Have you tried ... coconut oil
BY NICOLE MARSHALL MIDDLETON World Scene Writer
Thursday, November 15, 2012
11/15/12 at 3:22 AM
The health food community is experiencing a coconut oil craze.
Coconut oil has replaced conventional vegetable oil and butter in many recipes, yet it was once avoided for its high saturated fat content.
Further examination shows that coconut oil can have many health benefits and can be good to use in moderation.
It's credited with potential health benefits ranging from blood sugar control to boosting the immune system and fighting cancer. It contains a high amount of lauric acid, which has been used for treating everything from viral infections to cold blisters and bronchitis, according to WebMD.
The coconut oil in the jar that we bought was solid and cloudy white, similar to shortening. It smelled and tasted similar to coconut butter and melts easily to a thin, clear consistency.
We tried coconut oil in two baking recipes, coconut cupcakes and crinkle gingersnap cookies, but it is also often used in savory foods.
What we found unique about using coconut oil is the way it changed form so easily. For instance, when we added refrigerated liquids to it, the oil quickly turned into a solid again.
The dough of the cookies was oily and thick, making round, tall, crisp cookies. But with all the spices in the cookies, tasters did not detect a coconut flavor.
The cupcakes were dense and tasted of coconut. The frosting for the cupcakes - also made with coconut oil - had a nice coconut flavor, too.
Here are those recipes, if you are interested in trying this alternative oil.
makes about 10-12 small cupcakes
1 cup flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
1/3 cup milk
1/3 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup raw coconut oil
1/2 cup shredded coconut
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Place cupcake liners in the cupcake pan.
2. Combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, shredded coconut and salt. Mix with a fork.
3. Separate the egg into two bowls. Beat the egg white in one bowl until it forms gentle peaks, but isn't dry. Set aside.
4. Beat the egg yolk briefly in the bowl. Slow the mixer and add the coconut oil. Slowly add some of the flour mixture. Then, alternate adding the liquids and the rest of the flour mixture.
5. Gently fold about 1/4 of the egg white into the mixture. Add the rest in two portions, folding each time. Spoon the batter into the cupcake liners, filling them about 3/4 full. Fill empty cupcake spots with 1-2 tablespoons of water.
6. Bake 18-22 minutes or until a cake tester comes out clean. Cool completely and top with frosting. Optional: top frosting with toasted coconut for garnish.
COCONUT CUPCAKE FROSTING
6 tablespoons raw coconut oil
4-6 tablespoons milk or cream
3 cups powdered sugar
1. Place the coconut oil in the mixer with 2-3 tablespoons of milk or cream and mix. Add powdered sugar 1/2 cup at a time, mixing well. Alternate adding the liquid and the sugar until it reaches a nice frosting consistency.
2. Spread on the cupcakes. Garnish with toasted coconut or as you choose.
- adapted from Diva Mysteries blog
makes about 2 1/2 dozen cookies
2 1/4 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon ginger
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup brown sugar
3/4 cup coconut oil, melted
1 teaspoon vanilla or vanilla paste
1/4 cup dark molasses
1 large egg
1/3 cup raw sugar (can use regular granulated if necessary)
1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Combine egg, brown sugar and molasses and beat on medium speed until smooth. Add coconut oil and continue mixing until all of the oil is incorporated into the first mixture.
2. Sift together flour, baking soda, spices and salt and then add to liquid mixture. Mix on low-medium speed until all of the dry ingredients are incorporated and it forms a thick, oily dough. Make walnut-sized balls of dough and drop them into a bowl of sugar and roll around until coated on all sides.
3. Bake about 2 inches apart on parchment paper for about 10 minutes or until cookies puff up and split apart on top. After removing from oven, slide parchment paper from cookie sheet onto a cooling rack and allow cookies to cool before removing them.
- adapted from Coconut Oil Online
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Nicole Marshall Middleton 918-581-8459
Coconut oil can have many health benefits when used in moderation. CHRISTOPHER SMITH / Tulsa World