans, coconut oil is a healthy alternative to butter.
For the spouse: Every man, including my husband agrees that shaving is an annoying necessity. Add to that, cuts on the face because you’ve woken up late and rushed your shave is the cherry on the cake, just in reverse connotation. One of the biggest benefits of using plain old coconut oil over expensive shaving creams, is the added moisturisation. The oil softens the skin helping the razor to glide over and prevent burns. Even if the blade were to strike, it’s antibacterial properties help prevent infection in small cuts.
For the child: UAE tap water has been blamed for hair loss in children and adults, although recent reports suggest this is a myth. Proper hair care can do as much for the condition of your hair as supplements, over-the-counter products and water filters. Coconut oil has this wonderful quality of making hair longer and stronger, hence making it ideal for growing children.
Our pre-wash ritual on (most) weekends include massaging her scalp with coconut oil. After about 30 minutes (cause that’s all the time you need really), we wash and rinse as normal. Not only that, we use it with aplomb for bug bites, skin infections and the occasional itchy bum.
For the dog: Our pup is 8 months old now and he is more than family, which means that we are always concerned about his well being. On a recent visit to the vet, we were told that coconut oil has its own set of advantages for canines. Most of its health benefits come from medium-chain fatty acids (MCFA’s), especially lauric acid which has antibacterial, antiviral and antifungal properties.
Applying coconut oil to your dog’s skin and coat keeps it moist and wards off allergies. Adding a spoonful of the extra-virgin, raw variety to their food aids digestion and builds immunity. However, it comes with its own set of calories so remember to adjust your dog’s diet accordingly.
For me (and you): I wish I could say I use a lot of make-up in which case there isn’t any cleanser better than coconut oil, but I don’t. As far as vanity goes, the sporadic eye pencil is all you will ever see me in. However, this does not stop me from using it as part of my so-called, non-existent routine. Be it chapped lips, damaged nails, irritated skin or dry hair in need of TLC, coconut oil never disappoints.
Coconut oil is high in saturated fats, exactly why it developed a bad reputation in the past. With limited or virtually no co-relation between saturated fats and heart diseases now, it is slowly coming into its own. Besides, these concerns probably made sense when the oil in question was refined and hydrogenated, containing trans fats. The merits of organic, extra-virgin coconut oil found in stores today are endless.