The Definitive Guide To Coconut Oil Part One

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Lucy Bee’s Definitive Guide To Coconut Oil

Coconut Oil has become one of the buzzwords on everyone’s lips – it’s the food that quite literally everyone is talking about.

Used by some of the most beautiful people in the world (supermodel Miranda Kerr and Jennifer Aniston are among those who credit coconut oil with giving them their killer bodies), it seems that people are now waking up to coconut oil and its many uses.

So, What’s the Fuss All About?

Well, for starters, we’re no longer scared off by the fat content found in coconut oil.

Coconut oil is a medium-chain fatty acid and is predominantly made up of lauric acid (approximately 48%), which is, also, found in human breast milk. It is cholesterol free, too. Heck, our oil may even keep you looking beautiful – we love using it in our beauty regime.

However, if you’re still a newbie to coconut oil, or if you simply want to clue up on what it’s all about, then fret not.  At Lucy Bee, we’ve worked to pull together this definitive guide to coconut oil. You see, we want to share our love of this food and spread both the word and the knowledge.

So, here you have it – one handy document to help you learn all there is to possibly know. What are the benefits to using coconut oil, what can you cook with it and how do you go about storing it? It’s all in here!

But before you get started, make yourself comfy. Pull up a chair, pour yourself a cup of coffee (have you tried stirring in a teaspoon of Lucy Bee Coconut Oil instead of milk?) and snuggle down with a cookie or two!

Oat cookies with lucuma syrup
Oat cookies with lucuma syrup

Now, read on.

What Is Coconut Oil ?

Quite simply, it is an edible oil which is extracted from the flesh of fresh, matured coconuts. Those used for Lucy Bee organic raw coconut oil are grown in agroforestry environments in either the Philippines, the Solomon Islands or Sri Lanka, with the country of origin always stated on the label.

meeting agro forest
Fair Trade team meeting

While coconut oil is something of a new concept to us in the West, we’re pretty late to catch on. In fact, there are some countries that have been using it for generations. The Tokelauans, for example, live in the South Pacific and get 60 per cent of their calories from this fabulous food.

Coconut oil is widely-used in tropical countries such as India (go on, try it in a homemade curry for real “wow factor” food), Sri Lanka, Thailand and the Philippines.

More than 90 per cent of coconut oil is formed from saturated fats. These saturated fats are medium-chain triglycerides (or MCTs or medium-chain fatty acids, to put it in more simple terms) and among the saturated fats found in are oil are lauric acid, capric acid and caprylic acid, which the body uses efficiently.

EU regulations are such that we’re unable to quote the health benefits of coconut oil but if you google these terms mentioned above, you’ll then be in a position to make your own informed decision.

Of course, the whole debate about saturated fats is still ongoing with many now realising these are not the demon once thought.

How to Use Coconut Oil

Putting all of that aside, how do you set about using it? Well, firstly, let us start by deciding which type to use as there are various qualities of coconut oil, depending on the raw material used and the extraction method, too. Lucy Bee is natural, unrefined, raw, organic, extra virgin.

Once you have it in your cupboard, then go wild – let loose on your kitchen and experiment! We use our coconut oil as a replacement for all processed cooking oils, including  margarine, butter (yes, even in cakes and cookies!) and vegetable. So, make the most of it!

Sweet potato nachos
Sweet potato nachos

You can fry with it, roast with it (try basting your chicken in it for a Sunday roast – it’s sublime), bake with it and spread with it. The world is your coconut oyster.

You can even apply the oil directly to your face or hair as a beauty product. We talk about some of our favourite ways to use it later, although we love hearing from our fans, many of whom have told us how it has helped to treat skin conditions such as psoriasis or eczema.

Lucy Bee for hair and beauty
Lucy Bee for hair and beauty

Recipes

Of course, if you’re stuck for ideas or in need of some inspiration, then don’t worry. The Lucy Bee website is packed full of ideas of how to use your coconut oil and what to cook with it.

From smoothies and soups to homemade chocolate, roasts and cakes, we have every kind of recipe under the sun. And in addition to this, we’ve even got a cookbook packed with over 100 recipes for you to try.

For ideas of what you can cook and bake click through to the “recipes” section on our Lucy Bee website here.

How Much Do I Take?

Well, no recommended dosage for coconut oil actually exists and it all depends on your own personal uses, as well as your diet and fitness levels.

The general guide is one to three tablespoons of coconut oil a day, in replacement of all processed oils. Remember too that balance is key so use in moderation and as part of a balanced diet of nutrient-rich foods and not forgetting your daily dose of exercise!

Which Type Should I Buy?

While coconut oil is packed with benefits and can work wonders for your body, it’s a good idea to know the difference between coconut oils – refined and unrefined.

We like to keep things as natural as can be, unrefined, raw, organic, cold pressed and extra virgin (with coconut oil, virgin and extra virgin mean the same thing) versus those coconut oils that have been refined, bleached and deodorised (RBD). These oils are extracted from copra that may have been left out in the elements and turned rancid and mouldy. The oil needs to be heavily refined to make it suitable for consumption. We have a great article explaining how refined and unrefined coconut oils are made and their differences1.

Something you’ll notice is that coconut oils taste different depending on where the coconuts are grown and how the oil is extracted, which is why we offer a choice of oils from the Philippines (a rich aroma and taste), the Solomon Islands (with a creamy flavour) and Sri Lanka (with it’s light aroma and taste).

Lucy Bee 'Best Buy' coconut oil by Ethical Consumer Magazine
Lucy Bee ‘Best Buy’ coconut oil by Ethical Consumer Magazine

Wherever, its country of origin, Lucy Bee is of the finest organic quality and extracted at the lowest possible temperature, below 45C. You can be sure that it retains every last drop of goodness and it all comes at a competitive price.

What’s more, our oil is completely Fair Trade and is certified by the Fair Trade Sustainability Alliance (FairTSA), which means that by purchasing through us, you are really making a difference to communities who need it the most. Plus, you can be sure that monkeys are NOT used to pick and collect the coconuts used to make our oil.

How Do I Store it?

In the UK, extra virgin coconut oil is solid when stored at room temperature, and turns to liquid when heated above 24C. As it cools, it will solidify again, still retaining all of its benefits.

You’ll notice on our hot summer days that it will soften and melt in the jar and as the temperature drops it will solidify again, all of which is fine and doesn’t in any way alter the benefits or its nutritional value. There is no need to refrigerate it, even once opened and we always recommend using a clean utensil when taking the oil out of the jar, to avoid any contamination.

Check out Part Two to see how to incorporate Lucy Bee Coconut Oil in your beauty regime

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  1. How coconut oil is made.

About Lucy Bee Limited

Lucy Bee is concerned with Fair Trade, ethical and sustainable living, recycling and eating close to nature with additive free products for health.

Members of the Lucy Bee team are not medically trained and can only offer their best advice. Any information provided by us is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent disease.

Please note you should always refer your health queries to a qualified medical practitioner.

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At Lucy Bee we’re passionate about a healthy lifestyle and feeling good through the foods we eat. Our website promotes the nourishing ingredients that we love plus tips for natural beauty and fitness.