Although it has minimal coconut flavour, it’s got a popular “mouth-feel.”
There are countless cooking applications for coconut oil. For example;
Choc chip cookies, smoothies, coffee creamer, chocolate hazelnut spread, refried beans, popcorn, fried bananas, and in Chicken Stir Fry (clicking on this link will take you to our “recipes” page.)
Coconut oil has been used in tropical countries for thousands of years. “Copra” is an industry-defined term used in the Philippines to refer to dried coconut that has been removed from the coconut shell. It’s inedible, and needs to be pressed and refined to produce coconut oil. Copra can be produced in several ways, including smoke drying, sun drying, or kiln drying, or a permutation of these methods. A refined coconut oil is technically referred to as “RBD coconut oil.” RBD stands for “Refined, Bleached, and Deodorized”. The “bleaching” is generally not a chemical process, but rather a filtration process to remove impurities. A “bleaching clay” is used for this filtering. Steam is used to deodorize the oil.
Is the “organic” description meaningful when applied to coconut oil?
No, it isn’t; because coconut trees are rarely “farmed”, most coconut oil may be described as “organic”. Chemicals and fertiliser are seldom used in the growing of the trees. Because one may not use the “organic” nomenclature on a product unless it’s CERTIFIED as such, we’ve removed same from our labels.
So what does the “Virgin” description mean?
The “virgin” version is pressed from the fresh flesh of the coconut, whereas the refined version has been dried, bleached, and deodorised, all with the use of non-toxic chemicals.
Preparation of the virgin version takes much more care and the price thereof is about three times more than that of the refined version.
Due to low demand, we’ve had to discontinue offering virgin coconut oil.
What does the refining process involve?
Our refined organic Coconut oil is processed using the organically approved methods of physical extraction and refining. We summarise the process below.
1) coconuts are broken into pieces and the coconut “meat” (aka “copra”) is allowed to dry in the sun
2) the meat is hydraulically pressed at 130 °C to extract the oil.
3) The product is then refined, by
filtering it (under pressure)
de-gumming it, with citric acid.
bleaching it (by adding activated charcoal.)
filtering it through diatomaceous earth to remove any residual citric acid or charcoal.
deodorising it with steam (“sparging”), under vacuum.
This physical refining process is accepted and approved under organic processing regulations. Note that the items added during the process (citric acid, activated charcoal, and diatomaceous earth) are classified as “processing aids” and not additives because they are entirely removed during processing and are not found in the finished product.
So should one use Refined or Unrefined (“Virgin”) Coconut Oil?
1. Coconut Oil’s benefits are due to one its fatty acid composition, which includes a high concentration of medium-chain saturated fatty acids like lauric acid. Benefits are that they;
-fight inflammation caused by unstable polyunsaturated fatty acids, and they
-are easily digested, and they
-put up a powerful fight against pathogens like bacteria, viruses and fungal infections.
If you’re looking for the benefits of coconut oil’s fatty acids, you’ll find them equally in the refined and the unrefined versions.
2. The taste of refined coconut oil is more practical; most folks don’t want coconut flavour invading their fried eggs or their steak and chips.
3. Because proteins will have been removed in the refining process, the refined version is more suitable for people with sensitive digestion, and for those with allergies. Refined oil is odourless and flavourless. (Ref: http://www.livingthenourishedlife.com/2012/08/refined-vs-unrefined-coconut-oil-3 )
4. A refined oil is more stable than an unrefined one; it doesn’t degrade as quickly at high temperature, and it has a better shelf life. To rephrase that in techno-speak, the refined version has lower levels of free fatty acids .. an unhealthy component of edible oils.
Notwithstanding all the above, many folks prefer an oil which is natural and unprocessed. I’m not aware of uncontested research showing the benefit of one form over the other.
What is “Oil Pulling”?
Oil pulling is a traditional remedy that involves swishing oil in the mouth. Ayurvedic literature describes oil pulling as capable of both improving oral health and treating systemic diseases such as diabetes mellitus or asthma. Studies have suggested that it may reduce oral plaque, halitosis, and gingivitis when included in a regular oral healthcare program.
The practitioner rinses the mouth with approximately one tablespoon of oil for 15–20 minutes (on an empty stomach) before eating/drinking then spits it out and washes the teeth, gums, tongue (softly) and palate thoroughly. Coconut oil is most commonly used for this application. Oil pulling is usually recommended to be done first thing in the morning, followed by rinsing the mouth with (sea salt) salt water and then brushing the teeth in a normal morning routine.
Check out recipes using coconut oil, including Bulletproof Coffee, HERE!
My final interesting factoid
William Banting was an English coffin-maker to the English aristocracy in the 19th century (he made the Duke of Wellington’s coffin). He was obese, and he tried several diets, without success. A Dr William Harvey suggested he try a high-fat, low-carbohydrate diet. It was very successful.
To “bant” has come to mean to go on a high-fat, low-carbohydrate diet. “There are very few names where the surname becomes a verb,” says Dr Tim Noakes, “Banting was one of them.” (I can’t think of ANY other example! SW)
Banting died from unrelated causes, at the age of 82; his coffin was a standard “slim” one!