The Trans Fat Free Cooking Oil Whose Time Has Come Again
(Sebastopol, CA) Coconut oil is back and healthier than ever thanks to Nutiva, of Sebastopol , California . Now vying for cupboard space next to olive oil, in its purest, unrefined form coconut oil is a healthy, all-purpose cooking oil once dismissed from American diets for “containing fat.” Nutiva ® Organic Extra-Virgin Coconut Oil opens a valuable new dimension in healthy food preparation, not only because it is cholesterol – and trans fat free, but rich in the medium-chain “good fats” that nutritionists now know to be part of a healthy diet. Versatile enough to perform in any gourmet’s kitchen, Nutiva’s light, pure oil makes an ideal high-heat cooking oil, a “better than butter” replacement on bread or vegetables, and a tasty, nutritious substitute for shortening in baking (recipes p.2). It is available nationwide at natural foods outlets, where a 15 oz. container retails for an average price of $13.99.
John W. Roulac, Founder and President of Nutiva, points out that there are important differences even between the oils found in the gourmet aisle. “A lot of people use olive oil for cooking without realizing that it has a low smoke point, whereas coconut oil heats to 350 degrees without breaking down. Olive oil should really only be used raw or for light sauté. Oils like soy and safflower are very high in omega-6 fats. Most Americans already have way too many omega-6’s in their diets. Given the fact that coconut oil contains only 1% Omega-6, this versatile oil helps restore a healthier omega-3 and -6 balance.”
In addition to its practical uses in cuisine and its desirable medium-chain fats, the presence of lauric acid in coconut oil has made it the subject of current research. Lauric acid is believed to have various anti-viral and anti-fungal qualities, and some nutritionists are already recommending coconut oil for yeast conditions, candida, and other conditions.
Not all coconut oils are equal, though. In fact, the difference between extra-virgin and ordinary processed coconut oils is so great that chefs had best beware. Nutiva Extra Virgin Coconut Oil is processed within 2 hours of the coconut being chopped and the oil is quickly pressed. The result is pure white like the flesh of a young coconut, with an eyebrow raising fragrance and a very light coconut taste. It is then bottled for shipment, after which it has a long shelf life. The other 99% of coconut oils sold in the United States , says Roulac, are refined, bleached and deodorized. “In that
process, the coconut meat is scooped out, left in the sun for several days, then placed in shipping containers and sent to refineries. The oil is made at the refineries, but by that time the coconut is so rancid that they have to refine, bleach or deodorize it to restore some semblance of freshness and visual appeal. Coconut oils are even traded on commodities markets with the designation ‘RBD,’ for Refined, Bleached, Deodorized.”
Bruce Fife, a naturopath and nutritionist from Colorado Springs , CO , is the author of The Healing Miracles of Coconut Oil (Piccadilly Books, Ltd., 2003). Fife notes, “Coconut oil doesn’t form toxic byproducts when heated like other vegetable oils. It’s chemically stable so it doesn’t go rancid as quickly as other vegetable oils do, and it has many benefits that improve health. It’s the best oil to use for cooking.”
Nutiva’s organic coconut oil is from the Philippines and requires no refrigeration. Sitting on the shelf for any period reveals other aspects of its personality. Below 76 degrees F, it is solid like shortening and coconut white in color. Above 76 degrees, it becomes a clear liquid. The oil remains completely stable in either state and it is used the same way as a solid or liquid. Unlike many RBD coconut oils that may impart strong, unwanted flavors to foods, when used for cooking, Nutiva’s pure coconut oil has a light, fresh character that enhances food flavors.
According to John W Roulac, it was a misguided, bad rap that sent coconut oil into obscurity decades ago. “It didn’t take much to squeeze coconut oil out of our diets in the 1950’s and 1960’s. The advent of margarine was accompanied by massive advertising. At the same time, there were studies done on tropical oils. These studies were performed on hydrogenated oils rather than the natural product and the conclusions were, of course, negative. Fortunately, nutritionists know better now. Margarine is full of trans fat and extra virgin coconut oil is rich in medium chains healthy fats”
Nutiva is dedicated to a healthy and sustainable world for all, demonstrating its mission to nourish people and planet by using healthy organic ingredients, enriching the soil, and supporting worthy causes by donating 1 percent of sales to groups that promote sustainable agriculture. Founded in 1999, Nutiva offers nutritious organic hemp and flax food bars, hemp protein powder, hemp oil, shelled hempseed, and extra-virgin coconut oil nationwide through more than 2,000 natural food retailers, including Whole Foods Markets and Wild Oats. For more information, visit http://www.nutiva.com . or call (800) 993-4367. Contact the company via email at: help1 [at] nutiva.com. For samples and product information contact Christie Communications at (805) 565-4122.
Coconut Oil Uses and Sample Recipes
• Butter substitute on bread
• Butter replacement over vegetables (especially delicious over baked yams)
• in smoothies, providing an energy boost from healthy, medium chain fats
• Substitute for shortening in baking (excellent in pie crusts and cookies)
• Variety of Sauces (heat in pan, add herbs and spices, e.g., Italian spices, Curries, Apricots)
Spicy Hot Coconut Sauce
Heat 3 tablespoons Nutiva Coconut Oil in pan, add sea salt, pepper, curry and cayenne spices. Pour over steamed vegetables, salad, or grains.
Sweet Coconut Treat
Blend 1 tbs Nutiva Coconut Oil, 3 tbs Nutiva Hempseeds (or chopped almonds), 1/2 tbs of honey, agave, or chopped dates, dash of vanilla, sea salt, cinnamon. Blend well. If oil is liquid, place dish in freezer. Stir a few times as the oil hardens.
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