I am slightly obsessed with coconut oil, I’ve been using it in cooking and baking , in place of butter on my toast and the little girl loves it straight from the spoon!
Coconuts contain trace amounts of some micronutrients, vitamins E & K plus a little iron. Coconut oil is high in lauric acid, a saturated fat that enhances the immune system through its antiviral and antibacterial effects. It is mostly made up of MCFA’s (medium chain fatty acids) and is said to speed up metabolism and be good for your joints. It is a stable oil when used at high temperatures and easily digested. There are studies that show that lauric acid can increase your HDL (healthy) cholesterol and lower your LDL (bad) cholesterol.
I’ve been experimenting a little with adding coconut oil into my baking, it really is a great addition. I made some muffins the other day using only coconut oil for the fat but although they were all scoffed down quickly by the family it made the muffins a little dense and heavy. My Coconut Almond Fruit Loaf has butter and coconut oil and it is a great combination as the loaf turned out superbly and along with the buttermilk content, made a wonderfully moist cake. I wanted to use coconut sugar instead of regular caster sugar but couldn’t find it, the 3 year old has probably relocated it to her kiddy kitchen!
Coconut Almond Fruit Loaf
Makes: 8-10 slices (plus 2 end wedges!)
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Baking Time: 1 hour
Pre-heat your oven to 160C, gas 4 & grease and line a large loaf tin
75g unsalted butter, softened
20g organic virgin coconut oil, softened
zest of 1 lemon
1tsp vanilla extract
85g golden caster sugar
2 large organic eggs, lightly beaten
200g plain flour
2 tsp baking powder
70g shredded/dessicated coconut
50g ground almonds
150g raisins, apricots, sultanas
(or whatever your favourite mix is)
Beat the butter and coconut oil with the sugar until creamy. Add the lemon zest and vanilla extract with the eggs and gradually beat in.
Sift in the flour and baking powder and lightly fold into the butter/coconut/egg mixture.
Add the coconut, ground almonds, buttermilk and dried fruit and fold in until well combined.
Pour into the prepared loaf tin and bake for around 1 hour or until baked through (check with a piece of dried spaghetti, it should come out clean when ready) and golden brown.
Enjoy with a hot, steaming cup of tea.
I’ll be tweaking this one a little more to perfect the bake but pretty pleased with it so far!