The benefits of coconut oil seem to be endless. Read on for several (delicious) ways to incorporate this healthy fat into your diet – including homemade baba ghanoush!
* Add 1 to 2 tablespoons of coconut oil to smoothies, protein powders, or yogurt;
* Add a tablespoon to hot or cold cereal;
* Use coconut oil as a sugar or creamer replacement for either tea or coffee once the beverage is cool enough to drink. Stir often to combine the oil with the liquid.
* Spread some coconut oil on slices of bread, rolls, bagels, or crackers.
* Make compound “butters” and flavored spreads with solid coconut oil. Blend 2 to 3 tablespoons of coconut oil with nut butters, cream cheese, or fruit spreads. Try adding some cinnamon and honey to coconut oil to make a spread.
* Combine liquid coconut oil with herbs and spices to create a healthy dressing for salads.
* Coconut oil is healthy cooking oil, especially for low to medium heat cooking and sautÃ©ing as it doesn’t break down easily. Add 1 to 2 tablespoons to your pan and cook eggs, vegetables, rice and grain dishes, potatoes, and meats. Add as a finishing oil to curries, sauces, soups, and stews.
* Use coconut oil in the place of vegetable or olive oil the way I’ve done in my recipe for Power-Packed Baba Ghanoush.
Power-Packed Baba Ghanoush
This savory eggplant purÃ©e is flavored with tahini, lemon juice and fresh herbs. Eat it with wedges of whole wheat pita bread for dipping or spoon it over roasted meats and vegetables.
1 large eggplant (about 1 pound), halved lengthwise
1 1/2 teaspoons sea salt, divided
3 tablespoons sesame tahini
1 to 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
2 tablespoons nonfat plain Greek yogurt
1/2 cup parsley leaves, chopped, plus more for garnish
1/4 cup lemon juice
2 tablespoons coconut oil, plus 1 tablespoon more for garnish
Preheat oven to 350 °F. Sprinkle eggplant with ½ teaspoon salt. Place eggplant cut-side down on a foil-lined baking sheet. Prick all over with a fork and bake until soft and collapsed, about 20 minutes.
When cool enough to handle, scoop eggplant pulp into a bowl and discard skin. Add the remaining teaspoon of salt, the tahini, garlic, yogurt, parsley, lemon juice, and the coconut oil. Mash for a chunky texture or purÃ©e in a blender (before adding parsley) for a smooth texture.
Garnish with parsley and drizzle with coconut oil. Serve with warm pita bread or crackers.
Angela Shelf Medearis is an award-winning children’s author, culinary historian and the author of seven cookbooks. Her new cookbook is “The Kitchen Diva’s Diabetic Cookbook.”