Recently, coconut oil seems to be getting a lot of stick. A number of my friends have questioned my use of it, with more and more articles being written about the danger of people consuming more than their recommended daily allowance of fat. Of course, I’m by no means a qualified expert, but I thought I would add my two cents for what it is worth, whilst at the same time sharing with you one of my favourite uses (being the coffee lover that I am!).
There are a plethora of books and websites that tout the benefits of consuming coconut oil, from boosting brain function to lowering cholesterol, and while there is no reason to dispute those, I prefer to focus on the benefits that I have experienced, which is where my coffee recipe comes in… One of the apparent benefits of coconut oil is that it can boost energy, because (and this is where I try to sound articulate, seductively intelligent, and well-informed) it is made up of medium-chain fatty acids, which are distinct from our more well-known friends, the long-chain fatty acids of butter, etc. These medium-chain fatty acids are metabolised differently, meaning they go straight from the digestive tract into the liver, where they can be used as energy (woo!) So my little cup of coffee with a teaspoonful of coconut oil is really going to get me going in the morning (and is so much more appealing than it’s weird cousin, butter coffee, am I right?).
That being said, I wouldn’t necessarily advocate making this every day. Coconut oil is, after all, a fat, and with all of the avocados that sneak onto our toast in the morning, we don’t want to go overboard. For me it really comes down to eating things in moderation and responding to what your body is telling you – I’ve seen lots of videos on Youtube of people saying they don’t eat more than X% of fat per day (some as low as 5%, whaaat), and prefer to follow a ‘HCLF’ vegan diet. And that’s great if that works for you, but for me, I find sometimes I need the fat as a kind of ‘protective barrier’. I know, it sounds pretty out there, but I feel the fat kind of helps me to stay levelled, avoiding any unexpected changes in temperament. Since transitioning to a plant-based diet, I have to some extent struggled with my blood sugar (my mood swings can be like PMS on speed, ain’t nobody got time for that!), and I feel the fats really help with that. So whilst I won’t be adding fats to my porridge ‘willy-nilly’, I also won’t be fretting about my coconut coffee (on that note, please never fret about what you’re eating! Nourishing your body is a form of self-love, it’s not meant to make you feel guilty!)
On that note (and bravo to those who have endured my spiel!) I should probably finish up with the ACTUAL recipe for my delicious coconut coffee… Let me know how you get on, and if it keeps you feeling perky throughout that 3pm slump!
3/4 cup black coffee
1/4 cup coconut milk
1 tsp coconut oil
Brew your coffee as usual, using hot water, before transferring it to a blender (I use the NutriBullet, simply because it’s easier than the Vitamix for something this quick!). Add your coconut milk and teaspoon of coconut oil (I find it sweet enough with the coconut flavour, but each to their own!), and blend for about 15 seconds, just long enough to emulsify the coconut oil and create a beautifully frothy top. Pour into your favourite mug and enjoy (and then come back here to tell me what you think!)
PS. I usually also use coconut oil to remove my makeup in the evening (different pot, don’t worry!), so let me know if you’d like to see a post on coconut oil skincare!