I enjoy tinkering with oils and vinegars, not only for salads, but for all kinds of applications. I realize cold pressed organic virgin coconut oil has been touted as one of the “latest and greatest,” but my draw is purely flavor-driven. Coconut is one of my love languages; I adore coconut yogurt, seven layer magic cookie bars (the one on the side of the condensed milk can), Girl Scout Somoas, pina coladas, Thai soups and curries made with coconut milk, and more. Formerly found exclusively at health food stores and specialty markets, creamy and spreadable coconut oil (at room temp.) is now widely available, inspiring me (and hopefully you!) to invent coconut-infused thrills every time I take a lovely whiff. My latest culinary treat, besides smearing fragrant coconut “butter” on homemade toasted bread with jam, is barely melting a few tablespoons in the microwave and tossing it with raw sweet potato strips (french-fry cut), ground cinnamon, and kosher salt, then scattering them evenly on a cookie sheet to roast (400 degrees) until edges are browned and crispy. Move over butter, make room for coconut-scented creations.

This is just one example of coconut oil sold in stores, among many brands with variations and price points – find your favorite! To learn more about the health benefits and health concerns of coconut oil, click here.