Coconut Oil: Uses, Benefits, Application, Recipes For Beauty & Cuisine

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In contrast to palm oil, coconut oil enjoys a good reputation. A review of the American Heart Association invites one not to consider it so beneficial, in fact. So coconut oil: is it good or bad?

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One look at the Web is enough to see that coconut oil has a good reputation. In recent days, however, something has undermined the fame of this oil. The reason is to be found in the publication, in the journal Circulation, of a paper by the American Heart Association (Aha). Opinion that, summarizing in a synthetic way, reiterates how reducing and replacing the consumption of saturated fats with that of unsaturated vegetable fats reduces cardiovascular risk.

A gain of about 30%, which, according to the experts of the American association, is comparable to that obtained with cholesterol-lowering drugs like statins (which does not mean at all that those who take these drugs are freer to increase their share of saturated fats). Not at all, considering the weight of cardiovascular diseases on global health, the world’s leading cause of death, with ischemic heart disease (such as heart attack) and stroke that alone cause more than 15 million deaths the year. Let’s find out together.

What is coconut oil?

Coconut oil (or copra oil) is obtained from the fruits of the homonymous plant (botanical name Cocos nucifera), typical of the tropical coasts. The seeds of these fruits (the famous coconuts), appropriately deprived of the outer fibrous shell and of the wood that surrounds them, are white, fleshy and tasty. Their almond, more or less dried and called copra, is the raw material for the preparation of the oil, since it contains about 65% of fat.

What is coconut oilNative to the Indonesian archipelago, and spread in ancient times throughout the Pacific area, with numerous varieties (some with dwarf bearing) that differ in color, size and shape of the fruit. The Europeans (Portuguese and Spanish) discovered the coconut by exploring the western coasts of central-southern America, and from 1525 began to cultivate it by spreading it also on the eastern coasts.

The coconut tree is very long-lived (it can reach over 100 years of life) and large (40 meters in height, with a diameter at the base of 50-70 cm and a bark marked by the annular scars of the old leaves) ; at the apex ends with a crown of large leaves (they are 4-6 meters long and composed of lanceolate leaves, erected in the first two years of life and subsequently falling, bright green); the inflorescences are born from the axils of the leaves and are yellow in color.

The fruits are voluminous drupes, commonly called coconuts, of about 1 kg of weight, which are formed after 2 weeks from flowering, and they grow rapidly for about 6 months. They have a smooth and thin exocarp, generally red-brownish, fibrous and light mesocarp with a maturity that is closely linked to the woody and hard shell endocarp (shell), and which has at its base 3 clearly visible pores, also called ‘eyes’. The shell is strictly adherent to the tegument of the seed that it contains.

Nutritional properties of coconut oil

Due to the high content of saturated fats of coconut oil, the competent bodies suggest to avoid or consume it in a limited way. Coconut oil contains a significant dose of lauric acid, a saturated fat that increases total blood cholesterol levels (both LDL and HDL). Although in some cases it may improve the relationship between blood lipoproteins, the possibility that persistent consumption of coconut oil increases the risk for cardiovascular disease cannot be ruled out. Since most of the saturated fats in coconut oil are lauric acid, this may be considered preferable over partially or totally hydrogenated or animal-like products.

Also because of its high fat content and therefore calories, regular use of coconut oil in food preparation can promote weight gain. The acidic profile of coconut oil is however distinguished by its richness in medium-chain saturated fatty acids, such as caprinic, caprylic, capric and the same lauric; these nutrients represent a highly available source of energy, since they are easier to absorb and oxidize than long-chain cousins.

Although rich in these saturated fatty acids, some claim that coconut oil should not adversely affect blood cholesterol levels, precisely because it is low in long chain saturated fatty acids, such as palmitic, and rich in MCT (supplements for sports products based on medium chain fatty acids are generally prepared from coconut oil). The reduced content in palmitic acid is compensated by a similar amount of oleic acid and a small percentage of linoleic acid.

Coconut oil is widely used in the food industry, as oil for frying, in the preparation of baked goods and as a base for vegetable butters and margarines.

Coconut oil production

Coconut oil is produced by pressing the copra and subsequent refining, obtaining lower quality oils also in relation to the raw material used. Coconut oil can be extracted through ‘dry’ or ‘wet’ processing. Dry processing requires that the coconut pulp is extracted from the shell, using a heat source such as fire, sunlight or an oven. The so obtained oily pulp is then pressed or treated with solvents, extracting the coconut oil from the fibrous-protein portion (intended to feed the animals for ruminants).

The wet process uses the raw coconut rather than cover it dry, resulting in an emulsion of oil and water. The most problematic phase is the separation of the emulsion to recover the oil; this was done by subjecting it to boiling, to the detriment of the color of the product and the cost of the process. Modern techniques instead use centrifuges and pre-treatments, including cold, heat, acids, salts, enzymes, electrolysis, shock waves, steam distillation or combinations thereof.

