Soap Box Slow News Day — Coconut Oil

This entry has nothing to do with building our house.

I like coconut oil. Like most people, I have been afraid of it because it is a saturated fat. But apparently there is a huge difference between the saturated fat in animal products and the saturated fat in coconut oil (but not hydrogenated coconut oil).

For years, I have eaten a big pan of oatmeal for breakfast. Cynthia usually puts the concoction together the night before. It includes oatmeal, raisins, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, ground flax seeds, cinnamon (adds flavor and is good for the heart), and a few tablespoons of coconut oil. Add water and cook. No sweetener other than the raisins and no milk. The coconut oil is a new addition as of about a year ago.

Before the coconut oil, I would eat my porridge about 7:00 a.m., and by 9:30 I would be hungry. Very hungry. Turns out that the carb-rich oatmeal and raisins spiked fast and then dropped me in a low blood sugar heap.

Now, with the addition of the coconut oil, I can go to noon or beyond without even thinking about food, and most days I am working pretty hard. I find this interesting. Even more interesting to me is that I expected to put on a few pounds. But the truth is that I have lost a good 15 pounds in this past year and am really close to my fit and trim high school and military days’ weight. Seems that coconut oil goes directly to the liver to produce energy; it doesn’t get stored as fat in the body. I usually break out in a sweat right after eating the oil; it really ups the metabolism.

Most days while I am working on the house my lunch consists of a bowl of cold kidney or similar beans, about a cup and a half, with some olive oil and tamari dressing. Not quite as good as chocolate cake for lunch, but again, no carbs to spike and I easily make it to supper time.

Some days I will pick up a couple of green plantain at the fruit and veg stand up the road and make pataconies. Pataconies are slices of green plantain (banana family) fried in oil. I use coconut oil, of course. When they are somewhat soft, I smash them with my hand on the side of a big knife, then they go back in the oil until golden brown. Two plantains easily fill Cynthia and me to the brim, and we aren’t hungry for many hours. We don’t have a hood over the stove here in our rental, so I cook them outside on the BBQ extra burner. Coconut oil can take high heat without going rancid, but it does tend to smoke.

There is a lot of information on the Internet about coconut oil and the bad rap it has gotten. This was recently on The Huffington Post, and you can find much more by searching “coconut oil benefits.”

The day before yesterday I ordered two more cases; the oil I get is made here in Panama, out in the province of Chiriqui. An expat named Robert purchases it from the producer and is retailing it online. I simply place my order, pay via PayPal, and he ships it via one of the inter-Panama express package services; in my case via UnoExpress to the Chame office. As there are virtually no addresses in Panama, the package arrives at the branch office with just my name and cell phone number on the label. The driver knows where we live and delivers the package to our door on his way to town. If you live in the States, you can buy Spectrum Naturals brand coconut oil at natural food stores. (I have no financial gain from the sale of coconut oil.)

That’s my soap box rant for today. Here’s a photo of Bob inspecting the new batch of oil. Why one bottle with a red cap? Got me.

Coconut oil changes solid/liquid state at 76 degrees F, the temperature in our kitchen when I took this photo.

By the way, I’m making good progress on the front gate. I think two more days and it will be ready for paint.

That’s oil for now.