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Healthy Substitutes to Use in Cooking and Baking - Oils

Shauna believes that we can all take steps to bring ourselves and the environment back to good health using items you have in your pantry.

When I first started posting online, it was green tips and poetry that I’d impart to my readers. That’s when I had a full-time job and reveled in writing on the weekends. It was then I let my spirit out that had been shoved in a corner for far too long.

It came to me that I had - and still do have – something to offer to those of you who would like to make green changes in your lives.

Why it just dawned on me is a mystery. After all, I've concentrated on environmental issues and green living in my blog, which is far newer than my re-entry into the world of writing.

Okay, I’m blithering. I’m so glad to see my spirit is back! You see, I have a tendency to blither, but in the end I make you think and give you food for thought, if not information to chew on.

Wow, lots of puns in this intro, huh?

What’s that you say? “Welcome back, Bravewarrior!” I hear you loud and clear. Or maybe I only hear my muse.

Whatever the case may be, I have something you need. It will help you and help me as well. What can be better than that?

I'm a hellacious baker. This is the German Chocolate cake I baked for my son's birthday - from scratch. Is there any other way?

I'm a hellacious baker. This is the German Chocolate cake I baked for my son's birthday - from scratch. Is there any other way?

I’m a good cook and a hellacious baker. No, I’m not being conceited; I’m paying homage to my mother, who not only fed us well growing up, but has served gourmet dinners for members of the United States Cabinet and various members of the upper echelon, in her home. And all of her dinners were (and are) cooked from scratch without relying on caterers.

I’ve learned from the best. To this day, my mom and I swap recipes. I tell her about substitutes I use for the Missouri cooking she grew up on and she shares simple, yet elegant recipes with me that are fit for the elite.

Make no mistake, though. Sometimes there’s no substitute for good ole’ bacon grease when you’re making an authentic country dish! Can you say black-eyed peas?

However, there are many substitutions we can make to reduce cholesterol, fat, and the risk of inflammation without compromising flavor, texture and that feeling we get from the comfort foods we love.

Note: wherever I suggest fresh foods, unless you grow them yourself or buy from local farms, look for labels in your grocery store that are preceded by the numbers 94. This indicates growers and producers who are USDA Certified Organic.

Here are just a few to get you started:

Oils

Stay away from corn oil, soybean, and canola oil. All of those grains are GMO-grown, which means the seeds are injected with pesticides to keep crops from being attractive to insects. Even vegetable oil is no longer safe.

Read this article on Monsanto’s website. They make it all sound so innocent, don’t they? Look at the main products they admit are GMO grown:

  • Corn
  • Soybean
  • Cotton
  • Alfalfa
  • Sugar Beets
  • Canola
  • Papaya
  • Squash

And you thought you were eating healthy by choosing to eat tofu (soybean curd) and using vegetable-based oils in cooking!

Here’s a photo of the label for vegetable oil on a Smart Balance label (touted as a healthy product).

So, how do you like me now?

Hopefully, you’ll take my suggestions to heart and continue to make the awesome dishes you already do. (You do cook from scratch, right?)

Nutritional label on Smart Balance cooking oil. Notice the ingredients.

Nutritional label on Smart Balance cooking oil. Notice the ingredients.

Cookies and Cakes

Substitute equal amounts of organic, unsweetened applesauce for oil or shortening. The applesauce acts as a binder without adding chemicals or elevating cholestoral levels. Your sweet delectables will be soft and moist.

I did this when I was pregnant with my son and had acquired a massive sweet tooth. No one could taste the difference, but this simple change kept my growing baby and me healthy.

Baking Fish and Meats

Forget the sprays. They have gases in them, known as propellants – that’s what makes them build up pressure enough to let loose. Instead, spread a tablespoon or so of organic pure coconut oil in the baking dish or pan. A little goes a long way. Coconut oil is very healthy for the body and is thought to slow or even reverse the effects of Alzheimer’s Disease when taken regularly.

The beauty of it is coconut oil has no flavor so your baked entrees shine on their own. It’s also low in calories and feeds your body with good stuff, rather than load your innards with artery-clogging elements.

Omelets and Grilled Cheese

I’ll be the first to admit that when I’m frying eggs, I want the taste of butter (I’ll address butter in a later post), but when it comes to dishes such as omelets, frittatas, and grilled cheese sandwiches, coconut oil speaks to your taste buds without the need for butter, and reduces your cholesterol intake as a bonus. (One tablespoon coconut oil has 120 calories, zero cholesterol, while butter comes in at 100 calories and 30 mg (10%) cholesterol.)

Although coconut oil contains saturated fat (as does butter), it mostly consists of lauric acid, which is a medium-chain triglyceride. Medium-chain triglycerides are more easily digested, convert to energy, and improve levels of HDL (good) cholesterol.

