Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Coconut Oil: My Experience {and GIVEAWAY!}

Lemon Bars made with Coconut Oil
What is all the buzz about coconut oil? Until yesterday, I had never used coconut oil in my cooking. My go-to oil for cooking is olive oil and I typically use vegetable oil for baking (I think I just heard a collective gasp from my real food readers).

As our family aims to eat healthier foods, I am gradually phasing out less-than-desirable ingredients. Recently, I've been decreasing the amount of high fructose corn syrup in our diet. This goes along with my overall goal to limit the amount of processed food that we eat. I have taken on this goal slowly--bit by bit--because it can be overwhelming (and expensive!). I want healthy eating to be a way of life for us, not just a phase where we try really hard and then burn out because of too much whole wheat pasta. :)

All that to say, I was excited when Tropical Traditions offered me some of their Organic Virgin Coconut Oil to review (and some to give away to you!).

I used it yesterday for the first time when I made Lindsay's Healthy Lemon Bars. As you can see from the picture above, they turned out fabulously! These lemon bars are a diversion from your typical lemon bar--they have a nutty bar-like bottom with a tart-yet-sweet lemon topping. And we loved them!

A few notes about coconut oil:

1) Coconut oil is solid at temperatures below 76 degrees Fahrenheit and liquid if above that temperature. Since I'm in Florida, I have yet to see the oil I received from Tropical Traditions solidify! :) However, when I opened my package I was happy to find it very clean with no oil spills--a problem friends have told me about when ordering coconut oil.

2) It can be used as a substitute in most of your recipes that call for butter/margarine/shortening (in it's solid form) or for any oil in it's liquid form. Although keep in mind that it will lend a coconut-y flavor to your dish (which I'm guessing would be superb in curry dishes...)! I'm looking forward to using it in my Blueberry Zucchini Bread very soon!

3) Coconut oil is heat stable and can be used for sauteeing and frying.

4) It has a 2-year shelf life (I love that!).

I also love how it smells. :)

I will say that the one downside to coconut oil is the cost.  The 32-ounce bottle of organic virgin coconut oil that Tropical Traditions is giving away here currently sells for $27.50 on their website. If I'm going to consistently use coconut oil in my cooking during our present "Less Project" status, I'm going to have to find a way to make it easy on our budget! Tropical Traditions does have frequent sales on all of their products, which you can be notified of when you are subscribed to their newsletter.

If you're curious for some more in-depth discussion about coconut oil and it's potential benefits/risks and uses, check out some of these posts:

FAQs on Coconut Oil And How To Use It by Kitchen Stewardship

What's the Deal About Coconut Oil? by Kitchen Stewardship

All The Wonderful Uses Of Coconut Oil by Passionate Homemaking

*THIS GIVEAWAY IS NOW CLOSED* And without further ado, here's how you can win a lovely 32 ounce bottle of Tropical Tradition's Organic Virgin Coconut Oil:

Mandatory Entry: Subscribe to the Tropical Traditions newsletter and leave me a comment letting me know you did.

Additional Entries (leave a comment for each):

- Tell me how you would use/do use coconut oil in your diet!
- Follow @TropTraditions on Twitter
- AND, in honor of my debut on facebook, like Alicia's Homemaking on facebook for an entry!

NOTE: Please leave me your email address in your comment, otherwise I cannot notify you if you win (very sad!).

I will choose a winner one week from today. :) This giveaway is open to US/Canadian residents.



Disclosure: Tropical Traditions provided me with a free sample of this product to review, and I was under no obligation to review it if I so chose. Nor was I under any obligation to write a positive review or sponsor a product giveaway in return for the free product.
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86 comments:

  1. About a month ago I bought a jar of coconut oil to make some deodorant with. I haven't made the deodorant yet (waiting to run out of the other) and keep looking at the jar in the cupboard wondering what in the heck to do with it. I agree the cost is very high - I think my small jar was $5.00 at a local produce place I shop - my big supermarket doesn't carry it.

    Thanks for the info - now I don't have to feel bad that my little jar of oil might go to waste.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I subscribed to the newsletter!
    mikeandejenyoungman@yahoo.com

    ReplyDelete
  3. I JUST ordered coconut oil for the first time yesterday! I'm curious about it as well and can't wait to try it.

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  4. I only use coconut oil, olive oil, and butter. I make some money through Amazon Affiliates and also Amazon GCs through Swagbucks, and I use that Amazon cash to buy my coconut oil through them.

    People shouldn't worry about things being TOO coconutty--I find that most of the time it's only a trace of flavor, if that. I use it for stir-frys, too!

    I subscribed to the newsletter so I can have a chance to win!

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  5. I guess I told you how I use it in my comment up there!

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  6. I subscribed to their newsletter...

    ~ Carrie ~

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  7. I would probably use it mostly in snacks for us. Those bars you made look really good!

    ~ Carrie ~

    ReplyDelete
  8. I am subscribed to their newsletter.

    Chelle
    newmommiez at gmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
  9. I use coconut oil to make stovetop popcorn. It's soo good an no need for a popper.

    Chelle
    newmommiez at gmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
  10. Ohh... What a great giveaway! I subscribed!

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  11. I've actually never used coconut oil, but really have wanted to {just too expensive}. Anyways, I'd use it to replace my other oils and butter.

    ReplyDelete
  12. And I "liked" your Facebook group! Very exciting for you! :)

    My email addy is sarah dot windham at gmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
  13. I just found a new banana muffin recipe that I'd love to try coconut oil in!

    kristencwiseman at yahoo dot com

    ReplyDelete
  14. I "liked" your Facebook account.

    kristencwiseman at yahoo dot com

    ReplyDelete
  15. I subscribed to Tropical Traditions Newsletter.

    mattnsarah.pfeifer@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  16. Hi Alicia,

    I am a long ago friend of Garry's. We used to hang out at the pool in the "summer of 68" and beyond. I'm excited about the give away b/c I have a friend who is a young mom like you who told me about it awhile back.

    I enjoy your blog. Keep up the good work!
    Oh...and I added the tropical place, so I could enter. chella@choosechella.com

    ReplyDelete
  17. Oh...and I "liked " your fb account.

    Chella

    ReplyDelete
  18. Im subscribed to the TT newsletter

    shopgurl101 at gmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
  19. I like alicia's homemaking on facebook (evelyn D)
    shopgurl101 at gmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
  20. I use coconut oil in my hair and for baking

    shopgurl101 at gmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
  21. I follow TT on twitter @ shopgurl

    shopgurl101 at gmail dot com

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  22. Super informative and great resources! Thanks for sharing this, Alicia!

    ReplyDelete
  23. I already subscribe to TT newsletter
    aunteegem@yahoo.com

    ReplyDelete
  24. like u on fb-Julie S Laws
    aunteegem@yahoo.com

    ReplyDelete
  25. I subscribe to Tropical Traditions' newsletter. I've used coconut oil only once, to make my daughter's birthday cake. It turned out great! I'd love to make the switch, but like you said, it's expensive.

    ReplyDelete
  26. I just subscribed to the TT newsletter.

    ReplyDelete
  27. I would use coconut in baking recipes. I'm already a fan of coconut milk.

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  28. I can tell you that I have picked up coconut oil on several occasions at the store to use in place of my canola oil in baking, but never in place of olive oil(I love olive oil). I just have never taken the plunge and tried it, though. I just wasn't sure about it. Maybe I will, now, since reading your review :-)

    You can contact me through my blog www.crazyforthecountry.com

    ReplyDelete
  29. I subscribed to the TT newsletter.

    I can be contacted through my blog www.crazyforthecountry.com

    ReplyDelete
  30. I like you on FB :-)

    I can be contacted through my blog www.crazyforthecountry.com

    ReplyDelete
  31. Hello,

    I like your newsletters. My sister actually started forwarding them to me.

    I also subscribed to the Tropical Traditions Newsletter and I can be contacted at bail2592@gmail.com

    Thanks,

    Kristin

    ReplyDelete
  32. Hello,

    I am allergic to soy, so I would be using the coconut oil in my baking and cooking. I have to cook or bake pretty much everything from scratch because soy is in everything. But I really really would love to make your lemon bars. Those look so good. I like to try out new recipes or variations on the recipes I have so I would probably also use it for that as well.

    My email address is bail2592@gmail.com

    Thanks,

    Kristin

    ReplyDelete
  33. I also liked you on facebook for an entry into your giveaway. You can reach me at bail2592@gmail.com.

    Thanks!!

    Kristin

    ReplyDelete
  34. I subscribed to the Tropical Traditions newsletter.
    slrdowney at hotmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
  35. I would like to substitute coconut oil in the recipes where I normally use shortening--like i pie crust.
    slrdowney at hotmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
  36. I subscribe to TT newsletter.
    sejotess@yahoo.com

    ReplyDelete
  37. We use CO for lots of things. Fry eggs, in zucchini bread, melt with chocolate and butter and refrigerate for a treat, as deodorant...
    sejotess@yahoo.com

    ReplyDelete
  38. I subscribe to their newsletter with email in profile.

    ReplyDelete
  39. I Follow @TropTraditions on Twitter as @gotfire55

    ReplyDelete
  40. I found a very basic recipe that I'd like to try - it involves dredging chicken strips in shredded coconut and baking them at 400 for approximately 40 minutes. I'll bet the coconut oil would lend itself well to this! Thank you so much!
    ceevegnashville[at]gmail[dot]com

    ReplyDelete
  41. I subscribe to their newsletter, liked your fb page and use coconut oil for making popcorn on the stove, in homemade granola bars and for my daughter's eczema! Thanks! kelly [at] photographybykelly [dot] com

    ReplyDelete
  42. Already subscribed to their newsletter

    alc4253@hotmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  43. Following on twitter @the_vegster

    ReplyDelete
  44. I would use coconut oil to make granola!

    ReplyDelete
  45. I have subscribed to the Tropical Traditions newsletter

    ReplyDelete
  46. I 'liked' Alicia's Homemaking on Facebook

    ReplyDelete
  47. I followed Troptraditions on twitter @BinkyJ45

    ReplyDelete
  48. I would use coconut oil in my baking, instead of vegetable oil or sunflower oil that I currently use.

    ReplyDelete
  49. I subscribed to the newsletter

    tigpooh1516{at}yahoo{dot}com

    ReplyDelete
  50. Honestly, I have extremely dry skin and it works wonders for it :)

    tigpooh1516{at}yahoo{dot}com

    ReplyDelete
  51. I am following on Twitter

    @tigpooh1516

    tigpooh1516{at}yahoo{dot}com

    ReplyDelete
  52. I am following Alicia's Homemaking on FB

    tigpooh1516{at}yahoo{dot}com

    ReplyDelete
  53. I subscribed to the newsletter at;

    rockstravel@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  54. I registered for the newsletter at Tropical Traditions today. I just got they're book yesterday at a "Clean House" Yard Sale here in my town. I already read it through and I am so excited to order the coconut oil and try it. I think after reading through the book & website on TT I will be trying several of the ways they suggest to use it. My first trial will be to loose weight and I also want to try it on diaper rash on my granddaughter, she had a really bad yeast rash a few months ago, and has had a few more since, I saw a few people on the blog say that it helped to clear it up without having to get a prescription for the medication.(I hate having to use any medication when we don't need to, I used to work for several doctors and it seemed they always were giving out pills and not really fixing the problem) We will be using it instead of vegetable oil, which I have just learned is so bad for us. I also have been starting to cut out several things from my families diet too. I was so happy to find your blog and I really want to try your lemon bars. I also followed TT on twitter.
    my email: lovenotes52@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  55. Hi. I would love to win this. Have subbed to the Tropical Traditions newsletter. My e-addy is leighsfiberjournal @ gmail dot com.

    ReplyDelete
  56. I'm following TT on Twitter. leighsfiberjournal @ gmail dot com.

    ReplyDelete
  57. I would like to use coconut oil in all of my baking. Once again, my e-addy is leighsfiberjournal at gmail dot com.

    ReplyDelete
  58. Hey, I'm not going to subscribe to their newsletter, because I really try to limit the emails I get. And I already know that everything over at TT is too expensive for me to buy. Oh well.

    Anyway, I wanted to let you know that Nutiva organic coconut oil can be purchased at amazon. If you use the subscribe and save option, it is by far the cheapest way to get coconut oil. I like doing that, too, because with S&S I'm less likely to run out. :) I get two 15 ounce jars for $11.68 total, shipped free to my door. Might want to check that out as an option, because I know, eating like this can get SO expensive!

    ReplyDelete
  59. crazyred61@yahoo.com
    I already get their newsletter

    ReplyDelete
  60. email subscriber
    rmartinclarke at gmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
  61. i use it for hair and skin but i also cook my bacalao in it for great flavor
    rmartinclarke at gmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
  62. twitter follower @rsmc1
    rmartinclarke at gmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
  63. tt subscriber
    gislewis at gmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
  64. i plan to try some of the tt recipes
    gislewis at gmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
  65. i follow tt on twitter as udelled
    gislewis at gmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
  66. Wow, I am amazed at everyone's different uses for coconut oil!!!

    @ Emily from Laundry and Lullabies: Thanks for telling me about where you get your coconut oil! Nice to hear about some of the cheaper options. :D

    ReplyDelete
  67. Subscribe to the Tropical Traditions newsletter

    matt4melis at hotmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
  68. I use coconut oil in all my baking/cooking, on cuts and scrapes, on my hair, in fruit shakes, on my skin, mixed with baking soda as a deodorant, etc. It's awesome. In reference to Emily's comment, it's cheaper to buy Tropical Traditions on eBay.

    matt4melis at hotmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
  69. Follow @TropTraditions on Twitter @matt4melis

    matt4melis at hotmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
  70. like Alicia's Homemaking on facebook

    http://www.facebook.com/matt4melis

    matt4melis at hotmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
  71. I am subscribed to the Tropical Traditions newsletter.
    rsgrandinetti@yahoo(DOT)com

    ReplyDelete
  72. I'm suscribed to Tropical Traditions
    rockinsomedeals@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  73. I subscribed to their newsletter.

    latinchrldr@hotmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  74. I use coconut oil in baking, cooking, and even in my homemade deodorant.

    latinchrldr@hotmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  75. I subscribed to their newsletter. aprongirl@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  76. I would use the coconut oil in making omelettes and in my baking. aprongirl@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  77. I follow @TropTrad. twitter.com/christinemary aprongirl@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  78. I am a facebook fan. aprongirl@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  79. I subscribed to Tropical Traditons newsletter.
    brooks.katie85@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  80. I would love to try coconut oil in my baking and I've also heard that putting a dash in smoothies is good.
    brooks.katie85@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  81. I'm following you on Facebook.
    kbrooks.85@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete