Tropical Traditions Coconut Oil–Review and Giveaway


Note to any lawyers who happen to be reading this: 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.

It’s actually been a while since I received my complimentary jar of Tropical Traditions Extra Virgin Coconut Oil in the mail–so long, in fact, that I’ve already used up my jarful, and had to rely on the site’s photo to show you what it looks like (empty jars of coconut oil are not the most photogenic subjects).

If you’ve been reading my blog for a while, you already know that I love cooking with coconut oil and use it frequently.  Yes, it is a (mostly) saturated fat, but sat fat has been maligned for too long. As Dr. Joseph Mercola explains here, coconut oil has frequently been confused with hydrogenated oils in the past, but virgin coconut oil isn’t the same as the old, trans-fat laden types.  In addition, coconut oil contains lauric acid, a medium-chain fatty acid that can help combat viruses and bacteria (hence its use as an anti-candida food). Mercola also lists some of the other possible benefits of coconut oil, including “promoting heart health. . . supporting your immune system health. . . supporting the proper functioning of your thyroid gland” and “helping to keep your skin healthy and youthful looking.”

Sure, it’s great when food can help maintain or promote good health; but its use as a cooking oil was my primary focus when I first dug my spoon into that glassy white surface in this jar.  And I was delighted with what I found inside!

As a cooking oil, coconut oil is ideal in many ways: with a melting point of 76F (24.5 C), it remains firm at room temperature (great when using as a butter substitute, either in baking or spread directly on a piece of toast or muffin).  Precisely because of its structure as a saturated fat, it’s a very stable oil and is one of the few considered safe at higher temperatures.  You can sauté or bake with coconut oil without fear–it won’t damage easily like polyunsaturated fats (hemp, flax, corn, grapeseed, sunflower, safflower or sesame oil, for example).  And–depending on the brand of coconut oil–it tastes really, really good.  Happily, Tropical Traditions falls into the “great tasting” category, too.

[I used my coconut oil to make this fudge.  What would YOU make?]

Although I used to dislike the taste of coconut when I was a child (it must have had something to do with my mother’s penchant for Roly Poly, a gooey, sickly sweet monstrocity that contained a combination of strawberry jam, Turkish Delight, and shredded coconut), I’ve come to love it in recent years.  It took me a while to try out virgin coconut oil (I had been using the refined, albeit organic stuff), but once I did, I was besotted.  I found the Tropical Traditions brand  to offer a subtle, yet discernible coconut flavor, with an almost sweet scent.  It worked well in all the recipes I’ve tried, from cookies to stir-fries to this incredible fudge.

Even though the flavor of this Black Bean Fudge (original recipe courtesy of my multi-talented SOS partner, Kim at Affairs of Living) isn’t meant to be specifically “coconut,” I found that the coconut oil was essential here for the proper texture and the creamy mouthfeel that is so important in a true fudge.  The recipe was a godsend when I first began the ACD, as it satisfies the need for something rich and decadent without actually being rich and decadent.  And if you can eat chocolate, try it with the cocoa option.  Something about the coconut oil and cocoa in combination makes for a magical outcome.

Next time you’re looking for something irresistible yet virtuous (yes, all you single folks out there, I know it’s tough to find), go for this unusual treat.

[Hey. You want a piece of me?]

And guess what?  You can win a mega-jar of  Tropical Traditions Gold Label Virgin Coconut oil for your own kitchen!  The kind folks over at Tropical Tradtions have offered to send a one-quart jar (32 oz or 1 liter) to one lucky reader of Diet, Dessert and Dogs.  I can’t wait for you to try it!


How to Enter:

To make it as simple as possible , here’s all you need to do:

* The contest is now closed. Enter the contest by leaving a comment below, telling me what you’d most like to cook up with your coconut oil (of course, you could always use it as a skin softener/moisturizer, too!) Please be sure that your name is connected to a valid email address, or else be sure to check back on my blog on Friday, September 3rd, in case you win!

* Earn bonus entries any or all of the following ways–each one counts as ONE entry:

  • Subscribe to Tropical Traditions’ newsletter, here.
  •  Post about this giveaway (with a link to this page on Facebook or twitter; please include @rickiheller in your tweet so I will see it)
  • “Like” the DDD fan page on Facebook, here.
  • Like” the Tropical Traditions page on Facebook, here.
  • Follow me on twitter, here (I will receive an email telling me you did so)
  • Follow Tropical Traditions on twitter, here.

