Lucy Bee's coconut oil 101

By
Eve O'Sullivan
Added
26 January, 2016

We spoke to Lucy Bee about how cooking with coconut oil will revolutionise everything from your Sunday roast potatoes to classic paella

How did the rise in coconut oil's popularity come about?

We were told for a long time that fats were bad for us, but this has changed in recent years with more information and research out there showing us the importance of eating the right kind of fats. Coupled with this, we now know that sugar is the enemy in the fight against obesity, not good fats. I think social media has played a huge part in this with people becoming more interested in what is good for us and a trend towards eating natural foods. There’s a real surge in cooking from scratch and ditching those ready-made meals. Unrefined coconut oil is a natural replacement for those processed oils in all types of cooking and is one that the body uses incredibly efficiently. It’s also a stable fat for cooking and is naturally gluten and dairy free, and suitable for vegans and vegetarians. It’s ideal for people following a whole range of diets, so I think that’s why it’s the perfect oil for cooking with.


Is it healthier than cooking with olive oil?

Firstly, I’d like to say that I still love my extra virgin olive oil and use that for all my salad dressings. But when it comes to cooking, I use coconut oil. Coconut oil is a saturated fat known as a medium-chain fatty acid, and as such is a stable fat for cooking with.


Could you name three ways in which coconut improves the flavour or texture of what's being cooked?

Unrefined coconut oil has a coconut aroma and taste when raw, but this is generally lost when it’s heated so your food shouldn’t all taste of coconut (obviously taste is very personal but if you can still taste it, try using less – I find that a little goes a long way). I’ve found that using coconut oil in cooking, enhances the flavour of foods, too. My top three ways to cook with it are:


Scrambled eggs: simply add the coconut oil to the pan, along with your eggs and cook as usual.

Coconut oil scrambled egg


Baking: when baking with coconut oil, you only need to use ¾ of the amount stated for butter. I also find you need less sugar (about a third less) as the coconut oil makes it naturally sweeter, without giving the coconut taste. It’s ideal for someone looking for dairy free baking recipes.


Roast potatoes: it makes them so crispy and delicious! Just remember that a little goes a long way.


Are there some other interesting uses that people don't know about?

Lots of people know you can use it for cooking but not many know it makes a great make-up remover – even waterproof mascara! I had a pair of cheap shoes, which the zip decided to give up on me and I couldn’t move it. I used the tiniest amount of coconut oil on it and it worked brilliantly again (and still is to this day!). I am a beauty therapist, too, and my top tip is that it’s a great wax remover! Coconut oil contains vitamin E and lauric acid, which is also found in a mother’s breast milk. Lauric acid is antibacterial and antifungal, which is why coconut oil is so great for the skin, especially dry skin conditions.


Can you name three recipes that you are most proud of in the book, and explain why?

Chicken breast with olive, sage and walnut: for me, it’s so important to eat nutritious meals without too much ‘faffing around’. This recipe takes no time at all to make so is perfect after a long day at work. You can also save the ‘stuffing’ for the next day to use with something else.


Chicken and chorizo paella: who doesn’t love paella? This meal is cooked within half an hour and will keep for a couple of days (that is if you haven’t eaten it all!). It’s the perfect dish to take to work the next day and I find the flavour improves over time.


Chicken fattee: this recipe is actually an old family favourite. My dad loves to spend ages in the kitchen, whereas I like to spend as little time as possible with the smallest amount of mess so this dish is my adaptation of dad’s! It’s great to share with friends; the flavours really complement each other and it looks so impressive too – I’m drooling now just thinking about it!


Find out more about Lucy Bee coconut oil here. Enter our competition to win a signed copy of Coconut Oil: Nature's Perfect Ingredient and Lucy Bee products here.



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