The saturated fat in butter is comprised mostly of palmitic acid, which can cause the buildup of fatty plaque in the arteries.

Use coconut oil instead. You’ll never miss the butter.

Spread it on your bread when preparing grilled cheese. Add some garlic powder to the outsides of the bread, and tomato slides between the cheeses. The bread will toast beautifully and you’ll benefit from the cholesterol-free spread.

Same with omelets and frittatas: add coconut oil to the pan. Sauté onions, green peppers, and mushrooms before adding your egg mixture and you’ll have no need for butter.

Coconut oil heats well and doesn’t burn when subjected to high heat. It should become a staple in your kitchen. And remember, a little goes a long way, so you may need to experiment.

Grilled provolone cheese sandwich with baby spinach and sliced tomatoes on seedless rye. I used coconut oil on the outsides of the bread instead of butter. Yummy!

Grilled provolone cheese sandwich with baby spinach and sliced tomatoes on seedless rye. I used coconut oil on the outsides of the bread instead of butter. Yummy!

Sauteed or Roasted Vegetables, Salads and More

When you are sautéing or roasting veggies, opt for organic first cold-pressed extra virgin olive oil over vegetable oil. Not only does olive oil add a warm, slightly fruity flavor, but it’s oh-so-good for you, too.

Olive oil contains MUFAs (monounsaturated fatty acids) which are known to not only be heart-healthy, but may reduce the risk of cancer, high blood pressure, osteoporosis, rheumatoid arthritis, obesity, and type 2 diabetes.

Note: buy organic extra virgin olive oil that is packaged in dark green glass bottles. Light or clear bottles allow light into the oil, turning it rancid in a short period of time. Also, buy cold-pressed olive oil. This means no heat was used in processing. Heat changes the chemistry of olives.

Instead of buying prepared salad dressings, drizzle some olive oil and organic apple cider vinegar on your salad. The combination adds a light, vibrant flavor to raw veggies without adding empty calories, preservatives, sugars, and words you can’t pronounce. (If you can’t pronounce it, chances are very good it doesn’t belong in your body).

Apple cider vinegar is a wonderful addition to your diet. It aids in digestion, helps keep blood sugar in check, is a natural probiotic (if you use the cloudy kind), prevents indigestion, and may lower cholesterol.

Now, back to olive oil…

Try making garlic bread with olive oil instead of butter. Brush olive oil on crusty bread; add some chopped garlic, oregano, and parmesan cheese. Place the bread on a baking sheet and bake at 350º for a few minutes. Or place it under the broiler.

For a refreshing appetizer, slice tomatoes and fresh mozzarella cheese, drizzle on some olive oil, top with fresh basil and enjoy!

Grapeseed oil is a healthy alternative to shortening and vegetable oils

Grapeseed oil is a healthy alternative to shortening and vegetable oils

Benefits of Grapeseed Oil

I'm curious....

Deep Frying, Stir-Fry and Sauteing

We all know that fried foods should not be a frequent flyer when planning our menus. However, sometimes we crave fried chicken, catfish, and good old fried pork chops. A great alternative to shortening or vegetable oil is grapeseed oil. It’s low in calories, contains polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats, and is a good source of Vitamin E. It withstands high heat and has a mild flavor, allowing the natural flavors of your foods to be the star of the show.

Grapeseed oil aids in circulation, can repair broken capillaries, has anti-inflammatory properties, is an antioxidant, and helps keep cell membranes healthy. For more information regarding the benefits of grapeseed oil, read this article.

That’s a wrap for now. I have many more tips to offer, but don’t want to lose your attention, so I’ll save them for subsequent posts.

Until then, if you have any tips for the use of oils in cooking and baking, please share them in the comment section below.

Here’s to your health!


This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2014 Shauna L Bowling

Comments

Shauna L Bowling (author) from Central Florida on November 03, 2015:

Mary, I actually made pork chops last night lightly breaded and fried in grape seed oil. They were delicious!

Mary Craig from New York on November 03, 2015:

I can only echo the comments on this great hub. The healthier we become the better our "gold years" will be.

I recently started using grape seed oil but have used olive oil and coconut oil for years. (Love coconut oil for hair repair too.)

Shauna L Bowling (author) from Central Florida on November 01, 2015:

Linda, I don'r cook or bake as often as I used to either. Between my and my son's schedules time is limited. Howrver, when I do, I implement these healthier options.

I'm glad you're passing this along. Your family will thank you for it and so do I.

Linda Bilyeu from Orlando, FL on November 01, 2015:

This hub is a wealth of information! I don't cook or bake much anymore, but my daughters do and they will appreciate the tips! :)

Shauna L Bowling (author) from Central Florida on November 01, 2015:

Pat, I'm thrilled that you are bookmarking this hub. I pass this info on to most people I meet, so I do walk the walk as far as what I provide in this hub. It's never too late to work on better health options, right?