In spite of everything, wet processing is however less effective than dry processing and yield is 10-15% lower (also taking into account deterioration and pests in dry processing). Wet processes also require investments in equipment and energy that lead to higher costs. The right harvest of coconuts (ages 2 to 20 months) makes a significant difference in the effectiveness of the oil extraction process. Those unripe ones are more difficult to work and have to lower yield.

Which coconut oil characteristics make it a superfood?

What are the characteristics of coconut oilIt stands out for its rather abrupt melting, which occurs around 24 ° C, while its solidification point is around 15-20 ° C; consequently, it looks like an oil in warmer climates and like a butter in the colder ones. On the market there is also hydrogenated coconut oil, with a higher melting point, which remains solid even at temperatures slightly above 30 ° C.

The preservability of coconut oil is remarkable; it is estimated that unrefined coconut oil can resist rancidity for 6 months at a temperature of 24 ° C (75 ° F) without undergoing any oxidative damage.

Uses of coconut oil

In this section, we will discover all the uses of coconut oil from cooking to beauty, and its properties for skin and hair. Coconut oil is the number one product for hair care but is also excellent for the beauty of the skin and is also used in the kitchen. In fact, coconut oil, in addition to protecting the hair from dryness and lice, is an emollient and protective vegetable oil for the face and body and a food oil useful to replace butter and margarines; we therefore see all the uses of coconut oil.

Coconut oil in the kitchen

In our kitchens the use of coconut oil is not widespread but in tropical areas it is commonly used for food purposes. The most important characteristic of coconut oil is the presence of lauric acid, a saturated fatty acid that seems to be able to regulate cholesterol levels, promoting its removal.

Thanks to the resistance of coconut oil at high temperatures, the healthy cuisine sees coconut oil as a good substitute for butter and margarine, both for cooking in the pan and for the preparation of baking sweets, such as cakes and biscuits.

The uses of coconut oil for the skin

Thanks to its composition, coconut oil proves to be an excellent natural remedy to soften the skin, fight dry skin and protect the epidermis from the action of free radicals. For example, to moisturize and soften the skin of the body, just massage a tablespoon of coconut oil on the moist skin after a shower. You can heat the oil directly in the palm of your hand, or work it first in a small container with a spatula to add a teaspoon of shea butter and two drops of tangerine essential oil.

If you have taken too much sun, you can add a teaspoon of olive oil and a few drops of lavender essential oil to a tablespoon of coconut oil: so hydrate the skin and have a soothing effect on redness and mild burns.

Coconut oil can also be used as a delicate make-up remover for the face by applying a small amount to damp skin with the help of a cotton swab to remove residual makeup and make the skin softer.

Coconut oil is extracted from the coconut pulp, the fruit of Cocos nucifera. It is a vegetable oil rich in saturated fatty acids, at room temperature it is solid, white and almost odorless. Like all oils and vegetable butters, coconut oil also has an emollient and moisturizing action: it softens the skin and causes the skin to maintain water inside the cells.

In addition to fatty acids, coconut oil contains Vitamin E and Vitamin A, useful to combat the action of free radicals and prevent the appearance of wrinkles. Coconut oil can be used alone or mixed with other vegetable oils or butters and essential oils; before it can be used, coconut oil must be softened with a spatula or heated in a bain-marie. Thanks to its characteristics and its consistency, coconut oil is also part of the formulation of solid perfumes, massage candles, scrubs and buttercups; finally, it is used to prepare soap.

Coconut oil: characteristics usable in cosmetology

Cocos nucifera oil is obtained by squeezing the previously dried endosperm of the coconut. It appears as a solid mass at room temperature, ivory-white in color and with a characteristic odor. It consists of a high quantity of saturated fatty acids, in particular: lauric acid (45-51%), myristic, palmitic, caprylic and caprinic acid; as for the unsaturated ones, it contains oleic and linoleic acid. It is characterized by a low percentage of unsaponifiable fraction (0.1-0.3%). Cocos Nucifera Oil is used both in food and cosmetics. In cosmetics it is used oil as it is or the esters and triglycerides obtained from the oil itself that have nourishing and sebum-restoring properties. Moreover, due to the high content of lauric acid and short-chain fatty acids, coconut oil is used as an intermediate for the preparation of surfactants.

The uses of coconut oil for hairCocos nucifera oil is used in various types of cosmetic products for its moisturizing and emollient properties. It is used in anti-aging formulations and for dry and sensitive skin, in after sun and massage products for its ability to restore softness to the epidermis, in hair products to make them softer and brighter. Very suitable also for the preparation of soaps because it has a good foaming power. It has an excellent toxicological profile, is not irritating and can be used at all concentrations.

