Product Review and Giveaway: Tropical Traditions Coconut Oil

I’m going to be honest: I don’t like the taste of coconut. I’ve had fresh coconut in Central America and I didn’t even like it when I tasted it at that point, so I figure that if I didn’t like it when it’s that fresh, I’m never going to like it. I love the smell of coconut for soaps and lotions and such, but I really don’t like the taste of it. If a baked good has coconut in it, I will be on the other side of the room. The only exception I make is coconut milk: I adore curry, and it is typically made with coconut milk. However, it doesn’t retain the taste of coconut, and that’s what’s important.

But I was still intrigued by coconut oil, which has been receiving a whole mix of reviews by various health experts. In my opinion, even though coconut oil is high in saturated fat, it has some healthy nutritional benefits because it is a real food. I am also fascinated by coconut oil because it is a solid fat (like butter) at room temperature, but it’s also an oil so it can be used in liquid form. Thus, it’s a great replacement for solid fats or for oils in any recipe. That’s pretty neat.

Disclaimer: Tropical Traditions sent me a gigantic jar of coconut oil for free to taste and review, which I was quite happy to do.

Recipe #1: Salad Dressing

Combine a spoonful of coconut oil, the juice of half a lemon, some freshly grated lemon zest, a few mashed blueberries (I used frozen), a drizzle of honey, and a pinch of salt. Warm in the microwave for just a few seconds so that it turns into a nice liquid before pouring over a salad.

This was my own creation, but I wouldn’t make it again. It had a lovely pink colour, but it was too “coconutty” for my taste. If you like coconut, however, I’m sure that you would love the taste of this salad dressing. It was decent enough and would be refreshing on a summer salad.

Recipe #2: Vegan Chocolate

Ever since I read about homemade chocolate on Charlotte’s blog, I knew I just had to try it. All you have to do is combine 1 tbsp melted coconut oil, and then stir in 2 tbsp cocoa powder and 2 tsp agave nectar. It’s kind of pudding-like at this point, but if you freeze it, it turns into hardened chocolate in just five minutes! The boyfriend tried it and said that it ranks up as one of the best dark chocolates he’s ever tasted. I’m picky with coconut, so it’s not something I would want much more than a small taste of at a time (but that’s probably a good thing ;)). However, it’s incredibly easy to make and great if you need a chocolate fix! This isn’t the last time that I’ll be making vegan chocolate. Next time, though, I want to try adding vanilla extract; I think that vanilla might be able to mask the coconut flavour.

Recipe #3: Scones

I took a scones recipe from the Light & Easy Cookbook and exchanged butter for coconut oil (a good way to veganize any recipe!). I was incredibly happy with these scones and I will definitely be making them again; they didn’t retain the taste of coconut, but the coconut oil worked beautiful to create an almost-flaky texture appropriate to scones (and there was only 1 tbsp of fats for the entire 8-scone recipe!).

The verdict: coconut oil is a fun fat to use in recipes, though I don’t expect I will be using it very often, simply because of my aversion to the taste.

Giveaway

You can enter to win your own jar of coconut oil by leaving a comment below, telling us about your favourite coconut oil recipe, your tricks for “veganizing” a non-vegan recipe, or your favourite kind of oil to use in cooking. Alternatively, share your opinion on the nutritional benefits or the taste of coconut oil. Or whatever the heck you want, so long as it’s something to do vaguely with coconut oil. As always, I’ll use a random number generator to pick the winner unless someone comes up with something really creative/funny/touching. I like creativity, so you will be more likely to win if you add your own personal stamp to the comment. I also approve of silliness.

Tropical Traditions has also requested that for you to be eligible to enter this giveaway, you need to subscribe to their mailing list. The nice thing about subscribing to any mailing list is that if you decide later on *cough* when the giveaway winner has been chosen *cough* that you don’t want to receive newsletters, you can very easily unsubscribe! :) I like to make my giveaways as easy as possible for you, so please remember to subscribe to their mailing list when you leave a comment on this blog post; it just takes a click of the mouse to unsubscribe in a few weeks if you so desire.

Winner will be announced exactly one week from today, on Wednesday, May 12th!

67 Comments

  1. I am placing my first order for your products today…I cant wait to start using your coconut oil….I am fully aware of the many health benefits of virgin coconut oil…I have read everything you have put out there on the subject…..thank you so much for your priceless information and products.

