Sustainable Sunday: Coconut Oil

If there is one product I absolutely could not live without, it is coconut oil.  I don’t think it has even been a year since I started using it, but I am so hooked on it.  It became an instant necessity once I bought my first jar.  It is such a versatile product that it should be considered a “must-have” by anybody interested in a sustainable lifestyle.  Here are just a few ways that coconut oil can be used.

Toothpaste:  I hate the taste of toothpaste.  I like Tom’s of Maine peppermint fluoride-free toothpaste, but that is the only one that doesn’t make me gag.  This DIY coconut oil based toothpaste tastes just like Tom’s of Maine’s peppermint toothpaste, but it is cheaper and contains 100% natural, safe ingredients.  I just take coconut oil and baking soda in a 1:1 ratio (usually 1 TBSP each) and mix it in a small container.  I then add peppermint essential oil to my taste preference, typically around 5 drops.  That’s it.  Easy peasy.  You may need to store it in the fridge if your bathroom gets hot though.  Coconut oil melts at temperatures above 74 degrees.

Moisturizer:  Apply to skin.  Seriously, that’s it.  It works better than lotion and doesn’t contain any questionable ingredients.  It may feel a little greasy if you aren’t used to using an oil-based moisturizer, but it makes your skin so soft.  I like to put it on my feet and then put socks on.  It’s a great way to keep feet looking and feeling nice even for hippies like me who are almost always barefoot or wearing flip-flops.

Shaving aid:  There are many recipes on the Internet about using coconut oil mixed with other ingredients such as shea butter to make DIY shaving cream.  I just rub it on my skin and shave.  It leaves my skin so soft when I’m done showering and shaving.

Conditioner: My hair is naturally a bit oily so I don’t use a lot of extra conditioning products, but when I do, I use coconut oil.  Until I recently got my haircut I had major split ends.  It had been probably six months since my last hair cut.  I already use coconut oil on my face as a moisturizer every morning so I would just rub the excess oil off my hands into my hair.  It helped keep my ends from looking frizzy.  Coconut oil is also a popular choice for deep-conditioning.  Once again, there are a lot of different recipes for this online, but I’ve never tried it so I can’t honestly recommend one over the other.

Chapstick replacement: Rub on your lips.  Done. Noticing a pattern here?

Cooking: Oh yeah.  Cooking.  The reason I first purchased coconut oil.  It is perfect for sauteing.  We don’t eat a lot of fried food, but when we do fry chicken or french fries, we use coconut oil.  Using it to fry can be expensive because it requires so much.  That’s not necessarily a bad thing though, it keeps me from eating too much fried food.  I also replace butter with coconut oil most of the time.  Occasionally, however, I just want to taste some real butter, but if you just need the butter for texture, coconut oil is a great replacement.  It makes baked goods especially moist when used to replace vegetable oil.  I screw up every single time I try to make popcorn on the stove, but TheAltDaddy uses coconut oil to make the perfect Black Jewell popcorn.

I hope this list has been helpful for you guys.  What do you use coconut oil for?

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2 comments

  1. I use it for all the things you listed, plus making my own deodorant (1 part coconut oil, 1 part baking soda, and 1 part cornstarch or arrowroot powder, plus essential oils of choice). I hardly ever fry or scramble eggs in butter anymore because the flavor is SO much better with coconut oil. I make an amazing homemade latte by whirling 1 part brewed coffee (not espresso), 1 part milk, and 1 tsp each coconut oil and pure maple syrup with my immersion blender. The fat from the coconut oil makes an amazing, creamy, rich foam–I don’t drink coffee any other way. Oh, and we have an air popper for popcorn, and my favorite way to eat the popcorn is with salt and melted coconut oil. SO GOOD.

    Also, one of my favorite uses for coconut oil is as a, um, personal lubricant, if you catch my drift. (Not to be used with latex, however.) 🙂

    Like

    1. I’ve tried making deodorant with it, but it didn’t seem to hold up to the Arkansas heat during the summer. I have heard of lots of other people having great results with it though! That latte sounds good. I’ll have to try it. I’ve never even thought to add it to coffee. I need to invest in an air popper. Popcorn is my favorite snack, but unless my husband makes it I don’t get to eat it. I don’t know what I’m doing wrong, but I mess it up every single time.

      I forgot to mention it in the blog, but I agree, it does make a great personal lubricant as well. 😉

      Like

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