I spent the weekend browsing through my brand new recipe book. It’s called ‘Coconut Oil Nature’s Perfect Ingredient’ and is something different and really interesting to read. It’s packed full of delicious, healthy recipes that are quick and easy to make – and that’s exactly the kind of food we love here at Eat Drink Live Well.
The book is written by Lucy from Lucy Bee, a product that not only tastes great but is Fair Trade, extra virgin, raw and organic. We use coconut oil in many of our recipes and on our skin as a moisturizer; and I’ve been astounded how effective it has been for nappy rash, cradle cap and dry skin with the kids but reading this book has opened up a whole new world of uses.
I met the team behind Lucy Bee last week at a book event and recipe demo. It was inspirational to see the passion they feel for their product and that same passion has been focused on creating this book, helping us to find easy ways to switch to coconut oil in many of our favourite dishes – from cakes to roast potatoes.
What’s so good about coconut oil?
Coconut oil is such a kitchen staple of ours. We use it in so many recipes. This isn’t just because of it’s rich, creamy flavour but because it has such unique health benefits.
- Unlike other fats, coconut oil is used for energy rather than being stored as fat.
- It’s rich in caprylic and lauric acid that have potent anti-viral and anti-bacterial qualities so it gives the immune system a helping hand.
- It’s a stable fat that’s resistant to high temperatures making it one of the best oils for cooking foods – especially roasting and frying where oils can be exposed to high heat for lengthy periods.
You can see more of the health benefits of coconuts and their oils in our coconut milk recipe (the simplest recipe we have ever seen) and our article on the healthiest oils for cooking.
All the dishes are gluten free, contain coconut oil and use natural ingredients. Pretty much everything is covered from breakfast (with things like coconut granola, and smoked haddock and horseradish muffins) to meal ideas ideas from cauliflower crust pizza to salt and pepper squid, falafel, frittatas and curries.
I was lucky enough to sample the courgetti with prawns which was so delicious I was out early the next morning buying the ingredients to have the meal again!
But perhaps my favourite section is the cakes and cookies part with really tempting recipes such as double chocolate peanut butter cookies. The raw brownies took minutes to make and I literally could have eaten the whole tray.
There are countless ways to use coconut oil apart from in cooking. These range from whitening our teeth to improving the skin health of our pets. The book goes into the main uses and has wonderful recipes for things like salt scrubs. Here are just some ways we can benefit from using more coconut oil:
- As a moisturizer – coconut oil is rich in vitamin E which helps nourish the skin. Not just for adults, I have used it with both my kids. Apart from keeping their skin super soft, it has none of the other questionable ingredients found in other kids’ products (we have a full article on this here).
- As a cuticle rub which helps stimulate new nail growth.
- A deodorant – the antimicrobial content of the oil helps prevent odours.
- Hair treatment – this is my favourite use (apart from cooking) as it really makes hair softer and shinier.
- Massage oil – a close friend is a massage therapist who swears by using coconut oil. She says it is so easily absorbed by the body that it allows her to have control of her movements whereas some other oils can make hands slip around. It’s also great for baby massage.
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If you like to browse through interesting food books with beautiful images and be inspired by healthy, simple and delicious recipes, then this book is for you. As the autumnal weather approaches, I’m excited to try the rainbow fish pie, lentil and vegetable moussaka and the chocolate and pear upside down cake.
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