Last week I received a 32 oz. jar of virgin coconut oil from Tropical Traditions
Want to know how Tropical Traditions people discovered Virgin Coconut oil? watch this!
Virgin Coconut Oil can only be achieved by using fresh coconut meat or what is called non-copra. Chemicals and high heating are not used in further refining, since the natural, pure coconut oil is very stable with a shelf life of several years. There are currently two main processes of manufacturing Virgin Coconut Oil:
1. Quick drying of fresh coconut meat which is then used to press out the oil. Using this method, the coconut meat is quick dried, and the oil is then pressed out via mechanical means. (see our Green Label Virgin Coconut Oil)
2. Wet-milling. With this method the oil is extracted from fresh coconut meat without drying first. “Coconut milk” is expressed first by pressing. The oil is then further separated from the water. Methods which can be used to separate the oil from the water include boiling, fermentation, refrigeration, enzymes and mechanical centrifuge. (see our Gold Label Virgin Coconut Oil)
One of the main differences between Virgin Coconut oil and refined coconut oils is the scent and taste. All Virgin Coconut Oils retain the fresh scent and taste of coconuts, whereas the copra-based refined coconut oils have a bland taste due to the refining process. Some grades of refined copra-based oils are also now sold that have a coconut flavor, but are usually bitter and have a burnt taste to it. They are a form of “crude coconut oil” that has not undergone all of the deodorizing process, and they have a shorter shelf-life.
For more info, here
some interesting Q&A
How much coconut oil should one ingest daily to receive its benefits?
The benefits of coconut oil are mainly from the nutrient value of medium chain fatty acids (MCFAs). The best comparison in nature as to the percentage of MCFAs being consumed in a diet is human breast milk. To equal the amount of MCFAs a nursing infant would receive in one day, an adult would need to consume about 3.5 tablespoons of coconut oil a day according to researchers. Since coconut oil in nature is packaged inside the coconut meat, it is recommended to take this amount throughout the day with food high in fiber and protein. However, for those not used to coconut oil in their diet, it is best to start out with an amount far less than this first, to see how your body reacts.
Are there “side effects” to Coconut Oil?
Coconut oil is a food, not a medication, and therefore it does not have “side effects.” Since individuals vary, there could be adverse reactions, especially if your body is used to a low-fat diet regimen. The most common reaction is diarrhea. While 3.5 Tbsp. is recommended as the daily intake by some researchers, it is probably best not to start with that amount, or eat it all at once. Spread it out over the course of the day, and reduce the amount you ingest if there are unwanted effects. Like any food, some people could possibly have allergic reactions to coconut oil as well, although it does NOT contain any appreciable amounts of protein as the meat of the coconut would, and most food allergies are related to proteins. Traditionally coconut oil has nourished millions, if not billions, of people throughout Asia for thousands of years.
Will cooking with Coconut Oil cause it to become hydrogenated and toxic like hydrogenated oils?
No. Hydrogenation is an industrial process where hydrogen molecules are introduced to the oil to make it solid at room temperatures. It chemically alters the oil and creates harmful trans fatty acids. Cooking with coconut oil does NOT introduce hydrogen into the oil or hydrogenate it. Coconut oil is a very stable oil even at higher temperatures. However, it is best not to cook beyond the smoke point of coconut oil, as this will begin to deteriorate the oil and turn it yellow. Once it has turned dark yellow, the oil should be discarded and no longer used. The smoke point of coconut oil can be increased by combining it with Palm Shortening or Virgin Palm Oil. Both of these oils have a much higher smoke point, and are suitable for high heat, such as deep frying.
I’ve been using coconut oil for cooking/baking/dressing for a while now, I strongly recommend it for stir-fry, it adds a great flavor! 🙂 Oh… I need to try these recipes too!
Ways to participate (US. residents only)
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5) Tell me your favorite recipe using coconut oil
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Giveaway ends Friday, April 16th, 2010 9PM Eastern Time