Reap the metabolism-boosting benefits of cooking with coconut oil: Use the trendy tropical ingredient in these healthy recipes for carrot cake, udon stir-fry, and more.
The Health Benefits of Coconut Oil
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You probably already know about the beauty-boosting benefits of the exotic-scented oil, but cooking with coconut oil has equally appealing health perks. Various studies cite its ability to do everything from lower your blood pressure to increase your metabolism. (Check out everything you need to know about coconut oil.) Even better: You can sneak it into what you're already eating with these easy recipes. You won't even know it's there!
Photo: Gimme Some Oven
Carrot Cake Granola
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A slice of carrot cake for breakfast? Probably not a good idea. A bowl of your favorite yogurt topped with Carrot Cake Granola? A deliciously wonderful idea. This recipe from the blog Gimme Some Oven is full of shredded carrots, pecans, walnuts, raisins—and some drizzles of coconut oil too.
Photo: Gimme Some Oven
Crispy Coconut Waffles with Mango
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Cue up your waffle maker! These Crispy Coconut Waffles from the blog I Am a Food Blog look almost too good to eat. Almost. The ingredients call for both coconut oil and coconut milk to up the healthy factor, and the sliced mangos on top are bright enough to perk up your morning—even pre-coffee.
Photo: I Am A Food Blog
Lemon Coconut Crumb Bars
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The gooey, tart citrus curd and crumbly topping that make up these Lemon Coconut Crumb Bars—from the blog Two Peas & Their Pod—is like a summery party in your mouth. And it hits high on the coconut trifecta—the recipe calls for flaked coconut, oil, and extract.
Photo: Two Peas & Their Pod
Peach Yogurt Muffins
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These mega-moist Peach Yogurt Muffins from the blog Savory Simple are winners for breakfast, a snack or—since the recipe's inclusion of Greek yogurt and coconut oil will eliminate your guilt—dessert served alongside some vanilla ice cream. (Sound delish? Bookmark this banana muffin recipe found in The Best Brunch Recipes for Spring Soirées too.)
Photo: Savory Simple
Cauliflower Rice Salad with Coconut Oil
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Southwest Loaded Sweet Potato Fries
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Check out this unexpected—but bound-to-become-your-new-favorite—combo: loaded fries and coconut. Before you bake the sweet potatoes in these Southwest Loaded Sweet Potato Fries from the blog Naturally Ella, you toss them in the crazy-healthy oil. But the addition of adobo, avocado, black beans and queso cheese prevents the dish from turning into a piña colada–tasting food fail.
Photo: Naturally Ella
Sesame Shrimp Stir-Fry
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Meet your new favorite weeknight dish: this Sesame Shrimp Stir-Fry, from the blog Feed Me Phoebe. It only takes 20 minutes to make—and that includes prep! It's chock-full of veggies, including red and orange peppers and yellow squash, and the coconut oil the recipe calls for is the perfect complement to the shrimp.
Photo: Feed Me Phoebe
Spicy Kale and Coconut Stir-Fry
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There's nothing but nice things to say about the blog Cookie and Kate's Spicy Kale and Coconut Stir-Fry. It's got kale, Brussels sprouts, and garlic sautéed in coconut oil—and it's all topped with sriracha. It tastes just as wonderful for lunch the next day—if there are leftovers.
Photo: Cookie and Kate
Coconut Crusted Mahi Mahi Nuggets
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Give your go-to processed fish sticks a grown-up makeover. The blog All Day I Dream About Food's Coconut Crusted Mahi Mahi Nugget recipe calls for the fish to be fried in coconut oil—a perfect pairing for fresh and tasty summer fare.
Photo: All Day I Dream About Food
Udon Stir-Fry with Coconut Oil
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Coconut Oil Rice Krispie Treats
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The sky-high sticks of butter in your favorite childhood treat are replaced in part by coconut oil in the blog Lovely Little Kitchen's Coconut Oil Rice Krispie Treats. Don't worry, the rainbow sprinkles will still have you feeling like you're 7 again. (Can't get enough of cooking with coconut oil? Get creative with your meal ideas with these nine nutritious coconut oil cooking hacks.)
Photo: Lovely Little Kitchen