C is for Coconut (or: Many Coconut Oil. Such Uses. Very 101. Wow.)

Yes, I just used Doge for my title. Stop judging me.

So, coconut oil. It’s just everywhere these days, isn’t it? I know I can’t scroll through my Facebook feed or scan Pinterest* without seeing an article or a list touting the benefits of this stuff. As far as I can tell, it ranks somewhere below unicorn blood and above the fountain of youth in terms of its restorative properties.

Or that’s the claim, anyway.

As for me, I tend to take any news about “miracle foods” with a mighty huge grain of salt… which I’m led to understand is not a SUPER FOOD, but whatever. Still, I have a lot of friends who love this stuff, and it doesn’t look like using it is doing any harm to anyone. I bought some, I cooked with it.

It was FANTASTIC. Never have my yorkshire puddings been crispier, my toutons more tasty, my almond-breaded fried chicken more… well, I’d never tried that before, but it was also amazing.

So I looked into other uses for this gunk, and lo and behold… 101 Uses for Coconut Oil.

Kind of.

A lot of them are repeats. Still, it seems like a good place to start. The thing is, though, that this is no fun if I’m just doing it on my own, and if I don’t get to blow it entirely out of proportion. So here’s the plan: I’m going to go through the “101” uses and report back to y’all. Because why not throw myself in front of a coconut-scented bus for the benefit of all? If these things work, we’ll all know. If not, we’ll expose this ploy by Big Coconut for what it is.

Let’s look at what I’ve tried so far, and I’ll see what I can do for you on the rest of it in later posts.

1. In cooking as a great oil with a high smoke point. Great for baking, stir-frys or as a dairy free replacement to butter.

Well, I guess I’ve done that. Greasing a baking pan, frying, all good. I haven’t tried it as a replacement for butter, except on popcorn (which was DELICIOUS when I used a mix of the two). It’s just… I like butter. A lot. STOP TRYING TO TAKE MY BUTTER, LIST.

2. Taken supplementally for daily energy

3. As a coffee creamer when emulsified into coffee (The only way I’ll drink coffee)

I’ve been putting this stuff in my coffee for several weeks now, which I guess is a form of supplementing. Only a tablespoon per day so far, but I have been feeling more energetic. Like, bouncy at times. Is that necessarily a cause and effect thing? No. But I stopped feeling so darned sluggish around the time I started doing this, and I’m not consuming any more caffeine than I was before. I’m also waking up (naturally) a lot earlier than I used to, and feeling more rested when I do.

Now, if only I could use that energy for good instead of being unproductive in a more energetic fashion…

Oh, but I’m not emulsifying anything. I’m stirring it in and hitting it with my little whisk thing, but not putting it through a blender. That would require EFFORT. And CLEANING. I can handle a little grease skin on top of my coffee. Still tastes good.

4. On the skin as a basic lotion.

I put some on my hands. Well, I tried to. It ended up all the way up my arms, because guys, this stuff SPREADS. And then I kept dropping the dishes I was putting away, because OIL BE SLIPPERY.

Also, I smelled like an explosion at the Hawiian Tropic factory. I’m learning to like the taste of coconut oil, but I’m not crazy about the scent. Maybe I’ll try to find the refined stuff for external use. I’ve heard it’s less likely to make me smell like a bored, wealthy housewife on a piΓ±a colada bender.

Skipping to other things I’ve tried, then…

24. Rubbed on lips as a natural chapstick

Greases them up pretty good, doesn’t last long. Also, since they recommend using this stuff as an eye make-up remover, I’m guessing it wouldn’t work over lipstick. I still prefer my eos lip balm, but my lips DO feel super soft after my morning coffee, so there might be something to this if you’re looking for an all-natural lip thingamaboober.

45. As a replacement for vegetable oils in any recipe.

I tried this in cake mix. I know, trying to make a boxed cake mix more healthy is as effective as ordering a diet Coke with your double Big Mac meal, but it was worth a shot. Works great in that and in home-made bread. The only thing you have to watch is the temperature. If you let the melted CO hit cold eggs or a chilly bowl, it goes solid right away. If you don’t want little Coconut Oil Globbies (worst breakfast cereal EVER) in your recipe, keep it warm wile you’re mixing.

46. Better for high-temperature cooking than olive or vegetable oils

Dudes, we covered this in number one. Seriously. Number 78 is the same thing again. Not so much 101 uses, HMMMMM?

66. Can help improve sleep when taken daily

Could be. Again, correlation doesn’t necessarily = causation, and I’d have to get off the CO and see if anything changed before I’d be willing to say that I’m sleeping better because of the CO. It’s definitely not hurting, anyway.

I think that’s everything I’ve tried, unless you count repeats (I say that “use as skin lotion” and “use as hand cream after doing dishes” are the same, as is “rub on baby as lotion,” etc).

Full disclosure: I’m not getting pregnant just to try some of these out. I love you guys, but I’m only willing to go so far for blog content.

But if anyone else is trying this stuff and wants to let me know how that’s working out for you…

Coming Soon: Oil Pulling. Because why would I not want to swish coconut oil around in my mouth for 20 minutes? *expletive deleted*

To see what others are up to for the challenge, click here!

*And by “scan,” I mean “drop in for a minute and waste three hours.”

