Just a quick review of coconut butters a couple other things I purchased from Tropical Traditions.
***** July 29, 2010: Edited to Add : I no longer recommend Wilderness Family Naturals Coconut spread. Tropical Traditions is still good, and choosing Artisana would be the choice that would satisfy everyone’s tastes. The Tropical Traditon’s is a very pure, raw product, and some people don’t like pure all that much 😉 ( I do!) ;whereas the Artisiana comes off more as a commercial … that’s the best way I can describe my “feelings” about them.
I have seen coconut butters around which claim to be 100% coconut — nothing added, etc. — but when I’ve inquired about whether coconut oil is added, I either get the runaround or they admit it has some added. Artisana emailed me that they do NOT add coconut oil to theirs, yet it appears to have it because it is MUCH more liquidy and emulsified with little to zero separation! I don’t know if I believe them — could be true!
Anyway, I do not want any oil at all; so this is my concern. Whatever oil occurs naturally in foods, I have no objection, of course; but the addition of oils is not acceptable. But like most nut butters, the oil rises and can be easily drained; so, I figured I’d give it a shot.
Tropical Traditions was honest and said they add some to get it creamy. I tried theirs which is labeled, Coconut Cream Concentrate; it’s organic and orgasmically delicious ;^). Even better, the oil to coconut meat separation is excellent. The coconut meat is very dry of oil when allowed to separate, leaving you with pure coconut.So you have choice!
At the top you see the oil pooled. This is actually the bottom of the jar because I’m about through with it. So the above picture is the coconut butter after I drained it of the oil and you can see it continues to separate!
Equally delicious — and this stuff is incredibly delicious! — and with even a bit better separating quality (could be they just add less oil…) is Wilderness Family Naturals Coconut Spread:< – I no longer recommend this product
Here is a pic of mine; oil at the bottom!
The jar it came in is nice too! I’ll be recycling it for sure ;^) .
I have also tried the Artisana as I mentioned above and it’s a pourable texture (like a liquidy tahini), and very different in that regard to these two.
As far as nut butters, I rarely use them. I prefer to use the nuts or seeds, fresh. I always soak first to make them more nutritious. Soaking also makes them MUCH easier to digest; some people find that they could not eat nuts and/or seeds because of the terrible upset, pain, or gas and bloating UNTIL they started soaking. So good thing to remember! Soaking makes blending easier and removes any bitterness which may be present in nuts. I also don’t like to make jar-like amounts which will be sitting in the fridge losing nutrients, especially since I don’t use a ton of fat and I rotate my fat intake (with the exception of avos which I eat daily 😉 ) so as to take advantage of the variety of nutrients natural fats have to offer. So…doesn’t make sense to buy so much.
BUT, organic coconuts are SO rare and unavailable at some times of the year. So even when I buy coconuts in bulk and freeze, there are times I’m out and at a loss 😦 . So this is one exception. Also, coconut is very stable for out-of-the fridge storage (which is also probably why oil is added as well; since it acts as a great preservative). What else I do is buy dried organic coconut. I like the Let’s Do…Organic, Coconut Flakes from Edward & Sons. So I’m ready when it’s slim pickin’s coconut season 😀
Coconut is Fuhrman-friendly but only when using coconut meat and not coconut oil. As whole-food as possible is the deal. Oils are NOT health foods; only use for some oils would be medicinal, such as DHA-EPA or Borage, etc., for a specific purpose. As well, medicinally, smallest amounts are therapeutic and not the tablespoons people use to cook with, use for dressings, or take as their “EFA supplement.”
Here is a bit from Dr. Fuhrman on Oils:
“A small amount of oil once in a while may present no danger to a physically active, thin person who eats a healthful diet, but because most Americans are overweight already, those extra calories can be life thereatening.”
Note the key words “physically active,” “who eats a healthful diet”!
“… Oil is a processed food…when you chemically extract oil from a whole food (such as olives and various nuts and seeds), you leave behind (lose) the vast majority of nutrients and end up with a fragmented food that contaiins little more than empty calories. …the whole plant foods that contain fat also contain various fibers and an assortment of micronutriens (such as bioflavonoids) that help maintain the freshness of the fat. As soon as the oil is extracted from the plant, it begins to go rancid. Toxic byproducts also develop. Since the oxidation products of oils have been reported to have cytotoxic and mutagenic effects, the consumption of rancid oils and fats represents a possible health hazard for the population.”
Read LOTS more on this by subscribing to “The Healthy Times Newsletter.”
If you’re into nut butters, though, you must try Living Tree Community’s Milk of Paradise; it’s raw and it’s delish. Oh, and if you like black sesame seeds, they have nice smaller jars of raw Black Sesame Tahini available, and it’s yummy 🙂 (I could have sworn I got a 4-ounce jar from Whole Foods market…hmmm)
Now, what to do with that oil? Use it, of course! Use it for homemade products 😀 . It can be used straight as a hair conditioner; it’s wonderful for skin — apply a bit over a damp body right out of the shower. Additionally, I often add oils to store-bought lotions I already have. This makes them even better 🙂 .I have also used a bit on my wash cloth when taking a shower — it adds nicely to your soap without leaving oily 😉 . Nice added to liquid soaps and shampoos as well. It’s anti-bacterial, naturally, so great for hand soaps. I also use coconut oil for personal wipes (like baby wipes but for adults with essential oils, other adds, etc.); I need to put up a recipe for those!Can be used as a personal lubricant too. I’ve used it in cream or solid homemade deodorants (but not too-too much; you don’t want oil on your clothes!) It is FAB in homemade toothpastes! I use it occasionally as the gel instead of glycerine which is not good for teeth but is in almost all toothpastes. Just a tiny bit is all that’s needed! rub some on your brush, dip into a homemade tooth powder and brush. Or if you like baking soda, just dip into some for an easy toothpaste 🙂 Okay, so there it is. NO waste!
Tropical Traditions’ Natural Liquid Soaps in Foaming Dispensers are pure coconut based. I loved this soap! It is very clean and non-oily, surprisingly like the pure castile soap I love from MountainRoseHerbs. It is *very* basic. It comes in a plain one with only the one ingredient and it’s so great if you want to add your own essential oils or other stuffs! The foaming is really nice, and one of the better things about it versus an ordinary pump is that you end up using so much less. I got all three. To be honest, one reason I wanted to get these is because I wanted the foam pump dispenser 😉 . (I searched for foam dispensers online but couldn’t find them available):
I wanted to put my own homemade soaps in there and see if it worked. It did! Here’s the shocking part: It worked with the pure castile soap! Castille is soooo thin and watery that I doubted it would foam, but it did. If it works on that, it’ll work on anything. I have yet to try it with the liquid soapnuts, but I shall 🙂 .
So, when I finished the coconut soap, I washed it out and put in the MRH Castille Soap…
Okay, so here is how the pure castille soap in the foam dispenser came out:
and the result is a much richer and more stable foam. Glycerine, by the way, is great for this purpose as well as a great skin moisturizer, as it is a humectant which attracts and holds moisture; so it’s perfect for lotions, etc. It does not need the glycerine, as you can see; but if you have some, it’s a nice, beneficial addition.
Later, I added some essential oils for the fragrance I wanted — lovely!
Oh, and the Tropical Traditions soap is excellent on its own, by the way, and can be bought in larger amounts for refill as well. 🙂
FYI, I inquired as to whether their enzymes are vegan, and they were good enough to research it and call me back a few days later with an affirmative 😀 . Haven’t tried them, but it’s good to know.