Patricia Scott from North Central Florida on November 01, 2015:

Shauna

Hi hope all is good with you and yours today.

I may (pretty sure I did) read this before but I have just changed my whole eating style of late (working on a hub which will mention that) and wanted to take another peek at this.

This is being bookmarked so I can check it out again as needed.

Angels are on the way ps

shared pinned g+ tweeted

Shauna L Bowling (author) from Central Florida on September 23, 2015:

Patti, in today's environment we have to be so careful about what we put into our bodies. Almost everything is tainted these days, whether with pesticides or genetic engineering.

I'm happy you found this information useful. Coconut oil is good for the body, both inside and out.

Patricia Scott from North Central Florida on September 23, 2015:

Thanks for the tips, all of them.. The coconut oil instead of spray is a goodie...I had no idea.

It seems we have to be ever watchful to insure what we ingest is safe and healthy.

Thanks for the heads up!!!

Angels are on the way to you this morning ps

Shauna L Bowling (author) from Central Florida on May 25, 2015:

Shyron, I'm glad you found this useful. I would recommend switching to grape seed oil for frying. It withstands high heat, has no flavor, and isn't made from GMO seeds. Peanut oil is very fattening and has a distinctive flavor, which takes away from food's natural flavor. Grape seed oil contains 120 calories per tablespoon, only 1.5 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams trans fats, 10 grams polyunsaturated fats (that's a good thing), and 2.5 grams monounsaturated fats (good fats). It also adds 25% of the daily requirement of Vitamin E to the diet (good for hair, digestion, and is an antioxidant).

I use coconut oil for dressing garlic bread instead of butter. You'll never taste the difference, but you get the health benefits of coconut oil.

The only oils I use now are coconut, olive, and grape seed. Make sure they're all organic and come in dark containers. When light hits any oil, it changes the composition.

My mom's a gourmet cook, too. She has changed the oils she uses after reading my articles. Remember when we used to use old bacon grease to flavor our dishes? Substituting for the oils I mention reduce the added cholesterol intake and let the natural flavors of the foods you're preparing shine.

Shyron E Shenko from Texas on May 25, 2015:

Hi Sha, I am glad you put this out here, I sometimes wonder about all the oils. I use coconut oil for pan cakes and peanut oil for fish, per: my stepson who is a gourmet cook.

I love all the information you have here. I will print this and keep it handy for reference.

Blessings and hugs

Shyron

Shauna L Bowling (author) from Central Florida on March 20, 2015:

Peach, canola is not better than sunflower oil. Sunflower oil contains more nutrients than canola oil and has a higher burn rate, so it's better for frying than canola oil. Plus, so far, sunflowers are not grown from GMO seeds.

You might find this article helpful: http://oilypedia.com/sunflower-oil-vs-olive-oil-vs...

peachy from Home Sweet Home on March 20, 2015:

canola is better than sunflower oil?

Shauna L Bowling (author) from Central Florida on March 20, 2015:

Angela, I've only tried applesauce in cookies. I love chewy cookies, so it worked well in keeping them moist. I'll have to try substituting applesauce in the next cake I bake.

Thanx for stopping by!

Angela F from Seattle, WA on March 20, 2015:

Great info for cooking alternatives. I've used the applesauce substitute in a cake recipe before and it turned out super moist. :)

Shauna L Bowling (author) from Central Florida on March 05, 2015:

Jeannie, I've heard of that, too. However, I wouldn't try it myself. I'm on septic here. Coconut oil solidifies like shortening when it's not warm. I'm afraid it would disrupt the workings of my tank. As it is, I don't pour any oils down my drains for that very reason.

Try the coconut oil. You won't be sorry.

Jeannie Marie from Baltimore, MD on March 05, 2015:

I obviously need to give coconut oil a try. It sounds like it would be much healthier for me. I once tried coconut oil in my hair because I read an article about how it is good for frizzy hair. I would NOT recommend that... I will stick to using it for cooking. ;-)

Shauna L Bowling (author) from Central Florida on March 03, 2015:

DJ, that's the beauty of coconut oil - no taste. I'll have to remember the butter trick, especially when I fry eggs. I definitely want that butter taste with fried eggs. If butter can be mixed with olive oil, why not coconut oil? Makes perfect sense to me!

DJ Anderson on March 03, 2015:

Hey, Sha,

Wanted to let you know I bought the coconut oil. Was sauteing something and wanted a butter flavoring. I used the coconut oil and just a bit of butter. It worked beautifully! The coconut oil has no taste and

the pad of butter was all that I could taste.

Great info!!