** As in, a lot.

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About Kate Sparkes

Kate Sparkes was born in Hamilton, Ontario, but now resides in Newfoundland, where she tries not to talk too much about the dragons she sees in the fog. She lives with a Mountie, two kids who take turns playing Jeckyll and Hyde, two cats, an intentional boxer and an accidental chihuahua. She's the author of the bestselling Bound Trilogy (mature YA Fantasy). www.katesparkes.com View all posts by Kate Sparkes

33 responses to “C is for Coconut (or: Many Coconut Oil. Such Uses. Very 101. Wow.)

  • Kat

    Hmm. I don’t like the smell of coconut oil. Don’t think I can put it in my coffee or on my skin. I think I’ll stick to milk. And butter. And olive oil. Which you can also use as moistuizer or to make foot scrub. It’s good for your hair. And I cook with it. But it does have a strong taste and burns easily. Maybe I’ll try coconut for cooking.

  • helenrj

    Hello! I’m a wHooligan, a member of the A to Z support team. Glad you are up and running. Loved the coconut oil post. I use it myself in coffee and baking….popping popcorn. Have a great day!

  • helenrj

    One last thing…place the A to Z challenge badge in your sidebar…that would be cool. thanks!

  • Finley Jayne

    Love this post πŸ™‚ I went through a coconut oil phase, but it’s so expensive!

    Finley Jayne
    http://finleyjaynesbookshelves.blogspot.com/

    • Kate Sparkes

      I know! I hate that part. I’ve heard you can buy it in bulk online for a lot cheaper, but shipping to Canada kills any savings for me. I’m considering it a strategic, health-related expense at the moment. We can’t get grass-fed beef (or butter). local honey, or any kind of farmers’ market stuff around here, so I pretend it somehow balances out.

      PS- math isn’t really my thing. Or logic. πŸ˜‰

  • madlaura

    I have a friend who swears by the oil in the mouth thing. Not sure I’m ready for that, yet. Last week I bought my first jar for a recipe and the woman in the store was positively gushing over it as a moisturizer. Maybe it’s time to try a few more things to do with it.

    • Kate Sparkes

      Maybe we can come up with a few more uses to actually bring that list up to 101. πŸ˜€

      I don’t know whether it’s good for everything they claim, but I’m going to be posting about its effect on my son’s skin… it’s miraculous, I swear.

  • melissajanda

    Your posts are always so entertaining! I might have to try this for the benefits of #2 and #66.

  • Kate Jarvik Birch

    We use it for almost EVERYTHING at our house!!!

  • Steph L.J.

    We use coconut oil for so many things. It probably helps that I love the taste and smell of it!

    But I do use it in lotion bars, which I make, and are the best thing for your hands and feet ever. Equal parts coconut oil, shea butter, and beeswax. Melt together and pour into molds. (I use cupcake tins and line them with cupcake liners) The lotion bars melt with your body temperature, and they make your skin so soft. My husband even uses them, and this is a man who has never used a lotion in his life!

    Thanks for the post, and your take on the coconut oil thing!

  • ioniamartin

    I love that you did this post. My fridge is full of coconut milk, I have coconut oil beauty products everywhere and I use it for cooking in all forms as well.

  • Stepheny Houghtlin

    I’m spending the 3rd day of the #challenge just reading blogs of fellow writers. I like this blog! I’m very picky about what I follow and I’m confident I’ve picked a good one. The letter C was too long a post for the #challenge with visitors hurrying along, but I read it, B, A. All in good humor with interesting writer-stuff info. Congratulations on this effort. I know how much time and energy it takes. I’m writing about gardening this month and related subjects. Love it. Looking forward to a new blogging friend through skip the prologue.

    • Kate Sparkes

      Thanks for stopping by! I’ll have to take a look at your blog, too– I’m not much of a gardener, but we’re going to try again this year. πŸ™‚

      This was a long post. I actually wrote it several weeks ago and never had an opportunity to post, so when “C” came up I threw it in. My others will be shorter.

  • grapelipgloss

    Did you ever figure out how to get the image in the sidebar? I can’t.

  • cfjeanjean

    I had never heard of toutons before – I googled them and drooled all over my keyboard. They look amazing! Why hasn’t Newfoundland exported those beauties to the rest of the world – I need them in my life. I have massive touton envy!

    Oh and I can’t believe you won’t get pregnant for the sake of your blog. I mean really – and you call yourself a blogger? Tsk πŸ˜‰

    • Kate Sparkes

      Exporting might be difficult, as they’d get mighty cold, but they’re so easy to make! Use store-bought dough if you want, rip it into chunks, flatten them, fry ’em up, serve with molasses (ick) or maple syrup (yippee!)

      Just not too often… not really health food. πŸ˜‰

      I know, I’m such a slacker on the whole blog thing. I lack dedication and conviction.

  • Vikki Thompson

    Interesting post honey πŸ™‚

    Good luck with the rest of the challenge x

  • kathils

    “instead of being unproductive in a more energetic fashion…” LMAO

    I melt coconut oil with Cocoa butter — more coconut than cocoa — and use that on my skin. Gives it a chocolaty scent. Yum. Bad, in a way, because then you either want chocolate or run around licking yourself like a cat. Not that I’ve done that.

  • Crazy for Coconut | disregard the prologue

    […] Just so you all don’t think I was lying about trying stuff from that Coconut oil list… […]

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