Q & A: Coconut Oil

Caroline asked:

I was wondering about coconut oil. I bought some and cooked an egg in it and the egg tasted like the oil. After that I just can’t bring myself to use it to cook with again. Is there a certain kind that you use that doesn’t make the food taste like the oil?

With a small item like a single egg, you will probably notice the taste, so I would recommend using butter in that occasion. When I have prepared a larger quantity of eggs or anything else, the taste will naturally just blend in. I use either coconut oil or butter most frequently now depending upon the item I am preparing as they are the best options nutritionally for cooking (read more about healthy oils here & here). Also, you don’t need very much for it to go a long ways! A little dab will do you for all your stir-frying and cooking needs (approximately 1/2 tsp is about right!).

Coconut oil is best for all stir-frying, sauteing, and also works great in baking. I will often use butter and coconut oil in combination in my baking with great results. Butter also works great for sauteing and baking. For butter, homemade from raw milk is great, or else kerrygold butter (read more here) is another wonderful option.

For the best coconut oil, choose extra virgin organic coconut oil. The best price available that I have found is through Mountain Rose Herbs. It is worth every penny!

Beyond cooking, coconut oil gets a lot of use at my house! Read more about it’s health benefits here. I also use it as a conditioner, deodorant, in combination with other ingredients for toothpaste, and in replacement for lotion, aftershave, etc.

Bulk organic herbs, spices and essential oils. Sin

About Lindsay

Lindsay Edmonds is first a lover of Jesus, wife, mother of three, homemaker, and writer. She is the editor of Passionate Homemaking since its beginning five years ago. She loves inspiring women around the world toward simple, natural, and intentional living for the glory of God.

45 Responses to Q & A: Coconut Oil

  1. Stacey December 3, 2013 at 10:36 pm #

    Ok the Punjas coconut oil is 100% natural BUT it is cheap, disgusting, old, rotten, brown and rancid. They probably buy rotten oil from other companies — why do they even sell it? It’s brown! And they’re getting away with poisoning people by not labelling it properly!!

  2. Beth March 22, 2010 at 7:52 pm #

    Hi!

    I love your deodorant recipe. It works wonderfully and better than the other “natural” deodorants that I’ve purchased at Whole Foods. Thank you so much for posting it. :)

    My son is 14 months old and until the past month, I had never used any lotions on him. For the last month, I started using coconut oil all over his body each night after his bath. He loves it and I want to continue, however, it seems as though his skin is drier than ever before. It occurs the day after I put the oil on him. I know it makes NO sense whatsoever. Have you heard of it doing this, other than from the previous post, who said she has heard it’s drying?

    Thank so much!

  3. Marilyn Smith February 6, 2010 at 3:02 pm #

    Can coconut oil be used as a vaginal moisturizer?

    • Lindsay February 7, 2010 at 10:43 am #

      Indeed! It is a wonderful vaginal moisturizer. Been using it for that purpose for quite some time and love it better than any other massage cream, etc.

  4. Leslie January 24, 2010 at 9:54 am #

    Hi,

    I have a few questions. I’m hoping someone can help me with this. We have a large family and use a lot of EVOO. After reading about the health benefits of coconut oil I would love to switch us. I’m a little unsure of how you use it though. When a recipe calls for oil…do you melt it? Do you use it in the place of butter or shortening in baking? Do you saute and fry with it? Any help with this would be greatly appreciated!! Thank you

    • Lindsay January 25, 2010 at 1:36 pm #

      I use both EVOO and coconut oil in my house as they serve different needs. Coconut oil is definitely used more predominantly. If a recipe calls for vegetable oil/canola oil, than I melt coconut oil to the same consistency, but if it calls for shortening, butter, or lard, then I leave it in its solid state. I use it for sauteing when cooking foods that will go with the flavor, such as curries, stir-fries, etc. But I use butter when I prepare eggs, for example, because it will really effect the taste of the eggs. Some people like that, but I prefer the butter option. Hope that helps!

