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4 Important Considerations: Healthy Cooking Using Coconut Oil
Cooking with coconut oil can give you added health benefits. This type of oil is believed to be effective in reducing inflammation within the body and promoting weight loss.
Plus, coconut oil contains medium-chain triglycerides that can be processed easier by the body than the fats with longer chains found in vegetable oil.
When cooking with coconut oil, you should take these four factors into consideration.
1. It Stays Solid at Room Temperature
If you let coconut oil sit at room temperature, it will remain solid. The oil will be especially hard at colder temperatures, which can make cooking with it more difficult. Coconut Mama states that at 76 degrees Fahrenheit, the oil will start to melt.
To make the oil optimal for cooking, you should heat it at 350 degrees. This temperature brings the oil to a high smoking point and creates the perfect conditions for frying food in it.
2. A Great Substitute
Along with substituting for vegetable oil and butter, coconut oil can be used in place of shortening to bake certain foods. To make your baked foods moister, you should consider increasing the amounts of the other liquids that you use in your recipes by a small amount.
According to Shape.com, coconut oil gives a lighter taste than what butter can to cupcakes, muffins and brownies. You can also use coconut oil as a substitute when baking cookies and scones.
3. Look for the Best Types of Oil
Coconut oil that features “virgin” or “extra virgin” on its label is usually the best. Oil that’s in these categories generally contains more antioxidants because of the extraction methods. These types of oils also have richer coconut flavors.
Whether you choose to use a luxurious copper saucepan or skillet to fry your food, preheat your oil at 350 or 375 degrees so that everything cooks right.
4. A Longer Shelf Life
Another great advantage of coconut oil is that it won’t spoil as quickly as other types of oil. Coconut oil can even last as long as two years without being refrigerated before turning rancid.
When storing your coconut oil, be sure to keep it out of direct sunlight so that it doesn’t melt. Storing it at a constant room temperature will help it retain its consistency. If you buy oil in bulk, you can try melting it down in a large pot so that it’s easier to divide and store in smaller containers. The oil will eventually harden again as the temperature cools.
There are many advantages to cooking with coconut oil. You’ll be able to experience all the wonderful benefits for yourself when you make the switch to coconut oil.
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