One of the new superfoods is coconut oil. After a bad reputation for years because of its saturated fat content, coconut oil is now known to contain medium chain fatty acids which are used by your body quickly as energy as opposed to being stored as fat. Raw coconut oil smells tropical, but once you cook with it, it just adds a subtle sweetness without imparting a coconut flavor. A bonus is that it has a high smoke point and can withstand higher heat. You can use coconut oil in a number of ways including stovetop popcorn, pancakes and French toast, granola, baked goods, and roasting vegetables like cauliflower or sweet potatoes.
Here are some of coconut oil’s health benefits. It
- Strengthens the immune system
- Increases metabolism, (thus aids in weight loss)
- Improves digestion
- Provides long lasting energy
- Beneficial for the heart
- Boosts key mineral absorption (calcium and magnesium)
- Contains antifungal and antibacterial properties
This vegan cupcake recipe from Yummly.com uses coconut oil as a key ingredient.
Prep time: 10 minutes
Total time: 25 minutes
1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
1 1/2 cups almond milk
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup white sugar
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup coconut oil (warmed until liquid)
1 1/4 tsp. vanilla extract
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease two 12 cup muffin pans or line with 18 paper baking cups.
2. Measure the apple cider vinegar into a 2 cup measuring cup. Fill with almond milk to make 1 1/2 cups. Let stand until curdled, about 5 minutes. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking soda and salt. In a separate bowl, whisk together the almond milk mixture, coconut oil and vanilla. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and stir just until blended. Spoon the batter into the prepared cups, dividing evenly.
3. Bake in the preheated oven until the tops spring back when lightly pressed, 15 to 20 minutes. Cool in the pan set over a wire rack. When cool, arrange the cupcakes on a serving platter. Frost with desired frosting.