Sunday, February 21, 2010

Pancake taste test: coconut oil vs. butter

Coconut oil vs. butter.

I went to bed last night dreaming of pancakes. That's not so unusual, it's Sunday. We're American. It's what we do.

But Sue and I turned this morning's pancake breakfast into a fun Perfect Moment Taste Test.

A friend from our meditation class (see how woo-woo we're getting) was talking about the benefits of eating coconut oil. "It's good on anything as long as you don't mind the taste of coconut." Mind? I can hardly think of anything better. So we bought a jar of Whole Foods 365 coconut oil.

Heath claims: From Lauren's healthy eating blog:
The lauric acid in coconut oil has been shown in numerous studies to inactivate a variety of viruses including the herpes simplex virus and HIV. There is no need to be afraid of coconut oil’s high saturated fat content. Coconut consumption is not associated with heart disease (it is artificially saturated trans fats that are dangerous). You can use coconut oil in place of butter in baking recipes. It is also great for sauteeing due to its high smoke point. Or try adding full-fat coconut milk to creamy vegetable curry soup instead of milk or cream for a luscious vegan rendition.

Need more? Follow @CoconutHealth on Twitter.

Great. But what about that taste?

Sunday morning taste test. Two pans. Pancake mix. Bananas. Butter. Coconut oil.

The oil comes in a jar. Even in our warm climate in Arizona, it is a solid, white, spoonable mass. It melts fast into a clear liquid. The butter melts a little slower as the butter, water, salt separate. Both need a medium heat to keep from burning.

Batter up. Each pancake bubbles up. They take about the same amount of time. Each holds sliced bananas well. The butter browns better. Each pancake looks shiny with oil. Hmmm... should we just have yogurt?

Taste test. The coconut oil pancake browned smoothly, but did not get crispy like the butter pancake. It had a subtle coconut taste which went really well with bananas. But it was all sweet, especially since I put maple syrup on top.

The butter pancake was crispy and butter gave it a nice salty balance to the syrupy sweet. "There's just something decadent about knowing that you're downing about a stick of butter and then trying to be healthy with the banana," Sue said between mouthfuls. "It was lovely, just lovely."

Bottom line: I like the health claims and plan to use coconut oil in other dishes .. stir fry maybe ... but if I had to pick just one for my Sunday morning pancake, the winner is:


Robin, Tempe


Lavender Luz said...

Really, it's hard to beat butter. I just made chocolate chip cookies and substituted flax seed for one of the tablespoons of butter, and it really DOES take away a little of the flavor/texture that butter makes so yummy.

Funny you post this. I just read this article:

I guess I'll be trying some coconut oil, too!

RobinJP said...

Thanks for that article, Lori. Cinnamon toast? Interesting. I think I can use it in ways that I now use olive oil, but lathering on a piece of toast? That's coconut oil 400-level.

Kristin said...

Now that's a taste test my kids would enjoy!

Frederick said...


Coconut oil vs. Butter? Hmmmm... I can't pick one because I love them both. But when it comes to health benefits, there's no dilemma. Coconut oil is unbeatable. Just my two cents.

Your Drugstore in a Bottle

Sheri said...

I'm visiting from Lori's Weebles Wobblog Perfect Moment Monday post...

I LOVE the taste of butter but will have to try coconut oil just because of the wonderful health benefits.

What a great (tasty) experiment!

Thanks for sharing your Perfect Moment!

re: health benefits of coconut oil said...

Thanks for posting this neat experiment comparing butter and coconut oil. I still prefer that decadent taste of butter...margarine can't even compare to it. However, there are some dishes you can make with coconut oil that suit that tropical flavor. You can also use virgin coconut oil as a hair conditioner. It also makes a great skin conditioner and I've been using it in place of my skin lotion all winter. I found my skin stays softer and doesn't dry out in our cold winter weather.

cowboyboot lady said...

Thanks for sharing this tip. What a fun taste test! I do hear about the health benefits of coconut oil. I have even heard of using it in fruit smoothies!

Kat said...

I know one thing that beats butter, GHEE!!!! Make it or buy it and then make your pancakes with THAT! Read about the benefits of ghee on wikipedia!

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