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Monday, 26 March 2012

Fats


There are so many conflicting pieces of information when it comes to fat – what is good for you, what is bad for you – and it changes seemingly daily. Based on my own research and, of course, what tastes good I thought I would weigh in on the conversation with my favorite oil. (*insert note here that I am not a doctor or registered dietician so do your own research too*)
One method of classification for fats looks at the length of the carbon chain (the geometry is also in important) – remember like high school chemistry? There are short-chain, medium-chain, long-chain, and very long chain fatty acids (no joke, very long chain fatty acids are actually a thing). Sometimes you will see a triglyceride thrown in there so it might read ‘short-chain triglyceride’. You can Google all these terms, because in order not to bore you I am going to chat about the medium chain fatty acid. 
In particular, I want to chat about coconut oil. Coconut oil is interesting because unlike many of the other fats/oils/butters we eat it is predominately a medium-chain fatty acid (MCT). According to our friends in the world of science, MCTs are easily absorbed by the body because of their small molecule size (a good thing from a nutritional point of view) and because of the way they are absorbed your body is provided with a good source of energy. There is some research to show that MCTs are good for boosting metabolism (controlling weight) as well as providing better sustained energy through the day. The other major point is that they stand up well to heat. Coconut oil, for instance, does not turn into a trans fat when you cook with it at high heat, like many other oils do. This is important because trans fat = bad.
Ok, so that was the quickest science lesson of your life… and not very thorough so if you are interested do some more research. If you couldn’t care less about the science but like the idea of a good fat, just integrate coconut oil into your life. It truly is delicious and nutritious. You can get a great cold-pressed organic coconut oil from Bulk Barn.
And since you have read this far, be rewarded with a tasty cookie recipe, modified from a Meal Makeover Moms recipe (check them out) using coconut oil.
Berry Oatmeal Cookies

1/2 cup coconut oil (softened)
3/4 cup palm sugar (ok you can use another sugar if you don’t stock palm sugar in your house)
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup whole wheat or coconut flour
1½ cups old-fashioned oats
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup frozen mixed berries (yes you can use fresh)

1. Preheat the oven to 350°F
2. Mix all the wet ingredients, add the dry ingredients, and mix in the berries at the end.
3. Drop large spoonfuls of the batter onto an un-greased baking sheet (I line with parchment paper) and bake for 12 to 14 minutes, or until set around edges but still soft in the middle. Transfer to a wire rack to cool (I never transfer to a wire rack because I don't own one but I thought you should have the option).


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