Coconut oil, out of fashion for a time due to its saturated fat content, has been making a comeback. The saturated fat in coconut oil is not the same as that in animal products. Coconut oil contains the same fats as human breast milk and may, in fact, strengthen the immune system and help improve digestion, according to Bruce Fife, author of “The Coconut Oil Miracle.” You may substitute coconut oil for other oils when baking bread, muffins, cakes, cookies and pastries. Select quality food grade extra virgin coconut oil for the best results.
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Heat solid coconut oil on low just until melted if you need liquid oil for your recipe. Make sure the oil is not so hot that it could start to cook the other ingredients. Bring any other ingredients in the recipe to room temperature before mixing them together so the oil doesn’t solidify while mixing it with cold ingredients such as eggs. Coconut oil will start to solidify at 76 degrees Fahrenheit.
Keep the coconut oil solid if you are using it as a replacement for shortening, lard or butter, in recipes such as scones. Use three-quarters of the amount called for in the recipe, Omega Nutrition recommends.
Reduce the amount of sugar in the recipe slightly since coconut oil is naturally sweet. It may take some experimentation to get the sweetness just right, so keep track of the amount of sugar you add and note whether or not you want to make changes to the recipe for the next time. Some muffin recipes, if they contain enough coconut oil, may require no additional sweetening, according to the Nourishing Gourmet.