Is all coconut oil created equal?
I’d imagine you would have noticed that coconut oil is all the hype at the moment and in more ways than one. Not only is it being recommended as the best cooking oil to use because it doesn’t lose it’s nutritional quality at high heat, but it’s also an amazing moisturiser, fantastic ingredient in soaps and beauty products, plus so much more!
But are they all created equal? It appears not!
Prior to having some education about coconut oil, I’d go to a health food store and be totally overwhelmed with what brand I should choose and what was the best version – unrefined, refined, virgin coconut oil, organic or hydrogenated? The choices were endless and so confusing!
It appears that advertising can be very clever and we really need to know what we’re looking for. In a nutshell (or in this case, a coconut shell…!), if on the jar it mentions RBD (see below) or ‘no odour’ (like it’s a good thing), these are not good oils.
Some companies use copra – dried coconut kernel – as their start point and produce a crude coconut oil that has to be refined, bleached and deodorised (RBD) to be edible. The oils might be made from old nuts, transported far from their source to be produced at high temperatures or with chemicals and local communities are seldom employed in the process. Some tell-tale signs of a poor oil are a roasted nutty odour, or no odour at all. In general, the more heat the oil was exposed to, the more strong the coconut flavour. So a truly raw, unrefined, virgin coconut oil will have a very mild coconut flavour and scent.
Colour is another indication – a pure oil is white when solid (cold weather, below 24 degrees) or clear when liquid (warm weather, above 24 degrees) – some of the oils you find have a yellowy tinge.
So I absolutely suggest you take a good look at the label when you buy, to make sure you’re getting the good stuff.
But if you don’t want to do the research yourself, I’ve done it for you.
I’ve come across an amazing company called Tanna Farms (I originally met Claire, the owner of Tanna Farms through being a participant in two seasons of my 6 week Kitchen Club) and their products are the ‘real thing’.
So what’s so good about Tanna Farms coconut oil? They use the Direct Micro Expelling (DME) method of producing virgin coconut oil, developed by Kokonut Pacific. DME is a self-fuelling process that uses coconut shell and husk as fuel, so they have a 100% renewable and sustainable energy source. That means their product is natural, raw, cold pressed and handmade in small batches, close to the coconut trees they source them from. Their coconut oil comes from Tanna Island, Vanuatu, where coconuts grow on family farms at the edge of the sea and the foot of a live volcano. They thrive in the rich soils, ocean breezes, abundant sunshine and tropical rainfall of this Pacific paradise, then crack to the ground when nature deems they’re ready. Their coconuts are processed on the island they were grown on, with local people given sustainable employment in their small factory.
You know it’s good because it smells like fresh coconuts and tastes like paradise.
All their products are cold pressed, naturally organic and additive free. They produce a coconut oil, peanut butter, a lip balm called ‘Pucker Up’ and amazing coconut oil soap. I took a shower one evening using the soap and afterwards, my husband said, “You smell nice, you smell like a holiday!” Isn’t that what we want to smell like?
A 20% discount on all their products with a special code – Wickedoil!
What is super exciting is that Tanna Farms have offered you (because you’re awesome and follow what I do!), a 20% discount on every order using the special code ‘wickedoil’ on checkout. So head over to their website, www.tannafarms.net.vu and check out their fabulous story and mission, whilst taking the opportunity to shop and save.
Also, have a look at this recipe that uses both their coconut oil and peanut butter to create these No-bake Chocolate Macaroons that literally take five minutes to make. The make the perfect after school snack or in cooler temperatures, the perfect lunchbox addition.