There are many great benefits of coconut oil, but just knowing the benefits of it isn’t enough. You have to know how to actually use the stuff if you are going to enjoy its benefits! While there are probably countless ways to use, enjoy, and benefit from it, today I’m sharing fifteen of my very favorite uses for coconut oil. Be sure to chime in with your favorites, too!
- Popcorn topper: Kettle-popped popcorn is a real treat in our house and a much requested snack when visitors come over. I’ll reveal the secret recipe in a later post, but until then, trust me when I say that it makes an awesome popcorn topper when melted!
- Cast iron pan care: Since it is a stable fat, I occasionally reach for coconut oil to care for my cast iron pans after rinsing and wiping them clean.
- Pan greaser: Need to grease a pan to make a cake or bake some cookies? Try coconut oil!
- Nutty Bars: Nutty bars are a favorite protein fix here in our house, and coconut oil stars in the recipe. My family will be quick to mention to me that it has been far too long since I made these should they read this post.
- Smoothies: I try to make smoothies 2 or 3 times a week to give us a healthy dose of probiotics from the milk kefir or yogurt that we use, and every smoothie batch I make gets a boost from coconut oil. Want to try it? Just slowly pour 2-3 tablespoons of melted coconut oil into your favorite smoothie while the blender or food processor is running. The oil mixes right in! Along with the health benefits, I love the flavor and texture it adds, too!
- Leave-in conditioner: Even with the gentle and natural care of no ‘poo hair washing, my hair still sometimes need a little extra love. Coconut oil makes a fantastic leave-in conditioner! I rub just a very small amount through the areas that seem a little stressed, and sometimes rub a generous amount through if I’ll be washing my hair soon and not heading out of the house.
- Lotion substitute: Have you ever read the back of a bottle of typical lotion? Can you pronounce all of those ingredients? Neither can I. Rather than slather my skin with a thick mix of chemicals, I use natural oils. Years ago I started using a blend of coconut oil and olive oil after showering or just washing my face to keep my skin from drying out, and I really like the results! If your skin tends to be on the oily side, you might do better with just coconut oil.
- Belly butter: When I was expecting our last baby, I tried out a homemade belly cream to soothe my itchy skin. It’s now become a favorite of the whole family, and we use this same belly butter recipe for hand cream and lip balm, too!
- Shortening substitute: Coconut oil makes a great substitute for any recipe calling for shortening (that would be Crisco). Pie crusts, biscuits, and cookies can all be made without all of the scary Frankenfat with excellent results when using coconut oil.
- Diaper rash preventer: Because of its antimicrobial and skin-soothing properties, coconut oil can do wonders for a baby’s diaper area. I’ve found that it works best to prevent rashes or clear up a light case of diaper rash rather than clear up a nasty one. It’s safe for cloth diapers, too!
- Butter alternative: Sometimes I run out of butter, and sometimes I just want to enjoy a bit of the tropics when I’m cooking or eating. Coconut oil can be used anywhere butter would be: on toast, in baking, or on a peanut butter sandwich! That last suggestion is quite tasty, especially with a touch of raw honey.
- Hot chocolate: Hot chocolate is taken to a whole new level when a spoonful of coconut oil is added to it before drinking. I’ve read of others adding it to their coffee and tea. I think I’d really enjoy it in a raw milk latte or chai, too, but haven’t tried it yet. Next time I make one of those tasty drinks, I’ll be sure to experiment with the coconut oil addition.
- Sniffles Soup: When our family is battling sickness, I like to make something that we’ve donned Sniffles Soup. This is basically a spicy chicken soup with a lot of coconut oil, onions, and garlic. Grown-up bowls get a little extra kick with more raw garlic and cayenne pepper sprinkled on top!
- Homemade peanut butter: You can make an excellent natural peanut butter right at home by simply grinding plain peanuts (I like to soak and dehydrate mine first) in a food processor until they liquefy. I like to add a spoonful of coconut oil, along with a little salt and raw honey, to ours to add flavor and texture.
- Diluting Essential Oils: As a general rule, it’s always a good idea to dilute essential oils when using them. I like to use coconut oil for that purpose! You can read more about using essential oils here.
Now, I know that there are more wonderful ways to put coconut oil to use, and if you have some suggestions, I’d love to hear them!
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