Tropical oils and fats are increasingly used as ingredients for baking, confectionery or other products: breadsticks, crackers, rusks, biscuits, snacks, spreads, pastries, chocolate, sauces, coating of fish fillets ready to fry etc. Coconut oil is extracted from the pulp, dried or fresh, of the fruit and is very nutritious, rich in vitamins and useful for hair health. Let’s find out all the cosmetic properties better.

Coconut oil is obtained by cold pressing of fresh or sun-dried coconut pulp (botanical name Cocos nucifera); in case the pulp is first dried, the coconut oil is called copra oil. Being a saturated oil, coconut oil is solid around 25 ° C, liquid at higher temperatures.

It is white in color, has a poorly pronounced odor, is easily absorbed on the skin and is a stable oil, so it does not quickly rancid and can be stored at room temperature for several months.

Coconut oil is composed of 50% lauric acid, about 20% mistyric acid, 10% palmitic acid, 7% caprylic acid and the remaining part from capric acid. As is the case with palm oil, coconut oil is used extensively in the food industry for the preparation of vegetable margarines and bakery products; as well as for the food sector, the presence of lauric acid makes it an oil suitable for the production of numerous cosmetics. In fact, lauric acid is a saturated fatty acid that has affinity with the skin and with hair proteins.

Again, thanks to the presence of lauric acid, the addition of coconut oil in the formulation of soaps gives hardness to the soap made, it increases the washing power and gives a light and soft foam. Lauric acid also has antimicrobial, antiviral and antifungal properties and this makes coconut oil a good product in the treatment of infestations caused by lice. Coconut oil also contains Vitamin A and Vitamin E; the former has an anti-radical action, therefore protects against the degradation of the tissues, while the latter is a natural antioxidant.

Coconut oil is very nutritious and significantly reduces dehydration of the skin; It is used to treat dry and damaged skin, chapped or rough and applied on sunburned skin to calm redness and burning, thanks to its soothing action.

Coconut oil is used in oils and balsams for the body, in exfoliating and nourishing scrubs, in tanning oils or after-sun and is essential for preparing homemade soap; in this last case, it is included in the formulation of the soap in the measure of 20-25% of the total fat used.

Since this oil tends to solidify at temperatures below 25 ° C, if it is to be mixed with other vegetable oils or essential oils, it must first be dissolved; given the very low melting temperature, it is not necessary to heat it in a bain-marie, it is sufficient to immerse the bottle in which it is contained in hot water. The best synergies are between coconut oil and vegetable butters like cocoa butter and shea butter, with which it is possible to obtain nourishing ointments for dry and chapped skin, the application of which is indicated in the cold months.

Coconut oil softens and moisturizes the skin and helps to protect it from the signs of aging and the action of external agents. Coconut oil is a precious natural oil for the skin because it helps to keep the skin moisturized, soft and young: let’s see in detail what are the uses of coconut oil for the skin. Coconut oil is a vegetable oil that boasts numerous uses for the skin; it is an oil extracted from the pulp from coconut, slightly perfumed and which is solid at temperatures below 25 ° C. In summer it is therefore liquid and summer is just the best time to use coconut oil, both because its scent reminds us of tropical beaches and because its emollient and moisturizing action protects the skin from dehydration caused by the sun and from the water of the sea or the pool.

Coconut oil therefore softens the skin and helps to keep it moisturized, thus counteracting the loss of elasticity and the signs of aging due in part also to environmental agents including sunlight and air conditioning. By constantly applying coconut oil to the skin, it is therefore possible to slow down the appearance of blemishes due to age and keep the tissues young for longer. Coconut oil can be used for both facial and body skin and is suitable for all skin types, even the most sensitive.

You can buy coconut oil in health food stores and organic food stores and you can store it at home for several months at room temperature or in the fridge.

Coconut oil in cosmetics

Coconut oil other uses for the skinApplied on the body in the form of creams and ointments, coconut oil performs its soothing and emollient action giving elasticity and tone to dry skin; it is therefore used in cosmetology for the preparation of fatty milk and soaps (it has a good foaming power). In fact, coconut oil contains about 50% lauric acid, a 12-carbon saturated fatty acid which is converted to monolein in the human body; this substance exhibits marked antiviral, antimicrobial, antiprotozoal and antifungal properties. Coconut oil, lauric acid, or single monolaurin, are therefore widely used in cosmetic preparations in which the presence of natural substances with antiseptic action is required.

If you are looking for a natural lice remedy, prepare a mask with a tablespoon of coconut oil, a teaspoon of Neem oil and six drops of lavender essential oil. Spread the product on damp hair and proceed with the shampoo after one hour. For effective action, repeat the application three times a week for three weeks.

