There are so many uses for coconut oil. It’s a simple and sustainable clean swap for several household items.
Making a clean swap
It’s important to remember that for most of us swapping out products we’ve used forever for cleaner, safer products is a journey. It’s not something that happens overnight. I don’t recommend trashing everything at once and starting over. However, I would encourage you to start somewhere. Do some research for yourself and start making better decisions based on what you’ve learned.
Today I want to share one product that can easily replace 3 to 4 other items in your home. Its inexpensive and is readily available.
What is coconut oil?
Coconut oil is extracted from, you guessed it, coconuts. It’s essentially solid at room temperature and becomes liquid as it’s heated. There are an abundance of uses. Some of which I’ve tried and some I have not.
Coconut oil is available at any grocery store and can be found with other cooking oils. When shopping, you’ll want to look for virgin or unrefined coconut oil meaning that the flesh of the coconut was extracted without using lots of chemicals or high heat in the process. Unrefined oil also has the highest amount of anti-oxidants. Be sure to get 2 jars, one for the kitchen and one for the bathroom.
Body uses for coconut oil
There are so many amazing uses of coconut oil for our bodies but I’m going to focus on how I use it on my skin. I recommend getting a jar to keep in your bathroom. I’ve listed 3 ways I use coconut oil on my skin and in doing so I’ve been able to swap it out for 2 products I no longer need.
- In place of body lotion. Almost 10 years ago I ditched body lotion. There are a number of reasons why our favorite over fragranced lotions aren’t the best choice for our skin but I first ditched mine because a friend shared that using coconut oil on her legs after shaving was a game changer. If you struggle with razor burn or itchy, dry legs in the winter then I would 1000% recommend getting a jar of unrefined coconut oil and using it directly after a shower. I just get a little out with my hand, rub my palms together, and use it all over my skin.
- As a makeup remover. There are lots of clean makeup removers on the market but honestly, coconut oil does the trick. A little goes a long way. Just warm it up in your hand and rub it all over your face. It’s magical at taking off mascara and eyeliner and doesn’t burn if it gets in your eyes. I just wipe away the oil and makeup with a clean warm cloth and then go ahead with my skincare routine.
- Diluting essential oils. I don’t know how you feel about essential oils but I personally use them and love them. There are situations, especially with children where you want to dilute the oil before using it topically. Coconut oil is great for that. You can purchase fractionated coconut oil which is just a liquid version and is easy to mix with essential oils.
Coconut oil in the kitchen
Coconut oil is a great substitute for vegetable oil when baking and cooking and is a vegan replacement for butter. I am in no way suggesting that you give up butter. I’m a fan. I use it often but I have switched to real butter which is another post for another day.
It’s important to remember that coconut oil is a solid at room temperature and needs to be melted in order to be used as a 1:1 replacement for other oils. Yes, this adds an extra step but it melts in no time. Coconut oil does have a distinct flavor so take that into consideration before making the switch. However, I’ve found that my family hasn’t noticed. I’ve listed just a few ways that I personally use coconut oil in place of other oils.
- Stovetop popcorn: I’ve been making popcorn on the stovetop in my dutch oven and my family approves! I’ve even been told it’s better than microwave popcorn. Gasp. I add about 2 tablespoons of coconut oil to my dutch oven and pop away.
- Sautéing: Coconut oil can withstand high temperatures so it’s actually great for sautéing vegetables. Just place a dollop in your skillet and heat it up just like you would any other oil.
- Seasoning your cast iron skillets: Coconut oil is what I used to season my cast iron and how I keep them in perfect working order. You can find all the details on how and why in my post Using Cast Iron for Beginners.
- Baking: Coconut oil can be used in baking cakes, breads, or muffins in place of vegetable or canola oil. Just be sure to melt it first and don’t add it directly to cold ingredients or it will solidify. It’s what I use in my Simple Homemade Granola recipe if you want to give it a try.
Have you already made the switch to coconut oil? Do you use it regularly or have any additional tips? Share with us below!