Absolute Organic Non-Hydrogenated Extra Virgin Coconut Oil
- FLAVOUR – naturally sweet with slight nuttiness
- STORING – up to 2 years
- HIGH SMOKING POINT – good for stir fry/curry
- LACTOSE INTOLERANT – replaces butter
See Meaning of *Non-Hydrogenated below.
Coconut oil is enjoying a resurgence – it was a popular oil in Australia prior to the Second World War, when supply of it became limited. The oil is extracted from the flesh of mature coconuts and proves an extremely stable oil – it can be stored up to two years. Its very high smoking point meaning it won’t break down when you use it to cook curries and stir fries.
It’s tasty and for the lactose intolerant who like their cakes, muffins and biscuits, its an easy substitute for butter. It can also replace butter and cream in pastry, and scones and in icings. Mixed in a frosting together with icing sugar and coconut milk it makes for a decadent topping on a dairy free cake. For flavourings use lemon zest, or orange zest, and cocoa powder. Coconut oil’s naturally sweet and its slight nuttiness adds to the depth of flavour in baking.
As it does not break down at high temperatures it can be used to bake vegetables at 220 degrees celsius. A small amount (a tablespoon) is fabulous in a baking dish with a couple of medium potatoes, a sweet potato, 3-4 beetroot, chopped pumpkin and tofu – rendering them crispy skinned and seriously yum.
Simply do a Stirfry vegetables with Tofu using the coconut oil as your start point. Use Organic Non-hydrongenated coconut oil.
Add a tablespoon of Spice Peddler’s Tuscan, Jamacian Jerk, or Samba Seasoning to the oil and vegetables beforehand for a flavour hit. Coconut is also excellent oil in which to fry up your Thai or Indian curry base or to use in a Thai, Vietnamese or Chinese stir fry.
There are a number of health benefits ascribed to coconut oil – they include:
- improved heart health
- a better immune system
- younger looking skin
- improved digestion
- more stable blood sugar
- reduced sugar cravings.
Discussions & Studies
Some of these are examined by former Principal Research Scientist at CSIRO Mike Foale in his fascinating Ockham’s Razor discussion with Robyn Williams on Radio National.
Pilot studies are being undertaken to look into the benefits of coconut oil on early onset Alzheimer’s disease.
The oil has antimicrobial properties and operates as an antifungal, antibacterial, antiviral and anti-yeast agent and can be used in small quantities as a leave in hair conditioner and de-frizzer, make up remover and skin moisturiser.
It’s important to note that some of these health benefits are scientifically unproven at this stage and all of them relate to 100% pure virgin coconut oil, not partially hydrogenated coconut oil, which contains unhealthy trans-fats.
Like all oils, coconut oil’s a fat and should be eaten in moderation. (A tablespoon contains at least 8 calories.) So although coconut oil is high in saturated fats, these are the medium-chain saturated fatty acids (MCFAs), which are now thought to be beneficial, as opposed to trans-saturated fats, which carry risks of heart disease and high cholesterol. It also changes it’s appearance in warm Sydney weather transforming from a cold weather solid to a warm weather liquid.
* Hydrogenation is the process of adding hydrogen to a fat. This stabilizes it and gives it a longer shelf life but adds nasty trans fat. So this coconut oil at Harvest Hub does not have the Hydrogenation.