Thanks,

Debbie

Shauna L Bowling (author) from Central Florida on March 03, 2015:

Aesta1, canola oil and most vegetable oils contain GMOs. Coconut oil does not. I've learned a lot from my readers after posting this article. I've only used coconut oil in cooking, but even my mom uses is as a body lotion and facial moisturizer.

I only use coconut, olive, and grape seed oils for cooking. Too many foods out there contain GMOs. I hope you make the switch. Your body will thank you.

Mary Norton from Ontario, Canada on March 03, 2015:

I just bought Canola Oil thinking that it's the best oil to use. Although I use coconut oil, it is just for my hair and scalp. I have friends who take a teaspoon of virgin coconut oil everyday but I am not yet convinced. Maybe, this is a good start, use coconut oil first in cooking.

Shauna L Bowling (author) from Central Florida on February 24, 2015:

Cygnet, you're so right. My mom uses coconut oil as body lotion.

Cygnet Brown from Springfield, Missouri on February 24, 2015:

I was talking with a young friend other day about this subject. Many of the oils that you recommend are not only good in cooking and baking, but they also make a great base for handcrafted personal care items!

Shauna L Bowling (author) from Central Florida on February 15, 2015:

Peg, I haven't used applesauce in cakes, but I have used it in cookies. I baked a lot when I was pregnant and always substituted applesauce for fat when I made cookies.

Let me know how it works in cakes.

Peg Cole from Northeast of Dallas, Texas on February 15, 2015:

I like your tip to use applesauce in recipes. I'll be trying this in the next cake I bake. Our family was fond of German Chocolate cakes and yours looks yummy.

Shauna L Bowling (author) from Central Florida on February 01, 2015:

Peachpurple, right now sunflower oil should be safe. However, according to an article posted by GMO Compass, dated February 1, 2015, "work is underway on genetically modified sunflower oil".

peachy from Home Sweet Home on February 01, 2015:

I used sunflower oil, healthy or not?

Shauna L Bowling (author) from Central Florida on January 26, 2015:

Patti, I'm glad you found this helpful.

The other night I made catfish for dinner. It's really the only food I eat fried anymore. Anyway, I fried it in grape seed oil. It was light and had no oily taste. It really let the seasoning on the catfish (and the fish itself) come through. It was oh-so-yummy!

Patricia Scott from North Central Florida on January 26, 2015:

This is so helpful. I knew a few of the oils and the applesauce substitute but others I have not used.

Thank you for sharing with us.

Voted up+++ shared

Angels are on the way to you this afternoon. ps

Shauna L Bowling (author) from Central Florida on January 18, 2015:

Peach, I've never tried sunflower oil in cakes. Actually, I've never used oil in cake. None of my recipes call for it. I know the box cakes call for oil. Sunflower is certainly a better option than vegetable oil.

peachy from Home Sweet Home on January 18, 2015:

olive oil is used in salad and pasta, I use sunflower oil for cakes.

Shauna L Bowling (author) from Central Florida on January 15, 2015:

Cris, that's great to hear. I'm glad you've made the healthy switch. Your body will love you for it and your taste buds won't know the difference.

CrisSp from Sky Is The Limit Adventure on January 14, 2015:

Since this hub is in my bookmark, I came back to re-read it and to let you know that I've been using coconut oil since after reading this hub the first time. Now, in my pantry, I only have coconut oil (solid & spray), olive oil and sesame seed oil.

Thanks again Sha.

Shauna L Bowling (author) from Central Florida on December 21, 2014:

Even if you don't try the coconut oil, you're on the right track, Deb!

Deb Hirt from Stillwater, OK on December 20, 2014:

Great material! I get organic and GMO-free canola made by Spectrum, but I think I might switch to the coconut oil and see how I like that.

Shauna L Bowling (author) from Central Florida on December 15, 2014:

Enjoy it, Flourish - and the effort that went into it. German Chocolate cake is a very time consuming endeavor when you bake from scratch, but oh so worth it!

FlourishAnyway from USA on December 15, 2014:

Sha - Since this hub, I've had German Chocolate cake on my mind. Going over my mother's today for a slice or two. Woo-hoo!

Shauna L Bowling (author) from Central Florida on December 13, 2014:

DDE it's the opposite here in the States. Coconut oil is now being used as a skin and hair conditioner in addition to a cooking oil. It's very versatile and has so many benefits. I hope you'll try it in cooking.

Devika Primić from Dubrovnik, Croatia on December 13, 2014:

In my culture I grew up using coconut for my hair but did not use for cooking. A very interesting idea.

Shauna L Bowling (author) from Central Florida on December 12, 2014:

Sheila, your body will thank you for it. Make sure you buy organic.

The oils I mention in this article are not born of GMO seeds. Corn and vegetable oils are.

You're very welcome. I'm glad I was able to provide helpful information.

