Being the fitness bunny that I am I enjoy leading a healthy active lifestyle to keep myself strong and in shape, yet I often battle with my sweet tooth whilst looking for healthier alternative ways to enjoy the foods that I love without creating any extra love handles along the way. Coconut oil is fast becoming the most talked about health product on the market, so today I’m putting a jar of Monkey Nutrition Organic Coconut Oil to the test in my kitchen to find out why.
Monkey Nutrition’s 100% Organic Virgin Coconut Oil is harvested in the Philippines and cold pressed to make it a completely natural product that shockingly contains just one single ingredient, coconut; no additives, no preservatives, sweeteners, colours or chemicals. Coconut oil is heat stable making it ideal for cooking, as unlike vegetable or olive oil, it won’t weaken or damage its nutritional values when heated and it tastes pretty amazing too.
After having a quick rummage around the kitchen for a coconut oil inspired dish to prepare I decided to make fried coconut bananas with a handful of stock cupboard ingredients for good measure. Bananas are a great source of potassium and vitamin C whilst being low in cholesterol and saturated fat, and I usually eat them raw on their own as a snack or baked in the oven with peanut butter for a protein dessert to help my muscles to repair after a workout.
The coconut oil is pretty solid in the jar, much like when you over-freeze ice cream and have to hack away at it, just without being so cold as the oil is solid at room temperature. I chipped around two tablespoons of coconut oil out of the jar and heated it in a frying pan, into which I sliced one whole raw banana. I wasn’t sure how much coconut oil to use as it lay in the pan in thick white pieces that very quickly turned to a clear liquid when heated and behaved like a glossy water to cook with. The coconut oil fried the bananas just like any other oil would, bubbling away and crisping up the outer flesh whilst leaving the inside of the banana soft and gooey. I soon realised that I’d used far too much oil and one spoon would have been more than sufficient, but it is my first time trying it out!
Coconut oil provides the body with a metabolic boost, playing a vital role in the fight against belly fat whilst improving immunity. The high concentration of Lauric acid found in coconut oil is also known to fight bacteria and infections whilst protecting against bone disease, strokes and a number of cardiovascular issues too. Not only does it smell absolutely amazing when it fries, but it can also be used for baking, roasting, as a spread, in smoothies, hot drinks or to add flavour to foods, as it’s easily digested by the body and provides an instant energy boost making it perfect for fitness bunnies.
After a few minutes of frying off my bananas and turning them over when golden brown, I plated them up with a sprinkling of crushed nuts, a dusting of ground cinnamon and a cheeky scoop of vanilla ice cream with a garnish of sage leaves from my herb garden. I have a major obsession for mixing hot and cold food, and the warm crispy creamy coconut oil bananas beautifully ooze their gooey centres into the melting sweet ice cream, which is balanced by the texture of the crunchy chopped cashews, hazelnuts, and raw peanuts. This is the ultimate nutritious treat that takes very little preparation or ingredients, and if you switch the ice cream for a drizzle of natural honey instead then it’s even more saintly on your waistline.
Priced at just £10.99 for a 500ml jar of Virgin Coconut Oil from Monkey Nutrition, cooking with coconut oil has been a great experience that I shall look forward to adapting into my diet as the flavour and nutritional factors are simply immense.