In the aftermath of the devastating 2004 Boxing Day tsunami, when Sri Lankans were having to rebuild their lives and livelihoods, some hope came in the form of the creation of new, sustainable businesses. One of these was Coconoil – a range of products made using virgin coconut oil made from Sri Lankan coconuts. Just over a decade later, 200 people are employed by the company.
They’ve recently set up a new project with 200 smallholders from five villages in Ghana and they hope they can replicate some of the success they have seen in Sri Lanka, helping to create much needed work and income streams.
I love coconuts, whereas my husband’s not so keen, so it’s not something we have a lot at home. But as well as being interested in its ethical production, I’ve loved having my tub of Coconoil on the side in the kitchen. I could equally have it on my dressing table. It’s an amazing, adaptable little product that I knew very little about before.
It’s also fashionable with the likes of Hemsley & Hemsley extolling its health benefits (its fatty acid speeds up the metabolism and can lower the risk of heart disease). It’s also found favour with British celebrities like Alesha Dixon, who says she’s ‘addicted’ to it, and Tinie Tempah (that one surprised me!). Coconoil is cold pressed, meaning there’s no heat involved which can reduce its benefits.
I particularly love the subtle coconut flavour in cooking. It’s probably not cheap enough for everyday family use but it certainly adds something to a stir fry, sweet dishes or even roast veg. But I’ve also tried it on my skin. It’s worth saying it comes as a tub and is set, with the texture of thin butter.
Here are just a few of the uses I’ve enjoyed over the past few weeks:
- Some oil on my face during this cold weather – warm it between your hands first. Research showed it was better than mineral oil and I loved the feel of it on dry skin.
- Handcream – I wash my hands a lot during the day and this is a nice alternative to commercial handcreams.
- Lips – it sinks in well and has a subtle flavour.
- Smoothies – a few teaspoonfools give a nice taste to a healthy smoothie.
- Frying and roasting – it doesn’t smoke until it gets very hot so is good to fry with.
- Flavouring – great for Thai curries.
- Sweet snacks like seed filled flapjacks. Yum.
Worth a little try.
Thanks to Coconoil for sharing their story and letting me try a tub. Prices start at £4.94 and you can buy online.