On a relatively benign Tuesday morning in 1995, I’m sitting at my desk while a lady at the front of my second grade classroom talks to us about a weird fuzzy brown edible object that resembles a mini bowling ball. She tells us all about how to crack it open to reveal the tender white “meat” and shows us how it’s hollow with water inside.
After explaining the origin of this funky food, she cuts off pieces of the meat and gets ready to pass some around for the class to taste. Obviously this is the part we’ve all been waiting for. I squirm in my chair as I wait for her to come around to my four-top of desks with what will hopefully be some sort of sweet treat.
She gets to my table and hands a piece to Greg, the kid who hates baths and eats pencil lead. He shoves it in his mouth and swallows before his brain can ever even process that he’s eaten something, let alone the fact that he’s broadened his culinary interests beyond his ordinary breakfast of a number two pencil.
Just as the lady gets to my desk, I hear a sneeze at the table next to me, then a gasp from my teacher. I look over to see the dark haired kid with a mushroom cut at the table next to me…covered in puke. Turns out, mushroom cut’s allergic to coconuts. I guess you never know until you try…right?
Needless to say, the entire class was suddenly disinterested in the coconut and we were all sent out to recess while the classroom was cleaned up.
It took me a while to allow coconut back into my life after that traumatizing experience. In fact, it wasn’t until sixteen years later, when I decided to change my diet for the better, that I decided to give coconut a second chance. Now, I use some form of coconut on a daily basis.
Daily Basis?! For What?!
Cooking, shampoo, conditioner, cleaning, moisturizer, I could go on all day.
I love coconut oil and so should you. Maybe you’ve been living under a rock and you’re wondering what the heck coconut oil is.
Coconut oil is oil that’s been extracted from the meat of matured coconuts. For more information about what coconut oil is, check out this page.
It’s most commonly used in cooking for things like frying or baking. But that’s not all it can be used for.
I use coconut oil for a myriad of things, including:
- Lotion (face/body)
- Homemade chapstick
- Make-up remover
- Greasing pans when cooking things like eggs
- Face wash
- I’ve heard of people using coconut oil instead of toothpaste (It’s called oil pulling)
- Some of my friends put coconut oil in their hair to moisturize it
- And plenty more
I’m sure I’m missing a ton of things but you get the picture. It’s versatile.
How is it made?
Since I’m a crazy person, I’m always concerned with how every product I use is made and I try to never buy anything processed. Unfortunately, you pretty much have to process anything to get oil out of it, so it’s practically impossible to get something unprocessed in the case of oils.
When researching this article, I found out that a lot of times the way the oil is extracted from the coconut is sometimes a sketchy process involving chemicals…and chemicals totally aren’t my thing.
Then, I read this article which, granted, isn’t even about coconut oil, but it made me think that olive oil probably isn’t the only oil that isn’t always sold in its purest form.
And by the way, if you’re still eating gross canola oils or vegetable oils, I highly suggest you read my take on those oils in my “Eat This Not That” Article. Then go ahead and watch this video about how canola oil is made. Then please stop eating that chemical sludge.
Anyway, since I use coconut oil so frequently I wanted to make sure that the coconut oil I’m getting is sourced in the most natural way possible. After reading up on some various types of coconut oil, I stumbled upon Tropical Traditions*
A little bit of reading on their site told me that they make their coconut oil the old fashioned way. Through family producers in the Philippines who use traditional methods to extract the oil. They actually have a ton of information on their site including some pictures. I really like how open they are about the whole process.
They even have a video which has some footage of coconuts being harvested and made into oil.
(note: I didn’t make this video…)
After watching that, I decided I had to get my hands on some.
Tropical Traditions was awesome enough to send me some of their coconut oil to try. Once I received my package and got way too excited than any human should about receiving a jar of oil, I immediately put the coconut oil to the test.
I had been wanting to try making some whipped coconut oil to use as moisturizer for a while so I put a couple tablespoons in a bowl and whipped it for a minute or so with my hand blender until it looked like this:
Then I slathered it all over myself. Silky smooth.
Of course, I use coconut oil a lot while cooking as well so I had to give it a test in the kitchen. I wanted to try a recipe I had made before which used a decent amount of coconut oil. I decided on the Paleo Mom’s Plantain Crackers mostly because they’re delicious and I have a sweet spot for crackers…but also because the recipe has two ingredients: plantains and coconut oil.
The coconut oil passed the test. The crackers were so good I may or may not have eaten all of them in one day (I did.)
Verdict: Good Stuff
The only differences I noticed between the Tropical Traditions oil and other coconut oils I’ve bought have been in smell and texture before cooking. the Tropical Traditions coconut oil smells more like actual coconut than any other oil I’ve tried and the texture is just…softer. It doesn’t seem to get as hard as other coconut oils I’ve tried.
Aside from that, the taste and effect are pretty much exactly the same. But I feel a lot better knowing that the coconut oil hasn’t been processed using a bunch of chemicals and that it’s fresh.
Why do you care?
I’m not the only one who’s getting some free coconut oil! Tropical Traditions has offered to give away a quart of their Gold Label Virgin Coconut Oil to one of my readers! I’m so excited to be able to offer my first giveaway and that it’s something so great as this coconut oil.
There’s a lot more I want to tell you about coconut oil in regards to health benefits but since I’m doing a giveaway, the FDA requires that I can’t talk about any of that. So if you want to know more about why I think coconut oil is great, visit www.coconutoil.com for way more information about coconut oil than you’ll ever want to know.
AND if you’re one of those people thinking,
“Gee, Alysia…this is all great and stuff but…aren’t we supposed to be cutting back on the fat we eat? That stuff causes heart disease…I thought you were healthy!?!”
Then you must not have read my post on Fat Phobia. Or maybe you just need a refresher. Check that post for loads of info on why fearing fat is soooo not cool anymore.
All right, so you want to win something, don’t you?
To enter my giveaway, just use the widget below. You have two weeks to enter and share with all your friends then we’ll pick a winner! You can do extra things to get extra entries…and you should! Let me know if you have any questions. Good luck!
If you don’t end up winning, you can always purchase the coconut oil from Tropical Traditions*. They actually have some different kinds. The one I got was their Gold Label Virgin Coconut Oil. That’s the good stuff.
Do you use coconut oil? What are some ways you’ve used it? Have you ever tried any Tropical Traditions products? Let me know in the comment!
* 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, thanks for supporting my blog!
**While I received a free sample from Tropical Traditions, I wasn’t obligated to write a positive review or even write a review at all. All opinions in this post are my own and I would never endorse something I don’t support just for the perks!