You’ve probably been hearing the buzz about raw organic coconut oil a lot, and how it’s the new superfood.
But you might be wondering what the heck this creamy white stuff is, whether it’s a new fad, and how you can add it to your daily life (and do you even have the time)?
Here’s the deal:
In my daily life, I mostly use organic coconut oil in cooking and on my body. I use it in soaps (it’s a great base ingredient for goat milk soap), as lip balm in the oil’s pure state, and as a base in salves.
In fact, it works better than any other lip balm I’ve tried, and I depended on it over winter.
It’s one of those small things that, because it’s so aromatic and flavorful, seems like an indulgence even though it’s pretty frugal.
I see it as a way to bring a little luxury into my home. The fact that it lends a subtle hint of its flavor to meals doesn’t hurt.
I’ve even gotten my husband, who normally steers clear of anything coconut, to use it – ask for it in fact – when he’s cooking.
(And that’s pretty darn special.)
I’ve done the research about coconut oil for you, so you can start incorporating it into your life.
I tell you why its special, how to use it, and exactly where to get raw coconut oil – making it a snap for you to try. (Hint: You can snag it at Amazon)
There’s also a couple recipes to get you started in the kitchen and in the bathroom (see how easy it is?)
So why is raw organic coconut getting all this attention?
Although certain cultures have known about coconut’s benefits for centuries, it seems we’re just catching up with how powerful this natural ingredient is.
Studies show that cultures that eat a lot of raw coconut post longer lives – so you can imagine that’s where a lot of this attention is coming from.
Organic coconut seems to have a lot of healing properties as well, and in this antimicrobal resistance-filled world, that’s something pretty important.
In one study, which was performed because of the increasing occurrence of antimicrobial resistance, raw coconut oil seemed to work as an effective fungicide against resistant Candida organisms.
That’s pretty powerful.
Okay, so why does it need to be raw and organic?
It doesn’t NEED to be be raw and organic, but why not go as natural as possible as long as it’s sustainably sourced and within the budget?
Since coconut oil, in its natural state, is being studied because of it’s healing and health properties, it makes sense, to me, to use it in it’s raw state since if you adulterate it, it dilutes the oil’s power –> the reason I bought it in the first place.
5 Ways To Use Raw, Organic Coconut Oil
Coconut oil isn’t just for cooking (although it’s excellent for that). There’s other ways to incorporate it into your every day for a more natural, healthy life.
Here’s 5 ways we use it in our house:
1. Use instead of butter or oil
This is probably the simplest and fastest way to incorporate raw, organic coconut oil into your life.
Any recipe that calls for butter or oil, just swap an equal amount of coconut oil.
It has a high smoke point – a benefit because when sauteeing, you don’t always want those burned bits that occur when you run out of oil before everything’s cooked (then you have to add more oil and the whole thing gets greasy, etc.)
It also adds a great coconut flavor. You don’t need to use a lot – a tablespoon or less will do great.
I love to use it in coconut curries – in fact, there’s a recipe at the end of this post for a great coconut curry sauce you can use with any meat.
If you’re vegetarian, why not try this Spicy Kale and Coconut Stir Fry?
You can use it when baking too, and it imparts a light flavor. Try raw coconut oil in muffins, for an easy, moist baked good to try!
2. To season cast iron
Anything cast iron should always have a very thin coating of oil on it to keep the metal conditioned and in good repair.
You can use any oil, but coconut oil, which spreads easily, isn’t greasy, and doesn’t leave sticky residue, is perfect for seasoning cast iron.
After you wash your cast iron, just rub a thin layer of raw, organic coconut oil on it, making sure to hit every area.
If your cast iron has been damaged and is rusty, raw coconut oil can recondition it after you’ve scraped off all the rust.
3. Reduces itching from bug bites
You can use coconut oil to reduce itching in bug bites. I didn’t believe it would work until I tried it myself, and I’ll confess, it really does work.
On a farm in the South, it’s a fact of life that you’ll have mosquitoes.
In the summer, I’m a feast for mosquitoes, and it can get miserable, especially if they bite my feet.
Slap on a little coconut oil – you need only about 1/8th of a teaspoon per bite – and the itching stops almost instantly.
4. Essential oil carrier
Some essential oils can be so potent that you need to dilute them so you don’t burn yourself – oregano oil for example (which has been shown to have excellent antimicrobal properties as well).
Other essential oils require a carrier oil so they can be spread more effectively.
This is where coconut oil comes in – it’s one of the best essential oil carriers out there.
5. It’s one of the best moisturizers out there
This is one of my favorite ways to use organic coconut oil. It’s not greasy, and spreads easily.
You can use 1/2 a teaspoon and use it like lotion – because it’s an oil, it acts as a natural barrier, keeping my body’s natural oils in.
Another option is to create a body butter from it – check out my tutorial that uses raw, organic coconut oil and lavender here.
I use it before I wash dishes, for example, because it keeps the water from drying my hands out.
It works on your body and your face, and it naturally has an SPF 4, so raw coconut oil offers a bit of protection from UV rays, too.
Where to buy
You can buy coconut oil at pretty much any grocery store – even the small store in our town sells it, as does Walmart.
But I’ll tell you:
All raw organic coconut oils aren’t the same.
I really recommend getting your coconut oil from Thrive Market – that’s where I get mine. The quality is excellent, and it’s sustainably cultivated and is from a fair trade source.
If you don’t have a Thrive membership, you can still score some at Amazon, and there are several good options.
Now that you know the different ways to incorporate raw organic coconut oil into your life, here’s what I want you to do – leave a short comment below telling me your favorite way to use coconut oil, or how you plan to try it!
Maat van Uitert is a backyard chicken and sustainable living expert. She is also the author of Chickens: Naturally Raising A Sustainable Flock, which was a best seller in it’s Amazon category. Maat has been featured on NBC, CBS, AOL Finance, Community Chickens, the Huffington Post, Chickens magazine, Backyard Poultry, and Countryside Magazine. She lives on her farm in Southeast Missouri with her husband, two children, and about a million chickens and ducks. You can follow Maat on Facebook here and Instagram here.