Choosing Healthier Oils

Over the past few months I have spent a lot of time rethinking our families diet.  Both my family and the Handymans family have a long history of obesity and/ or  heart disease.  These are things I do not wish to pass on to our children. Conventional wisdom has called for a low-fat diet and physical activity as protecting against these diseases.  And while I agree on the physical activity, I have spent a lot of time researching different nutrition “philosophies” if you will.  While I am certainly no expert, what makes the most sense to me is a diet rich in  nutrient dense Real foods, lots of fruits and vegetables, eliminating artificial ingredients including sweeteners, avoiding chemicals and pesticides in our foods, limiting sugar (especially refined sugar) and incorporating healthy oils. I’ve also been doing some reading on the benefits of eating more fermented foods and raw dairy.  (I know scandalous, right)  I do almost all of our cooking from scratch so part of the fun has been modifying our favorite recipes as well as trying new ones. I love to cook and we all enjoy eating a little too much so part of the journey has also been changing the culture of food in our home, but more about that another day.  So, todays topic …choosing healthier oils.  

For me  this means using less of these (or rather eliminating)

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Using more of this –

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It has been easy to use coconut oil in place of the other oils for things like sauteing and frying, it has been a little more challenging to incorporate into baked items but here is one recipe for Chocolate Chip Cookies that turned out really well.  I am also learning that coconut oil has lots a great uses outside of the kitchen as well.

So while these certainly would not qualify as a healthy snack, they were pretty yummy and it was my first attempt at baking with coconut oil, so I thought I would share it.

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Chocolate Chip Cookies with coconut oil

1 cup coconut oil

3/4 c. brown sugar

3/4 c. white sugar

2 eggs

1 t. vanilla

1 1/2 cups white flour

1 cup whole wheat flour

1 cup ground pecans

1 t. baking soda

1 t. salt

2 cups semi sweet chocolate chips

Cream coconut oil and sugars in mixing bowl.  Add eggs and vanilla.  Sift together in another bowl flours, salt, ground pecans and baking soda.  Gradually add dry ingredients to mixing bowl, mixing just until incorporated.  Stir in chocolate chips. 

Spoon onto parchment covered cooking sheets. Bake at 375 degrees for  9-10 minutes just until edges turn light golden brown.  Cool on cookie sheet for a few minutes before moving to cooling rack. 

Makes approx. – 4 dozen 

These cookies have a wonderful soft chewy middle with a crisp edge.

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