These Are a Few of My Favorite Things: Coconut Oil

I am sometimes a knucklehead.

All over the dino-chow-sphere, my fellow foodies have included coconut oil in their recipes. For no particular reason except the aforementioned knuckleheadedness, I’ve usually replaced coconut oil with olive oil in my recipes.

A week or so ago, Moxy-Boss recommended I try it, just to change things up a bit and to add more saturated fat to my diet.

I bought this:
My life has changed in delicious ways I can barely describe.

I know my taste buds have mutated over the years… first, because I ate a steady stream of almost no-fat food and now, because of my dino-chow habit. But I’ll be damned if refined coconut oil doesn’t taste like butter to me. BUTTER, people.

It. is. delicious.

In case you’re on the runaway “saturated fat is bad” train, take a gander at this quote from a pretty awesome entry on the Fat Head blog:

Far from being a heart-stopper, [coconut oil] been spotted in public fighting viruses, promoting healthy thyroid function, assisting in weight loss by boosting metabolisms, and protecting against cancer. Those are hardly the actions of an aspiring bogie-man.

Need more? Here’s Mark Sisson on saturated fat, Robb Wolf on fat and insulin resistance, and Tim Ferris with seven reasons to eat more saturated fat. I was ready to do it just because Moxy-Boss said I should, but these blog posts definitely made me feel even more comfortable with the idea.

In case you’re curious about how coconut oil stacks up nutrition-wise, here’s the label from my Spectrum Organics Refined Coconut Oil:

When I went shopping for coco oil, I just grabbed a jar that said “organic” at our local hippy/punk rock foodie store. When I got home, I did a little research into the refined versus unrefined question.

Unrefined oils are left in their virgin state after pressing, so the natural flavor is more robust… unrefined olive oil tastes more olive-y and unrefined coconut oil tastes more like coconut. Unrefined oils also have a lower smoking point which means you need to use lower heat when cooking with them.

I think y’all know my preferred saute method: crank the heat to high and fry.

I made the right choice with the refined version because I can use medium to high heat, and the Spectrum Organics brand is refined naturally, without chemicals or additives.

I’m alternating my fat sources now: lunch is olive oil; dinner is coconut oil. Cooking in coconut oil has made all of my old favorites taste even better than usual. Cabbage or broccoli sautéed in coconut oil is sublime. Last night, I spread some on my pumpkin almond butter pancakes before drizzling with the tiniest 1/2 teaspoon of maple syrup. And this morning, I pan-fried a cup of roasted spaghetti squash with garlic powder, salt, and coco oil, and my eyes rolled back in my head like a shark while I ate it.

Plus, here’s my guilty secret: on days when I’m a little low on fat – like, if I skip a snack or something – I’ve been mixing a teaspoon of coconut oil into a tablespoon of Sunbutter.


I’m excited to once again join the punk rock foodies on Fight Back Friday at Food Renegade.

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  • Amber says:

    I love my scrambled eggs and spinach cooked in coconut oil. Though I also do a coconut crusted cod, or chicken with it. Dredging in coconut flour, then egg, then unsweetened coconut and fried in coconut oil. Totally over the top, and totally yum.

  • Christy says:

    I use it in my cakes – sneaky way to get some extra nutrients in my kids! It gives a chocolate cake a yummy coconutty taste – not a bunch, just a background taste. I cook with it all the time. I didn't think I liked the taste of coconut but I think it is just the dried kind. Not the real stuff.

  • Lisa says:

    I love coconut oil! I've started always cooking my eggs in coconut oil- just adds a new flavor that I really like.

    My favorite- try shrimp (or any seafood, really) plus veggies stir-fried in coconut oil. I add a little cumin and turmeric- tastes like a tropical vacation!

    Coconut oil can also stand up to higher heat than olive oil, so you get more of the nutritional benefits even when you use it for stir-frying or baking.

  • healthy-oil-guy says:

    I love using coconut oil to cook. You can also use it as a deep oil conditioner for dry hair. In fact, I believe it works better than traditional hair conditioners. The coconut oil naturally absorbs into the hair shaft and reduces protein loss in the hair shaft – leading to thicker and stronger hair.