I have written previously about my love for cooking with all iterations of coconut oil. Vegetables, in particular, seem to respond deliciously to a hearty helping my fav oil and hefty doses of heat and salt. The result is almost always crispy green yumminess that rivals any bagged potato chip I’ve ever tasted. But coconut oil’s uses are not limited to cooking. A fact of which you are no doubt aware, if you frequent online beauty sites (for example: Pop Sugar, Total Beauty, etc.); follow any health or beauty-related YouTube Vloggers (e.g. FitLifeTV, JenerationDIY, and MANY more); or really have spent any amount of time online recently. Coconut oil is trending as the magical multi-purpose oil touted as everything from shaving cream (messy but reasonably effective in my experience) to leave-in hair conditioner (works well but I’d suggest only applying from mid-shaft to ends and not roots to avoid limp, greasy hair) to cure-all for eczema and lice (thankfully, can’t speak to its efficacy for those particular afflictions…yet). Instagram alone offers a dizzying array of coconut oil-based DIY facial scrubs promising to eliminate old acne scars, age spots, fine lines and cellulite; guaranteed to leave you with smoother, brighter, younger looking skin. Wow! All that, and crispy delicious brussels sprouts, too. Truly amazing!
Well, I’m here to tell you about 2 uses for coconut oil not previously mentioned in Internet Land.
#1. Caring for sensitized baby skin – From an aesthetic perspective, there’s not a lot to “correct” about baby skin. But infant skin can be very fragile and reactive, especially during transitional periods or bouts of illness. My daughter is now 7 months old. She inherited her father’s fair, sensitive skin and allergies (see pic below). She’s also teething, i.e. drooling a lot. When she developed her first ever cold a few days ago (and the runny nose, congestion and sinus drainage that goes along with it, cue sad Mommy face), the combination of factors resulted in an itchy irritated rash on her face, neck and chest. Fortunately, we keep a bottle of fractionated coconut oil spray on the changing table (as I’ll explain below). We just spray a little on a clean facial tissue, then wipe her face, neck and chest twice per day. Following this regimen, the rash resolved within 72 hours. Obviously I’m thrilled that the rash healed so quickly, but I’m especially pleased that she no longer seems so uncomfortable. Also, it’s reassuring to know that if she gets any of the oil in her mouth (and she puts EVERYTHING in her mouth right now), it is nontoxic, chemical and preservative-free unlike any other facial/baby wipe we may have used and unlike any cosmetic or medicated cream or ointment.
#2. Coconut oil is a phenomenally effective baby poop cleaner-upper (yep I’m going there) – As I said my daughter is teething. She’s also beginning to eat some solid foods, and she’s had this mucus-y cold. All these things combine to produce some very sticky, icky, tough-to-clean-up poopy diapers. Enter the magic fractionated coconut oil spray. A few simple spritzes of the miraculous spray oil before “going in for the wipe,” and cleanup time is easily cut in half, maybe cut down by ¾. It cuts right through the “mess,” allowing Mommy or Daddy to tidy up the area quickly and with far fewer wet wipes, saving time and money, and parental exposure to toxic ickiness.
So now that I’ve offered you a whole new (terrifying?) perspective on the varied uses for and amazing powers of this extraordinary oil that brings happiness to so many, allow me to bring the subject back full circle to food – to a deliciously warm, chocolately and satisfying blender drink. Too soon for that image? I hope not, because I’m talking about COFFEE! As every mother knows, it’s always okay to talk about baby poop – to talk about almost anything – as long as there’s coffee.
Coconut Oil Coffee – The Saga Continues:
Back story – I wrote about my struggle to let go of artificial (powdered) coffee creamer at the beginning of our WHOLE30 journey and again mid-way through the program when I realized the powdered chemical-laden gunk was delaying my progress. Though Hubs’ iced option kept me caffeinated and headache-free, I never found a truly satisfying alternative. Then, a few days after completing the program, I discovered the fabulous Coconut Mama.
The Internet has long been a-buzz with the promise of multiple benefits from what has been termed “Bulletproof Coffee” see also slide #2 in this Total Beauty slide show. Now, I haven’t touched dairy in any form for years, so the idea of adding (even) grass-fed butter to my all-important coffee seemed downright sacrilegious to me (and though WHOLE30 allows for the use of clarified butter, I’ve been – quite frankly – too darned lazy, and still too dairy-averse to even go there). Plus, I’ve always wondered – if the active ingredient is the MCT oil, why not forgo the butter and just use an oil that’s high in MCT fats to begin with, i.e. coconut oil? So several years ago I tried adding coconut oil to my coffee but was left with a very unappetizing puddle of oil sitting atop my cup, leaving me with no choice but to pour out my otherwise pristine caffeinated cup o’ goodness. So when I stumbled upon Coconut Mama’s recipe for coconut oil coffee, it rocked my world (or at least my AM routine)! What follows is my own adapted version of Tiffany’s (AKA “The Coconut Mama’s”) recipe. Hubs and I now choose this option regularly for our coffee (hey we’re trying to keep up with a teething 7 month-old after all), and it’s been a wonderful switch! I hope you will enjoy it as well!
WHOLE Bullet-Proof Coffee (with Coconut Oil)
• 10oz. Freshly Brewed Coffee
• 1/2 Tbsp. (that’s 1.5 tsp. BTW) extra virgin coconut oil (I used Carrington Farms brand)
• 1/2 Tbsp. gelatin (optional, I used Great Lakes brand)
• 1 tsp. pure, unsweetened cocoa powder
• 2-3 drops liquid stevia (optional, omit during WHOLE30. I used SweetLeaf Chocolate)
• Additional toppings like cinnamon, nutmeg or unsweetened shredded coconut
1. Carefully pour hot coffee into your blender cup.
2. Add coconut oil and any other flavorings or sweeteners you’re using. Stir briefly to combine.
3. Place the lid on your blender then blend up your coffee.
The result will have a nice frothy “head” like a fancy coffee shop drink (see pic below).
Once blended, pour it into your cup. I like to sprinkle mine with unsweetened shredded coconut (because, can you ever have too much?).
To Make WHOLE30 Compliant:
• Omit stevia
• Again double-check the cocoa powder you’re using to ensure it contains no sweeteners or unapproved additives
• Feel free to use any approved spices you enjoy!
Wisdom of the Day:
(For the Lord has sent me) …to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor and a day of vindication for our God, to comfort all who mourn, to provide for Zion’s mourners, to give them a crown in place of ashes, oil of joy in place of mourning, a mantle of praise in place of discouragement.
~Isaiah 61:2-3 (Common English Bible)
Read more here.
Resource of the Day:
The fabulous Coconut Mama offers free e-book with recipes using coconut flour that are sure to please any coconut aficionado (or fanatic such as myself).