For bonus entries, PLEASE leave an additional comment for each one telling me that you’ve done so.  I know it’s a bit of a drag to have to re-comment, but it really helps me with tabulating and selecting a winner. Thanks! :)

The contest is now closed.  Thanks to everyone who entered! The contest runs until midnight on Thursday, September 2nd.  I’ll choose a winner at random and announce the winner on Friday, September 3rd.

Good luck, everyone! 😀

Never miss a recipe–or a comment from The Girls! Click here to subscribe to via email. You’ll get recipes as soon as they’re posted, plus cookbook updates and news about upcoming events! (“We love subscribers, Mum. . . almost as much as we love treats!”



  1. I use coconut oil to make chocolate black bean muffins :)

  2. I have always wanted to try coconut oil… and now that I see THIS fudge recipe… well, I would make that without a doubt!

    -Haley <3

  3. I use coconut oil for baking, sauces, frying, etc. I also use it on my skin!

  4. I’ve always wanted to use coconut oil to make raw desserts and as a hand moisturizer!

  5. I’d probably go for that fudge recipe, and use a little as a moisturizer, too. I’m in nursing school and all the glove-wearing and hand-washing really dries my poor digits!

  6. I use coconut oil to make the healthiest GF, dairy-free, sugar-free chocolate and chocolate chips…improved recipe soon to come!

  7. I subscribed to TT newsleter

  8. posted about the giveaway on twitter

  9. I “like” you on Facebook!

  10. I liked “TT” on facebook

  11. I follow you on twitter =)

  12. I also “like” you on facebook!

  13. I retweeted the message! Gosh, I feel like a stalker =)

  14. I follow you on twitter

  15. I follow TT on twitter

  16. I want it! I want it! I’m just about to go to bed, so I’m sure this will inspire some sweet coconutty dreams! :)

    What would I make? Hmmm. Probably coconut cupcakes… with coconut frosting… and toasted coconut topping! Thank you for this awesome giveaway! 😀

  17. That fudge looks wonderful Ricki!!! I’m pretty sure I’d have to flop in my will power and eat a whole batch!!

    Thanks for hosting a giveaway.!

  18. I subscribed to the TT newsletter.

  19. I like DDD on FB.

  20. I like TT on FB.

  21. Oh, and I would probably make some sort of yummy coconut brownie with some of the coconut oil!! Yay!

  22. Melinda J says:

    I haven’t used coconut oil yet and I’m dying to try it!!! Thanks for another tempting recipe! :)

  23. I’d like to bake cookies with it.

  24. and now I’ve subscribed to the TT newsletter- thanks!

  25. SmilingJudy says:

    I have a thyroid thing _and_ a candida thing — the only bright side being that they brought coconut oil into my life. I love using it to make homemade chocolate chips.

  26. SmilingJudy says:

    I subscribed to the newsletter

  27. SmilingJudy says:

    I “liked” you on FB.

  28. i would LOVE to use coconut oil as a facial moisturizer. Nothing keeps my crazy skin moisturized so I’m keeping my fingers crossed that this will finally be the answer to my prayers.

  29. subscribed to the tropical traditions newsletter!

  30. Can overseas people enter? If yes, I’d love a jar of coconut oil! My favourite use for it is as a sandwich spread but I’m actually really tempted by that fudge recipe now – something about the rainy day and too much work…

  31. I have been wanting to make something with the frozen faux shrimp that I bought. I’m thinking about coconut curry but so far haven’t figured out which brand of coconut oil would be best. If I win, i’ll be excited and try to come up with a winning recipe – winning for me that is. My husband won’t eat anything that in any way resembles a real shrimp.


  32. I LOVE coconut oil. I have also made the original recipe for this fudge and can affirm its deliciousness. It does need to be blended VERY well though, so I wouldn’t recommend anything other than a Cuisinart (my food processor couldn’t do it, so I used my Magic Bullet).

    I would probably make this fudge or another recipe I have without beans. Either way, coconut oil is wonderful for fudge!

  33. Already subscribed to the TT newsletter 😀

  34. Yum, that fudge looks thoroughly decadent!

    I’ve heard that adding some coconut oil to a smoothie helps keep you fuller for longer, and I’d like to test that theory!

