Natural-Habitats
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Red Palm Oil: Ways of Using It

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03 June 2013

Red palm oil is a comparatively new product for the western world. Therefor, there are many questions related to the usage of red palm oil and which products to combine it with. We decided to collect advices from cooking forums and tips from Brazilian and African kitchen, where red palm oil is most used.

An important remark should be made is that red palm oil has to be organic and grown in a sustainable habitat.

Here are some advices on how to cook with organic red palm oil, what products to combine with and how to play around with its distinct taste. You may do the following with it:
1) Use in stews with spinach, cassava or sweet potato leaf. A bit of peanut butter may be added to thicken the stew and blend the taste.
For example, okra stew (okra, palm oil, lots of onions, meat, fish or both), palm oil stew (meat, onions, tomatoes, tomato paste, whole pepper, salt and palm oil.) About ½ cup of organic red palm oil for a large stew.
2) You can mix the palm oil to tone the taste with the following cooking fats: butter or coconut oil.
3) Make popcorn.
4) Fry omelets and scrambled eggs with it.
4) Stir-fry lamb, onion, garlic, and carrots on the low heat with it.
5) Add as a food-based vitamin E/carotene supplement.
6) Use with spicy or strong flavored ingredients, such as ginger, chili, garlic, lime, turmeric or coriander leaf.
7) Cook plantains: Mince ginger, a clove or two of garlic, some dried chili or cayenne, and some lemon juice and salt. Toss it through chunks of raw plantain. Let it stand for a while, so plantain would absorb the flavors. Then fry the plantain in red palm oil.
8) Bake coconut floor bread with red palm oil.
9) Cook shrimps. Quote from forum: “I have really enjoyed the taste of ground beef, and even shrimp (which I typically cook in coconut oil) that I have cooked with the Red Palm Oil. The shrimp actually came out orange and because they were baby shrimp the final product looked like a bowl of macaroni and cheese.” (Paleohacks93374 )

Some countries use palm oil on daily basis in their ration. You can check for recipe’s inspiration through the following links:
1) Red palm oil comes natively from Africa. So it is added in a variety of dishes there. Check African cook resources for tasty recipes:
CongoCookBook
AfricanCooking
NigeriaCuisine
2) Book by Bruce Fife “The Palm Oil Miracle” contains a variety of good recipes with red palm oil.
3) Take inspiration from Brazilian kitchen, especially from the state of Bahia. In their recipes palm oil is also called Dendê oil.
For example, you may use this link: flavorsofbrazil.blogspot.nl

This list is not limited and you may find your own beautiful combinations.

Furthermore, red palm oil could be used for cosmetic purposes.

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For hair:
When used on the hair, it has a great conditioning effect, and is the perfect answer for dry hair. Before going to wash your hair, massage a bit of red palm oil into your hair tips, and leave for a while. Follow it with shampoo and conditioner. Hair will be left smoother and silkier. Furthermore, due to vitamin E, it may help to prevent hair loss.

For skin:
Red palm oil may be a solution for skin, since it is rich with nutritional elements in unrefined state. Some people use it to heal old scars, stretch marks, and to moisturize skin. Due to its orange color, clothes may be damaged and therefor be uncomfortable to be used frequently.
It could also be used to make a Do-It-Yourself soap. Video of Making Soap with Red Palm Oil

As it could be seen, red palm oil has many applications and goes well with many dishes. Next to that, it may be applied for cosmetic purposes. Its health benefits and richness with elements, makes it not only a tasty natural additive, but a nutritionally valuable ingredient.
Stick to organic and sustainable sources of red palm oil. It is important, because in that case no harm is done to nature and your health.

Cooking tips were taken from our own experience and from these websites:
Buzzle
Paleohacks/3718
Paleohacks/93374
Paleohacks/19169

 

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