Sheila Brown from Southern Oklahoma on December 12, 2014:

I found this extremely interesting! I have tried one oil, then the next. I am so confused I went back to plain ol' vegetable oil. I have heard good things about coconut oil, but didn't know anyone that used it, now I do. I am pinning this and will be buying these varieties of oils for future cooking at my house! Thank you so much for the information!

Shauna L Bowling (author) from Central Florida on December 06, 2014:

Colorfulone, I'm so happy you've made the switch. I'm sure you and your mom both feel better after having done so. Thanx for stopping by!

Shauna L Bowling (author) from Central Florida on December 06, 2014:

Thanx for book marking and sharing this, Shyron. Call on my any time!

Susie Lehto from Minnesota on December 06, 2014:

I honestly didn't know about the benefits of using Coconut Oil until last year when I made that switch. I love it for baking and cooking, and take it my the spoonful as an oil pull. Its been a healthy step to make both Mom and myself.

Shyron E Shenko from Texas on December 06, 2014:

Shauna, you make me want to make those sandwiches for breakfast right now. I have this article book marked and yes I do use coconut oil.

And I will call on you when I need a special dish.

Voted up across the board and shared.

Shauna L Bowling (author) from Central Florida on December 01, 2014:

Dianna, I did an experiment with garlic bread. I used 7-grain Italian bread and spread 3 pieces with butter and three with coconut oil before adding the toppings. The coconut oil pieces were more crispy, whereas the buttered pieces were kinda soggy from the butter. Other than that, there was no difference in the taste.

Coconut oil has many uses. If you've read the comments, you'll see that. I learned a lot from my readers.

Dianna Mendez on December 01, 2014:

Ooooh, your sandwich looks so yummy! We try to use coconut oil for baking and cooking. It is a nice benefit to the body, as you mention here.

Shauna L Bowling (author) from Central Florida on December 01, 2014:

Chris, organic is definitely the preferred way of eating. Especially with all the garbage and poison that's in commercially grown foods these days.

Gotcha hungry, did I? Go make yourself a grilled spinach, tomato, and cheese sandwich. Yummy for the tummy!

Chris Rose from Norwich on December 01, 2014:

Woah, reading that's just made me very hungry!

The thing is it's not just for the sake of eating ,ore healthily either; in fact, where you ask whether we still like you, well, you know my answer. I just think there's no substitute for organic food. And kids are so often put off their greens because they're simply not organically grown, and so lack in taste.

Basic green peas, potatoes, are so much nicer - I don't use sauces with these basic staples. And steamed? Go, get me a napkin - Pacino impression - my mouth's wardderin' - Hooooo Haaaaaghh !!

Great blog, dear friend !

Shauna L Bowling (author) from Central Florida on November 25, 2014:

Yes, it is, Vellur. We really need to be label conscious when we're doing our grocery shopping.

Shauna L Bowling (author) from Central Florida on November 25, 2014:

Yes, it is, Vellur. We really need to be label conscious when we're doing our grocery shopping.

Nithya Venkat from Dubai on November 25, 2014:

Very useful information, thank you for sharing. GMO has always been a big problem. Cooking with natural oils is the best way to go.

Shauna L Bowling (author) from Central Florida on November 24, 2014:

I'm glad you found these tips useful, Eddy. Thanx for the share and enjoy your day!

Shauna L Bowling (author) from Central Florida on November 24, 2014:

Suzette, when you cook from scratch you know exactly what's in your food. You can also make up recipes based on flavor, texture, etc. I love making up recipes, especially when they turn out to be delicious.

Thanx for stopping by!

Eiddwen from Wales on November 24, 2014:

Brilliant Sha ;interesting and very useful. You certainly know your stuff and so glad you are sharing.

Enjoy your day and I vote up and share.

Eddy.

Suzette Walker from Taos, NM on November 23, 2014:

I cook and bake with oil and I learned my cooking from my mom too. I also cook and bake mostly from scratch. Cooking from scratch can be an art and so much more interesting to me than throwing something in the microwave. There are times when I am swamped and busy and then the microwave comes in handy, but I prefer to cook from scratch. So much more healthy. Thanks for sharing this with us. I enjoyed reading it.

Shauna L Bowling (author) from Central Florida on November 22, 2014:

Ruby, I was duped by canola oil, too. I haven't used it in years. I even read packages of breads, etc. to see what's in them. Many of them contain soybean oil and/or canola oil. When I see that and/or high fructose corn syrup, partially hydrogenated oils, and words than end in 'ate', I put them back on the shelf. You'd be surprised at how much crap is stocked on our grocery shelves under the guise of being healthy.

You'll find grapeseed oil where you find olive oil. Read the ingredients to make sure there are no additives.