      • Leslie January 30, 2010 at 8:46 am #

        Thank you! That is a really big help! =)

        • Charlotte y. April 21, 2012 at 3:06 pm #

          I’ve used punjas coconut oil as well for cooking but it doesn’t taste like soap it make the food taste more like coconut… and on the bottle it says 100% natural but when i put some of the oil on a heated pan it started to smoke up… it irrated my throat and i started coughing… but overall the food taste good. I’m just worried that it isn’t safe for cooking… how do i know if the coconut oil i used is safe for cooking???

  5. Bridie October 25, 2009 at 1:13 am #

    Help! Our coconut oil tastes like soap, smells like soap and we ended up throwing our first soaked batch of wholegrain bread to the chooks coz the aftertaste from the coconut oil was so awful :(
    Anyone else had this problem????? Its not expired, its in a solid form even though its kept in the cupboard and both containers have tasted the same (dreadful!) since we first brought them.

    • Lindsay October 25, 2009 at 12:10 pm #

      I would call the company on that one. There is something wrong with your product. What brand did you buy?

      • Bridie October 27, 2009 at 10:51 pm #

        Oh yay I finally found my post!!!!
        Lindsay, I brought Punjas Premium Quality Coconut Oil 750ml with an expiry date of 03/2011. It says its 100% pure natural, refined for purity and made from Copra grown in Fiji. I’m in New Zealand so you may not recognise the brand :/ It says they’re an ISO 9001 certified company if that means anything to you?
        It was the only coconut oil I could find after reading about the health benefits but I’m so disappointed with it. Theres no way we could use it again. We first tried it in toothpaste and I promptly threw up everywhere (totally set my morning sickness off!!) then tried frying with it and threw the food out then tried it in bread and again the taste of it permeated the bread to the extent we fed it to the chooks!

        • Lindsay October 29, 2009 at 9:24 am #

          I am sorry to hear of your frustration with coconut oil. That would be disappointing to me as well. I am not familiar with that brand, but I have found some brands are just inferior to others. Can you not find any other brands? You may consider ordering online…

        • curtis February 21, 2011 at 9:45 am #

          on the bottle of Punjas, I found it said for external use only…

        • Brenda May 4, 2012 at 2:45 pm #

          The label on my botttle of Punjas oil states “for external use only.” That must be the problem. On the Punjas website, it is listed with the food oils;
          http://www.punjas.com/products10a.htm
          This info is contractory. Use it externally only & play it safe.

          • amy May 28, 2012 at 1:32 pm #

            In NZ we only seem to have the Punjas coconut oil and it says its for external use only so I was worried about trying it and looks like i was right! Does anyone recommend any online sites for coconut oil shopping

  6. Crystal June 4, 2009 at 3:43 pm #

    My family doesn’t really like the coconut taste from the virgin coconut oil in baking, etc., so I have been buying the refined coconut oil. Does anyone know if there are health benefits in usign the refined coconut oil?

  7. Elisha April 23, 2009 at 8:51 am #

    I have been so happy with the discovery of coconut oil! As far as using it as a moisturizer, depending on what my skin needs, sometimes coconut oil alone is too oily. I have found that if I melt a little coconut oil in the palm of my hand (it melts in seconds), then squirt some pure aloe gel in my palm and mix the two, it’s just the right amount of moisture for my face and neck. Depending on how much moisture my skin needs, determines how much oil I use. I also use this combo for my whole body. Love it! In my opinion people use way too many products on their skin! It can be simpler and safer, and I get compliments on my skin all the time. Aloe is a wonderful thing too. Trader Joe’s sell little green bottles of it for dirt cheap near their soaps and home products, and it’s quite pure. Just some natural preservatives to stabilize it, and no alarming ingredients.

  8. Rachel Steininger April 22, 2009 at 6:46 pm #

    We just bought a gallon of coconut oil from MRH and while it smells wonderful, it has a ‘musty’ taste. Is this normal?

    • Lindsay April 23, 2009 at 1:36 pm #

      Hmm…I have never experienced that. Have you tried calling MRH and asking them?

  9. brooklyn nurse February 11, 2009 at 12:55 pm #

    Lindsay, a quick question: do you know if coconut oil is risky for those with latex allergies? My quick Google search came up as not very helpful. Thanks for your thoughts!

  10. CoconutOilGuy January 23, 2009 at 5:39 am #

    Hi k! Yes, Raw (unpas­tur­ized) Coconut butter or virgin coconut oil (VCO) is safe to consume while pregnant.

