Organic coconut oil is great for for cooking & baking, beauty & hygiene products (lotion, hair treatment, or toothpaste), skin conditions, as a natural lubricant, and more. The sky is the limit!
But with all that being said, what do you actually know about coconut oil? First off; the coconut is a fruit, it’s a nut, AND it’s a seed. That’s right. All three.
How is coconut oil made?
Coconut oil is extracted from the inner “meat” of the coconut. This extract or “oil” contains vitamin E. It has no fiber, no cholesterol, no plant sterols, OR nominal vitamins/minerals. Coconut oil is almost 100% fat (mostly saturated fat).
What’s the difference between virgin and extra virgin coconut oil?
There actually is no real difference recognized by the USDA. “Extra virgin coconut oil” is the same thing as “virgin coconut oil” and it’s really just a marketing tactic. Typically these words both mean that the coconut oil is unrefined and usually cold-pressed.
Why choose organic coconut oil?
Wondering if there are benefits of organic coconut oil over a non-organic competitor? When you buy organic, you are purchasing from a source that strives to do everything they can to get you the full benefits of this amazing gift. Growing coconuts in organic soil and using organic amendments means no chemicals, pesticides, or GMOs. It means natural and healthy processes from growth to harvest to extraction.
Some benefits of organic coconut oil
There are a ton of benefits to using coconut oil. For starters, you can apply coconut oil to your skin, hair, and teeth. While it may not be suited for all skin types, coconut oil is an excellent moisturizer for skin and improves oral health. Coconut oil may also support the immune system because it contains lauric acid, a type of lipid. Lauric acid has been linked to many health benefits. It may kill harmful bacteria, viruses, and fungi while protecting against various infections.
However, the most beneficial aspect of eating or ingesting organic coconut oil regularly (whether it’s a tablespoon in your smoothie or if you prefer to eat it straight up) is the high level of MCTs (medium-chain triglycerides). Organic coconut oil is loaded with MCTs and they help our body in many ways!
What are MCTs?
MCTs are medium-chain triglycerides, or basically long fatty acid chains. MCTs are a type of healthy saturated fat, unlike fats derived from animals (lard, butter, etc). Research suggests the following about MCTs:
- MCTs may help burn calories; as much as 5% in 24 hours.
- MCTs are easier for your body to break down as compared to animal fats.
- MCTs are shown to significantly reduce appetite, which may lead to reduced body weight over the long term.
Learn more about the differences between MCT oil and coconut oil here.
1 tablespoon of organic coconut oil typically contains:
- 0 g of protein
- 0 mg of cholesterol
- 121 calories
- 13.5 g of fat (of which 11.2 g is saturated)
Cooking & baking with organic coconut oil: the basics
Coconut oil can be used for frying, baking, and sautéing. It has a melting point of 78 degrees F. You can use melted or solid coconut oil for most cooking & baking applications, but some recipes specify consistency. Refined coconut oil doesn’t impart a flavor, so we recommend using this if you don’t like the taste of coconut. You can swap butter and most other oils in baked goods for coconut oil. You can also add it to your coffee or smoothies. Try Jenny’s these recipes with our CBD coconut oil:
Coconut Oil Storage
Coconut oil is shelf-stable. Hotter temperatures and exposure to sunlight increase the probability of spoilage. It’s ideal to keep coconut oil in a cool dark place or your refrigerator. Refined coconut oil generally lasts for a few months. Virgin coconut oil may last for 2-3 years.
Uses for Organic Coconut Oil
Eye makeup remover
Cosmetic chemist Joseph Cincotta says coconut oil is so effective as an eye makeup remover because it breaks down water-resistant substances (3). So it even helps with waterproof makeup! But again, we always recommend using organic products, ESPECIALLY when they’ll come in close contact with your face and/or eyes.
To use coconut oil for makeup removal:
- Rub a little between your fingers
- Close your eyes
- Rub it over eyes
- Wipe it off with a tissue, cotton ball, or towel.
Be careful not to get it in your eye. It won’t harm your eye, but it might temporarily blur your vision.
Use coconut oil as a massage oil
Coconut oil is loaded with Vitamin E, making a fabulous addition to your skincare regimen. Its thickness makes it smooth easily over the skin. And since it liquefies when you rub it on the body, it’s less messy than other types of massage oil. Pure coconut oil is even safe for babies! You can rub it on a newborn’s skin for a natural moisturizer. It’s an effective diaper rash preventer and healer. And it helps with “cradle cap” symptoms (2).
Coconut Oil Terms to Know
- Copra: Dried flesh of coconuts
- Virgin, Extra Virgin (used interchangeably): The United States doesn’t have regulation on these terms for coconut oil, unlike olive oil. Virgin or extra virgin coconut oil typically denotes that it isn’t refined coconut oil.
- Expeller-pressed—A machine presses the oil from coconut flesh, typically using heat or steam
- Cold-pressed—Oil is pressed without heat or at a very low temperature which remains below 120 degrees F. This no-to-low heat extraction is believed to retain more nutrients than the heated expeller pressed.
- Refined: The copra is machine-pressed, releasing the oil. The oil is steamed or heated to remove odor and some flavor. It is often filtered through clays to remove impurities. Sometimes chemical solvents, like hexane, may be used to extract oil from the copra. Refined coconut oil has a higher smoke point, is flavorless, and odorless.
- Partially Hydrogenated: The unsaturated fat in coconut oil, typically up to 20%, is hydrogenated to extend shelf life and help maintain its solid-state above 78 degrees F. However, partially hydrogenated coconut oil contains trans fats- avoid altogether.
I’d love to hear about some of the ways you use coconut oil!