When I shop, I read the labels of everything I pick up. I recently had bread crumbs on my list. I reached for the brand I've used for years and found it contains high fructose corn syrup. So did every other brand on the shelf. I put it back. Guess I'll be making my own from now on, but have to be careful about the bread I use.

For salad dressing, you can also use fresh lemon juice with the olive oil, as a switch from organic apple cider vinegar. You can make your own Italian dressing by adding herbs to the mix, such as oregano, basil, parsley. Throw in a little garlic to give it some kick. If you pick up a cruet from Good Seasons, you can follow the guidelines on the bottle. It shows you how much oil, water, and vinegar to add. Add your seasonings to taste and keep it in the fridge.

Ruby Jean Richert from Southern Illinois on November 22, 2014:

I thought canola oil was the best kind of oil to use. I started using coconut oil after reading your article on alzheimer's disease. I will now use it for all my cooking, I've just been putting it in my oatmeal. I never have heard of grapeseed oil. I will look for it. I am into healthy eating and instead of buying salad drsy. I will try the olive oil. Thank's so much for good info. I'm a firm believer that you are what you eat...

Shauna L Bowling (author) from Central Florida on November 22, 2014:

Linda, it's delicious and you'll never miss the butter. I just bought a loaf of 7-grain Italian bread. I'm going to experiment making garlic bread. Coconut oil on some and butter on the others so I can see if I taste a difference.

Linda Bilyeu from Orlando, FL on November 22, 2014:

Yum! I want a grilled cheese prepared with coconut oil! I've never considered using coconut oil...until now. Thank you and Welcome back, Bravewarrior! :)

Shauna L Bowling (author) from Central Florida on November 22, 2014:

Thanx, Mom! I haven't had luck with commercial moisturizers; they make my face too greasy. I'll have to give this a try.

Shauna L Bowling (author) from Central Florida on November 22, 2014:

Awesome, Ghost. The changes ought to help Pam - and you, too!

Shauna L Bowling (author) from Central Florida on November 22, 2014:

Sorry, 'bout that, Iris! The grilled cheese is easy to make. I spread coconut oil on the outsides of the bread. Put one piece, oil side down in your pan. Add some baby spinach, then two slices of provolone. Add 2-3 thinly sliced tomatoes, 2 slices provolone, and more baby spinach. Top with the other piece of bread, oil side up. Brown, then flip and brown again. Yum Yum!

Barbara cook on November 22, 2014:

No need to bring to high heat. When the oil becomes solid, I simply put the jar in a bathroom sink of hot water and it melts down to the liquid oil consistency. Read instructions on label. Chinese women have been using this oil for ever. Blot excess "greasiness" with towel and you are good to go.

Ghost32 on November 21, 2014:

Thanks, Sha. Between the two of us, Pam and I were aware of the alternatives...but had not been using them. So, before commenting, I just now hopped over to Amazon and ordered a batch of coconut oil and one of grapeseed oil. :)

Cristen Iris from Boise, Idaho on November 21, 2014:

Thanks a lot, Shauna! You could have warned me...It's 5:15 and I'm starving! I thought I'd read your article while I wait for my ride home. Now I'm destroyed! I want one of those grilled provolone and spinach sandwiches followed by German chocolate cake. That was not very nice of you. ;)

Shauna L Bowling (author) from Central Florida on November 21, 2014:

DJ, throw some tomatoes and spinach in there and you've hit all the food groups!

Shauna L Bowling (author) from Central Florida on November 21, 2014:

Yeah, Bill likes cheeseburger pie casseroles, Paula. But something tells me Bev has corrected that bachelor way of eating! Especially now that they're growing their own food. I'm sure the good stuff puts a smile on his face, not to mention in his heart and arteries.

Shauna L Bowling (author) from Central Florida on November 21, 2014:

Mom, I had no idea! I guess I'm out of touch. Last I knew you were using Clinique products. I never thought of using coconut oil as lotion. I currently use Nivea, but to be honest, I've never looked at the ingredients. I've had another reader tell me she uses coconut oil in the bathroom. I need to pay heed.

No wonder your skin is so gorgeous! I look so much older than you. I should have consulted you years ago for your secret.

How is it used as a mouthwash? You'd have to bring it to high heat first, so how does it work and how to you apply it?

Suzie from Carson City on November 21, 2014:

Hey GF.....as long as someone else is cooking.....I'll eat anything!......OH wait.....NOT IF BILL IS COOKING!!!!

Barbara cook on November 21, 2014:

Wow!! I have been using organic virgin coconut oil for my face and all over body rub after bath, (and you know how fussy I am about oils for skin. Top shelf at my grocery store. Much better than chemically loaded lotions. Dentists use it as a mouth wash. Good for the cooking you mentioned.

