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Coconut Oil Popcorn
Historically a favorite popcorn oil, coconut oil has dropped out of favor since it is not very healthy. Coconut oil is a popular fat used throughout many tropical regions. It is also a popular ingredient used for coconut oil popcorn cooking methods. Taken from the flesh of coconuts of the tropical palm cocos nucifera, it has been used not just for food, but for medicinal purposes as well. Mature nuts are often easier to work with and yields more oil compared to young coconuts.
Coconut Oil Popcorn
Vitacost Extra Virgin Certified Organic Coconut Oil
is a great buy for those looking to get coconut oil in larger quantities. This comes in a 54 ounce jar which is more compared to the usual 15 ounce jars that coconut oil comes in. It is also good for those with dietary restrictions since it does not contain any milk, eggs, soy, gluten, shellfish, fish or titanium dioxide.
Those looking to buy in smaller quantities can go for Barlean's Extra Virgin Coconut Oil
that comes in a 16 ounce jar. This all organic coconut oil is cold compressed and does not contain any solvents, chemicals or artificial scents and is approved by the USDA.
Another good coconut oil brand that costs less than others is Nature's Way Organic Coconut Oil
. Also cold compressed, it does not have any bleach or Hexane and is unrefined. It does not contain any trans fat or hydrogenated fat as well.
More On Coconut Oil Popcorn
How Coconut Oil is Made
The coconut oil is removed either through a wet or dry process. The wet process entails using raw coconut and producing an emulsion of oil and water using the proteins in the nut. Old techniques separate the oil from the water through boiling. Modern and more economical methods of extraction include the use of pre-treatment and centrifuges.
On the other hand, the dry method makes use of copra which is dehydrated coconut meat.
The drying process is done with the use of fire, sunlight or a kiln. After drying, the coconut oils are extracted by dissolving the copra with solvents or pressing it. Extracted oils from both the dry and wet process are then refined to help increase shelf life and eliminate certain free fatty acids.
Coconut Oil Smoke Point
As an end product, coconut oils display increased levels of heat stability, allowing it to withstand high temperatures. In short, coconut oil has a high smoke point and does not easily burn when used for cooking. This makes coconut oil popcorn cooking easy. As a matter of fact, numerous theaters and commercial establishments selling popcorn have long used this kind of oil for popping kernels. Louana coconut oil is one of the more popular commercial brands for this kind of oil in the market today.
Coconut Oil Nutritional Value
Nutrition wise, experts view this oil as one of the less healthy oils due to its high saturated fat content. A 100 gram serving of this will contain 86.5 grams of saturated fat alone. Monounsaturated fats make up 5.8 grams and polyunsaturated fats compose a mere 1.8 grams. It also contains small amounts of iron, vitamins K and vitamin E. A serving this size provides about 3600 kJ of energy.
Advantages of Use
- Taste - without a doubt, one of the best selling points of coconut oil popcorn cooking is the flavor that the oil gives. The nutty and slightly sweet flavor compliments popped kernels very well while offering a delicious aroma.
- High Smoke Point - its heat stability provides an ideal temperature for popping kernels without burning them.
- Lauric Acid - while it contains saturated fats, it also contains lauric acid which prevents high blood pressure. It also fights against bad cholesterol while helping increase good cholesterol.
Disadvantages of Use
- Saturated Fats - as mentioned earlier, this oil has one of, if not the highest amounts of saturated fats per serving. Health experts recommend limiting the amount of consumption of this oil.
- Price - virgin coconut oil may not come with a cheap price tag. Although it may cost less than extra virgin olive oil, it is still not as cheap as other vegetable oils.