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Friday Favorite: Tropical Traditions + giveaway

February 11th, 2011

A few years ago, as we were transitioning to Real Food, I read Nourishing Traditions: The Cookbook that Challenges Politically Correct Nutrition and the Diet Dictocrats. We’d been using some coconut oil on occasion before this, but we started using more after reading this book. Once you start reading up on the health benefits of coconut oil it seems like a wonder food, it does everything from boosting your immune system to lowering your bad cholesterol. I won’t go into all the details and health benefits of coconut oil here, I’ll add some links to the bottom of this post if you’re interested. I have to say, since we nixed other oils in our diets for coconut oil and butter several years ago we haven’t had to deal with colds or the flu, now I’m a big believer in the immune boosting properties of butter and coconut oil.

We use coconut oil as one of our main cooking fats, along with local pastured butter and organic olive oil. Coconut oil has a higher smoking point than olive oil and butter, so it’s very useful in high heat cooking. It makes the best popcorn when mixed with ghee and you can’t beat potatoes fried in coconut oil. I’ve tried many different brands of coconut oil, and a few different varieties before finding Tropical Traditions and falling in love with their products. I have many of their products in my pantry: Gold Label Extra Virgin Coconut Oil, Expeller Pressed Coconut Oil, Coconut Cream, Shredded Coconut and I also get my tuna from them and I love them all – if you’re looking for great quality coconut products look no further.

I use the various Tropical Traditions products for different things. The Gold Label Extra Virgin is a fragrant coconut oil, meaning that is smells of coconut and infuses food with a slight coconut flavor. If you’ve ever tried using it for cooking mushrooms or something you quickly realize that it works in some applications and not others. I do not like the virgin oil when it comes to frying potatoes, mushrooms, onions or other savory type applications. It does however work beautifully in baked goods where a hint of coconut enhances the flavor. I use the Virgin Coconut oil in my healthy carrot oatmeal bites. It also makes basmati rice taste exotic and tropical. Simple add one Tablespoon for each cup of rice and you’ll be pleasantly surprised at how delicious the rice is.

If you want to cook savory items, like mushrooms, that you don’t want to have that coconut taste, you’ll want to use expeller pressed coconut oil. This imparts no coconut flavor whatsoever. If you’re averted to coconut in any way, this is the coconut oil for you. You can still enjoy the health benefits without the coconut flavor. I also love their coconut cream, which is simply ground coconut. It has the most wonderful coconut flavor. I eat it by the spoonful and slather it on my toast. I hear you can also use it to make coconut milk, but since I have a bunch of coconut oil in my pantry I haven’t tried this yet.

Another benefit of coconut oil is that you can use it as a skin lotion. Coconut oil is supposed to help in treating various skin problems including psoriasis, dermatitis, eczema and other skin infections. It works wonders for my skin, keeping me from getting the dry flakiness that I used to get in the winter. I’ve also read that your skin absorbs some of the health benefits of the oil when you use it topically – bonus. I use coconut oil on my hair, it keeps it shiny and soft. You have to play around a little to find what amount works for you. I often put it on before going to bed at night and wash it out in the morning, I also use a tiny amount after washing for a conditioner and shine enhancer.

Coconut oil also comes in very handy for seasoning cutting boards and wooden spoons. Melt some coconut oil in a small cast iron skillet, add a thin layer to spoons and boards, then put them in the oven on low (170) for 30 minutes. They will absorb the oil, if they’re really dry you can repeat this process several times until they quit soaking it up. I do this at least once a month to keep my wooden cooking utensils in tip top shape.

I love it when I can use one product for so many different things. When you live in a small house, being able to use the same product for hand cream, hair conditioner, wooden utensil seasoning and cooking is a big bonus. Not to mention it’s a very inexpensive non-toxic option for all these uses! I am also experimenting with using coconut oil as a wood furniture polish and a few other applications, I’ll let you know when I come across another great use.

Now on to the good stuff. Tropical Traditions is giving away one 32 oz jar of Gold Label Virgin Coconut Oil to one lucky reader. Comment below for your chance to win.**winner chosen** They’re always having great sales as well, I usually watch for their sale e-mails and follow them on Twitter and buy a year’s worth when they have a good sale. You can sign up for their sale e-mails and follow them on Twitter for the latest info. Disclaimer: Tropical Traditions did give me a jar of their coconut oil, but I’ve been purchasing their oil for several years now. I wouldn’t lead you astray and tell you to buy something I’m not willing to spend my own hard earned money on.

