Coconut oil is made from the pulp and milk of coconuts. It can be used in baking and cooking and is considered to be a great option for people following a healthy eating plan. Many people like using coconut oil because it fits in with a vegan lifestyle.
Oils and fats make good substitutes for coconut oil. Butter, sunflower oil, canola oil, and olive oil are good coconut oil alternatives because they have a mild flavor and similar texture.
Virgin coconut oil is made from fresh, young coconuts and has a distinctive, tropical aroma and flavor, with nutty undertones. Refined coconut oil is made from mature coconuts and is virtually odorless and flavorless.
Best Substitute for Coconut Oil: Butter
The best substitute for coconut oil is butter. Unlike other oils, coconut oil is solid at room temperature, just like butter. However, coconut oil becomes a liquid when it’s warmed slightly.
Butter is the best coconut oil substitute for baking because its creamy consistency and smooth flavor will give you the same result as coconut oil. Butter gives cakes and biscuits the same smooth, rich texture as coconut oil so you should replace the coconut oil in recipes with butter on a 1:1 basis.
Butter is not suitable as a coconut oil substitute in salad dressings, and in this case, you would need a liquid substitute for coconut oil. Butter is also not suitable as a coconut oil substitute for vegans or people suffering from dairy intolerance.
Other Coconut Oil Substitutes, Alternatives, and Replacements
There are lots of products that you can use in place of coconut oil. Most alternatives are stapling products that can be found in your pantry. Here are some more alternatives for coconut oil.
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Olive oil is an excellent coconut oil substitute as it is healthy, and fits in with a vegan or plant-based diet.
There are a few types of olive oil to choose from. The International Olive Council grades olive oil into different categories. The best olive oil to use as a substitute for coconut oil is extra virgin olive oil as this is the purest and most unrefined form of olive oil.
Olive oil is perfect as a coconut oil substitute for cooking and frying as it will add extra flavor to salad dressings and sauces, and is low in saturated fats. Olive oil can be used as a 1:1 replacement in recipes that include coconut oil.
Olive oil is not an appropriate substitute in baked goods due to its distinctive flavor. Using olive could change the taste of baked goods completely.
Avocado oil is extracted from the pulp of avocado fruit. It makes an excellent coconut oil substitute as avocado oil is rich in antioxidants and can help to lower cholesterol.
Avocado oil has a high smoke point which makes it a safe choice to use as a coconut oil substitute in stir fries and other dishes that require frying or roasting. You should use avocado oil as a 1:1 substitute for coconut oil.
Seed-based Coconut Oil Substitutes
Many coconut oil substitutes are oils that have been extracted from plant seeds.
Sesame oil is extracted from raw or toasted sesame seeds and makes a great substitute for coconut oil in Chinese cooking. It also works well for sauteing vegetables and in stir-fries.
You can replace coconut oil with sesame oil on a 1:1 basis.
Coconut oil is used in beauty products and is excellent for treating dry hair. Sesame oil can be used as a coconut oil substitute in many hair and beauty treatments. Massage a small amount of sesame oil into your scalp and leave it on for 20 minutes. Wash out with a mild shampoo, and your hair will feel sleek and soft.
Sunflower oil is extracted from sunflower seeds and is a popular coconut oil substitute because it’s readily available. Sunflower oil is also much cheaper than coconut oil.
Use sunflower oil as a 1:1 substitute for coconut oil in recipes, including baked goods. Sunflower oil is excellent for frying and roasting.
Canola oil is made from canola plant seeds. The canola plant produces a yellow flower which evolves into a pod filled with seeds with a high volume of oil.
Canola oil makes an excellent 1:1 substitute for coconut oil in cooking and baking. Canola oil has little flavor, so food should taste the same.
Canola oil is particularly good as a coconut oil substitute for frying and roasting. Use it in stir-fries and for roasted vegetables.
Grapeseed oil is a by-product of the wine industry. Grape seeds are processed, and the oil is extracted from them, giving an oil that is great for cooking and baking.
Grapeseed oil is rich in Omega 6 fats and has a high vitamin E content. Grapeseed oil can be used as a coconut oil substitute on a 1:1 basis in many recipes, and it works well in dressings, sauces, and marinades.
Mustard oil is made from mustard plant seeds. It is high in Omega 3 and 6 fatty acids and works well as a substitute for coconut oil in many recipes.
Mustard oil has a high smoke point, making it ideal as a coconut oil substitute for frying. You can use mustard oil as a 1:1 replacement for coconut oil in cooking recipes, but mustard oil is not suitable for baking.
Hemp Seed Oil
Hemp seed oil is extracted from the seeds of the cannabis plant. The hemp seed oil has many health benefits and works well as a coconut oil substitute in many dishes.
Hemp seed oil deteriorates when it is heated, so you should not use it in cooking and baking. You can use hemp seed oil in salad dressings as it is delicious when drizzled over pasta dishes or sprinkled over pizza.
Nut-based Coconut Oil Substitutes
Most nuts contain natural oil, and these oils can be used as substitutes for coconut oil in many recipes. You should not use any nut-based coconut oil substitutes if you have a nut allergy.
Peanut oil is derived directly from peanuts. This oil is higher in saturated fats than vegetable oils but has a lower saturated fat level than coconut oil.
Peanut oil has a distinct nutty flavor. You can use peanut oil as a substitute for coconut oil in Asian recipes, and it is also good in salad dressings and stir-fries.
You can replace coconut oil with peanut oil in equal parts.
Almond oil is made from the pulp of raw almonds. You can use almond oil for baking recipes as it is a healthy choice, with a low level of saturated fats. Almond oil does not contain trans fats, making it a brilliant choice for protection against heart disease.
Almond oil can be used as a coconut oil substitute in many beauty products. When applied topically, it is a great treatment for dry skin.
Walnut oil is extracted from raw walnuts and is rich in Omega 3 fatty acids and other unsaturated fats. Walnut oil has a strong nutty flavor and works well as a 1:1 substitute for coconut oil in Chinese and Japanese cooking.
Use it to enhance the flavors in stir-fries and sweet and sour dishes.
Hazelnut oil is pressed from raw hazelnuts. It adds a special element to baked goods due to its unique flavor, so you should use this oil in cakes and cookies if you want to add a nutty flavor.
Hazelnut oil makes a good 1:1 coconut oil substitute in stir-fries. Add hazelnut oil in place of coconut oil in salad dressings and marinades.