    Coconut oil is predominantly medium chain fatty acids (MCFA). Of all its MCFAs, lauric acid is regarded as having the best overall effect and the most abundant. Lauric acid is also the most abundant MCFA found naturally in breast milk. Interestingly, the ration of lauric acid to other MCFAs in coconut oil is similar to that in mother’s milk.

    Here in the Philippines, pregnant women are advised to regularly consume virgin coconut oil (VCO) or coconut butter (in solid form) to increase the lauric acid content of their milk.

    Hope this helps. :-)

  11. k January 22, 2009 at 10:08 am #

    Does anyone know if using Raw (unpasturized) Coconut butter while pregnant is safe?

  12. Nichole December 2, 2008 at 9:12 pm #

    Coconut oil is really great on toast too! Use it as a spread on your toast then add some jam or sprinkle with cinnamon and sugar and voila quick breakfast or a yummy treat!

  13. Holly October 31, 2008 at 12:20 pm #

    Lindsay (or anyone): I bought a small jar of organic extra virgin coconut oil (Garden of Life) a little while ago to give it a try. Haven’t tried it as a beauty/body product yet, but have used it a few times food-wise.

    Two things: it goes back and forth between basically solid and liquid, I guess depending on the temperature. It just seems that in its liquid form it would be kind of messy to use as a body product.

    Other thing is that when I used it in a smoothie, it solidified into solid chunks. It did similar when I used it for baking and it came in contact with the cold egg and/or milk. Not as big an issue in the baking, but it didn’t mix in very well, as it stayed in chunks.

    Just wondering if this is just something you have to deal with, or is there something I don’t know that solves these problems?

    • Lindsay October 31, 2008 at 4:37 pm #

      First off, it is very common for coconut oil to change from solid to liquid form as it depends upon the temperature. You can keep it in the fridge if you want to maintain the solid state. Even in a somewhat liquid form, it works fine on the body as it quickly drys and melts into the skin.

      Secondly, for baking, cooking, and smoothies, the best option to avoid lumpiness is to melt before use in a saucepan. This will solve your problem.

      Hope that helps!

      • Holly November 3, 2008 at 2:25 pm #

        Thanks, Lindsay I’ll give it a try, but I believe
        it was in oil form both for the smoothie and the
        baking. It was the cold of the other ingredients
        that made it solidify and get chunky. Does melting it first do something to it that will keep it from doing that?

        • Lindsay November 3, 2008 at 3:22 pm #

          I have never had a problem with clumping when I have first melt the coconut oil in a pan over the stove. I usually keep the motor going on the blender while adding the oil as well. Even if it clumps a little while mixing for baking, it melts nicely in the oven and is not a problem overall.

  14. kaia wong October 28, 2008 at 5:46 am #

    i dont know about the immune effects of cooking with coconut oil, but it feels good to cook with .. and this intent / mindset sure feels immune boosting.

    i personally like the taste of coconut oil for fried eggs.

    i have lots of it (as a soapmaker) so if anyone would like to buy some in bulk at a good rate, email me ([email protected]).

    not sure about using it straight as a moisturizer. i hear it’s “drying” tho im not sure exactly what that means (it is an oil after all, right?)

  15. Andrea October 26, 2008 at 5:10 pm #

    My mom and I found that the expeller pressed coconut oil doesn’t have the strong coconut taste. It might better for use with potatoes and veggies and such.

    Coconut oil is so good for you. You can take the flavored kind by the spoonful to help combat colds or built up your immune system, fight yeast, etc. It’s good as a tonic in smoothies and such. My favorite use, though, is as an all over body lotion and massage oil. I don’t know if my skin is just dry, but it soaks in pretty quickly. I always put it on after a shower–especially on any shaved places. My husband loves it when I rub his back with it. I used to hate how the KY stuff left residue, but coconut oil soaks in and is gone the next morning. I have even taken to applying it to open cuts, scratches, and sores. I personally think they heal much faster.

    I plan to use it on my baby as a lotion. It has no hidden ingredients and will actually promote the health of the skin.

