Tag Archives: coconut oil

Happy New Year! Hello 2014! Product Review and Giveaway!

HAPPY NEW YEAR!

Update 2/1/14 : contest is closed! I will be going through the comments this weekend and will update with a winner shortly!

Update #2: Congrats to Karen who entered the contest and was the lucky winner of Tropical Traditions Gold Label Coconut Oil, Enjoy it!

Not only is this my first post of 2014, but, it is also post 100! Can you believe it! It’s been a great ride so far, and even if I help a small handful of people make a few healthy, tasty meals, I’ve done my job. I’m really looking forward to 2014. I’m not one for resolutions, and I’m not fond of the “New years gym rush” but I think it’s safe to say that my wish for 2014 is just to grow. I am looking forward with positivity. I will grow stronger, both physically and mentally, build on my foundations as a human being, and become better at living a healthy lifestyle. I hope to become consistent at mobilizing, at being mindful, and at giving myself more time to do things I love like playing guitar or reading. I hope to end 2014 smarter, stronger, and healthier than when I entered it. Anyway, to celebrate such an important post, I decided instead of a recipe, I would host a product giveaway!

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. I am also participating in a referral program through Tropical Traditions. If you order by clicking on any of my links or images and have never ordered from Tropical Traditions in the past, you will receive a free book on Virgin Coconut Oil, and I will receive a discount coupon for referring you. That being said, I think their product is pretty darn awesome and stand behind it with an unbiased opinion, regardless of those facts.

That’s right!  Tropical Traditions has been kind enough to send me a quart of their Gold Label Virgin Coconut Oil to review ($40 Value!), and has given me the opportunity to sponsor a giveaway so you can get a jar just like the one I got. I use A LOT of coconut oil, so I was psyched to try it out. I have been using it for the past month or two, so I’ve had ample time to build my opinion, and I have been nothing but happy. Seriously, they make a great product.

For those who are new this lifestyle, and haven’t used it yet, you can get familiarize yourself and learn, What Is Coconut Oil ? and How To Use It?

Coconut oil is a great oil to cook with, as it is very stable to use at high temperatures. Since the FDA does not want us to discuss the health benefits of coconut oil on a page where it is being sold or given away, here is the best website to read about the health benefits of coconut oil: http://coconutoil.com

Prior to getting this coconut oil, I had been using Trader Joe’s (and was running low), so to really form a proper opinion, I put them against each other and A/B ‘d them properly. I tested them on 3 main criteria: “The Spoon Test” (Straight out of the Jar), “The Egg Test” (Using them to make eggs), and “The Coffee Test” (Blending them in a cup of coffee and drinking). Overall, I definitely preferred the Tropical Traditions.

First Impressions:

Opening the jar, it wasn’t super strong-smelling. Sometimes coconut products strongly smell of coconut. I found the Tropical Traditions coconut oil to be light and pleasant.

The Spoon Test:

I found Tropical Traditions to be much more palatable. There was a certain “greasiness” that came with Trader Joe’s, and it left my mouth feeling funny and made me uncomfortable. It had an aftertaste. Tropical Traditions had a very pleasant coconut taste, and melted nicely in the mouth. I’m still not totally a fan of eating it straight, but Tropical Traditions is definitely the winner.

The Egg Test:

I covered half the griddle with Tropical Traditions, and half with Trader Joe’s. I thought the Tropical Traditions side cooked better and browned nicer. I thought it gave the eggs a pleasant and slight coconut taste. The Trader Joe’s side did not have as much of a coconut taste, but it also spread itself thinner. Mike was more fond of this because he is not a huge fan of the coconut taste that sometimes comes with cooking in coconut oil. I don’t mind it, so I preferred the Tropical Traditions by far. Something like this is really going to be a matter of taste.

The Coffee Test:

By far Tropical Traditions stood out here. It blended better, was nice and foamy, and tasted better. It was less oily, melted better, and even us the coffee started to cool, it stayed light and remained delicious even as it started to separate. By contrast, the Trader Joe’s coconut oil lost it’s foamy texture quickly, was oily, and felt and tasted heavier as it cooled. It actually started to make me gag a little. It got really, awkward on the tongue. Yuck, I had to stop drinking it. Tropical Traditions Hands Down took this round.

The Winner:

Tropical Traditions!
Overall it was just better, and is seriously a great, high quality product. A quart is a large jar of coconut oil, and yet I could never have enough.And now for the giveaway! That’s right, one of YOU will get a jar just like the one I got. Super Cool! Believe me, it is such an amazing deal! The giveaway is running the whole month of January, and the winner will be picked at random and notified by email.

All you HAVE to do is Subscribe to the Tropical Traditions Email Newsletter and Like TasteThat! on Facebook. Then comment on this blog post letting me know you did those two things.

As a bonus, and to increase your chances of winning, you can do any of the following things. Let me know in the comments what you did.

Good Luck everyone and Happy January!

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Better Breakfast (and a fast and easy lunch too!)

So this week has been pretty exciting. I was given some fresh eggs (I’m talking pretty much right out of the chicken fresh) from the woman who owns the farm stand. I usually buy my eggs from her, they are sourced from a local poultry farm, but these were from HER chickens. She only has a couple of chickens, but she had more eggs than she could use, so she gave some to me (reason #327 why I love supporting local farmers). Now, I had tons of beautiful eggs at home! (I bought 2 dozen of my normal eggs from her earlier in the day) These were great though, because they were all different colors and sizes. Some were big, some were tiny, some were more brown than others, I really enjoyed getting them.

