Any fat used in making pastries and other baked goods is called shortening. Famous examples of this are butter, oil, margarine, and lard. These are the ingredients needed to make the flour in every pastry what it needs to be. Hence, a shortening is a must have in baking.
But what if you don’t have any shortening in your pantry? What makes an excellent substitute for it?
Coconut Oil as a Substitute for Shortening
Although coconut oil is known to many as a top health and beauty product, it’s also an excellent cooking oil. Savory dishes can be made tastier with it and desserts can be made even sweeter. So it should be no surprise to any of us who love to bake that it’s an excellent substitute for shortening as well.
What makes it amazing? Well, apart from its long list of health benefits, which is always a bonus for people who aim to maintain a good health through their diet, it also has a long shelf life and does not require refrigeration. Coconut oil is one of those products that can survive in your pantry for a long time and continue to give you many opportunities to make the best dishes in the kitchen.
Tips For Baking with a Substitute for Shortening
In order to properly bake with coconut oil as a substitute for shortening, take note of these 4 tips:
1. Put it in the fridge.
To make the oil achieve the solidity of a shortening, coconut oil is a liquid after all, you can either put it in the freezer or put it in the fridge. But it’s not that simple. The first method requires you to fill your ice cube tray with coconut oil and put it in the freezer for about an hour. When you need to use the oil as a substitute for shortening, all you need to do is let it out and let it soften until it reaches the consistency you’re after. The second method is putting just the amount you need in the fridge for several minutes until it’s ready for use.
2. Do not store the whole coconut oil jar in the fridge.
However, never store the entire glass jar of coconut oil in the refrigerator. This isn’t advisable for it will make the coconut oil solid and difficult to use.
3. Do not microwave.
Also, never put the coconut oil in a microwave. Even if you desperately need the coconut oil to soften, let it happen naturally.
4. Use it in baking.
Lastly, use unrefined or virgin coconut oil for all of your baking. It’s simply the best kind because it’s the healthiest. It retains more nutrients than the refined coconut oil because it doesn’t undergo as much processing. So if you’re looking for the type of coconut oil you need as a substitute for shortening, unrefined coconut oil it is!
On the whole, you can use coconut oil as a substitute for a lot of oils in cooking. You can even say that it makes the food more delicious. So when you use it as a shortening, trust that it’ll make your pastries and baked goods even better. Get creative by using coconut oil as a substitute for shortening today!