Author: Nutritionist Sheryl Salis, R.D., C.D.E.
Coconut oil was a food trend of the past decade and is on the list of food trends for 2020 as well. It’s a food movement for a good reason as the oil provides myriad health benefits. While coconut oil has been part of Indian homes for the longest times and is passed down generations, millennials are only realizing its benefits in recent times. More recently organic Virgin Coconut Oil is gaining recognition as a superfood due to its many health benefits proven by extensive research by researchers. It is now being recognized by health experts and consumers all over the globe.
Virgin Coconut oil (VNCO) extracted using the cold pressing technique ensures it preserves all the natural goodness of the oil while using no heat and leaving the coconut oil with a good taste and smell. The coconut is a versatile fruit which is often consumed in a variety of forms such as coconut milk, coconut water, dried coconut, etc. discovering the benefits of coconut oil, it is known to be one of the richest sources of MCT (Medium Chain Triglyceride). The medium chain fatty-acids in the oil are easy to absorb, aiding in digestion which pass through the blood and into the liver which is then converted into energy. Thus, Virgin coconut oil helps manage body weight, boosts the immune system as the MCFAs present in oil that have antibacterial, antifungal and antiviral properties.
Cold Pressed Virgin Coconut Oil contains a unique combination of fatty acids that have a powerful effect on metabolism, improving gut health, fighting infections and boosting immunity. There is also supporting research that coconut oil supports cognitive functioning which has been found beneficial especially in Alzheimer patients.
Baking with coconut oil
Coconut oil is a regularly used in most Indian kitchens, a baking staple that acts as a substitute for butter, margarine or vegetable oil. Here are three big reasons you should consider using coconut oil in baking
- Coconut oil is vegan.
For those who are on a strict vegan diet, baking pies and cakes with coconut oil is an easy alternate to making delicious desserts at home. Opt for a bottle of virgin coconut oil along with other vegan-friendly ingredients and enjoy a baking session without missing out on the taste and texture of the pie
- Healthier than butter, shortenings and other oils
Coconut oil makes a wonderful and almost seamless substitute for butter and other oils, it also considered healthier for the heart. Coconut oil is one of the richest sources of MCT which aids in weight management, boosts the immune system and supports cognition. Baking with coconut oil is great way to enjoy desserts while also allowing for healthy indulgences.
Fun Fact: When substituting coconut oil for butter, use 25% less oil than the butter amount called for because unlike butter, coconut oil is pure fat.
- Flavorsome baking with coconut oil
For those who love the taste and coconutty flavour, baking with VCNO is pure bliss. Baking with coconut oil adds a rich flavour to the dessert that stands out . You can use organic virgin coconut oil that has a very mild coconut taste and is extremely light on the palate as well, it goes well with all kinds of desserts: traditional Indian sweets and western baking.
There are also infusion coconut oils available that give the dessert an added flavour of a particular ingredient to enhance its overall taste
Using the oil can be a bit intimidating at first, but once you recognize the health benefits of it and begin to enjoy its fresh taste, baked goods won’t be the same without it.
Here is an interesting recipe by Celebrity Chef and Restaurateur Kunal Kapur.
Coco Cinnamon Cake
Serves – 4
Prep time – 15mins
Cooking time – 50 mins
Infused Cold Pressed Virgin Coconut Oil – Cinnamon – 1 cup
Sugar – 1 1/2 cup
Eggs – 4 nos
Flour all purpose – 1 3/4 cup
Baking powder – 1/2 tsp
Baking soda – 1/2 tsp
Lemon juice – 2tbsp
Milk – 4 tbsp
Pista chopped – 3 tbsp
Almonds chopped – 3 tbsp
Candied fruits – 3 tbsp
Lemon juice – 1/4 cup
Icing sugar – 1/2 cup
In a bowl add Infused Cold Pressed Virgin Coconut Oil Cinnamon and sugar. Using a whisk mix them together for 5 mins.
Break the eggs in a bowl and gradually add them to the oil & sugar, keep whisking. Sift the flour, baking powder and baking soda, fold them into the mixture. Add 2 tbsp of lemon juice, pista, almonds and candied fruits. Fold them together.
Pour the batter into a greased cake tin. Pre heat the oven and bake it at 170c for 50 mins.
Remove and rest it for 5 mins, now carefully remove and place on a wire rack for cooling.
In the meantime mix together icing sugar and lemon juice.
Once the cake is cooled pour the icing over the cake. Allow it to rest for 10 mins before serving.
Slice and serve.
For the lemon icing mix together icing sugar and lemon juice. Drizzle over the cake after cake has cooled completely & leave the cake for the icing to set.