a to z: c is for coconut oil

Over the past two months, I have become addicted to coconut oil. I admit it… I’m a coconut oil-aholic. I turn to coconut oil for pulling, as a facial/body moisturizer and hair conditioner, to make popcorn, in my morning tea, and to cook/bake/flavor foods.

If you haven’t heard of coconut oil and all it’s wonderful benefits, Google it. I attempted to find a reputable site to link to but am running out of time and don’t want to link to any ol’ random site without making sure it’s reputable first. So I apologize for not having a link at this time.

However, I can tell you what I do, how I do it, and my experiences with it. And did I mention how much I love it?!?

Oil pulling
  • What: Ayruvedic medicine technique of swooshing oil in one’s mouth for health benefits
  • When: daily first thing in the morning
  • Why: to detox body, increase metabolism, whiten teeth, clean harmful bacteria from mouth, increase energy, etc.
  • How: put one tablespoon of oil in mouth, swoosh (pull between teeth, under tongue, in cheeks) for 20 minutes, don’t swallow as oil is full of toxins, spit out (I spit in toilet or shower drain, some people recommend spiting in trash can as to not clog drains/pipes), rinse mouth with warm water, thoroughly brush teeth and scrape tongue after
Facial/body moisturizer and hair conditioner
  • Up until this week, I’ve been using coconut oil on my face and eliminated the use of store-bought moisturizer for the past two months. However, because of the amount of time I’ve been spending in the sun recently, I’ve added a light moisturizer with SPF into the coconut oil to protect my face. Warning: I experienced this and upon researching, others have too… breakouts when first starting to use coconut oil as a moisturizer. Theory is that it’s drawing toxins out of your skin and if you can tolerate the breakouts and get past them, breakouts will become practically non-existent. In my experience, I still have mild breakouts but about 90% of them is because of the way my lazy hypotonic body leans on my hand when I’m reading or surfing the internet since most of my recurrent breakouts are on my chin and left cheek, the places I realize I touch when leaning.
  • On my body, I’ve been using it on my “twin skin” (I had 15 lbs 4 oz of babies in me with my twins, not including the placenta and all the fluids… they took quite a toll on my small-framed 5′ 3″ body). According to my husband, he thinks the coconut oil is helping to tighten up the skin, but maybe he’s just being nice. My girls are 5-1/2 years old so I’m not sure if skin can still heal to the point that I’d like it to.
  • As a hair conditioner, I rub a very small amount between my palms and apply to dry hair then brush through to evenly distribute. Tames fly-aways and makes hair shiny.
To make popcorn
  • Warning: you won’t be able to go back to whatever popcorn you used to love prior to trying this! It’s that good!
  • Directions (when I have a chance, I’ll try to figure out how to make/insert one of those recipe cards here):
    • Ingredients: 3 T coconut oil, 1/2 cup popcorn kernels, about 1/4 tsp fine salt = enough popcorn for a huge bowl for my husband and a medium-sized bowl for me)
    1. Heat about 3 T coconut oil in a large pot on the stove.
    2. Sprinkle some (maybe about 1/4 tsp) fine salt (like popcorn salt) into the oil so it has time to dissolve.
    3. Place 2-3 popcorn kernels in the pot and cover. These are your test kernels so when they pop, you’ll know when the oil is hot enough to add the rest.
    4. When the test kernels pop, add 1/2 cup popcorn kernels and cover.
    5. Shake pot to evenly coat. You will be shaking every 10 seconds or so until done to prevent burning.
    6. When popping sound slows to once every couple of seconds, remove from heat and continue shaking (covered) for 10-20 more seconds. Warning: some kernels continue popping during this time and if you uncover the pot too quickly, you may get burnt… not to mention your popcorn will go flying all over the place).
    7. Add in arare and enjoy!
In tea
  • I’ve tried it in the many different types of tea that I drink (Chai, green tea, genmaicha, Tazo’s Passion tea, Aveda’s comforting tea) and love the coconut oil in all of them.
  • Lazy woman’s way: brew tea, add in a teaspoon of coconut oil into your hot tea and stir (i.e. try to stir – it won’t mix), enjoy tea even with oil sitting on top of the surface.
  • Less lazy woman’s way: brew tea, take some out into a separate cup/bowl, slowly add in a teaspoon of coconut oil while constantly mixing (mixture will look kinda milky/creamy), add oil mixture back into main tea, enjoy tea with oil evenly mixed in.
  • Oh, and for an extra kick (and metabolism boost), I add in a sprinkle of cayenne pepper. Yummy!!!
Cooking/baking/flavoring foods
  • Disclaimer: I’m not the cook in our family. I’m not the cook in any family. I’m not a cook. Period. So I can’t give you recipes, but I can give you ideas.
  • Preface: Although I’m not a cook (see “Disclaimer” above), I LOVE to eat. And appreciate good food.
  • Ways we’ve cooked with (and eaten) coconut oil:
    • stir fry: veggies, ham, chicken
    • curries: add to Japanese curry and Thai curry
    • as a jelly/syrup substitute: spread on toast, pancakes, waffles, etc.
    • in baked goods (I’ve replaced 1:1 any other oil in recipes with coconut oil) – especially good in brownies!

Do you use coconut oil? I’d love to hear about your experiences with it!

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17 thoughts on “a to z: c is for coconut oil

  1. Interesting ways to use coconut oil. I heard someone else try it to do the pulling. Not sure if I would last for 20 minutes. =P I might have tired mouth muscles. But, I think I want to try it in teas. I love teas.

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    • You’d last. It’s not supposed to be a vigorous swooshing… more like a relaxed pushing and pulling between teeth and all around oral cavity. You could always work your way up to 20 minutes, and I think I read somewhere that 15 minutes is sufficient. Let me know how you like it if you try it!

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  2. Yup. Coconut oil is the best!!! Haven’t tried the pulling yet although I c u do it. Have used as moisturizer on face since we bought the first bottle and love it. … Use it as night moisturizer. Glad to hear you using sunscreen as very very important. Oh yes and I love it on my hair. Dad uses it in cooking as much as possible and everyone loves the subtle flavor it imparts. Can also use it as a marinade. And your popcorn is over the top!!!

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  3. I loooove coconut oil! I’ve been using it in my hair for months now and it’s gotten so much SHINIER! 😀 not greasy at all, it’s a miracle oil! I haven’t tried it in cooking yet but you’ve definitely inspired me to give it a go 🙂

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    • Yes, it sounds weird to put oil in tea, but if you have time to thoroughly mix the oil into your tea (via vigorous whisking and/or shaking), you won’t even notice the oiliness and you’ll still get the mild coconut flavor and super health benefits from it. I’ve tried it in black fruity tea and it’s wonderful… especially with the cayenne pepper (if you like spicy stuff)!

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    • Isn’t it THE best?!? We eat it every night and there’s days I think about it all day. Have even sent the kids to bed early so we could enjoy our coconut oil popcorn in peace and quiet. Haha! So glad you enjoyed it!

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