Recipes

Cook With Coconut Oil This Valentine’s Day

Cook With Coconut Oil This Valentine’s Day

You’d be surprised how often we get asked: “Can you cook with coconut oil?”. Southeast Asian countries have done it for decades – the rest of the world were late to the partyWe may be slightly biased, but we’re huge advocates of cooking with coconut oil, and it’s easy to see why. Not only will you taste delicious hints of coconut in your food – it also has ton of health benefits. 

Let us explain why you should cook with coconut oil this Valentine’s Day, and see below for some recipes ideas that are sure to impress your other half … 

What is coconut oil?

Not to be confused with coconut water, coconut oil is made from the meat inside mature, ripe coconuts. The oil has been dubbed a “superfood”, but it’s wide range of uses has propelled its popularity even further. When you’re not using it to cook your favourite meat or veg, you can use it to moisturise your skinYou can even use it to repair dry and damaged hair! Read more on the benefits of coconut oil for your skin and hair below. 

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It even has more explicit uses (which could come in handy on Valentine’s Day…) but they’re far too rude for us to discuss here! You’ll have to do your own research on that one – TikTok is a good place to start! 

Is cooking with coconut oil healthy?

Coconut oil is 100% fat, 90% of which is saturated. We know that sounds like the unhealthiest thing ever, but contrary to popular opinion, some fats are good for you. Besides, its these fats that make it resistant to oxidation when warmed up, so it melts into a liquid. This makes coconut oil perfect for cooking meats and fried dishes. 

If it’s calories you’re worried about – don’t fret. There are 120 calories in a tablespoon of coconut oil, the same number you’d find in a tablespoon of olive, canola and vegetable oil – but it tastes better! 

What are the benefits of cooking with coconut oil?

The high concentration of healthy saturated fats in coconut oil has some pretty amazing benefits for your body. For all the science nerds out there, the proper term for these fats is medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs). 

  • Coconut oil can encourage your body to burn fat quicker, meaning you’ll be more energised! 
  • It can also increase the number of calories you burn, compared with other saturated fats 
  • Coconut oil raises good cholesterol and decreases bad cholesterol, which in turn reduces your risk of heart disease and other illnesses 
  • It can help reduce belly fat, which explains why coconut oil is such a hit with fitness influencers! 

Sources: 

https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/top-10-evidence-based-health-benefits-of-coconut-oil 

https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/why-is-coconut-oil-good-for-you 

Coconut oil recipes for Valentine’s Day

Have we inspired you to try cooking with coconut oil for yourself? Are you stuck for Valentine’s Day meal ideas? If you answered yes, you’re in the right place. 

Below are some recipes using coconut oil, which you can use to cook a show-stopping three course meal for that special someone. 

 

Starter – Asparagus bundles wrapped in salmon

A bunch of roses is so cliché. Treat them to a bundle of asparagus wrapped decadently in slices of smoked salmon. Asparagus is an aphrodisiac, so it’ll certainly set the mood for Valentine’s Day! 

Try this asparagus and salmon starter this Valentine's Day

15 minutes

Ingredients:

  • Asparagus tips (125g)
  • Smoked salmon slices (120g)
  • Coconut oil (1 tbsp)
  • 1 Garlic clove
  • ½ Lemon
  • Ground salt and pepper 

Step 1:  

Place a frying pan on a medium heat. Once hot, add a tablespoon of coconut oil and let it melt. Grate the garlic clove (or use a garlic press) and add it to the pan. 

Step 2: 

Thoroughly season the asparagus with ground salt and pepper. Add them to the pan and pop the lid on – let them cook for 10 minutes, turning them over occasionally. 

Step 3: 

Remove the asparagus from the pan and place them on a small plate. Pan sear the smoked salmon slices for 1 minute each side. 

Step 4: 

Wrap the seared smoked salmon slices around a bunch of asparagus, and place them on to your plates. Leave a quarter of a lemon on the side for them to squeeze the juice on top if they wish. 

 

Main – Spaghetti and meatballs

Everyone knows that famous scene from Lady and the Tramp. We’re not suggesting you re-enact it, but you can recreate the meal. Try this easy spaghetti and meatballs dish. 

Spaghetti and meatballs - a classic Valentine's Day meal

45 minutes 

Ingredients

  • Mince of your choice (500g) 
  • Tomato (500g) 
  • Basil (¼ cup) 
  • Coconut oil (2 tbsp) 
  • Red onion 
  • 3 Garlic cloves
  • Ground salt and pepper 

Step 1: 

Grab chunks of your chosen mince (be it beef, lamb, pork or plant-based) and roll them into balls around 5cm in diameter. Prep the veg: halve the red onion and slice thinly; finely chop the basil; and grate the garlic cloves or use a garlic press. Boil a full kettle for the spaghetti. 

Step 2: 

Place a frying pan on a medium heat and add a tablespoon of coconut oil. Heat until it turns to liquid. Then, add your meatballs and turn over every 2 minutes until golden on all sides. After about 15 minutes, they should be cooked all the way through, but always check for pink on the inside. Remove the meatballs from the pan and place them on a plate to the side. 

Step 3: 

Put the frying pan back on a medium heat and add another tablespoon of coconut oil. Add the tomatoes and garlic and cook for 10 minutesRemove the lid, season with salt and pepper, stir and cook for a further 5 minutes. Grab a bowl and a sieve and empty the pan into the sieve – this will help remove all the pulp. 

Step 4: 

Add the water from the kettle to a large saucepan and crank up the heat until the water is boiling. Add your spaghetti and cook for 12 minutes. 

Step 5: 

While the spaghetti cooks, put your frying pan back on the heat and fry the red onion until tender. Add the sauce, the finely chopped basil and the meatballs to the pan and simmer for 5 minutes. Taste the sauce and season with salt and pepper if required. 

Step 6: 

Drain the spaghetti in a colander and separate across two bowls. Pour the sauce and the meatballs on top of the spaghetti and enjoy! 

 

Dessert – Chocolate brownies

If you have room, tuck into these indulgent coconut oil brownies. It’s a fail-safe option (who doesn’t love chocolate?) and they’re easy to make! Leave them to bake while you eat your meal and enjoy them fresh out of the oven for dessert.

Chocolate brownies - a fail-safe Valentine's Day meal idea

35 minutes 

Ingredients

  • Coconut oil (50g) 
  • Caster sugar (100g) 
  • Plain flour (40g) 
  • Vanilla extract (½ teaspoon 
  • Chocolate chips (40g) 
  • Cocoa powder (30g) 
  • Large egg 

Step 1: 

Preheat your oven to 180 C. Grab a 9 x 5-inch baking trap and lay down some parchment paper. Put the coconut oil in a microwaveable bowl and microwave on a high setting for 15 seconds (or until melted). 

Step 2: 

Add the vanilla extract, cocoa powder and caster sugar to the bowl and mix well. Crack the egg into a separate bowl and beat with a fork until mixed well. Then, add the whisked egg to the coconut oil mixture. 

Step 3: 

Add the flour and chocolate chips and mix thoroughly with your hands. 

Step 4: 

All that’s left then is to spread the mixture in the baking tray and pop it in the oven to bake. We recommend baking for between 20-25 minutes. You can check if they’re done by piercing them with a toothpick and checking for crumbs when you pull it out. 

 

We hope you enjoyed our coconut oil recipes and Valentine’s Day meal ideas! Share your creations with us on Instagram and tag us for a chance to be featured on our feed: @VitaCocoEU. 



Vita Coco

Vita Coco

Writer and expert