**The Captain’s Wife has won a jar Tropical Traditions Gold Label Virgin Coconut Oil. Her comment was so great, I love the story. Head on over to her blog to read more about her life as a Navy Captain’s Wife.

Are you a coconut oil convert? What kind of cooking fat is used most often in your kitchen?

Organic Facts: Health Benefits of Coconut Oil
Livestrong: What is Virgin Coconut Oil?

We have a winner for our Lemon Ladies Meyer Lemon gift bag, congrats to:

172 Comments to “Friday Favorite: Tropical Traditions + giveaway”
  1. Sue D on February 15, 2011 at 8:09 am

    I have never tried coconut oil before but have been reading great things about it and would love to try it.

    to Sue D's comment

    • Lori Grønvold on February 15, 2011 at 1:02 pm

      I have just sarted using coconut oil, I can really tell a difference in how I feel. I am sold on it!

      to Lori Grønvold's comment

  2. Colleen W on February 15, 2011 at 12:56 pm

    I didn’t know the reason to use the different oils I am glad to know there is one that is better for savory. Thanks

    to Colleen W's comment

  3. Jeanette S on February 15, 2011 at 1:00 pm

    I love coconut oil! I use it on my rice during my competition prep and in my protein shakes.

    to Jeanette S's comment

  4. Linda on February 15, 2011 at 1:00 pm

    I would love to win this oil! Thanks for the chance!!

    to Linda's comment

  5. Fran Kozicki on February 15, 2011 at 1:00 pm

    I enjoyed your article, love hearing how you use coconut oil in your daily life. I was also glad to read about expeller pressed coconut oil, I would love to use it more often, yet as you say, the coconut flavor doesn’t always go well with everything.

    to Fran Kozicki's comment

  6. leslie on February 15, 2011 at 1:02 pm

    I usually love to use olive oil but as of yet lately, I am loving all that I am reading about Coconut oil and all if the multiple uses. Loved your blog info about your many uses. Love my cast iron, wooden spoons and J-Lo thick hair, going to try coconut oil on all of them now. Thanks!

    to leslie's comment

  7. Cindy C on February 15, 2011 at 1:02 pm

    I just love coconut oil. I just started using it in December. Just today I tried it on my hair and it helped with the static frizzies.

    I wonder if it can be used to season a cast iron skillet? I have an old one that needs to be cleaned and seasoned again. I am definitely going to try it on my wooden kitchen items.

    I have Tropical Traditions Expeller Pressed coconut oil…would love to try their virgin coconut oil.

    to Cindy C's comment

  8. Lee Ann on February 15, 2011 at 1:04 pm

    I LOVE coconut oil! I love cooking with it – I like the virgin oil for cooking sweet onions and carrots. I mix them in with Quinoa and steamed brussel sprouts and the flavor is incredible! I, too, am trying Tropical Tradition products for more uses and am coming to the point that I don’t want to use any cleaners or bath and body products that I would not also eat – go non-toxic! Yea for Tropical Traditions!

    to Lee Ann's comment

  9. Liza on February 15, 2011 at 1:06 pm

    I have never used coconut oil in cooking – I have it but we use it for our skin (eczema), I’ve never ordered Tropical Traditions though.

    to Liza's comment

  10. April on February 15, 2011 at 1:08 pm

    I LOVE coconut oil. I have recently started using Tropical Traditions and its wonderful. I use coconut oil in most everything in the kitchen. We go thru a LOT of it, so this would be wonderful to win.

    to April's comment

  11. Sandra on February 15, 2011 at 1:09 pm

    I recently ordered from TT for the first time and am *ABSOLUTELY* thrilled with their customer service and the quality of the coconut cream concentrate. I warmed it gently in hot water, as per their directions, then mixed a bunch with freshly ground almond butter, a hint of honey (which turned out to be unnecessary, as the CCC is so sweet), raw cacao nibs, lightly toasted sliced almonds and unsweetened shredded coconut. I put it into a container and cut pieces out for a treat. I can’t keep the 5 year old out of it! :)

    I also bought a couple of gallons of their expeller pressed oil, but I haven’t figured out how to open the bucket. *blush*