  16. DeAnna October 25, 2008 at 7:05 am #

    I read the benefits of coconut oil sometime this summer and I love cooking with it. Eggs are a definite no to cook with for us too. Tried it and didn’t like the flavor either, but I like cooking eggs in olive oil even worse, learned that a few years ago – butter is pretty much the only thing for eggs in my opinion. I love using the coconut oil in other cooking and baking. I bought mine at our health foods store, it was a little more than your link, but I think I got it on sale. If not I’ll have to check on ordering on line.

  17. Heather October 24, 2008 at 7:07 pm #

    Thank you for this post on coconut oil. I always wondered if extra virgin was best for coconut oil. If you buy it in bulk as a gallon, does it have a long shelf life?

    • Lindsay October 24, 2008 at 7:49 pm #

      It has an indefinite shelf life as I understand it and thus one of the best oils to purchase in bulk. Olive oil in such quantities must be stored in the fridge, but coconut oil lasts in the cupboard.

      • ~M June 21, 2009 at 1:30 pm #

        Do you have a source showing that coconut oil lasts indefinitely? I ask because my jar of Spectrum unrefined coconut oil has a use by or best by date on it. Luckily, there are so many uses for it that I think we’ll finish this jar by November (the date) anyhow. :)

        • Lindsay June 22, 2009 at 8:12 pm #

          Check out Mountain Rose Herb’s website here. They say the shelf life is two years. It might just depend upon the brand.

      • Kate July 4, 2009 at 6:15 am #

        Olive oil needs to be stored in the fridge? I never heard that. So CO doesn’t go rancid like other oils?

        • Lindsay July 4, 2009 at 6:35 am #

          Olive oil should be stored in the fridge if you don’t use it within a month or two. Coconut oil does not go rancid that quickly. It preserves at room temperature for at least six months.

          • Kate July 4, 2009 at 7:35 am #

            wow, learned something new! thanks!

    • CoconutOilGuy October 26, 2008 at 1:24 am #

      Hello! Coconut oil has a pretty long shelf life,
      particularly VIRGIN coconut oil (VCO). Here in the
      Philippines, it’s standard for average VCOs to last in
      the 3-year range, even without refrigeration.

      And it’s not uncommon to encounter 5 to 8 year old VCO
      preparations that are still surprisingly fresh. I’ve
      heard reports in the provinces now and then of pure
      virgin coconut oil lasting for up to 15 years. Now
      that’s a LONG SHELF LIFE!

      Coconut is able to last this long because of its high
      saturation (92%), which makes it highly resistant to
      oxidation and free radical formation.

  18. Jessi October 24, 2008 at 5:06 pm #

    I don’t want to derail your health food thing but coconut oil is the best lube in the world. Anti-bacterial. Anti-fungal. And great moisturizer for head to toe.

    • Kate October 25, 2008 at 3:26 am #

      Yepper! And so much cheaper than any other brand of lubricant!

    • DeAnna October 25, 2008 at 6:57 am #

      I agree!! I’ve just recently started using it on my face at night and its been great. Plus it obviously smells like coconut so I like the smell on my face as I can’t use (nor do I want to) fragranced lotions on my face. I don’t use it in the morning because it does take a while to not be greasy looking. :)

    • Donielle @ Raising Peanuts October 25, 2008 at 9:38 am #

      I too have been using this as a face moisturizer now that the air is getting drier. I love it and it leaves my face feeling so smooth!!

  19. Re4mdmom October 24, 2008 at 10:24 am #

    I like baking with it too. Its really great in baked oatmeal and you can barely taste it. Another thing you can do is put it in smoothies to give them a tropical flavor. I think its also a good idea to try different brands because they all vary in flavor.

    The BEST (although not the cheapest) is Artisana Raw Coconut Butter. You can eat it right out of the jar and it has coconut meat mixed in. Mmmm….

    How does the Mountain Rose Herbs Coconut Oil taste? Is it mild? Strong?

    • Lindsay October 24, 2008 at 1:37 pm #

      It is wonderful! I have only tried one other brand and they tasted very similar. They definitely have good flavor so probably more on the strong side compared to a standard product you would buy at the store.

  20. Trying Traditional October 24, 2008 at 10:07 am #

    We love using coconut oil for making granola. It leaves a bit of the flavor, adds the health benefits, but doesn’t overwhelm. Also, it makes wonderful popcorn!