  35. I (Danielle Julie) already “like” the DDD FB page!

  36. And I already follow you on Twitter (username: Deleilan).

  37. And I’ve just tweeted about your giveaway (username: Deleilan).

  38. And I now follow Tropical Traditions on Twitter (username: Deleilan).

  39. And I (Danielle Julie) now “like” Tropical Traditions on FB.

  40. And I’ve just subscribed to Tropical Traditions’ newsletter.

  41. wow, i think fudge is definitely the way to go with this :) at least for the first thing you make! i’ve also used it to make carrot ‘fries’ and it was over the top :)

  42. I love drowing my millet with coconut oil. Takes me back to my youth of drowing my rice in butter. Good times.

  43. I’d love to use the coconut oil for baking carrot fries!

  44. I liked DDD on facebook! (disregard the above comment, I didn’t mean to post it twice – sorry!)

  45. I liked the Tropical Traditions page on facebook!

  46. I already receive the newsletter and I’d eat it right off the spoon:)!

  47. I would use the coconut oil to bake with – it makes a great buttery substitute in streusel toppings on cakes and muffins, and is my fat of choice for gluten free pie/tart crusts! My hubby also likes it on waffles with honey :).

  48. I’m a DDD facebook fan

  49. Wow I love this fudge recipe! Definitely making soon. Maybe this weekend. I think I have ALL of the ingredients on hand. How cool is that? I love coconut oil – have a jar of the Tropical Traditions stuff at home – and I use it in place of butter in a lot of recipes.

  50. I love using coconut oil in raw cheesecakes, raw ice creams and to keep my hands feeling silky soft.


  51. Love coconut oil, and I’m fresh out! My all time favorite use is simply to scoop a spoonful on top of a sweet potato, but I have had great success baking with it as well. Thanks for the giveaway!

  52. I follow you on twitter @ordinaryveg

  53. I follow Tropical Traditions on twitter

  54. And I like you on facebook! :)

  55. I love to use coconut oil to cook chicken on the bone. I don’t know why – I just do!

  56. I tweeted about this. :)

  57. I subscribe to the TT newsletter

  58. I like you on FB. :)

  59. I like TT on FB. :)

  60. I follow you on Twitter. :)

  61. I follow TT on Twitter. :)

  62. I use coconut oil for EVERYTHING! I bake with it, cook with it, mix it with baking soda, stevia, and peppermint oil to make toothpaste, use it as a hair treatment, and as a lotion! I especially like it over steamed broccoli or topped on cooked red lentils or black eyed peas. Mmmmmmm, I’m getting hungry just thinking about it :)

  63. I’ve been dying to try coconut oil forever! I just haven’t gotten around to it. This would be awesome.

  64. There are so many things I’d do with coconut oil that it could be hard to choose, but your fudge recipe sounds so great that it’s clear it’d be a terrific starting point!

  65. I already follow you on Twitter.

  66. And I’ve retweeted your tweet about the giveaway:

  67. I use coconut oil instead of butter.And I subscribed to TT Newsletter

  68. I would like to try the coconut oil in the black bean fudge, it looks great!! I can’t wait to try it.

  69. I use coconut oil to make my own deodorant, I use it as a lotion, and I use it for cooking…but next I will definitely be using it to make that fudge!

  70. I follow you on Twitter–I’m @VibrantCoach!

  71. I want to make your fudge with the coconut oil :-)


  72. I subscribed to the Tropical Traditions newsletter!


  73. I want to make the fudge!

  74. I like you on facebook

  75. I like TT on facebook

  76. I’d love to try that coconut oil. :)

  77. I would like to try using it for popcorn! I hear it’s tasty (plus it’s good for you :)

  78. I love coconut oil!!!

  79. Fan on FB, but don’t have a twitter account :(

  80. I’ve never used coconut oil, but it looks really intriguing.

  81. I already do like your page on facebook.

  82. I already follow you on twitter :).

  83. WIth this coconut oil, I want to make raw chocolate! Mmm…

  84. As is I use coconut oil in most of my baking or raw food dishes or seasoning my cast-iron pan when I do use it. Pretty much I use it almost everything that calls for oil or butter. Oh and I love using it on my skin.

  85. I recently eliminated refined sugar from my diet and subsequently discovered this world of food blogging…I honestly had never read a blog before last summer. Can you imagine? What did I ever do online before this discovery? I really can’t recall…anyway, through these wonderful webpages of wisdom I have learned about coconut oil and have used it in some tasty cookie recipes. I look forward to expanding my coconut oil horizons!