    My next order will be for some of their gold virgin coconut oil and a couple of their other things. I love that they take paypal and offer routine sales so that people on a more limited budget can get nutritious foods, too.

    to Sandra's comment

    • Sharon Conser on February 15, 2011 at 9:45 pm

      My goodness your almond butter, Coconut Cream, and Cacao nibs sounds amazingly delicious. Thanks for the great idea!

      to Sharon Conser's comment

  12. Carol Solomon on February 15, 2011 at 1:11 pm

    I have heard a lot about Coconut oil and using it for a variety of things but I have just learned a lot more. Thank you so much for the info. I will definitely have to try it!! My skin is so tired and dry from the Missouri weather that this may work better than the Skin So Soft and Jergens that I have been using =)

    to Carol Solomon's comment

  13. Molly on February 15, 2011 at 1:16 pm

    Thanks for the comparison between the Virgin Coconut Oil and the expeller-pressed Coconut Oil. We have only recently started using coconut oil and I wondered about the coconut taste with certain foods. I will have to try both and compare them. I am looking forward to learning more.

    It would be great to win some! Thanks for the chance!

    to Molly's comment

  14. Dorothy Elder on February 15, 2011 at 1:16 pm

    I love Tropical Tradition coconut in most anything, but as stated you do have to experiment. Popcorn is wonderful, although you just can’t use all coconut oil. I probably could, but my husband thinks it is too much. Remember the popcorn of the movie theatres growing up as a young kid in the 50’s. Coconut oil was the oil used. If you read Tropical Tradition’s book you would know.

    I need to go take my spoon of coconut oil right now……

    to Dorothy Elder's comment

  15. Marisol on February 15, 2011 at 1:20 pm

    I can just imagine how yummy it must be!! I would love to win this jar of coconut oil!!

    We would use it for everything here at our home!
    We make our own soaps and body butters and I can just imagine how lavishly it would feel on the skin … not to mention frying up some sweet plantains in this oil!!

    So exciting!!!
    Thank you for the honesty and informative review!!

    to Marisol's comment

  16. n roberfts on February 15, 2011 at 1:20 pm

    I have just received my first order from Tropical Traditions. I have used the coconut oil for some cooking and like it. I like that it is more healthy than other oils. I am also using it on my face and hair and hope to get some good results. I know that it makes my skin feel so much smoother. I am looking forward to ordering more from Tropical Traditions, they have so many interesting products I want to try.

    to n roberfts's comment

  17. Pat on February 15, 2011 at 1:25 pm

    I’ve heard great things about Tropical Traditions. I’d love to try their coconut oil.

    to Pat's comment

  18. Michelle on February 15, 2011 at 1:27 pm

    I love coconut oil!

    to Michelle's comment

  19. Tereen on February 15, 2011 at 1:28 pm

    I’ve not used any Tropical Traditions product yet, but I have some on the way. A few days ago I placed my first order for coconut cream, coconut flour, coconut peanut butter and shredded coconut. I didn’t order coconut oil, so I could really use this! I’m looking forward to receiving my products!

    to Tereen's comment

  20. Laura Linnea Strickland on February 15, 2011 at 1:30 pm

    I have tried coconut oil in the past…never this brand….I would LOVE the opportunity to do so..Have a wonderful Valentine Week!!

    to Laura Linnea Strickland's comment

  21. jackke friend on February 15, 2011 at 1:32 pm

    i enjoyed your blog very much. it’s lovely. i already learned new info. nice article regarding coconut oil. i recently began consuming it daily.

    thanks for the compost tips. they are informing and helpful.

    this is such a nice place to learn new details.

    i have a suggestion. perhaps, you would like to write about macadamia nuts, oil and butter. macadamias are another delicious health wonder.

    regards, see you soon

    to jackke friend's comment

  22. Leah on February 15, 2011 at 1:36 pm

    I bought my first jar of coconut oil about a year ago at a local heath food store. It was OK, but when I ordered from Tropical Traditions, WOW! What a differance!! Everything tastes better with a spoonfull of it added. I tried it in my yougert shake yesterday. Great product!!!!!!

