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5 ways to pick a good coconut oil-min

5 ways to pick a good coconut oil

Coconut oil is like wine – there are lots of great ones if you know where to look, just as there are some very disappointing ones out there! So make sure you get what you’re paying for.

We all know by now how good coconut oil is, it’s a great way to get more fat in your diet, it’s really stable at high temperatures and it’s really good for cooking in. But if you’ve recently searched for coconut oil, you’d be forgiven for feeling completely overwhelmed and confused at the choices available.

5 ways to pick a good coconut oil-min

So, what do you need to consider?

Choice One: Refined or Unrefined.

Coconut oil is either refined, or unrefined. A refined oil won’t have that coconut taste or smell, so it can be a good one to have on hand for cooking more delicate dishes, that you don’t want to take on that distinct coconut flavour. Refined coconut oils will still have a great fatty acid profile (and full of those great MCT’s). If the label doesn’t specify, assume it’s a refined oil. Of course to refine the oil is to process it. So if you can, stick with an unrefined oil – but this is great to have on hand for a particular recipe that demands it, or if you’re cooking for someone who can’t stand the taste of coconut.

Unrefined oil is a staple in my house. It does have the distinct coconut flavour, however, between brands there is a huge variation. Some taste way milder than others, so it’s best to try a few until you work out which is your favourite.

Choice Two: Virgin or Extra Virgin.

You’ll likely only see these labels on unrefined coconut oil and unfortunately there seems to be a lot of ambiguity about what they actually mean. As a base assumption, virgin and extra virgin should be a lot purer, and from the first pressing of the coconut.

Choice Three: Expeller-Pressed, Cold-Pressed and Centrifuged

Your next option is how the oil was extracted from the coconut. The less heat used in the process, the more raw the final product – the milder the flavour will be. If the extraction process did heat the oil, it’s not too much of a concern as coconut oil is so stable at high temperatures.

Choice Four: Bulk, Jar or Spray

Your next choice is how you buy the oil. If you use a lot of it, you’ll do far better buying in bulk, instead of individual jars. And as I’ve written about before – I strongly suggest you avoid buying a spray can of coconut oil!

Choice Five: Where to buy

I find it so expensive to buy coconut oil local unfortunately – it’s also hard to find it in bulk quantities. I buy mine from iherb, who ship internationally (get $5 off using code DUV741). It works out far cheaper and they’re got such a big range you can experiment with a few, to work out which you prefer.

And if you do buy a bad one? Don’t throw it away – there are loads of non-edible uses for it!

Coconut-Oil-Spray-Whats-The-Point-paleo-diet

Coconut Oil Spray – What’s The Point?

Initially I was really impressed when I saw Coconut Oil Spray for the first time in Coles, my local grocery store.

But on reflection, Coconut Oil spray seems to be a bit of an oxymoron, don’t you think?

Why Spray Cans?

Spray cans of cooking oil became popular to enable the low-fat brigade to cook in as little oil as possible. The spray tin enables you to coat the bottom of the pan, using far less oil than you’d use if you poured it in. But we’ve moved on from low-fat, haven’t we? Chances are, given that you’re reading this blog, you’re careful to incorporate decent amounts of fat in your diet. Coconut oil is probably the most popular cooking oil amongst those who follow a Paleo diet. Most of my Paleo friends will use generous amounts of coconut oil in their cooking – and then pour the oil from the pan onto their plate when they’ve finished. You can’t so this with a spray can of coconut oil!

Added Ingredients?

The ingredients also include butane and propane which are obviously required to enable to spray mechanism to work – but I wonder if this has any impact on the oil – and whether there is any residue in the oil when it makes it onto your plate? Another reason I’d prefer to spoon my pure coconut oil straight into the pan, and not take the chance that any of the propellants come into contact with my food. The cans are also highly flammable, another plus for the humble jar of coconut oil!

Coconut-Oil-Spray-Whats-The-Point-paleo-diet

Who Buys It?

I find it odd that this particular store only stocks the spray and not the oil in normal jar form (my other local supermarket, Woolworths, stocks jars of coconut oil, but not the spray, which is far more useful). Given the choice, I’m sure almost everyone would opt for a jar of coconut oil, rather than the spray?

I can’t really see who the coconut oil spray is aimed at. Compared to the nasty seed oil sprays, it’s far higher in fat (this is a good thing); surely the conventional wisdom junkies would steer clear? And of course those of us in the know about coconut oil would find the small delivery of coconut oil frustrating? So who is it for? Answers in the comments, if you can offer some suggestions…

I can see that the can is convenient – but a jar of coconut oil and a spoon is hardly inconvenient?

Would you use Coconut Oil in spray form? I’d also be interested to read your comments (below) as to whether coconut spray is widely available where you live too?