Coconut Oil

I get so perplexed with food fads. You hear about how certain food crazes will save your life or add years to it only to be advised later on that it could end it. O. K. I am exaggerating slightly for dramatic effect, but when you consider all the conflicting studies and misinformation, or the scare tactics employed by different advertisers, food corporations, it can spook you to the point where you suspect nothing is actually good for you. In my opinion, you just have to throw caution to the wind and hope that eating a balance of good wholesome foods will win out in the long run.

This all brings me to coconut oil. If you haven't heard of it, or seen it in your local grocery recently, you simply may have missed it. Coconut oil has been used by cooks around the world for ages, but it seems like it only has began gaining popularity in the U.S. over the past few years. There are many who praise it's health benefits while others who caution it's high saturated fat content (studies, however, show it s actually good for your heart-in moderation). I always consider foods at Sprouts and Whole Foods on the pulse of "good for you" foods we should be eating more of and so when I saw coconut oil again now on the shelf at HEB, I opted to work it into more of my recipes. I add it to my baking, smoothies and even a little on my skin. 

At room temperature it has a quite thick, creamy texture, but it melts in seconds, even when warmed just slightly. I love to use it in these light-as-air Chocolate Coconut Pancakes. Just a tablespoon of coconut oil adds lovely flavor to these tasty little choco-disks which will get your kids and husband excited for the beginning of the day.

Chocolate Coconut Pancakes  (serves 4 )

  • Prep Time:10 minutes,
  • Cook Time: 3 minutes,
  • Total Time: 13 minutes,
I get so perplexed by food fads. One minute you read that a particular food will save your life (or add years to it) only to be advised later on that it could end it. O.K., I am exaggerating slightly for dramatic effect, but when you consider all the...


  • 1 cup white whole wheat flour or  
  • 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 large egg, whisked
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil
  • butter or coconut oil, for greasing the pan
***You can always use a prepared mix such as Bob's Red Mill Organic high fiber pancake and waffle mix (it is also made with flax) . Omit baking powder and sugar. Add cocoa powder or 1/4 cup of mini semi-sweet chocolate chips.


  1. 1. In a bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, salt and sugar.
  2. 2. In a separate bowl, whisk together the egg, milk and oil.
  3. 3. Stir the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients until just combined.
  4. 4. Heat a large skillet or griddle over medium heat and lightly coat with butter or coconut oil.
  5. 5. Pour about 1 tablespoon of the pancake mixture onto the griddle, making as many pancakes as will fit, cook for 2 minutes or until you see bubbles forming.
  6. 6. Flip the pancakes and cook for one minute longer.
Accompaniments: maple syrup, honey, raspberry sauce, whipped cream, yogurt, grated coconut
Aside from having a high smoke point, coconut oil makes the best: 
Homemade Magic Shell  (recipe adapted from the Today Show)

DIY Magic Shell  (makes 1 cup)

  • Prep Time:3 minutes,
  • Cook Time: 1 minutes,
  • Total Time: 4 minutes
  • EASY!

  • How do you make a sad or blue day just a little bit better? While I'd like to think that a bowl of sliced fresh peaches or crunchy carrots is the answer, it doesn't always work that way with kids. Case in point was the other day when I made this...
    DIY Magic Shell


    • 1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
    • 1/2 cup bittersweet chocolate chips
    • 2 tablespoons coconut oil

    • Preparation
    • 1. In a microwave safe bowl, combine all ingredients.
    • 2. Microwave in 30-second increments until melted and smooth (this may also be done in a small saucepan over low heat until all the ingredients are melted).
    • 3. Pour over ice cream and watch the magic happen!
    Accompaniments: Serve over favorite ice cream or frozen yogurt

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