nutellaIs it me, or does it seem like everyone is talking about coconut oil? I knew the stuff had reached the tipping point when my mom mentioned yesterday that she'd started cooking with it -- and is loving it. So if you're not familiar with the stuff, allow me to introduce you. Coconut oil is loaded with nutritional benefits: It contains medium-chain fatty acids, which you'll burn quickly, it can help fight off diseases and fungus, it can help stabilize blood sugar and blood pressure and hormones, and it contains the "good" kind of cholesterol. It has a high smoke point, which makes it very versatile. And best of all, it has a great flavor. For maximum benefits, it's recommended that you choose raw, cold-pressed oil. Here are eight things you can cook with coconut oil.



Smoothies

There are so many different smoothies you can make with coconut oil, I can't just tell you about one. Here's a whole Pinterest board full of smoothies with coconut oil.

Chocolate Chip Cookies

You can substitute coconut oil for butter or vegetable oil in baking, and it actually tastes pretty great if you're up for a tropical twist to your usual recipes. Here's a whole list of coconut oil baking recipesChocolate chip cookies with coconut oil seem to be especially popular.

Coffee Creamer

Yes, really, you can make a coffee creamer out of coconut oil. This coffee creamer recipe whips the oil with butter, vanilla, and stevia. It's so weird, it might work!

Stir-Fry

Coconut oil is great for stir-fry. It can help your body absorb more of the vitamins in your veggies. Here's a page full of vegetable coconut oil stir-fry recipes and how to stir-fry chicken and shrimp in coconut oil.

Chocolate Hazelnut Spread

Make your own Nutella-like chocolate hazelnut spread even tastier with coconut oil: Chocolate hazelnut butter recipe.

Refried Beans

Refried beans cooked in coconut oil are my favorite! Here's a recipe.

Ingredients

  • 4 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 2 cans pinto or black beans
  • Salt to taste

Instructions

  1. Heat coconut oil in a small pot.
  2. Add diced onion to oil, stirring every so often until the onions soften and turn translucent.
  3. Open can of beans, drain most of the liquid, and then add to the onions. Cook until heated through, just about 2-3 minutes.
  4. Using a potato masher, mash beans until smooth. Let cook another minute or so, stirring, until thickened slightly.
  5. Garnish with cilantro, cheese, or anything you like.

Popcorn

Pop popcorn in coconut oil? Why not! Sounds great. Here's a recipe for coconut oil popped corn.

Fried Plantains

Ready for something really new? Plantains fried in coconut oil are a spectacular treat, all sweet and chewy tropical yumminess. If you're not familiar with them, plantains are similar to bananas, only larger.

What would you add to this list? How do you use coconut oil for cooking?