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Check out this beast of a 5 gallon bucket that arrived the other day on our doorstep!

Again, the best of both worlds: it’s the healthier AND cheaper alternative!

You should have seen my face when I first read Sally Fallon’s words about the dangers of commercial cooking oils (vegetable, corn, soybean and especially canola). Here are some excerpts:

Consumer acceptance of canola oil represents one in a series of victories for the food processing industry, which has as its goal the replacement of all traditional foods with imitation foods made out of products derived from corn, wheat, soybeans and oilseeds.
The oil is removed by a combination of high temperature mechanical pressing and solvent extraction. Traces of the solvent (usually hexane) remain in the oil, even after considerable refining.

Like all modern vegetable oils, canola oil goes through the process of caustic refining, bleaching and degumming – all of which involve high temperatures or chemicals of questionable safety. And because canola oil is high in omega-3 fatty acids, which easily become rancid and foul-smelling when subjected to oxygen and high temperatures, it must be deodorised. The standard deodorisation process removes a large portion of the omega-3 fatty acids by turning them into trans fatty acids.

I will forever be thankful to finally learn the real truth about nutrition! Read all about it in Sally Fallon’s Nourishing Traditions Cookbook– she has great introductions with a wealth of information.

Let me tell you it was not easy and certainly not an overnight process to basically change how and what I cooked, but if the way I feel is any indication, then I know I am on the right path.

I remember well that for years I would always have stomachaches after eating- especially in college. Instead of the freshman 15, I ended up with the negative fifteen because I basically couldn’t really handle the cafeteria food well. 

Now I know it wasn’t any particular type of food allergy, but rather my stomach revolting against in some instances the unhealthy processed foods, but mostly to the shortcut/ cheap ways the food was being prepared.

After trying out cooking with some of my MIL’s virgin coconut oil, we finally went for it and purchased some ourselves!

What is Expeller-Pressed Coconut Oil?

Tropical Traditions Expeller-Pressed Coconut Oil is a high quality refined coconut oil. This oil is processed the “old” way by what is called “physical refining.” The modern way of processing coconut oil is by chemical extraction, using solvent extracts, which produces higher yields and is quicker and less expensive. Tropical Traditions Expeller-Pressed Coconut Oil DOES NOT use solvent extracts. It is made the “old” way by expeller-pressed mechanical extraction. This oil is also NOT hydrogenated, and contains NO trans fatty acids. It is a very good quality food-grade coconut oil.

Tropical Traditions Expeller-Pressed Coconut Oil, non-certified, is made from high quality coconuts in the Philippines. This is the “common” type oil that millions of people in Asia consume on a daily basis. It is less expensive than our certified organic Expeller-Pressed Coconut Oil because it does not include the cost of organic certification. We get our Expeller-Pressed Coconut Oil, non-certified, from unpolluted areas of the Philippines where pesticides and fertilizers for coconut palms are virtually unknown. The coconuts typically come from very rural areas in the Philippines, far away from major urban centers. It is also deodorized and processed the “old” way with “physical refining” that DOES NOT use solvent extracts. This is the most economical high-quality coconut oil we sell.

                                                                                          Source: Tropical Traditions

They sell two other slightly higher quality virgin coconut oils on the site, and one day I’ll be able to afford those, but for cooking, which is mostly what I will use it for rather than medicinal purposes (ex. eating it directly) this one works for me. Notice I bought the non-certified version to save money. I was OK with that after reading where exactly the coconuts come from (see above).

My personal uses for coconut oil:

Cooking: I replace all the commercial oils in recipes with either olive oil, butter or coconut oil. Coconut oil is cheaper, so I’m going to use it more often. Also, we definitely use it whenever we fry anything (ex. making french fries, or fried chicken pieces) in our Dutch oven. One of my favorite things is that there will not be a lingering fried food smell in our home!

Topical: Coconut oil prevents the formation of destructive free radicals, and can prevent your skin from developing skin blemishes caused by aging and overexposure to sunlight. I use it as body lotion AND as makeup remover! It works better than the commercially sold ones, and leaves my skin  feeling oh-so soft! I know people who use it as facial moisturizer. I personally find it kind of thick, so I rinse it off, but not before letting it absorb a little. I’ve also read it’s great for hair. . . I have yet to try this.

Nutritional: Coconut oil aids in the absorption of nutrients and minerals. It is THE substitute to commercial cooking oils. Coconut oil isn’t stored as fat but is burned for energy. Your metabolism speeds up with coconut oil so you will burn more calories each day, accelerating weight loss Read why here.

Medicinal: Read all about it here and here. There’s an endless list!


How to save money with coconut oil:

  • Save $ in medical bills and improve your health by buying a good quality coconut oil like Tropical Traditions.
  • Save $ by signing up for their e-mail list or by following their blog. They e-mail and post great coupons– many of which are one day deals! We saved over $40!
  • Buy the gallon pail- it is cheaper by the pound. We went for the 5 gallon pail after considering how much cooking we do and doing the math when compared with how much we spend on butter and olive oil. 
  • Go for the Expeller-Pressed non-certified. Why pay extra for the certified premium when they have such quality sources. I do miss the coconut smell from the virgin coconut oil, but it’s not worth the price to pay for me right now.

Why not cook with merely olive oil instead? The Trader Joe Giotto Olive Oil we buy actually is slightly cheaper by the oz. than the coconut oil (but by pennies), but I know olive oil is no substitute in baking. [flashback: nasty olive-oil brownies in college that Sarah Anne and I tried to unsuccessfully salvage by soaking in khalua. . . haha!]In addition, olive oil goes rancid when heated to a high temperature, so you cannot fry with it. . . and I like my hand-cut french fries crispy!

By the way: OOPS! 5 gal. was TOO much! Don’t buy the 5 gal. unless you’re planning on splitting it with friends or family. Thankfully we found one family so far.

Coconut oil is solid at room temperature unless it’s way too warm in the house like mine is (my frugal husband hates a.c.). To measure for baking you can melt it on the stove (it melts faster than butter!). I also keep a jar in the bathroom. When I’m using it as makeup remover, if it’s particularly cool in the room and therefore the oil is solid, I take a little chunk and rub it in my hand for a few seconds and then soak the cotton ball.

Remember, it’s oil, even if it doesn’t look like it when it’s solid. When you’re heating it to cook eggs in the morning, it will spatter more easily than butter if you don’t keep an eye on it and reduce the temperature accordingly.

To buy expeller-pressed coconut oil click here.

This post contains referral links. If you order by clicking on any of my links 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.

Read more:

A New Look at Coconut Oil” by Mary G. Enig, PhD.
“The Oiling of America”by Mary G. Enig, PhD and Sally Fallon