A Chef Tells All: 5 Ways to Use Coconut Oil (In and Out of the Kitchen!)

By: Vincent Vanhecke

Fats are hard to understand and people’s perception of oils and fats are all over the place. Short, medium and long chain fatty acids!  Saturated, monounsaturated, polyunsaturated! 12 carbon Lauric acid, 18 carbon Stearic acid!

So which are the best fats?

I came across “The Coconut Oil Miracle” by Bruce Fife, C.N., N.D. about two years ago and fell in love with coconut.

Coconut oil is a medium chain 12 carbon fatty acid that is highly saturated.  It is the highest in the medium chain fatty acids, above Palm Kernel oil, Palm oil and butter.

Unlike commercially made oils, coconut oil is very stable and does not go rancid easily.  Its molecular properties also do not change when heated to sautéing levels.  It is minimally processed, if at all. It gives you instant energy as your body will burn the calories versus storing fat if you eat a healthy diet.

So, how do I use Coconut Oil?

1). Eat It Raw.
Yes, I like to enjoy it by the spoonful. Before my 30 Day Reboot, I consumed at least 4 tablespoons a day  with a mainly vegetarian diet and I dropped 20 lbs.  And even now, when I need a little energy, I take a couple spoonfuls of coconut oil!

2). Sauté.
Coconut oil handles heat well and does not go rancid at high temperatures making it ideal for sautéing fish, meats, vegetables and eggs.  I find myself eating more raw vegetables and fruits, but a quick sauté is cool too. The taste is great with fish especially with a squeeze of lemon before serving.

3). Baking.
Use coconut oil instead of butter or lard. It’s that simple.

4). Dressings and Vinaigrettes.
Use coconut oil instead of other oils. Just make sure your dressing is kept above 76 F degrees so that the oil does not solidify.

5). Moisturize.
That’s right. Coconut oil is a wonderful moisturizer for your body. A little goes a long way so use sparingly.

The coconut tree is known as “The Tree of Life”.  If you are stranded on a deserted Island, you are going to be okay if there are Coconut trees!  There are literally hundreds of ways a coconut tree can be used, from the coconut itself, to the palms and the sap.  Many cultures have relied heavily on this tree.  None of these cultures were ever overweight. Coconut oil was unfortunately given a bad rap by negative advertising sponsored by big commercial oil business a few years ago but times are changing! I encourage you to give coconut oil a try and you’ll love how it makes you feel!


Vincent Vanhecke

Vincent Vanhecke is the Executive Chef at the Valley Club of Montecito in Santa Barbara, CA. He has been in the food service business for 32 years; born in Belgium, trained in France, worked in England and in east and west coast USA. Vincent started eating a healthier diet and juicing in January 2013 and has since dropped from 285lbs to 210lbs currently. Food is his livelihood. Vincent have been awarded many accolades including one of the" best young Chefs in America" in 1992, has been a guest Chef at the James Beard house in New York on 3 occasions, and on Great Chefs TV on Discovery Channel. Vincent loves food and enjoys the newfound relationship he has with healthier choices.

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