In addition to fatty acids, coconut oil contains Vitamin E and Vitamin A, useful to combat the action of free radicals and prevent the appearance of wrinkles. Coconut oil can be used alone or mixed with other vegetable oils or butters and essential oils; before it can be used, coconut oil must be softened with a spatula or heated in a bain-marie. Thanks to its characteristics and its consistency, coconut oil is also part of the formulation of solid perfumes, massage candles, scrubs and buttercups; finally, it is used to prepare soap.

Coconut oil helps to make teeth whiter: rinsing the mouth with coconut oil in fact helps to prevent plaque and caries. Coconut oil can be purchased in herbal medicine shops and natural or organic food; considering the environmental impact of the production and transport of coconut oil, it is preferable to choose an organic and fair trade product.

Coconut oil: other uses for the skin

The uses of coconut oil for the skin do not end here: this oil can indeed come in the composition of moisturizing and emollient ointments and butters for the face and body. For example, with coconut oil you can prepare soothing ointments to be applied in case of insect bites, irritations or slight burns.

By adding to the coconut oil other natural and vegetable ingredients such as shea butter, sweet almond oil or an essential oil, you can make DIY cosmetics customized for your skin type or specific oil blends to combat blemishes, cutaneous as cellulite and stretch marks. Being a vegetable oil that appears solid at temperatures below 25 ° C, it is necessary to slightly heat the coconut oil in a bain-marie if you want to incorporate other ingredients such as shea butter, other oils or vegetable butters or essential oils.

The seed is composed of a fibrous outer shell that contains a very hard woody shell inside which is the pulp (copra), white, fleshy and tasty, rich in fats, which forms a cavity containing a sweet and refreshing milky liquid, called ‘coconut milk.’ This pulp, more or less dried, is the raw material for the preparation of the oil, since it contains about 65% of fat.

The coconut oil is in a liquid state at a temperature of about 24 ° C, while its solidification point is around 15-20 ° C; consequently, it looks like an oil in warmer climates and like a butter in the colder ones. On the market there is also hydrogenated coconut oil, with a higher melting point, which remains solid even at temperatures slightly above 30 ° C. The coconut oil (or butter), extracted from copra by cold pressing, is used as a dressing in ethnic cuisine and natural cosmetics, for the elasticizing, emollient and nourishing action that it exerts on the skin. Before drying, the coconut pulp contains about 35% fat and 10% sugar, instead, the percentage of fat rises and varies between 63 and 70%.

Coconut oil contains triglycerides and a small percentage of carbohydrates. The fatty acids mainly present are lauric, myristic, caproic, oleic, palmitic and stearic. The peculiarity of its composition lies in the high presence of saturated fatty acids and a rather low unsaturated fatty acid content for a product of vegetable origin. Although rich in saturated fatty acids, coconut oil does not adversely affect cholesterol levels, precisely because it is low in long chain saturated fatty acids, such as palmitic.

Coconut oil is widely used in the food industry as frying oil, in the preparation of baked products and as a base for butter and vegetable margarines.

Applied on the epidermis, it exerts a soothing and emollient action; the coconut oil gives elasticity and tone to dry, dry and flaky skin. This vegetable oil can be used for making butters for the body or combined with natural detergents to make them more nutritious. In addition, coconut oil contains about 50% lauric acid, a saturated fatty acid with marked antiviral, antimicrobial and antifungal properties used in cosmetic preparations in which the presence of natural substances with antibiotic action is required. Used after sun exposure or tanning lamps, it has an excellent restorative and nourishing action.

Making compresses before shampooing with coconut oil delays the graying (white hair), nourishes and polishes the stem, increasing the volume of the hair and enhancing its shine.

Coconut oil, an excellent after-sun

We come to the use of coconut oil as an after sun. The sun and the saltiness dehydrate the skin that, when returning from the holidays, can appear dry, dry and aged. To prevent the epidermis from drying up and keep the skin healthy, soft and young, we can resort to coconut oil, with an emollient and nourishing action and rich in antioxidant vitamins.

We can use pure coconut oil on the skin every night after the shower or use coconut oil together with other vegetable oils and essential oils to prepare an anti-aging after sun product suitable for all skin types.

Ingredients

  • 30 grams of coconut oil
  • 20 grams of calendula oil
  • 10 drops of essential carrot oil

Method

Mix the calendula oil and coconut oil together: if the coconut oil is solid because of the temperature, help yourself with a spatula. Add the carrot essential oil and mix again. Transfer the mixture to a clean, dry jar and store in a cool place in the dark. Apply a small amount of product to clean skin every day: it would be ideal to start applications before leaving for the holidays and to continue during and after the days at sea.


Coconut oil for hair

Coconut oil is probably the best known and used ingredient for hair beauty: compresses and masks made with coconut oil are an excellent remedy to nourish dry and frizzy hair but also to fight lice.

Here are 2 simple and quick recipes to use coconut oil for hair and then deepen its cosmetic properties.Coconut Oil For Hair

Nourishing conditioner for dry hair

The nourishing hair conditioner with coconut oil is prepared in just a few minutes. After applying it massaging on the hair, especially on the ends, wrap the hair in a towel and leave on for the whole night. The next morning proceed with the shampoo.

