Growing up in Kerala (literally the “Land of Coconuts”) in South India, I understand the importance of these humble nuts and the trees they came from.
A lot of materials from the coconut tree, such as the wood for furniture, coir from coconut husk for ropes and rugs, charcoal from their shells for water purification, coconut meat for cattle feed, etc. were just some of the uses.
On the edible side, as well as grated coconut there we use coconut milk and coconut oil.
Today I will share with you five easy ways to incorporate the versatile nutritional powerhouse that is coconut oil.
1. In your coffee
Coffee is not something I would normally recommend, because of its excessively stimulating and acidic nature, but it is part of the diet for most of us in the West.
The best way to reduce the heat, acidity and “Pitta-aggravating” nature of coffee is to mix one teaspoon of coconut oil into it. This makes it creamier and prevents any acidic damage to the delicate mucous membrane in your gut. It also provides an extra energy boost.
2. Mixed into smoothies
One important drawback of having a smoothie for breakfast, instead of any solid food, is the lack of healthy fatty acids to start your day.
An easy way to boost the availability of MCT (medium-chain triglycerides) in your smoothie is to add a dollop of coconut oil. Along with fruits, leaves and root vegetables, coconut oil is an excellent flavour booster and will also help keep hunger at bay.
3. To make a healthy homemade mayonnaise
This is a good way to introduce coconut oil into a child’s diet.
In a blender, combine:
- 4 egg yolks
- 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
- ¼ teaspoon of lemon
- ¼ teaspoon of garlic powder
- and ½ teaspoon dried mustard.
Blend until combined then, with the blender still running, slowly add 1 cup of melted coconut oil and ½ cup of olive oil to create an emulsion. If you add the oils too fast, the mayo will split.
You may also add 1 teaspoon of ground sesame seeds for extra bone nourishment.
4. For throat irritation due to silent reflux
Take ½ to 1 teaspoon of coconut oil after each meal (around two to three times daily) to ease the pain of a sore throat or cough. Combine with liquorice root powder and lemon with honey for its soothing, immune-boosting effect.
5. Skin nourishment and anti-wrinkle remedy
Ayurveda uses coconut oil as a common medium to increase the potency of herbs used on the scalp and skin. In our daily routine, coconut oil can be applied to both the face and scalp to prevent the formation of wrinkles. It also stimulates and promotes a healthy scalp and hair.
Gently apply coconut oil with your fingers using a circular movement. Leave for fifteen minutes before washing off. You can also leave the oil on your skin and hair overnight and wash off the next day, for a deeper effect.
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