DJ Anderson on November 21, 2014:

Sha, it is my daughter-in-law. Not daughter. She is a personal trainer

and fitness guru and vegetarian. She does marathons just for the fun of it. I do love her, but dread their visits as she has to know every ingredient in every thing. She is a sweet heart but, it is best if we go out for every meal.

My husband and I are having toasted cheese sandwiches with tomato soup, tonight. Hey, just call me Gourmet Chief DJ. :-)

Shauna L Bowling (author) from Central Florida on November 21, 2014:

Martie, I can't remember the last time I used vegetable oil. I can't even remember the last time I bought canola oil. I don't miss it in the least. Why don't you start small? Buy some coconut oil and use it the next time you would normally use vegetable oil and see what you think. You'll still have your veggie oil on hand, so you really have nothing to lose by trying it now rather than later.

Shauna L Bowling (author) from Central Florida on November 21, 2014:

Paula, your friend is quite the wise one. And I don't mean that sarcastically. As I mentioned in one of my comments, I don't cook much either. With my son's weird work hours, I'm alone at mealtime more often than not. It's a hassle to cook for one. However, tonight I am going to make a shrimp and pasta dish. I found a bag of Porcini Mushroom Egg Pasta (at Big Lots, of all places!). I'll sauté jumbo shrimp and portabella mushrooms in garlic, olive oil, and white wine, then pour it over the mushroom pasta. I'm looking forward to it. Should be yummy. Care to join me?

Martie Coetser from South Africa on November 21, 2014:

Sha, I never thought coconut oil could be a replacement for vegetable oil. Thank you so much for all these tips. I am going to keep them in mind as I turn slowly but certainly green during the next year :)

Suzie from Carson City on November 21, 2014:

Sha......You're just a little GREEN pixie, aren't you? I must tell you that this is a really great article.....very useful and health-minded.

I'm in total agreement that we remain vigilant in the kitchen. This is all very sensible

Confession: My relationship with my kitchen has gone sour. I cook as little as possible and there's this nice little old lady in the village that does all my baking......she owns The Sweet Shop.

When I retired, a co-worker friend said this to me, "It's not so much what you want to do now, Paula.....it's much more about NOT HAVING TO DO WHAT YOU DON'T WANT TO DO ANYMORE."

I remember thinking she was the smartest woman I'd ever met!! LOL

Terrific hub, girlfriend.....UP++tweeted & pinned.

Shauna L Bowling (author) from Central Florida on November 21, 2014:

I've heard of using it as a lotion and hair conditioner, but never tried it. I'll have to give it a shot. Thanx, Randi!

Randi Benlulu from Mesa, AZ on November 21, 2014:

It's more like for the body! We use it as a moisturizer, sunscreen, after sun soother, hair conditioner. It works on diaper rash and helps nursing moms. I write a hub about it about 2 years ago. At that time, I hadn't even tried it for cooking! I was so smashed at how useful it was, already!

Shauna L Bowling (author) from Central Florida on November 21, 2014:

You're welcome, Randi! BTW, how do you use coconut oil in the bathroom?

Randi Benlulu from Mesa, AZ on November 21, 2014:

Thank you! I'll look for that!

Shauna L Bowling (author) from Central Florida on November 21, 2014:

Randi, right now the 94 is only found on fresh produce labels. It precedes the 4-digit number found on non-organic produce. It's usually at the bottom of the peel-off sticker.

Four digit numbers indicate non-organic growing methods (and are more likely to contain GMOs). Six digit numbers (beginning with 94) indicate certified organic produce.

Shauna L Bowling (author) from Central Florida on November 21, 2014:

DJ, you're welcome. I originally intended to cover about 9 topics in this post. Once I saw how much information I was sharing on oils alone, I decided to break it down. There's nothing worse than reading an article that goes on and on and on. I don't want to lose my readers or get them so bored the information gets missed.

Tell your daughter to be careful. Running in the heat of the day can lead to heat stroke. Maybe she can do it in the early morning or dusk hours?

Shauna L Bowling (author) from Central Florida on November 21, 2014:

John, they've just been airing here recently. I looked on You Tube to see if I can find it. I don't see it, but take a look. There are others posted. It's enough to make you scream.

Randi Benlulu from Mesa, AZ on November 21, 2014:

Thank you, Sha, for the great tips! We are also coconut oil converts both in the kitchen and in the bathroom! It is a great product! I am curious about where we find the number 94. Is it at the beginning of the product number under source?

Up+

DJ Anderson on November 21, 2014:

Sha, this is a most informative article. I like that you gave a few tips and did not try to overwhelm us with too much. I have a daughter-in-law

who has gone to the far side of healthy. However, she does espouse

the benefits of coconut oil in, an on everything. (She also thinks it's fun

to go out in the summer heat and run 8-10 miles a day.)

Thanks for bringing some common sense healthy substitutes to us.

Great Hub!!

DJ.