Ingredients

> a teaspoon of coconut oil

> a teaspoon of Shea Butter

> a teaspoon of Aloe vera gel

Method

Mix coconut oil, shea butter and aloe gel directly on the palm of your hand and apply immediately to the hair. To prepare larger quantities, increase the doses while maintaining the proportions.

Mask against lice with coconut oil

Thanks to the lauric acid content, coconut oil seems to have an effect in the fight against lice. To get the best results, repeat the treatment three times a week for two weeks.

This mask can be stored for about three months in a clean jar with a lid.

Ingredients

> 85 grams of coconut oil

> 15 grams of Neem oil

> 50 drops of lavender essential oil

Method

In a bowl, mix the coconut oil with Neem oil, using a spatula to mix it all together. Add the lavender essential oil, mix one last time and apply to the hair.

Leave in place for at least thirty minutes, comb the hair with a fine-toothed comb and then proceed with the shampoo.

Make the last rinse with a glass of white wine vinegar added to a liter of water.

Coconut oil for hair beauty

Coconut oil is a saturated oil which is white and solid at room temperature, normally odorless or slightly perfumed. It is obtained by cold pressure of the pulp of the coconut, the fruit of the Cocos nucifera.

Rich in saturated fatty acids, vitamin A and vitamin E, coconut oil has an excellent affinity for the hair; moreover, the lauric acid contained in the coconut oil is transformed by our organism into monolaurin, with antimicrobial properties.


Does coconut oil help whiten teeth?

Coconut oil nourishes and softens the hair fiber, making hair shiny and strong: it is particularly indicated for curly hair that tend to frizz, for dry and damaged hair, without volume and which have split ends and is used also as a remedy to fight lice.

Coconut oil is readily available in all herbalists and has an affordable price. Let’s find out why coconut oil could be useful for whitening your teeth and how to use it. Many use coconut oil for oral hygiene, an excellent product to prevent plaque and caries. Let’s see if in addition to these qualities, coconut oil can help whiten the teeth.

You will surely have heard of oil pulling, an ancient practice for oral hygiene that has come back to the fore thanks to the growing interest in natural remedies. It is an absolutely natural treatment that consists in carrying out long and meticulous rinsing of the mouth with vegetable oil: it is normally used a spoonful of coconut oil to be rinsed vigorously in the mouth for about twenty minutes without swallowing. It seems that the effectiveness of this millennia ayurvedic therapy has been demonstrated by scientific research: according to some recent studies, in fact, vegetable oils would be able to deeply clean the mouth and teeth, eliminating the microorganisms that cause plaque, inflammation of the gums and halitosis.

The mechanism would be very simple: vegetable oil would drag microorganisms away by binding the lipid cell membranes of bacteria. But can the oil pulling with coconut oil also help whiten the teeth?

For some time now, many online articles have advised this treatment – oil pulling – using coconut oil to prevent plaque and tooth decay, whiten teeth and generally keep teeth and gums in good health. Why precisely coconut oil? In fact, sunflower oil and sesame oil could also give the same benefits, but coconut oil seems to be more effective against the formation of bacteria thanks to the high amount of lauric acid contained in it.

As we have seen, the effectiveness of oily pulling seems to have a scientific basis, but why coconut oil should whiten teeth? The answer seems to be very simple: eliminating plaque would prevent the formation of tartar, so the teeth would remain cleaner and whiter.

But be careful not to confuse this natural remedy for a natural replacement of toothpaste because it is not: if you want more help against bacteria, plaque and caries and you want to keep your teeth whiter, you can resort to the oiling pulling with oil coconut but after treatment you will still have to brush your teeth with a toothbrush and toothpaste.

Remember also to make periodic checks to the dentist so that you can intervene promptly in case of problems of mouth and teeth.

Coconut or jojoba oil? Discover the differences

What are the main differences between coconut oil and jojoba wax and which one to choose for our hair and our skin? Coconut oil and jojoba wax: two excellent products for skin and hair care, but which is the most suitable for us? Let’s find out the differences between these two vegetable oils for beauty.Coconut or jojoba oil Discover the differences

Coconut or jojoba oil? The differences for the hair

Coconut oil and jojoba wax are both excellent natural hair care products. Both coconut oil and jojoba wax, in fact, are used as masks and compresses for hair and scalp care. Coconut oil, for example, nourishes and softens the hair, giving it strength and shine: it is particularly recommended for dry and brittle hair, in case of split ends and to tame curly hair that tend to become frizzy.

Furthermore, it seems that coconut oil is indicated among the remedies for the prevention and treatment of lice. Jojoba wax is instead known for its rebalancing properties that normalize the production of sebum: it is therefore an excellent product for the care of oily hair, especially in the case of oily scalp and dry and brittle tips.

