The Best Coconut Oil for Cooking and Baking
Is there anything you can’t use coconut oil for? You can use this plant-based fat as a skin moisturizer, to help prevent dandruff and resolve itchy scalp issues, for frizzy hair, as a makeup remover, teeth whitener, for your oral health, and you can cook and bake with it!
Despite its recent rise in usage and popularity in the West, coconut oil for cooking and baking is hardly a new discovery. In fact, it’s been a staple in East and Southeast Asian and African households for thousands of years!
All of this raises the following questions: What are the advantages of cooking and baking with coconut oil? What are the differences between refined, unrefined, virgin, and standard coconut oils? Do different kinds of coconut oil have different smoke points and tastes? Is one kind the best coconut oil for cooking and another the best coconut oil for baking?
This article will answer these questions, along with providing some baking and cooking recipes with coconut oil from Wildly Organic!
The Advantages of Using Coconut Oil for Cooking and Baking
Whether you are sautéing, baking, roasting, frying, or spreading it, coconut oil is an all-around staple you definitely want to have in your kitchen! It contains a similar amount of calories and grams of fat as olive oil, which makes coconut oil an excellent substitute for your baking and cooking needs. And depending on the type of coconut oil you get, it can add a subtle fruity and nutty flavor!
It goes without saying that coconut oil is 100% vegan-friendly, which also makes it a great substitute for butter!
For those of you with a nut allergy, coconut oil is considered safe as the coconut tree is a member of the palm family and only distantly related to the tree nut family. Allergy-wise, pretty much the only reason you should avoid using the best coconut oil for cooking is if you are allergic to coconuts. That said, if you are uncertain, it is always best and recommended to first check with a medical professional!
What are Virgin, Unrefined, Standard, and Refined Coconut Oils?
Virgin coconut oil is another way of saying that it is “unrefined” and standard coconut oil is synonymous with “refined.”
Virgin coconut oil is more expensive than refined coconut oils due to how the two are made. Generally, refined (aka standard) coconut oil is what you will find on the shelves of most major supermarkets. The reason it is cheaper is that refined coconut oil is usually highly processed and tends to include additives. An exception to this would be Wildly Organic Refined Coconut Oil - Expeller Pressed, in which the coconut oil is steam processed, removing the coconut aroma naturally rather than with harsh solvents and chemicals that leave impurities, like the majority of refined coconut oils produced on the market.
Virgin (aka unrefined) coconut oil is generally cold-pressed and is basically coconut oil in its purest form. Wildly Organic offers a variety of high-quality, organic virgin coconut oils, which are the best coconut oils for your cooking and the best coconut oils for your baking needs.
Do Different Kinds of Coconut Oil Have Different Smoke Points and Tastes?
The answer is “Yes!” Virgin coconut oil has a smoke point of 350°F and has anywhere from a subtle to rich coconut flavor. Refined coconut oil has a smoke point of 400°F, and has a neutral flavor. MCT oil has a very low smoke point of 320°F, and in regards to flavor, some are able to detect a slight coconut profile while others do not.
Which Kind of Coconut Oil is Best for Cooking and Best for Baking?
Some people prefer to use virgin, unrefined coconut oil for the coconut flavor and aroma that it imparts in food.Virgin coconut oil is great for baking, sautéing, and stir frying up to 350 degrees as well as in smoothies. On the other hand, refined coconut oil is often referred to as a pure cooking oil for its excellent use in cooking, frying, and baking at higher temperatures. It’s an excellent oil for those who want a neutral (i.e. no) flavor from their oil. Many people who want to avoid the negative health effects of canola oil will replace it with refined coconut oil in their cooking.
Wildly Organic has an excellent infographic covering which of their coconut oils are best used for cooking, baking, and frying. See below.
Recipes for Cooking and Baking with Coconut Oil
Now that you know the different kinds of coconut oil, and which kind is the best coconut oil for cooking and baking, you might be thinking: “What I could really use now are some recipes!”
When it comes to finding coconut oil cooking and baking recipe ideas, there are a vast array of recipes online from various sources. However, here is a list of a few of Wildly Organic’s recipes using the best coconut oil for baking and cooking below.
Thanks to its wide range of amazing and beneficial uses, you can see why coconut oil has become so popular. As a plant-based oil with a low carbon footprint, it’s good for the planet, it has an almost endless list of healthy benefits, it smells and tastes good, and it can give your cooking and baking that special something extra.
Like with all cooking oils, even the best coconut oil for cooking should be ingested in moderation. That is the key to reaping all the health benefits it has to offer!
*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.