Since then, I have been getting up earlier, and feeling better throughout the day…..because I’m starting it better! I have been making sure to give myself enough time to make a nice, healthy, balanced, breakfast. I haven’t been eating as many snacks in between meals, and I have been feeling satisfied and full until lunch time. This makes packing my lunch for work a lot quicker, and easier. I also have been using my coffee pot’s “delay” – setting it up the night before, so I can wake up to a ready-to-drink cup of coffee! I’ve been experimenting with my coffee (which I either drink black, or blended with 1-2 tablespoons of coconut oil), and while blending the coconut oil in definitely keeps me awake and alert longer, and helps with focus, when I start my day off with a great breakfast, it’s not always needed.

When using smaller eggs, I tend to use 4, but normally 2 or 3 will be fine. My electric griddle makes it really easy to just throw them on with some coconut oil (or ghee), and eat within a few minutes. I’ve been pairing them with half an avocado, that I also throw on the griddle, and some fruit or other carb (like sweet potato hash). Here are just a few examples from this week.

Monday - Eggs over Medium, 1/2 an Avocado, and Fresh Blackberries

Monday – Eggs over Medium, 1/2 an Avocado, and Fresh Blackberries

Tuesday - Eggs over Medium, 1/2 an Avocado, 1 Lightly Grilled Apricot (warmed), and Sweet Potato Hash

Tuesday – Eggs over Medium, 1/2 an Avocado, 1 Lightly Grilled Apricot (warmed), and Sweet Potato Hash version 1.0

Wednesday - Eggs Over Medium, 1/2 and Avocado, and a Grilled Pluot

Wednesday – Eggs Over Medium, 1/2 an Avocado, and a Grilled Pluot

Thursday - Eggs over Medium, 1/2 an Avocado, Sweet Potato Hash 2.0, Grilled Sugar Plum

Thursday – Eggs over Medium, 1/2 an Avocado, Sweet Potato Hash version 2.0, Grilled Sugar Plum

Friday - Eggs over Medium, Sweet Potato Hash 2.0 with added chicken thigh, Grilled Sugar Plum

Friday – Eggs over Medium, Sweet Potato Hash 2.0 with added chicken thigh, Grilled Sugar Plum

Sure, I ate eggs every day, but I’m using other things to mix it up, so It’s not boring. If you didn’t feel like having eggs, you could substitute in some chicken, or other meat, but between the protein from the egg (or other source) and the good fat from the avocado, it should really satiate you through a good portion of the day. Plus, I had 4 dozen eggs in my fridge….I needed to use them!

  • If you want to make the sweet potato hash, I just cut up some sweet potato into really small strips or chunks. I threw it  in a zip lock bag with a chopped up onion, and pre seasoned it with salt, pepper, and paprika. Then when I’m ready to use it, I just throw it on the griddle with some ghee, flipping occasionally until the sweet potato is soft in the middle and a little browned on the outside. to change it up Put some pre-cooked chicken thigh on the grill next to the hash, cut into pieces with the spatula, and mix it in towards the end, and it’s like thanksgiving goodness.

Monday I even had time to cook something to bring for lunch….which hasn’t happened in…I don’t even know. Usually If I need to cook something, I do it the night before.

  • I threw some extra chicken that didn’t make it onto the skewers from the night before in a pan, with 1 white onion, 2 cloves garlic, 2 tablespoons coconut oil, a few dashes coconut aminos, and a chopped up medjool date. It was super yummy. Even my boyfriend who doesn’t always like coconut oil, loved it! I’ll have to make it again in an actual recipe.

Sugar Plum Peppers and Giblets

I have a great recipe that I’m getting ready to post later this week, so check back. In the meantime, here ‘s another giblet recipe I whipped up. I was roasting two chickens last night, and decided to incorporate the giblets into a side dish. Considering it was a bit of an experiment, It came out really good. and better than I expected, with a nice tangy zing. That being said, after taking a few bites of peppers, and learning there were organs inside (“what’s this thing?…. And this thing?”), my boyfriend boycotted….his loss! This time, both chicken necks went to the dog, and she ate them without any hesitation. The mixture in the bags were perfect too, both including livers, with 1 gizzard, and even a kidney!

2 giblet bags (liver, gizzards, kidney)
4-5 sugar plums, sliced
3 small bell peppers
3 cloves garlic
2-3 tablespoons coconut aminos
2 tablespoons coconut oil

I got these beautiful peppers from the farm stand. I actually feel bad now that my organ creation caused the boyfriend to be put off and miss out eating these lovelies! I’ll have to hope they have more!

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Over medium heat, Sauté the coconut oil, peppers, and garlic in a pan. After 2 or 3 minutes, stirring occasionally, add the sugar plums. 20130814-094342.jpg

After 2 minutes, add the organ mixture and coconut aminos. Stir occasionally for another 2-5 minutes until everything is cooked through. It will get really saucy. (Please Excuse the fuzzy image…I was trying to take a picture through a bunch of steam 🙂 )

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Add a tablespoon of sesame oil after it comes off heat

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As a bonus to roasting chickens, I had two lovely carcasses to dispose of, so I threw them in the crock pot to make stock.

Chicken Stock

5 allspice berries
1 apple
1 large ginger root – peeled
2 stalks celery
2 roasted chicken carcasses
4 cloves garlic
Salt
Pepper

Since it’s a chicken stock, I’ll let it go on low for about 24 hours.

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