Jojoba wax-based wraps and masks help to have strong, shiny and soft hair without weighing down the scalp.

Coconut or jojoba oil? The differences for the skin

Vegetable oils have in common the emollient power and the ability to keep the skin hydrated and soft: this, combined with the presence of antioxidants, counteracts the effects of time and prevents the formation of wrinkles, loss of tone and elasticity.

Each vegetable oil has some peculiarities that make it more or less suitable for one type of skin or another: for example, what are the differences between coconut oil and jojoba oil for the skin? Coconut oil is a vegetable oil rich in saturated fatty acids, slightly fragrant and very nutritious. indicated for those who have dry skin, chapped, rough, damaged or lost elasticity. Thanks to its soothing action, coconut oil is able to calm skin redness, especially after sun exposure. It is therefore mainly used for the body, to prepare oils to prepare the skin in the sun or to nourish the skin after exposure.

Jojoba wax is also a nourishing product that can protect the skin from dehydration, but unlike coconut oil, jojoba wax has a marked balancing action on the production of sebum: this makes jojoba oil a product particularly indicated in the preparation of cosmetics for oily and combination skin.

There are many uses of jojoba wax: it is used to prevent wrinkles, to keep the skin soft and supple, to remove make-up from the skin and soothe inflammation; jojoba wax is for example the ideal product to calm irritation after waxing or shaving.

Lauric acid: the main nutrient in coconut oil

Lauric acid is a medium chain saturated fatty acid, consisting of 12 carbon atoms. It is abundant in dairy products, animal fats and tropical oils. The major concentrations of lauric acid are found in coconut oil, which despite being rich in saturated fats (like all tropical oils), has a modest atherogenic power (as opposed to palmitic acid and palm oil). Lauric acid Lauric acid is in fact a fatty acid with an almost neutral effect on the plasma lipids, or in any case lower than the palmitic and the myristic ones. Its ability to significantly increase total cholesterol levels has been demonstrated, raising above all the HDL fraction and making a potentially protective effect on cardiovascular risk.

In the industrial sector it is used for the production of soaps and detergents, while in the health sector it is known for its antibacterial properties. In fact, once ingested, lauric acid is converted into monolaurin, a monoglyceride with antiviral, antimicrobial, antiprotozoal and antifungal properties. Coconut oil, lauric acid or single monolaurin are therefore widely used in deodorant preparations or in cosmetics that require the presence of natural substances with an antiseptic effect.

Being a non-essential fatty acid, laurel acid can be synthesized by the body starting from other fatty acids, at the endoplasmatic reticulum of the cells. However, precisely because of these antiseptic properties, lauric acid is considered by some authors as a conditionally essential fatty acid, since under certain physiopathological conditions, such as an infection, it may not be synthesized at a sufficient speed.

For this reason, given the scarce presence in food, lauric acid is now marketed as a supplement; for commercial purposes they decant with excessive enthusiasm anti-infectious properties against candida, HIV, Tinea Pedis (Athlete’s foot) and herpes simplex, enhanced by the absence of side effects. These claims attributed to lauric acid are however still to be confirmed.

Healthy cuisine recipes with coconut oil

Fava bean balls with coconut oil and cucumber smoothie

Fava bean balls with coconut oil and cucumber smoothie

Preparation

First, prepare the meatballs. Shell and peel the beans, then combine them in a blender together with almonds, coconut oil, a few drops of lemon juice and its grated rind, aromatic herbs to taste (e.g. mint, parsley) and a pinch of salt.

The lemon juice (the source of vitamin C) increases the bioavailability of the iron present in the beans, as well as giving an acid note that goes well with the ingredients! Blend the mixture intermittently until a cream is obtained. Mix with the alfalfa buds. With the help of two teaspoons, take part of the cream of beans and form balls with your hands. Place the truffles on the cups and leave in the fridge for half an hour.

In the meantime, prepare the smoothie. Partially peel the cucumber, wash it with fresh water and cut into small pieces. Peel the apple and cut it into cubes. Wash the celery, remove the filaments and reduce into chunks. Combine the diced cucumber, apple and celery in a blender, add a few mint leaves and blend. Distribute the smoothie in iced flutes, decorated with lemon slices.

As an alternative to the cucumber, apple and celery smoothie, you can serve a centrifuge with carrots, lemon and apricots, or a pineapple, cucumber and apple smoothie! Serve the broad beans truffles to accompany healthy smoothies.

