Last month I was given the opportunity to try and review Tropical Traditions coconut oil and share my findings with you. My review approach is to use this product in recipes I would normally use a different oil or fat and pass judgment on the results.
I hope I can interest you enough to try coconut oil in your cooking if you never have. The first thing I’d like you do is open your coconut oil and open a container of the “fat” you usually use. Pick up your usual fat and take a long, deep breath…flair your nostrils and get a good whiff. Now do the same with the coconut oil. I won’t even ask which smells good enough to eat. I already know. Now take a teaspoon and dip it into the coconut oil…stick the spoon in your mouth. Trust me. Just do it. Coconut oil is actually quite pleasant straight out of the jar. Other than quality, first cold-pressed olive oil and fresh, sweet-cream butter, that can’t be said about most fat we add to our food, so I won’t even suggest you stick a spoon in shortening and take a bite. Yuck!
Now on to review pt. 1…
A couple of nights ago venison sloppy Joes and oven-friend potato wedges was on the menu. When making venison sloppy Joes I always chop a couple of onions and green peppers and saute them in olive oil before adding the meat to brown. Venison is known for being extremely lean meat so the veggies need the added fat to saute.
I added between two and three tablespoons of coconut oil to my dutch oven and melted it. I used that much, because I sautéed a large pile of veggies and was adding several pounds of venison when the veggies were tender. Using medium heat, I sautéed my onions and green peppers just until tender and the onions were beginning to be transparent. The veggies sautéed perfectly…no scorching or sticking to the bottom of the pan.
(Interesting coconut oil fact #1: if my house had been warmer than 75 degrees the day I made these sloppy Joes, melting would not have been necessary. Coconut oil is only solid when its temperature is under 76 degrees.)
(Interesting coconut oil fact #2: The smoke point of coconut oil makes it perfect for sautéing veggies.)
The meat was added to the pot and browned and all the rest of the ingredients were added. The pot simmered to reduce the liquid. No pictures were taken of this dish. (My phone had to be plugged in to be recharged. Besides this post is about coconut oil…not sloppy Joes. :) )
I don’t deep fry, so my next review experiment was to use the Tropical Traditions Virgin Coconut Oil to oven fry potato wedges. After scrubbing, peeling and slicing my potatoes, I gave them a good rinse and patted them dry between two clean kitchen towels. When all the excess moisture was blotted from the potatoes I put them in a large bowl and tossed them in assorted seasoning. (sea salt, black pepper, paprika, red pepper) Next I added about two tablespoons of coconut oil and tossed the potatoes again to coat them well with the oil. Just for curiosity sake, I left the potatoes, uncovered, for about forty-five minutes while I went about my business.
(My business: sitting with my feet up while I sipped a couple of cups of hot tea.) I did this, because I wanted to see if the coconut oil coating would prevent the potatoes from oxidizing (turning black due to exposure to air). It did! My potatoes were still as fresh looking as they were when I walked away from them. I poured them evenly onto a baking sheet that had been rubbed with the coconut oil left on my hands when I tossed the potatoes and popped them into a pre-heated, 400 degree oven. After ten minutes I reduced them temperature to 350 degrees and let the potatoes bake until they were tender and brown. During the baking time, I turned the potatoes once. There were NO potatoes sticking to the pan! None. Zilch. Zero. That may not excite you but not having to scrub a pan with baked on food was really good news to me. :)
When supper was served and the first bites taken, I waited for my taster’s comments. “These potatoes are great”, and “The sloppy Joes are good” were just a couple of the things said between bites. There were comments on the cole slaw, too…but that’s a post for another time.
Coconut oil works great for sautéing vegetables and oven fried vegetables. The dishes used for this review were both a success.
More cooking with Tropical Traditions Coconut Oil reviews coming soon.
Disclaimer: 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.
Until next time…
Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. Philippians 4:6