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    Ask The Chef: Coconut Oil in Smoothies

    By Julie Morris, Superfood Chef | December 1, 2012


    Question:

    What is the best way to add coconut oil to a smoothie? Usually, I melt it, stir in Navitas Naturals Cacao Powder, then add Greek yogurt and almond milk. It re-solidifies a bit, which is ok because it's blended with the cacao, but is there a way to keep it all smooth?
    -Pamela H.

    Answer:
    Coconut oil is a unique kind of healthy fat because of its naturally high melting point (72-78 degrees F). This means that unless its surrounding temperature is above the melting point mark, coconut oil will take the form of a solid white mass, as opposed to a clear liquid oil. Though an excellent trait to have for high heat cooking (a high melting point implies a fat that is resistant to oxidation and/or going rancid), this quality can be problematic for smoothies, due to their cold liquid temperature. The result is, as you noticed, small solid coconut oil chunks throughout the drink - a reaction that occurs almost immediately.

    Unfortunately, there is no way to make coconut oil “stay†liquid in a cold recipe environment, even in high-speed blenders. Nevertheless, one way that can help mask the bits of coconut oil is using more ice to create a very frosty smoothie that has some texture to begin with. If you're looking for a smoothie that is fully “smooth,†however, I would suggest using coconut butter instead, which is a high-fat coconut paste that includes some of the “meat†in addition to the oil. It has a stronger coconut flavor, but it will blend smoothly without any hardened oil particulates, all while adding a little bit of fiber in addition to the oil itself.


    Have a superfood smoothie question of your own? Ask away! Just post it below and we may feature it in an upcoming segment of Ask The Chef.