    to Leah's comment

  23. Patty Harlan on February 15, 2011 at 1:52 pm


    to Patty Harlan's comment

  24. Jill Gnade on February 15, 2011 at 1:58 pm

    I am very new to coconut oil and I cannot believe the benefits I have received so far. It began as part of alternative treatment and a complete diet change to treat my dad’s lung cancer, primarily as a substitute for butter. Unfortunately, the damage done to his body and spirit after 15 months of chemo followed by devastating steroid therapy was too much. However, he died pain free, not a “cancer death” on December 29th. And now, as I mourn and continue on with my life, I have discovered that there were more uses for coconut oil after hearing about its powers on a community radio program: “Health Talk” on KZUM Lincoln, NE. I subsequently bought the book “Eat Fat, Lose Fat” and have started incorporating the oil into my diet. I put it in my tea and it seems to calm me, it helps with my digestion, and I have been losing weight and feeling wonderful. Also, I began using it topically a few days ago and am amazed to watch the pores on my face, and especially nose, close almost completely. My facial skin has gone through a transformation and looks amazing! Now I have begun putting it on my hair at night. I am very excited about this miracle oil and am so thankful to have discovered it. Thank you for all of the information about this product!

    to Jill Gnade's comment

  25. Kim on February 15, 2011 at 2:06 pm

    I’ve only tried the regular coconut oil from TT, not virgin! I get it shipped automatically each month from I love it so much! I would LOVE to try the virgin for free!!!

    to Kim's comment

  26. Heather on February 15, 2011 at 2:07 pm

    Enjoyed reading this lastest post. We enjoy using this oil in all different ways. Thanks for the all the suggestions.

    to Heather's comment

  27. Kathy Martin on February 15, 2011 at 2:20 pm

    I have just read all I can on coconut oil and can’t wait to get started! My son has many health probs. and autism. I heard healthy fats can help. How much do you think I should try to get into him each day? He is 12 yrs. HOW do I sign up for the coconut givaway?! excited!

    to Kathy Martin's comment

    • Susy on February 15, 2011 at 4:35 pm

      I’d start by giving him a Tablespoon a day then up it to a few Tablespoons, that’s what I hear is a good amount for medicinal purposes.

      to Susy's comment

  28. jennifer Bakka on February 15, 2011 at 2:24 pm

    I love coconut oil!!! The best thing is the aroma in the middle of winter- It makes me think of the tropics!!!!!

    to jennifer Bakka's comment

  29. Michelle on February 15, 2011 at 2:25 pm

    I’m so glad you explained about the expellar pressed oil! I love the gold label virgin oil and have just run out. But I could not cook my favorite Italian, garlicky foods with it which I found frustrating. Now I know what to do! Thanks!

    to Michelle's comment

  30. Debby on February 15, 2011 at 2:30 pm

    I just ran out! I have coconut oil in the bathroom and in the kitchen almost all the time. It is a wonderful natural ingredient for cooking, baking, skin and hair and the antifungal qualities!

    to Debby's comment

  31. Cathy P on February 15, 2011 at 3:03 pm

    I’m anxious to try TT Coconut oil. It sounds wonderful. I’ve also read that it aids in weight loss

    to Cathy P's comment

  32. Wanda on February 15, 2011 at 3:43 pm

    I received a jar of Tropical Traditions coconut oil from my daughter for Christmas. I am new at using and learning this product, so I do not have the experience to post the benefits. From the reading I have done, coconut oil seems to have many health benefits that I was not aware of. Thank you for giving me more information through your blog. It looks like coconut oil could be the answer to help bring health and wellness to my family.

    to Wanda's comment

  33. Kara Bagley on February 15, 2011 at 4:09 pm

    In the summer time it is hands down coconut oil. Sometimes the effort is too much in the winter and I end up using my stores of animal fat. Organic chicken is my favorite.

    to Kara Bagley's comment

  34. milXX on February 15, 2011 at 4:35 pm

    I’ve been using coconut oil for 2mths now base on a recommendation from the naturapthy. So far so good. The only oils I’m using in my house now are olive oil and coconut oil and occasionally butter.

    to milXX's comment

  35. Gayla C on February 15, 2011 at 4:50 pm

    I first heard about coconut oil through the Dr. Oz show. I then decided to do some research on my own. The information I gathered on the benefits of coconut oil is astonishing. I purchased a small jar of coconut oil and used it for the first time to fry eggs. It worked as well as clarified butter and the taste was unbelievable. I’m happy to have come across the Tropical Traditions website and look forward to ordering more coconut oil as well as some of their other highly recommended products.

