There are a lot of health claims around coconut oil at the moment but as I am not a nutritional scientist and am someone who is generally skeptical of “superfood” and “miracle food” claims I will just stick to reviewing it as a cooking ingredient.
I use coconut oil in cooking. It is one of the only plant oils that is solid at room temperature which means it is a good substitute for butter in a lot of recipes. However, I’ve only used refined coconut oil so the first thing I noticed on opening the myprotein coconut oil is the smell. It smells of coconut! This may seem obvious but refined coconut oil has no smell.
The second thing is the taste, it tastes of coconut (again refined coconut oil has no taste). It also melts in the mouth like a good chocolate does. Surprisingly it is a rather nice substitute for butter or margarine on bread, much like a good olive oil, and is spreadable. It also keeps its taste on cooking.
I have started to use the myprotein coconut oil to make my granola recipe, melting it first before mixing it into the oats. As it solidifies once it cools it makes the granola form more crunchy clusters and enhances the coconut taste.
I also used it to make the Running on Real Food vegan peanut butter cups, again it gave them a more coconutty taste than using refined oil.
It is a good oil to use for curries and other savoury dishes where you would like a mild coconut taste or are using coconut milk.
I have also made a version of my oaty slices using coconut oil instead of sunflower oil. I think the coconut taste works really well with the orange marmalade, and might even use cherry jam in the future.
In general I was pleasantly surprised at the taste and smell of the coconut oil and will definitely buy it again. The myprotein organic coconut oil costs £9.99 for a 460g tub. It is more expensive than refined coconut oil (which is around £2.50 for 500ml) but I think it is really a different product. Just as I use both light and extra virgin olive oil for different things I think I will use both the refined and virgin coconut oil differently.
The organic virgin coconut oil will be used when I want a coconut taste, especially in baking, and the refined I will use for general cooking when I don’t want a coconut taste.
Let me know if you have used coconut oil and how. I’ve seen some recipes using it in smoothies but that just seems weird to me, like adding butter to a smoothie!
Disclaimer: I was sent the coconut oil for free but all views, as always, are my own.