2014 was the year I broke away from olive oil. It’s what I was brought up to cook with so I never really questioned whether there was something better I should be using. Now I’ve educated myself a little more there’s an entire arsenal of oils in my kitchen for different uses. Coconut oil has probably been the biggest game changer; the strong flavour and creamy consistency really helps to add authenticity to home made curries and stir fries, the difference really is quite noticeable!
Similar to olive oil, I’ve learnt through trying a number of brands (and non brands!) that you get what you pay for. Very recently I discovered Lucy Bee, who make raw coconut oil and were good enough to send me a jar to try.
Ooh doesn’t it looks so pure and good?! Cracking open the lid the smell of coconuts is incredible, I don’t know whether to put it in my mouth or rub it on my face! Turns out both! Coconut oil has developed a reputation as a bit of a wonder product because of all it’s applications. It’s no secret it’s used in beauty for hair, nails & skin, but it’s becoming increasingly popular as a food product because it’s such a natural, clean source of energy for your body.
To be honest on smell alone this product instantly set itself apart from other oils I’ve used which didn’t smell nearly as fresh. But there’s also the wonderful white appearance and thick texture as Lucy Bee is 100% raw & organic.
Coconut oil this good seemed ideal to bake with, especially as it can be used to substitute butter. Here’s a recipe I whipped up to test it out:
Pina Colada Tray Bake
- 250g self raising flour
- 140g demerara sugar
- 150g Lucy Bee coconut oil
- 1 large tin pineapple chunks in juice
- 50g ground almonds
- 50g dessicated coconut
- 2 eggs
Preheat your oven to 180c and line a medium sized tray or dish roughly 20cm x 15cm. In a bowl mix the flour, sugar, almonds and coconut oil between your hands until you have a crumb-like mixture. Remove 85g and set aside in a bowl, adding the dessicated coconut to it. To the main mix, add the eggs and 1-2 tbsp of pineapple juice until you have a thick, roughly combined mix. Press this into the tray then add a layer of the pineapple chunks, leaving a few for decoration. Sprinkle the coconut mix on top and bake for 45 minutes. Then remove, add the pineapple garnish and bake for a further 5 minutes.
A little taste of my favourite cocktail in a dessert! The coconut oil works a treat to give the bake a fresh coconut flavour, rather than a lot of ‘bits’ you get when relying solely on dessicated coconut (I know how many of you out there hate the bits!) I can’t help but think this would go fantastically well with a bit of rum infused whipped cream as well. Thanks Lucy Bee!