Coconut oil has long been prized in Latin American countries as an important ingredient for its many reported health and beauty benefits. In recent years, it’s become more and more popular thanks to the many celebrities who have passionately adopted it as one of their new favorite things. Fans include stunning supermodel mom Miranda Kerr, who said coconut oil has been part of her diet since she was 14 and that she now consumes about 4 tablespoons of it a day in her cooking, and Brazilian beauty Gisele Bundchen, who swears by it to keep her skin soft and luminous.
Beyond the potential health and beauty benefits, coconut oil is an incredible fat to work with in the kitchen, and if you and your family like the taste of coconut, the flavor enough is reason for you to pick up a jar and give it a try. The fragrant oil adds a lovely, but subtle hint of coconut to both sweet and savory dishes.
Also, since it's able to withstand moderately high heat better than olive oil, it’s a brilliant choice for sautéing or roasting, and is especially good with slightly sweet vegetables like pumpkin, plantains, and sweet potatoes. Because the fat is solid at room temperature, it can also be used to replace butter or shortening in many baking recipes.
I love using coconut oil in sweet breakfast recipes, like these Triple Coconut Waffles with Lime Sugar. The simple waffle batter gets a triple-dose of coconut flavor from the coconut oil, coconut milk, and a generous handful of shredded coconut mixed right into the batter.
Because the coconut adds so much natural sweetness, there is no need to overdo it with the syrup jar. Instead, I finish these with an easy lime-scented topping made from granulated sugar that’s been rubbed with lime zest. It takes just a minute to prepare, and makes for a fun and slightly neon green topping that you can let the kids sprinkle right onto their waffles before eating. (FYI - the leftover topping is also great on fresh summer berries!)
With the sweet, Caribbean flavors of coconut, lime and vanilla, these waffles are the perfect fun and kid-friendly breakfast to serve your family on an upcoming summer morning.