John Hansen from Queensland Australia on November 21, 2014:

Shauna, I have never seen a commercial here in Australia for Monsanto believe it or not. They possibly do air but I have never seen one.

Shauna L Bowling (author) from Central Florida on November 21, 2014:

Peg, coconut oil has no flavor at all. That's what's nice about it. In fact, my jar of LouAna 100% pure coconut oil says, "refined from the meat of mature coconuts so there is no coconut flavor or aroma".

Shauna L Bowling (author) from Central Florida on November 21, 2014:

Ya never know, Mike. Living in the South (as I do), it could very well be a delicacy. Sorry, my sense of humor wasn't fully awake this morning. LOL

Peg Cole from Northeast of Dallas, Texas on November 21, 2014:

This actually gives me a good reason to purchase that coconut oil I've been picking up and putting back for months now. I thought it would impart a taste of coconut, which the hubby doesn't like. Thank you for this explanation about the different oils and the Green Tips.

mckbirdbks from Emerald Wells, Just off the crossroads,Texas on November 21, 2014:

Hi Sha - Truth is I looked up Deep Fried Butter. Just trying to be humorous.

Shauna L Bowling (author) from Central Florida on November 21, 2014:

Mar, I'm sure the Chef and his clients will love the changes. They're not noticeable, but are so much better for our bodies. In fact, they enhance the flavor of our foods rather than disguise them as some oils can do.

Enjoy your day, my friend.

Shauna L Bowling (author) from Central Florida on November 21, 2014:

John, I'm glad you appreciate the video. Frankly, I've never heard of him, but found it when I was looking for some music on the topic during my research.

You're so right about the hidden dangers of foods that are touted as healthy. Have you seen the latest Monsanto commercial? I can't believe they have the nerve to air it with all the controversy going on about them lately!

Shauna L Bowling (author) from Central Florida on November 21, 2014:

Audrey, thank you so much for your beautiful comment. If you and others have gained useful knowledge from this post, then I've done my job. I will continue with this series. I've made a list of substances I want to address, so there will be plenty more to come.

Shauna L Bowling (author) from Central Florida on November 21, 2014:

Georgescifo, I'm glad you found this information useful. Your family will thank you for passing on the information and I thank you as well.

Thank you for stopping by and taking the time to comment.

Shauna L Bowling (author) from Central Florida on November 21, 2014:

Mike, you're right. Grapeseed oil is reasonably priced. Tell me - what are deep fried butter snacks?

Shauna L Bowling (author) from Central Florida on November 21, 2014:

Thank you Vicki. I had no doubt you use healthy alternatives. You've very health conscious and love to cook. I don't know many people who bake their own bread from scratch, like you do. Your house must smell wonderful 24/7!

Shauna L Bowling (author) from Central Florida on November 21, 2014:

Thanx, Cris. You'll find coconut oil on the shortening shelf in your grocery store. It takes on a solid form when stored at temps up to 76 degrees. It softens in temps higher than that. I store mine in a cabinet. It stays solidified until I put heat to it. It melts quickly. As I stated, a little goes a long way, so experiment with quantities when you first start using it.

Thanx for the shares!

Shauna L Bowling (author) from Central Florida on November 21, 2014:

Faith, my mom is an awesome cook. Unfortunately, I don't cook a lot anymore. I'm divorced, so it's only my son and me. He works until 9:00 at night, so we rarely have dinner together. On the nights he works, I usually have breakfast for dinner. I do try to cook when he's off though. The last dinner we had together was catfish, cheddar parsley potatoes, and black-eyed peas. I fried the catfish in coconut oil, but next time I'll use grapeseed oil.

Shauna L Bowling (author) from Central Florida on November 21, 2014:

Flourish, that grilled cheese sandwich was yummy. I love spinach and thought it would be a good addition to the sandwich. I was right!

I'm afraid you'll have to wait 'til next July for German Chocolate cake. It's an all day affair and I only make it on request. That was my son's choice for his birthday cake this year.

Shauna L Bowling (author) from Central Florida on November 21, 2014:

Rache, I hate when that happens, too. It seems to happen to me when I leave a long comment. Sheesh!

Sorry to hear about your allergies. Perhaps you can make use of the grapeseed oil. The only thing is, it doesn't solidify like coconut oil, so you can't use it as a spread. Or maybe you could if you paint it on the bread lightly.

I saw that I have an email from you. I'll get to it after I catch up on my comments.

Shauna L Bowling (author) from Central Florida on November 21, 2014:

Mary, I didn't know grapeseed oil was good for frying either. I originally bought it to make a face scrub, which I never did. Then I looked into it's uses and discovered it's an even better alternative for frying than coconut oil.

I'm glad you like my little usage tips. I had that grilled cheese for dinner last night, after making it for this post. It was yummy.