    to Gayla C's comment

  36. Constance Theis on February 15, 2011 at 5:31 pm

    My entire household consumes TT gold label coconut oil and I don’t consider it a cost to me, I consider it an investment in our health. Dogs love it too!

    to Constance Theis's comment

  37. Alexis on February 15, 2011 at 5:56 pm

    Just started using organic coconut oil several months ago and I LOVE IT!!!! Also, just found Tropical Traditions when looking for some REAL butter!! Thanks for this opportunity to win an AMAZING product!

    to Alexis's comment

  38. Kathryn Richards on February 15, 2011 at 5:56 pm

    I love the various uses you told us about. I have just recently been using more coconut oil. I love the idea of using it for lotion on my face and body.

    to Kathryn Richards's comment

  39. Dawn M on February 15, 2011 at 6:08 pm

    I really enjoy Tropical Traditions coconut oil! So good in smoothies and baking.

    to Dawn M's comment

  40. Juanita on February 15, 2011 at 6:09 pm

    I use coconut oil regularly; for stir-fry, in baked goods, and even as a spread on toast.

    to Juanita's comment

  41. Gayle on February 15, 2011 at 6:23 pm

    I love coconut oil!!! I would love to win this !!!

    to Gayle's comment

  42. Peggy on February 15, 2011 at 6:36 pm

    I love using Cocnut oil in my homemade soaps .. it causes the soap to produce alot of nice bubbles & makes my skin so soft… esp when teamed with goats milk…. I have not done much cookiing with it but after reading you blog my mouth is watering can’t wait to try it …after work heading st to the store to see if I can find it…live in a small town so may have to wait till the wkend & make a trip to the city…. would be wonderful to win this….thanks for the chance to win it

    to Peggy's comment

  43. Nicole on February 15, 2011 at 6:49 pm

    We’ve been using coconut oil on everything for the past 6 months. We’ve been pretty much cold and flu free all winter while everyone’s been sick around us. Coconut oil on homemade wheat bread makes the best grilled cheese sandwiches!

    to Nicole's comment

  44. Alyssa on February 15, 2011 at 7:04 pm

    Thanks for all the info…we’re new to coconut oil here (found out about it by reading about some benefits for those with hypothyroidism)…I am so suprised that I’ve never heard about it before now!!! Hope to have great stories to tell soon!

    to Alyssa's comment

  45. Claudia N on February 15, 2011 at 8:30 pm

    I like coconut oil and I am glad I found your blog,I like the information you provide on when to use different types of coconut oil, and next time I boil rice will definitely put some coconut oil in it ,Thanks!

    to Claudia N's comment

  46. Sharon Conser on February 15, 2011 at 9:38 pm

    The waning of summer brought more lazy time to chat with friends, read books, listen to talk shows and I had put off reading much too long AND besides I get tired of reading technical books but…one afternoon, after hearing about the benefits of virgin coconut oil I realized I had turned into a dinosaur! But most disheartening were and the things I learned despite my graduate degree in Health care about cholesterol and hypertension effects from coconut oil and palm oil was a buncy of hooey!!!

    Good grief, in the 80’s medium chain fatty acids weren’t even in the college
    text yet and the corporate specter had skewed and influenced the research outcomes about fats. I am indignant as a well-educated ~but deceived and over weight American “I have to work hard to find unbiased credible information…Thanks to Tropical Traditions and their honest, through research and alliance they can provide integrity and simplicity for products of real substance and value.

    to Sharon Conser's comment

  47. Alison on February 15, 2011 at 9:55 pm

    I don’t use coconut oil for cooking right now but would love to try it, it sounds delish!

    to Alison's comment

  48. Island Vittles on February 15, 2011 at 11:00 pm

    I would love to try this Virgin Coco Oil — the flavour it imparts into food sounds wonderful! Theresa

    to Island Vittles's comment

  49. Susan Daggett on February 16, 2011 at 8:49 am

    Would love to try this brand of coconut oil!

    to Susan Daggett's comment

  50. Beth on February 16, 2011 at 9:36 am

    I’m a coconut oil convert. Olive oil and butter used to be used the most. Now it is TT’s coconut oil. Great stuff!
    rollerbeth at gmail dot com

    to Beth's comment

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This is a daily journal of my efforts to cultivate a more simple life, through local eating, gardening and so many other things. We used to live in a small suburban neighborhood Ohio but moved to 153 acres in Liberty, Maine in 2012.

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