***Oct. 3, 2009 THE CONTEST IS OVER!! Congrats to HEATHER from Loving Touch WetBags (cut stuff btw). I have emailed the winner, If I don’t hear back by 8am PST the prize will be awarded to someone else. Thanks!!!****
I love coconut. I love the flavor, the versatility, the health properties….coconut water is a great electrolyte replacement. Coconut ‘flour’ makes delicious gluten-free high fiber baked goodies. Coconut milk adds a whole new level of creamy deliciousness to all kinds of soups, porridge, sauces… Coconut cream concentrate is so good…well…I have bought it twice and never got around to using it in any kind of cooking application because i ate all of it by the spoonful (or melted into hot chocolate). That brings us to Coconut Oil. I use coconut oil extensively in my kitchen. It’s a stable healthy fat, resistant to heat and thus great for high heat cooking and frying. I use expeller pressed coconut oil for the bulk of my cooking (& all of my deep frying except when i can get my hands on affordable lard) mostly due to cost & taste. However, Virgin Coconut oil is REALLY where it’s at concerning health. I’m not going to go into all the science and cause most of you to check out entirely. Instead feel free to google, “benefits of virgin coconut oil” and/or read “Virgin Coconut Oil: How it has changed people’s lives and how it can change yours!” It’s a quick read, easy to understand and sprinkled with personal ‘testimonies’ about the various ways coconut has helped people overcome many maladies. At the end of the post I’ll give you some info on how to score a free copy of this book if you’ve never ordered from Tropical Traditions before. For the record, I do NOT believe there are any dietary ‘magic bullets’. I really really do NOT think you can change one thing about your diet and ‘change your life’. While I am a big fan of virgin coconut oil use as a food and even take it myself for supplement type purposes (anti-viral, anti-yeast), I think it is a powerful tool that works in conjunction with many other variables.
I typically buy coconut products from Tropical Traditions. Admittedly, they’re not always the cheapest and I sometimes order products (like expeller pressed oil) from other companies to save money, but when I “splurge” on Tropical Traditions, I do tend to notice a difference (though not on the expeller pressed oil….sorry…just haven’t). Anyhow, recently the folks at Tropical Traditions were kind enough to send me some of their Gold Label Virgin Coconut Oil and the previously linked book to review for you. Prior to this it’s been awhile since I’ve bought Virgin Coconut oil just due to cost. It just so happens though that I had another brand in my pantry that a friend had given me just the week before. Seemed like a perfect storm for a taste test! The verdict? The taste difference was only very very subtle. The TT brand had a touch more coconut flavor. I could discern no major difference (though I am not well known for acute taste buds. I should have forced Ryan (aka “Mr. Super-taster”) to do it, but he doesn’t like coconut..or gnoshing on oil). However, the texture of the TT oil was a lot smoother than the other and it stayed softer longer. I have no idea why, but there you go. The thing about the Gold Label Virgin Oil vs. pretty much any other Virgin Oil is that it is hand-made traditionally. This video explains it better than I could.
Pretty impressive. OK, so my favorite way of consuming the coconut oil raw? Coconut Chocolate Treats. Yes, chocolate is technically ‘illegal’ on the SCD diet…but…of all the ways I could be consuming chocolate, I don’t so much plan to stop making this. Besides so is beer. And the rice I had with dinner tonight. Not doing great about SCD, but am still 100% gluten-free. That’s another story. Back to chocolate.
I tried to keep track of measurements when I made some yesterday, but it always ends up needing a pinch more of this or that until I end up having no idea how much of anything is in there. But as best as I can tell here’s the ‘recipe’:
3 parts Virgin Coconut Oil
2-2.5 parts Non-Alkaline Cocoa Powder
1-2 parts honey
1 part flax oil (opt. I did it this time b/c i scored a free bottle from a friend)
whisk together, spread onto chilled cookie sheets lined with wax paper for bark or drop by the teaspoonful, then transfer to freezer for 10-20 min. Transfer to a storage container & keep in the freezer. I recommend freezing them into small pieces because they do melt fast, so you want pieces you can pop in your mouth direct from the freezer. This recipe is easily adaptable to all kinds of tweaks. I intend to experiment with nut butter next time, as well as some with nuts & cinnamon mixed in.
This not only helps me consume the 3 TBS/day I aim for w/o gagging on a spoon of plain oil, but works like a charm to appease the chocolate monster that appears once a moon. I’m also more than happy to treat the kids with it.
On to the free stuff! Tropical Traditions generously offered to send a quart of the virgin coconut oil to one of our readers. So here’s the skinny: Go subscribe to their email sales newsletter (they run some great buy one get one free sales & the like. I enjoy being in the loop), then report back here in the comments (of this post!) that your homework is finished. Bam. You are now entered to win. On October 3rd at 1pm PST I will put all the names in a bowl and have Grace (who begs to eat this stuff on a spoon) pick a name. I will contact the winner via email (so provide an email address in the comment form!) and update this post when I get around to it.
If you would like to snag a free copy of the book & help me snag free gifts:
Tropical Traditions also has a Referral Program, so if you place an order with them as a first-time customer, please select “Referred by a friend” and in the box that says “How did you hear of us?” enter my sponsor ID number: 5522466. By telling Tropical Traditions that I referred you, you will receive a complimentary copy of the book Virgin Coconut Oil: How it has changed people’s lives and how it can change yours! by Brian and Marianita Shilhavy with your first order! This book is filled with testimonies and research showing how healthy coconut oil is, and it also includes over 85 recipes showing how one can incorporate coconut into their diet.