For many years, when it comes to cooking with oil, the options that immediately spring to mind are vegetable, sunflower and olive. These stalwarts of frying, either shallow or deep, greasing and even just as a basic recipe staple, are embedded into our cooking consciousness, each with their own set of benefits, cons and calorie counts.
Zoom forward to the more health conscious contemporary times and we are often seeking alternatives to higher calorie fat and oils with lower calorie versions appearing on the market. But another viable option may be sitting right under your nose.
Unless you have been living on Mars for the last couple of years, you won’t have missed the current penchant for coconut oil and coconut water. And the fact that you cannot escape seeing them on our shop shelves means that a serious amount of scientific and consumer research has occurred before reaching the mass public stage. One of the reasons for its popularity is versatility, and despite coconut previously having a reputation as having a stronger, distinctive taste, this is far from the case when it is delivered in its more natural state.
As a cooking shelf staple, coconut oil has the advantage of being a hard substance when packed, but melts easily. So, it’s simple to add to the Yorkshire pudding tin, frying pan or melted for muffins, with a texture that is just that bit different than its other rivals.
Don’t like the taste of coconut? Coconut oil is almost if not often totally unrecognisable when used in this form, and as initial scientific research is showing that it may well be a healthier oil version, your cooking and your body may well benefit from the oil switch.