Ingredients
  • 1 tablespoon of coconut oil
  • Untreated lemon juice and peel
  • 1 tuft of parsley
  • A few mint leaves
  • A pinch of salt
  • 60 g of almonds
  • 30 g of alfalfa buds
  • 150 g of resh, raw, shelled fava beans

For raw veg smoothie

  • A few mint leaves
  • 100 g of apples
  • 50 g of celery
  • 200 g of cucumbers

Soft vegan brioches with coconut oil

Light and healthy breakfast? Finally it’s possible! Say goodbye to sweets-bombs, sugary and full of fats and cholesterol. With the vegan brioches that we propose based on coconut oil, we will feel full of energy while maintaining the lightness from the early hours of the day.vegan brioches with coconut oil

Preparation

Prepare the leavening. In a bowl, collect the Manitoba flour with whole wheat flour and a teaspoon of brown sugar. Add the dry brewer’s yeast and knead with lukewarm water, using a wooden spoon: you will obtain a very soft and sticky mixture.

To obtain soft and very soft buns, it is recommended to mix a part of whole wheat flour with manitoba flour. That is a very strong flour capable of developing a lot of gluten in contact with liquids, the same that is used to prepare seitan. The dry beer yeast can be replaced with 9 g of fresh brewer’s yeast or with a 30% yeast dose compared to the total weight of the flour. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and allow the mixture to rest for an hour, near a heat source (e.g. radiator).

When the leavening appears swollen and soft, proceed with putting the main dough into shape. In a larger bowl, collect the manitoba flour and the whole wheat flour, season with grated orange and lemon zest, then add the brown sugar, coconut oil and leavening. Knead quickly, then add salt: work the dough for about ten minutes, adding a spoonful of flour if necessary to obtain the ideal consistency. As an alternative to cane sugar, it is possible to use barley malt or agave / maple syrup.

Put the dough in a bowl, cover with plastic wrap and let it rise again in a warm environment (eg oven warm but off), until the dough triples in volume (3-4 hours). Once the necessary time has elapsed, resume the dough and, gently, open it on the floured surface with the help of the fingertips: you will have to obtain a disc with a diameter of about 30 cm.

With a cutter wheel, cut the disc into 8 wedges. Stuff the base of each triangle with a teaspoon of organic jam without added sugar, then roll the clove starting from the filling. Finally, bend the ends inward to give the typical croissant shape. Place the croissants on a plate lined with parchment paper and let it rest again in a warm and protected from drafts for an hour or until they appear swollen and fluffy. Preheat the oven to 190 ° C (static): cook the wholemeal croissants for 15-20 minutes.

Turn off the oven and let it cool: the vegan brioches can be stored for 2 rounds in a plastic bag. There are two possibilities for storing in the freezer: the brioches can be frozen from raw (before the last leavening) or after cooking. In the first case, to cook them they must be left at room temperature for 10-12 hours, until they start rising again, and then cooked. In the second case, just let it thaw slowly in the fridge for one night and heat it slightly to savor its taste and texture.

Regarding the lauric acid content of foods, coconut oil and palm kernel oil (palm oil, not to be confused with palm oil, extracted from the pulp) represent the most generous sources, with an average content next at 50%. Lower concentrations are found in whole milk (2-3%) and in dairy products, while in meats the lauric is present in negligible quantities (0.1%), as well as in oils of common use, where it is practically absent.

Ingredients

For the leavening

  • 3 g of dried brewer’s yeast
  • 5 g of brown sugar
  • 150 ml of water
  • 50 g of wholemeal flour
  • 100 g of manitoba flour

For the filling

  • 150 g of organic apricot jam without added sugar

For the main dough

  • 40 ml of coconut oil
  • Grated zest of untreated oranges
  • Grated rind of untreated lemon
  • 4 g of salt
  • 100 g of brown sugar
  • 80 g of manitoba flour
  • 80 g of wholemeal flour

Homemade Bounty – vegan recipe with coconut oil

This recipe is a healthier imitation of the bestseller candy: we prepare together the homemade Bounty, in a vegan key. Preparation is incredibly easy: just play with the temperatures. Discover all the secrets with Best Home Remedies!Homemade Bounty

Preparation

In a bowl, collect the grated coconut together with the agave syrup. Flavor with vanilla essence and mix everything with the coconut cream (butter) left to cool in the fridge. To prepare this recipe we used the fat part of coconut milk: we recommend buying coconut milk in a can (35% fat), and take the creamy and dense (rich in fat), essential to mix and tie the composed. Homemade bounty candies are perfect as a tasty snack for young and old. Try them also adding a chopped fresh mint along with the coconut: the combination is superb!

The dough should appear rather compact but not crumbled. Put the mixture in the fridge for 20 minutes or in the freezer for about ten minutes: in this way, the mixture will be easier to work with.

After the necessary time, take a spoonful of the mixture, hold it in your hands creating an oval shape, reminiscent of the classic Bounty. Each coconut cake must weigh 15-16 g: we recommend weighing each portion, in order to make regular pieces matched in size. Arrange the sweets in a pan lined with parchment paper or with film, then let the fridge or in the freezer.

