Recently, I had the opportunity to review a 32 oz (1 quart) jar of USDA-certified organic Tropical Traditions Gold Label Virgin Coconut Oil from Healthy Traditions.
I will admit that I had never heard of cooking with coconut oil until some of my blog friends told me all about it and convinced me that I just had to try it.
I was skeptical, considering that I normally use olive oil for all of my cooking, and wondered how coconut oil would compare in quality and taste. I have to say that I was pleasantly surprised!
So what exactly is virgin coconut oil?
Virgin Coconut Oil is a food and is one of the best cooking oils you can use. It has been a staple cooking oil for thousands of years in tropical climates. As a cooking oil, its chemical structure is kept in tact and therefore is resistant to mutations of fatty acid chains even when used in higher cooking temperatures, unlike most vegetable oils. Research shows that the medium-chain fatty acids found in coconut oil boosts the body’s metabolism, raises body temperature, and helps provide greater energy which can lead to weight loss.
Why is Tropical Traditions Virgin Coconut Oil so great?
Tropical Traditions Gold Label Virgin Coconut Oil is a truly unrefined coconut oil. This coconut oil is made on Mt. Banahaw and surrounding areas from organic coconuts. Coconuts are used fresh (within 24-48 hours of harvest) from small family farms on Mt. Banahaw and other rural places in Quezon Province, the coconut capital of the Philippines. Only the highest quality coconuts are hand-picked from each harvest. The volcanic soil of Mt. Banahaw makes these organic coconuts some of the most nutritionally rich coconuts in the world!
Tropical Tradition’s Virgin Coconut Oil comes in solid form, but as soon as it becomes heated it turns to liquid just like any other oil. Before cooking with it, we all tried little bites of it and found that it has a pleasant and light coconut taste.
I learned that you can literally replace all of your other cooking oils, margarine, butter, etc. with coconut oil. I was a little hesitant in doing this, but found that it is really easy to replace your other oils with it, and it works and tastes just as well!
The first dish I made with our virgin coconut oil was sautéed zucchini and onions. I simply scooped about a tablespoon of the coconut oil into the pan, and it instantly turned to liquid and filled the kitchen with a nice aroma.
I was surprised at how little coconut oil I needed (yes, that 32 oz jar is going to last a LONG time!), and how the vegetables did have a faint coconut taste. It was different, but we liked it.
I am excited to continue to make more things with our coconut oil, like pumpkin muffins and banana bread. There are hundreds of tasty coconut oil recipes at FreeCoconutRecipes.com that you can check out if you would like to see how other people are using it in their everyday cooking.
Not only is coconut oil great to cook with, but it is also really good for you. Due to FDA guidelines, I’m not allowed to post any health claims, but feel free to google “coconut oil benefits” and you will find tons of info on it.
You can learn more about Tropical Traditions Coconut Oil, plus see more awesome products at the Healthy Traditions website.