How to Take Coconut Oil
Getting Your 2-4 Tablespoons Per Day
There has been a lot of talk about coconut oil's benefits in the alternative health and bodybuilding communities. Coconut oil promoters recommend that you consume minimally processed virgin coconut, which both smells and tastes of fresh coconut. (Don't worry, fresh coconut oil does not smell like suntan lotion!)
Virgin coconut oil advocates (such as Mary Enig, Bruce Fife, Sally Fallon, etc) recommend the consumption of two to four tablespoons of virgin coconut oil per day. While it is possible to take coconut oil straight, many people, including myself, find this to be unpalatable and it can also cause an upset stomach. While there are coconut oil capsules available, one would need to be swallowing 50+ .5 gram capsules per day to get just two tablespoons of oil. This is impractical and costly.
The best way to to get your coconut oil is in measured amounts, added to the food you eat during the day. You can always use it in regular cooking and baking, of course, but below are some suggestions for more intensive supplementation.
A Spreadable Oil
Coconut oil is great on bread, rolls, bagels, crackers, etc alone or blended with nut butters, cream cheese, or fruit spreads. Try adding some cinnamon and honey to make a quick, tasty spread.
Mix and Match
Virgin coconut oil has a pleasant, slightly sweet taste that mixes well with many foods.
Here are some ideas for incorporating it in the foods you enjoy:
- For breakfast, top your oatmeal or other hot cereal with a tablespoon of coconut oil.
- Try it on brown or white rice.
- Add a spoonful of coconut oil to your yogurt cup and stir.
- Add a tablespoon of coconut oil before blending smoothies and shakes.
- Add coconut oil to protein powder for a quick pudding.
- Coconut oil goes particularly well with curries, soups, and stews, and can be great mixed with potatoes.
Make Eggs More Edible
Coconut oil is wonderful in fried or scrambled eggs. Add a tablespoon to your frying pan and cook your eggs. Just be sure to keep the heat reasonably low to prevent scorching.
Many people add coconut oil to a hot beverage, such as coffee, tea, or an herbal such as rooibos. This not only melts the oil so it is easily consumed, but the coffee/tea/herbal dilutes the coconut oil, making the dose more palatable.
The main problem with adding coconut oil to a hot beverage is that the oil has a tendency to pool on top of the hot drink. The oil gets very hot and can burn your lips or mouth. The best way to address this is to blend your coconut oil into your hot coffee, tea, or herbal using a mini hand blender or foamer.
Blending not only integrates the oil into the beverage, eliminating the pooling effect, but also cools the drink down so you don't get burned. Even better, you'll end up with an even tastier drink. Coconut oil in hot coffee, for example, is an excellent substitute for milk or cream. Blended, your drink will look, and taste, like a foamy cappuccino. Add a few drops of flavored stevia for even yummier results.
Caution: Be careful when blending to avoid splattering yourself with hot liquid. In addition, the steam from hot liquids can make using small container blenders unsafe, as the steam may pop the lid. Use a large cup and begin blending slowly with the mini hand blender or foamer.
If you don't like the taste of liquid oil, try freezing it. Solidly frozen virgin coconut oil is a lot more palatable than drinking liquid oil straight, particularly if you add additional ingredients. This recipe, for example, incorporates cocoa almonds into frozen coconut oil "bites". Experiment with other herbs, nuts and supplements: I add both cocoa almonds and maca powder to my coconut oil bites.
Keeping Coconut Oil on Hand
One of the best things about virgin coconut oil is that it is very shelf-stable. It does not need to be kept refrigerated unless you prefer to use it in its solid state. Thus, you can keep a jar in your desk to add to your tea/food throughout the day.
Because of its long shelf-life, I strongly encourage purchasing coconut oil in bulk, as this will save you a lot of money. Check out online and brick & mortar retailers for sales and specials and stock up when prices are low.
Other Coconut Products
To get additional coconut oil in your diet, try incorporating other coconut products into your daily menu. Cookbooks that contain coconut-based recipes are available and a Google search will lead you to thousands of quality recipes online. Another option is to substitute coconut milk or coconut milk blends for other dairy or non-dairy milks.
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and does not substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, and/or dietary advice from a licensed health professional. Drugs, supplements, and natural remedies may have dangerous side effects. If pregnant or nursing, consult with a qualified provider on an individual basis. Seek immediate help if you are experiencing a medical emergency.