Friday, February 21, 2014

Coconut Oil: Healthy Dessert Ingredient or Beauty Treatment?

I doubt you'll be surprised to hear that my answer is, "both." If you google coconut oil, you can find dozens and dozens of uses for this wonder stuff. When shopping for coconut oil, look for virgin, organic, and cold-pressed. Here is an article with more detail on how to choose a coconut oil.

One of my favorite uses is this easy, healthy, hearty, satisfying dessert recipe. It's got no added sugar (outside of the chocolate, which you COULD skip, if you're crazy, that is) and no artificial sweeteners. It's gluten-free, and if you use a non-dairy milk, it's vegan too. I found this simple recipe from Chocolate Covered Katie, an awesome healthy/chocolate recipe blog. Here is the original recipe: Banana Bread Baked Oatmeal, but I have tweaked it to my own tastes and I call it Banana-Oat Bread Pudding. Because I love bread pudding, but that's not exactly known for its health properties. Katie offers a lot of variations, and here is what I've settled on for my own tastes:

Banana-Oat Bread Pudding:

1/2 cup oats
a little over 1/16 tsp salt
1 small, very ripe, mashed banana
3 tbps milk (I use 1%)
1/2 tbps coconut oil
splash of vanilla (optional)
dash of cinnamon (optional)
1 tbsp (or so) of dark chocolate chips (optional, I SUPPOSE)

Preheat oven to 380 degrees. Combine the oats and salt, then mix in the wet ingredients.  Fold in the chocolate chips. Pour into small greased (I use coconut oil and give it a thick coat) baking pan and bake for 20 minutes (or until edges are golden brown). This makes one very generous portion. You'll want to eat it hot out of the oven, of course.

So as long as you have the coconut oil in the house, try experimenting with some of its other uses. Personally, I use it as a cuticle conditioner at night. I use it as a body lotion on my legs after shaving. I also deep condition my hair with it, pre-shampoo, a couple of times a month. The most effective way to do this is to apply some heat, so I work a handful into my hair before my workout and cover my hair with plastic wrap. The heat from my exertions does the trick. I wouldn't recommend this at the gym, however, unless you enjoy weird stares from your fellow gym denizens. ;) You could simply wave a hairdryer at it for a while once you have the plastic wrap in place, or sit under a hood dryer if you own one. Just be sure to wash the coconut oil out thoroughly. It also makes a nice hairdressing; simply rub the tiniest bit between your hands and gently skim it over your hair to tame flyaways and impart softness. An added bonus to using coconut oil as a beauty treatment? You will smell ever so slightly like a tropical beach vacation. :)

Have you discovered any fabulous ways to use coconut oil?

1 comment:

  1. make up remover...........
    lovely "base" for a chocolate candy...........
    excellent choice for teeth whitening by oil pulling