Tropical Traditions Virgin Coconut Oil Review/Giveaway
I am so pumped to share this review/giveaway with you all!! Last week, I was given the opportunity to review Tropical Traditions Virgin Coconut Oil!! Coconut Oil isn't yet in every household, but I think it SHOULD be!! It isn't that easy to find, so finding a reliable online provider is optimal. I have been ordering from Tropical Traditions for a year and have always had excellent service, timely shipping and responses to any questions. (For example, the jar of coconut oil was shattered by the shipping process by the time it arrived to me. I emailed Tropical Traditions and they responded the same day saying they had replaced it!) I absolutely love the flavor and quality of their coconut oil and am always adding it to my baking when the recipe calls for "vegetable oil".
Are you still using rancid vegetable oil? THROW IT AWAY!! Here is a little information on vegetable oil:
And - want to how how vegetable oil makes us fat??It used to be that heavy weights were used to squeeze the oil from plants (which warranted the name “vegetable oil”). But now most manufacturers use heat and chemical solvents, in particular petroleum-derived hexane, to extract the oil. Both methods end up removing potential health benefits, I learned from Maggie Ward, MS, RD, LDN, nutrition director of Dr. Mark Hyman’s UltraWellness Center in Lenox, Massachusetts. The principle demon is heat. At certain temperatures, heat oxidizes and neutralizes many of the plant’s nutrients. This makes the oil rancid (even though you can’t necessarily tell) and as a result, the oil’s healthy antioxidants and essential fatty acids are replaced by destructive free radicals.Adding insult to injury, most vegetable oils are then refined after extraction — using yet more chemicals and high heat to bleach and deodorize them. This removes color to make the oil look more appealing and erases any rancid smell and taste. The result is oil that is bland enough to add moisture and texture without changing the taste of baked foods. And the supposed benefit is that cooks can use these oils for frying, because they can be taken to high temperatures without smoking. But the real result of all this processing means that we end up using nutritionally void oil to cook in a way that is inherently unhealthful. And yes, this includes oils such as soybean and canola oil that are marketed as “healthy” and “good for you.” (From the Unsavory Truth about Vegetable Oils)
Ah, but you say, "I don't use vegetable oil. I use the 'healthier' canola oil!" Even though things made in Canada are categorically better (says the Canadian), canola oil is just as terrible. How it is made:
While it is a great idea to get rid of those oils, it is an even better idea to replace them with healthier fats and oils like coconut oil!Canola (modified rapeseed oil) is produced by heating the rapeseed and processing with a petroleum solvent to extract the oil. Then another process of heat and addition of acid is used to remove nasty solids (wax) that occur during the first processing.At this point, the newly created canola oil must be treated with more chemicals to improve color and separate the different parts of the oil. Finally, since the chemical process has created a harsh smelling oil, it must be chemically deodorized to be palatable. (From Why You Should NEVER Eat Vegetable Oil or Margarine!)
Coconut oil is loaded with medium chain saturated fats...Incorporate this wonderful, healthy fat into your diet in copious amounts. Coconut oil is a highly stable oil, so much so, that you can keep it unrefrigerated in your pantry for years and it will not go rancid (I have a 5 gallon bucket in my garage .. it stays perfect through the long, hot, humid Florida summers!) It remains stable even at very high heat, so it is the ideal cooking oil. I use coconut oil anytime a recipe calls for cooking oil or shortening. Coconut oil used in your baked goods will result in cookies, cakes, and pastries so moist – you and your family will be delighted.Check out this short video from Tropical Traditions on how they manually extract coconut oil!
Pepperidge Farm used to use coconut oil in their line of cookies years ago, only to replace it with very unhealthy, partially hydrogenated vegetable oils (aka, Factory Fats) when saturated fats became erroneously regarded as heart unhealthy. Coconut oil, however, is now known to be extremely heart healthy .. the Traditional Cultures that consume coconuts and coconut oil have some of the lowest rates of heart disease in the world (not to mention are some of the slimmest people in the world). (From Five Fats you MUST Have In Your Kitchen)
So you are looking at the prices and thinking it is waaaay too expensive to continue to buy coconut oil? I subscribe to the belief that cutting corners and being frugal is just par for the course. But when it comes to eating healthy and keeping my family at their best health possible, I can't put a price tag on that. I will not spend our family's hard-earned money on products that are potentially harmful, even if they are cheaper. Our health comes first. I may not have all the newest palm pilots and fancy cars, but we eat GOOD around here!! Healthy, nutritious, and tasty food is an investment I can get behind.
I spend the most time on the Tropical Traditions website going through their recipe list! Most online recipe websites use rancid vegetable oil. While I usually just substitute butter or coconut oil for the vegetable oil, I prefer to find recipes that are specifically tailored to coconut oil because of its delicious flavor!! I'm not going to lie - I wish I had some maple syrup on hand so I could make Tropical Bananas! My favorite use for the coconut oil is baking in muffins or cakes. Or, if you are a fan of the Ghirardelli Brownie mix - add coconut oil and prepare to be amazed :)
Coconut oil has tons of other uses aside from cooking - check them out here!
Coconut oil can also be used for many entrees: This week, I made Coconut-Curry Lentil Stew served over Quinoa for dinner using 4 Tbsp of coconut oil and also some coconut milk (made from coconut cream concentrate) and it was amazing!! A definite repeat!!
Tropical Traditions is going to give one lucky winner a quart of their Virgin Coconut Oil!! (Shipping to US and Canada only.)
Leave a comment on this post if you would like to win! Also, please sign up for the Tropical Traditions Newsletter for an additional chance to win (leave an extra comment).
Optional: Here are some opportunities for extra entries! (Add one comment per completed task!)
a) Follow Tropical Traditions on Twitter @troptraditions and @ttspecialdeals
b) Like Tropical Traditions on Facebook
c) Follow Tropical Traditions on Pinterest
I will announce the winner on Wednesday, April 25th! Good luck!!
Disclaimer:Tropical Traditions provided me with a free sample of this product to review, and I was under no obligation to review it if I so chose. Nor was I under any obligation to write a positive review or sponsor a product giveaway in return for the free product.
“If you order by clicking on any of my links and have never ordered from Tropical Traditions in the past, you will receive a free book on Virgin Coconut Oil, and I will receive a discount coupon for referring you.”