Monday, January 30, 2012

Delicious & Nutritious: Extra Virgin Coconut Oil

I have been spending quite a bit of time down South and because I still keep seasonal residence here, I am aware of the profound use of oil to cook every type of food. From fried chicken to tortillas, many traditional dishes are laden with not so good ingredients that are simply a part of the recipes to make them. These recipes are ingrained in the culture down here and though it is delicious, it is not at all nutritious. So what are we to do? Abandon our tasty bonding foods? Ask generations of people to eat only the good stuff cold turkey? Practically impossible. So today, I am offering up some healthy salvation that will turn your favorite comfort food dish into something that your doctor would approve of. 
For an even more healthful offering, cook potatoes in an iron skillet like we did above.

My choice is fried potatoes which you may find accompanying an assortment of main dishes in the South. Eggs in the morning, tacos in the afternoon, and pork chops in the evening will be paired up with a serving (or two) of fried papas. Tweeking this recipe a bit is well worth it considering these multiple appearances on the plate. 

Tip: Cut the potatoes however you choose before frying. Half-moon slices, diced, french cut or in chip form. They are good no matter how they are served up. Fried and sprinkled with salt is simply delicious. 

So here is a cooking alternative: Use Extra Virgin Coconut oil. If you don't know anything about this all-natural product, it is one of the most widely used oils in diets across the globe and was the main oil used in the US until WW II. It smells great and also lasts for at least 2 years when stored right in your kitchen. It is fine solid or liquid so don't be scared if on a hot day it looks like water. It has many, many health benefits and don't believe that negative hype: it is amazingly good for you. Hydrogenated oils have taken over the market but the trans fats they contain are a major issue with heart disease, diabetes and other serious health problems so I recommend avoiding them as much as possible. Extra Virgin coconut oil is the best choice especially for frying up potatoes because it has a very high stability rate allowing even cooking and less risk of burning & smoke. 

Fair warning here! A little bit goes a long way so when cooking, start small and then add more as needed because it heats up quickly.

Extra Virgin Coconut Oil is the best choice and can be used to moisturize hair, soften skin, and aid in cooking all with amazing benefits and results. Use as a butter alternative and if you are really daring, eat a raw spoonful everyday to get your immune system in top shape. It is known to lower cholesterol, offer up energy, increase thyroid function, and alleviate eczema. Need I say more? Buy some & try some. I doubt you will be disappointed. I made the switch over a year ago and have never looked back.

You can find Extra Virgin Olive Oil at specialty markets and grocery stores like PCC, Whole Foods & Sprouts. Recently, I even found it at a few mainstream grocery stores so the foodies are making a move in the right direction. It will be found with the rest of the oils and, if possible, look for the organic kind that offers an extra punch of healthy benefits.

For some background and history of coconut oil, click here.