Coconut oil is versatile and tasty! Many Paleo/Primal recipes use it instead of a vegetable oil and it’s high heat tolerance is good for cooking as well. It’s high heat tolerance comes from the resistance to oxidation, also why it has such a long shelf life. Resistance to oxidation is due to the high fat saturation and fatty acids. But coconut oil isn’t just for ingestion.
Recently I’ve been trying to save as much money as I can. I found little things to help with that. Coconut oil is one of those things. I use it to bake, cook, clean my hair, hydrate my skin, flavor my coffee and DIY a lot of skin products. It’s not like I could take a brand name skin lotion and drop it in my coffee and expect it to taste yummy. And you won’t likely hear about many use of ghee as a hair product. My first suggestion is that a person attempting to branch out in the many uses of coconut oil is to first buy a 5 gallon jug of the stuff from Tropical Traditions (Available now in the Intrepid Store!) and buy separate glass jars. A set of jars for body stuff and another for consumption.
One of my favorite and easiest coconut oil recipes for body uses is simply mixing a cup or so of coconut oil with an essential oil like lavender or sandalwood, just a few drops. Voila! a nice after shower lotion. Be a little light handed on the essential oils when mixing. The coconut smell isn’t very strong and it will make your skin and hair feel fantastic and so hydrated.
When cooking with coconut oil, I have found that a 1:1 substitute works well when pan frying or baking. Now, it is coconut oil so it will compliment fish and chicken very well, I would keep cooking with ghee if you pan fry heavier meats like beef and pork.
I would visit the Tropical Traditions site for more info on baking recipes. Have fun with it!