Now, dedicate yourself to the preparation of covering chocolate. Chop the dark chocolate and collect it in a bowl. Add two tablespoons of coconut oil, and melt it gently in the microwave or in a bain-marie. If you melt chocolate without exceeding 42 ° C, you will get perfect bounty even for raw food fans.

You can also avoid the use of coconut oil (used to make it easier to cover the sweets): in this case, the tempering of chocolate is essential for an excellent result. Using a fork, dip the sweets in the melted chocolate and gently drain from the excess chocolate. Leave the bounty to dry on a sheet of baking paper. Store in the fridge for at least an hour to make the chocolate solidify. Bounty candies are kept in the fridge for 2-3 weeks, in a pan with airtight cap.

Ingredients
  • 100 g of coconut flour
  • 40 ml of agave syrup
  • Vanilla essence
  • 160 g of coconut oil cream
  • For coverage
  • 130 g of dark chocolate
  • 30 ml of coconut oil

Coconut oil-based vegans macarons

Did you know that the cooking water of the chickpeas can be recovered and used to prepare sensational desserts? Working the liquid with electric whips and incorporating air you get a stable foam that reminds the mass of egg whites until stiff. Why not prepare macarons without egg whites? This is a true revolution!Coconut oil-based vegans macarons

Preparation

In the container of a pressure blender, collect 100 g of brown sugar and chop it to obtain an impalpable powder. Blend the remaining cane sugar together with the almonds, adding a teaspoon of cornstarch (very useful to absorb the oil naturally present in almonds).

In the container of an electric mixer, pour the cooking water of the chickpeas (at room temperature) and operate the electric mixer. Work the liquid for 10 minutes. After 10 minutes, the acquafaba will have a very thick and foamy consistency: at this point, add a spoonful of lemon juice, the aroma of vanilla, a teaspoon of turmeric and the 100 g of crushed cane sugar. Work again with the electric mixer for another 10 minutes.

To prepare this recipe, we suggest using chickpea cooking water. For an optimal result, it is advisable to concentrate the cooking broth by evaporating the water for 2-3 minutes on a high flame.

To speed up the time, you can use the liquid found in canned chickpeas: in this case, however, it is advisable to prefer organic products with few preservatives. Unlike legumes cooked in the home, canned chickpea liquid contains a certain amount of salt, but the amount will be reduced and will not negatively affect the final result.

The chickpea water, subjected to mechanical processing with the whips, has capacity uprights for the presence of some particular substances, called saponins: in contact with water, the saponins develop a stable and persistent foam. Lemon juice, rich in vitamin C, promotes the formation of the foam, stabilizing the mixture.

The mass is ready. Add the almond and sugar gradually and gradually: for an optimal result, we recommend sifting the chopped almonds to obtain an extremely thin and impalpable grain.

The traditional macarons are colorful. In the vegan version we recommend to add a teaspoon of turmeric to give the sweets a golden color. To dye them green naturally, we recommend adding a few drops of chlorophyll; to dye them in red, we recommend combining very concentrated beetroot juice. Line two baking trays with baking paper or prepare the special silicone mats for macarons.

Pour the mass of vegan meringue to almonds in a sac with a smooth spout and make 2.5 cm diameter disks, leaving a little space between one sweets and the other. Let the cakes rest for one hour at room temperature: only in this way you can obtain smooth macarons.

Meanwhile, prepare the filling (vegan ganache). In a saucepan, heat the soy milk and when it is hot pour the liquid into chopped dark chocolate, adding a tablespoon of coconut oil. Mix thoroughly and allow to cool to room temperature, until the cream reaches a spreadable density.

Preheat the oven to 100 ° C (ventilated). Bake at several times and cook for 60 minutes at 100 ° C. Without opening the oven door, lower the temperature to 80 ° C and cook for another 30 minutes.

The most difficult part in making this recipe is cooking. Classic macarons should be cooked for a shorter time at higher temperatures. The vegan macarons are not prepared with egg white, so a too high temperature could caramelise the sweets. To get perfect treats it is highly recommended to cook them at low temperatures but for a long time. Remove from the oven, let it cool completely and remove each stick with a scoop.

Proceed with the filling. Distribute a teaspoon of vegan ganache on a small disc, then cover with a second disc, pressing lightly. Proceed in this way until the ingredients run out. To appreciate the crunchiness of the shells and the creaminess of the filling in a single bite, we recommend serving the macarons immediately after filling them with the cream.

Ingredients
  • 100 ml of cooking water of chickpeas
  • Optional: 1 teaspoon of turmeric
  • Essence of vanilla
  • 1 tablespoon of untreated lemon juice
  • 5 g of cornstarch
  • 160 g of brown sugar
  • 120 g of almonds

For the filling

  • 140 g of dark chocolate
  • 50 ml of rice milk or soy milk
  • 20 ml of coconut oil