  2. I’m a coconut lover! I find coconut is like cruciferous vegetables. Love it or HATE it! Anyway, I’m working on making a great protein bar, using coconut oil, coconut flour, unsweetened coconut, various protein powders and other yummy ingredients. So, I NEED this coconut oil, ya see? Heh, heh…
    I saw that one could use coconut oil for hair, and a “hair product” is sold. Well, being cheap, I just tried the skin and body cream–Baby Silk fragrance is terrific!–a pea size mixed with my regular conditioner. My hair is so silky now. I love it. So, I REALLY NEED this coconut oil, ya see? Tee hee :)
    Okay, I’m just being silly now. I subscribe. Have a wonderful, coconutty day!

  3. Hello! I am like you, dear blog author, and I do NOT like the taste of coconut! No thanks! BUT after reading about so many health benefits of coconut oil in so many different places I bought a jar of organic coconut oil. I have used it for high temp cooking (since it doesn’t burn at high temps as easily as most oils) a few times and it was fine. But here is the best part….my husband LOVES coconut! He really LOVES it! Since the jar said great as a moisturizer, and I know many people and cultures use oil to moisturize, bless, stimulate the circulatory system with massage..I thought I would try the oil on my skin! (I know, not that original, but it was to ME) Well, lets not forget that though it is a great moisturizer, it is FAR superior to lotions and creams. Most of these are made with tons of non-organic non-natural products. We slather these on our largest body organ…our skin!!! Use coconut oil to soften your skin, and to feed it these great nutrients without chemicals, without artificial anything..so good for you! And your love life may improve too because if your spouse loves the smell like mine does? Look out!! I am a walking coconut love factory!! NOW you’re cooking with coconut oil! :)

  4. Having used coconut oil for the last 5 years, I have found it to be quite versatile. Easy to substitute for butter in all recipes, or when using the skillet. Great as a skin moisturizer. Good to use as a shaving cream. Amazing as a hair conditioner, especially in the cold months of winter.

    I love making my own vegan chocolate with coconut oil. I’ve added the following things at different times: peppermint extract; chopped almonds; slices of ginger; flax seeds.

    I am also subscribed to the TT newsletter.

  5. I really need to win this jar because my husband threw out a jar that was 3/4 full because it liquified and he thought it was an empty olive jar!!! He didn’t even read the label!!! So if you are new to coconut oil make sure everyone around knows that it is still perfectly good when it liquifies and that it is NOT an empty olive jar.

    I love the coconut oil. I use it mostly in smoothies which makes them taste so good. I am not a “health food nut” but when there is something that is healthy and also tastes good, then I’m all for that and coconut oil really fills that bill.

    I am subscribed to the TT newsletter.

  6. I love coconut oil. I use it (and coconut cream concentrate) to make my “fudge ball” recipe. The recipe isn’t written down and changes every time it’s made, but roughly it’s a blend of tahini, ground walnuts, coconut cream, coconut oil, stevia, cocoa powder, carob powder, and salt (and sometimes pepper). It’s VERY good.

    I subscribe to the TT newsletter.

  7. I have been using coconut oil for a few months now, surprising since I don’t like coconut! I do like the health benefits that I’ve read about. I cook with it, put it on my popcorn, put in on my face (as a pre-treatment before using TT moisturizing cream), drizzle it over salad (with garlic and onion powder added), add it to my oatmeal or dry cereal. My kids tease me, assuming that any health problem I have will be cured by using coconut oil! I’m hoping to prove them right.

  8. Hey there! I’m new to the world of coconut oil. I used to hate coconuts with a passion–and then I found out there is more to the world of coconut than that nasty, flaky dried stuff they sell as coconut in the stores. Since I got coconut oil I’ve used it for everything. On my face (it helps with both both dryness and acne issues), in my yogurt shakes, as a lotion, and in various other recipes. I’ve even converted my mother, and she wants to start using it as well. I’d love to try out Tropical Traditions, as I’ve been told it’s the “best of the best” in the world of coconut oil.

    Oh, and I subscribe to TT.

  9. I have used the coconut oil bin my cooked greens and boy did it make them taste better than when I was using virgin olive oil. I also take a teaspoon every morning and I feel great all day and my weight is not going up either.

  10. Interesting stuff! I went to Britain this summer and had some afternoon tea with scones , and it was absolutely delicious I figured I’d try make my own last week. I might have deviated from the norm maybe – I found a site full of random scone recipes here and made 4 different ones! My friends were so happy when I invited them round for tea and scones. Great fun!

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