We all are familiar with coconut oil. We all know that it is good for our hair, skin etc.. But have you tried cooking or baking with it?
Baking with coconut oil is something new to me. Studies are now finding it has great health benefits and is a wonderful substitute for other oils in your cooking and baking.
- Coconut oil is one of the healthiest fats available.
- Promotes weight loss.
- The main type of saturated fat found in coconut oil is lauric acid. Preliminary studies show that lauric acid increases the levels of HDL in the body and lowers LDL.
- Virgin coconut oil doesn’t contain hydrogenated oils or harmful trans fats so it’s a healthier option.
- Coconut oil is incredibly heat stable when compared to other typical baking oils and fats such as butter, olive oil, and even vegetable oil.
- Unlike butter, coconut oil is shelf stable and does not require refrigeration. Coconut oil also does not go rancid quickly and can be stored for over a year on the shelf.
- A good substitute for butter in vegan baking.
- Can be expensive – especially for the highest quality versions
- Solid at room temperature – usually must be melted to incorporate into baking recipes
How to use coconut oil?
In liquid form, coconut oil is an excellent substitute for vegetable oil, melted butter or margarine. One cup of solid coconut oil will melt to approximately one cup of liquid. You can substitute for butter in 1:1 ratio.
You can either microwave or heat on a stove top to melt the solidified coconut oil. It is advisable to use coconut oil, in liquid form at room temperature.
What type of coconut oil to use?
Virgin (unrefined coconut oil or pure) or the less processed oil, preferably organic is the best. The virgin oil is minimally processed using very little heat and has a mild coconut scent and flavor.
Coconut oil helps to curb the salt content, which is otherwise found in salted butter. I find that when I bake with it, my bakes have a special lightness to them and a slightly sweet fragrance unique to coconut oil. I love to incorporate coconut oil into my weekly baking because it makes sweet treats a little healthier. Add some whole wheat flour and natural sweetener, and you have a nourishing, real food. I even use coconut oil in baking my breads!
I’ve shared my banana bread recipe before but this one is different. Way different! Everyday I’ve been having a slice with my morning & evening cup of coffee. Every bite takes you to heaven. Trust me.
The traditional banana bread is made by using mashed and over ripe bananas. Here we are using sun dried bananas. I discovered these from Sirsi, Karnataka. You can also substitute the dried bananas to dried figs. I like my organic figs from Ecorico . The millet inspiration is from Smitten Kitchen.
Ingredients for Crackly Dried Fruit Bread
170 gms whole wheat flour
75gms dried banana or dried fig, roughly chopped
1 egg, room temperature
50 gms raw sugar
50 ml agave syrup or maple syrup
80 ml coconut oil, room temperature
1/4 tsp cinnamon powder
1 tsp (5 gms) baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
- Preheat the oven at 160 degree centigrade and grease a 8 by 4 inch loaf pan or equivalent.
- Sieve the flour along with baking soda, salt and cinnamon powder.
- Add egg, raw sugar and beat until mixed well. Add coconut oil and mix.
- Combine the dry and wet ingredients gently and mix it with the help of a spatula.
- Pour the mixture into the greased pan and bake for about 45 minutes or until its done based on your oven settings.
- Allow it to cool on a wire rack for about one hour.
You can store this bread at room temperature for 3 days or refrigerate up to 10 days. Most of the ingredients used in making this bread is from i2cook.com.
Some useful links on coconut oil: