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All posts in July 6th, 2013

Tropical Traditions was kind enough to send me a quart-sized jar of their signature product, Organic Gold-Label Virgin Coconut Oil for review, with absolutely no obligation to review it at all, and not even a request for a positive review! This jar came to me as a gift with no strings attached, just to let me try their product. I was shocked at the speed with which it arrived! Within two days of my application to review it, I had that jar in my kitchen! When I opened the jar, I was further surprised.

Gold Label Virgin Coconut Oil - 32 oz.

Tropical Traditions is America’s source for coconut oil. Their Gold Label Virgin Coconut Oil is hand crafted in small batches by family producers, and it is the highest quality coconut oil they offer.


I anticipated a strong coconut aroma, which quite honestly could have interfered with the array of uses I may consider for coconut oil. After all, most foods that I prepare don’t really need coconut added to their flavor bouquet. What I experienced was a very mild coconut aroma, and a taste off of a spoon echoed that mildly sweet flavor, with just a hint of an acidy, balancing note. Aha! I thought. This, I can use with a fairly free hand! So I did.

If you’ve been reading my blog, you know that I’ve been using the 5-Minute-a-Day bread dough a lot lately, and it was time to make a new batch. The recipe calls for “neutral-flavored oil.” This is neutral enough to work well, so in it went! I made a London Broil one day, and used Gold Label in the marinade. I used it as half of the oil in a pesto. With some of the leftovers, I made Beef Stroganoff. I used this coconut oil to sweat/saute the onions, garlic, and mushrooms–then added an approximately equal amount of grass-fed butter to fry the flour-coated meat, pulling the veggies & coconut oil back in from the edges after the first minute or so. I found that using straight coconut oil for frying/sauteeing isn’t exactly sticky, but it doesn’t lubricate as well as butter, lard, or bacon grease, so in future I’ll go no further than half coconut oil for that particular use in future.

Now that I’ve tried it in most of my “normal” uses, though I haven’t yet used it for anything salad or dressing, I got the bug to try that luscious-sounding coconut chocolate, with a twist! No-cook fudge will fill the bill nicely! Since it IS the height of summer and I WOULD like to share some taste-testing with others, I didn’t want to use the freezer recipe. By the time I’d transport it, I’d have a melted, gloppy mess. I did discover, purely by accident, that sunflower seed butter mixed with honey and a touch of salt becomes pretty doggone solid, like the middle of a peanut butter cup–and I just happened to have some on hand! I imagine that peanut butter or any nut butter would work, as well. Mixing all of those ingredients together with coconut oil and cocoa should give a fudgy texture that travels better in the heat, right? Soooooo … I mixed up a test batch.

  • 1/2 cup Gold Label Virgin Coconut Oil
  • 1/2 cup raw honey
  • 2/3 cup cocoa
  • 1/4 cup sunflower seed butter
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground Celtic Sea Salt

I first whisked together the coconut oil and the honey, then whisked in the sunflower seed butter until smooth. In cooler weather, you’d need to add a bit of heat so that the coconut oil liquefies. I then whisked in the honey, and finally the salt. The resulting mixture wasn’t as solid as I would have liked, so I put it in a 9×9 cake pan lined with plastic wrap, and refrigerated for a while before cutting. We were helping our daughter and son-in-law with fireworks sales for their organization, so I brought some of this fudge along in a little cooler along with drinks. After all, a test batch requires testers, right? It came out softer than I would have liked, but it tastes good and it’s nutritious! And if you melt just a little in maple chocolate sauce and pour over vanilla ice cream, it’s heaven in a bowl! I’ll experiment more and see what I can come up with that’s less melty …

Oh, I almost forgot! Coconut oils isn’t just for your insides! I mixed it with my bentonite clay & baking soda for toothpaste, and it left my mouth feeling cleaner than ever! The next morning, it occurred to me that these were also deodorant ingredients … and I had mixed it pretty thin … so I spread just a little bit under one arm to check it out. It completely disappeared, and it works. How cool is that–three ingredients making two personal care products in one!  Coconut oil also moisturizes my skin without leaving a greasy residue–it sinks in pretty fast!

Overall, I like this oil a lot. I’ve read plenty of information on the health benefits, and you can find that online as well as I could tell you. I like the oil itself. I like the way the coconuts are raised. I like the way it’s processed. I like the way the people who raise the coconuts and the people who produce the oil are treated. I like it, and I can recommend it without reservation.