A while back, Tropical Traditions sent Lynn and I big jar of Virgin Coconut Oil and a book all about coconut oil, how it is made and the Tropical Traditions Company. Thank you Tropical Traditions – for the oil and book – I love a company who wants to educate the consumer about themselves and their product!
I have used coconut oil off and on since I started studying nutrition because I knew that it was good for your complexion and the molecules stay in tact at high heat (perfect for things like my popcorn!).
I have been slowly working my way through the book since we got it, and I am just realizing now that as I was slowly reading the book, I was also slowly switching us to using more coconut oil.
I am so glad that they sent the book with the oil because I learned so much that I didn’t know about coconut oil:
– Coconut oil has anti-viral and anti-bacterial properties
– Coconut oil is a saturated fat but is a medium chain fatty acid so it does not clog arteries the way that other saturated fats do. So it is a good saturated fat!
– Coconut oil has been used to lower cholesterol and lose weight
The book explains the processes of making coconut oil. The way that Tropical Traditions makes it is by “wet milling”. It is the traditional process that has been used for years in the Philippines.
“The method we chose to use in the Philippines is the traditional fermentation method. The coconut milk expressed from the freshly harvested coconuts is fermented for 24-36 hours. During that time, the water separates from the oil. The oil is then slightly heated for a short time to remove moisture, and then lightly filtered. The result is a clear coconut oil that still retains the distinct scent and taste of coconuts.” (from Virgin Coconut Oil by Brian and Marianita Jader Shilhavy – owners of Tropical Traditions)
They were the first ones to export this grade of coconut oil so they coined the term “Virgin” coconut oil.
They claim that this process keeps the flavor and smell of the coconut in the oil. I tested it against the Spectrum Organic Expeller Pressed Coconut Oil and the Tropical Traditions did taste more like coconut. I preferred the coconut taste to the more bland Spectrum oil but if you don’t like the taste of coconut, you might want to try expeller pressed either from Tropical Traditions or another company.
The book suggests many different uses for the oil from cooking with it to using it as a supplement. I love cooking with it. I added it to a vegetable soup and it made the soup much more satisfying and flavorful. As a supplement, they suggest working your way up to 3 tablespoons a day for an adult. I took one tablespoon one day but had a little problem figuring out how to take it. Since it is getting cooler, the oil is solid now. I tried to take it solid (the book says some people think it tastes like coconut candy) but I can’t really take the texture of it. I might try to freeze it and see how that is. If anyone has any suggestions for this, let me know.
Another great thing that I have always loved to do with coconut oil is to massage it into my skin. Give yourself a mini spa treatment – take a steamy shower or bath and loofah away all the dead skin. Then heat up the oil a little until it is liquid (but be careful not to get it so hot that it will burn you!) and then massage it into your skin. It gives you that coconut beach smell and it makes your skin so soft. I know people who use it on their hair too but I haven’t tried that.
After reading the book, I am definitely excited to use and recommend coconut oil more.
Here’s my opinion, if you are going to use it medicinally – as a supplement, skin treatment or for a health problem, then Tropical Traditions seems like a good company to try since the whole purpose of the way they process their oil is to keep the health benefits in tact versus other companies who are probably concerned with shelf life, etc. Plus it is more flavorful!