  86. Signed up to the TT Newsletter

  87. I subscribed to the TT’s newsletter

  88. Like TT on FB

  89. Follow you on Twitter

  90. Follow TT on Twitter

  91. I want to make roast root veggies as we head into Fall :)

  92. Like DDD on FB

  93. I have a great recipe I’ve been waiting to make for a vegan Lemon Creme Tart topped with blueberries. I love baking with coconut oil! I also take a Tbsp each day – after a couple weeks, it made my hair super soft & shiny!

  94. I haven’t used coconut oil before, but I’ve been seeing so many recipes using it that I’d love to try it out.

  95. I follow you on twitter already. (@mtbVegan)

  96. I retweeted the contest.

  97. What wouldn’t I like to make? I cook with it all the time!

  98. I follow you on twitter.

  99. I like you on FB.

  100. I follow tropical traditions.

  101. I’m subscribed to TT’s newsletter.

  102. I also tweeted about this giveaway, “liked” DDD and Tropical Traditions on FB, and am now following TT on Twitter too… was already following you!

  103. I tweeted your giveaway, too!

  104. I really want to put it on top of scones!

  105. Black bean fudge? Oh Ricki, you are a genius!

  106. I think I’d have my bf give me a foot rub with it! 😛

  107. I subscribe to TT’s newsletter

  108. I “like” TT on FB

  109. I follow TT on Twitter…

  110. And now I follow YOU on Twitter! @AlmostVeganBlog

  111. Once I’m back to eating fruit again, I’d like to use this to make my favorite coconut oil dish: black beans, pineapple, & cinnamon sauteed with coconut oil. YUM.

  112. I subscribed to the Tropical Traditions newsletter.

  113. I tweeted about the contest. (

  114. I “like” DDD on Facebook.

  115. I “liked” Tropical Traditions on Facebook.

  116. I follow you on Twitter.

  117. I am following Tropical Traditions on Twitter.

  118. leatrice lloyd says:

    i LOVE coconut oil! it makes my body feel great and takes away some of the guilt. and when you bake with it? FORGET IT! get ready to be complimented on your treat by just about everyone who gives it a try. mmm peanutbutter & coconut oil on toast? a muffin? yum.
    totally signed up for the TT & DDD newsletter and am now following all the twitters :)

  119. I heart coconut oil. I use it for stir-fries sometimes and roasting veggies, but I love using it most for no bake treats.

  120. I already “like” DDD on facebook!

  121. I need to make these! Hmm I like making macaroons and green smoothies w coconut oil :)

  122. As much as I’d like to use it for brownies or scones, Im starting to lean towards making that fudge! I love using coconut oil in baked goods instead of dairy free margarine.

  123. I love using it to make coconut vanilla almond butter. Mmmmm.

  124. Love, love, love coconut oil and coconut flour. I’d like to use the coconut oil next in a shrimp dish….oh, now I’ll have to. Thanks for the great blog!

  125. I did the like DDD thing on FB. :)

  126. I was already a ‘liker’ of Tropical Traditions on FB

  127. I tweeted the contest…and put @rickiheller in my tweet.

  128. I am simplifying my email inbox, so I shan’t subscribe to the newsletter. I think I get all the same info on the fb page.

  129. Now I want fudge, and I don’t even love fudge. Ha ha. The power of images. :)

    I love coconut oil and coconut butter!

  130. I love coconut oil! love! love! love it! I would make waffles or scones!

  131. Would it be trite to say I’d make that fudge right there? Because I really would! :)

  132. Yum Ricki! Yeah, I could live on this stuff too. :)

  133. Hi Ricki,

    This is a great recipe that I’m now making all the time. I reviewed it over at my blog. Thanks so much for the great recipes! :)

  134. I absolutely love fudge… but not black beans :) Either way, as I read on a comment on another page, they pass as normal fudge for some people. So I might try these :) Thanks for the healthy fudge recipe!

    • Suzanne, I really love this fudge. It may not be like “real” fudge (clearly, not as rich!) but the texture is great and it totally satisfies my urge for something sweet and chocolatey. And, by coincidence, I just made a huge batch of it this very morning! 😉

  135. Michelle says:

    If this recipe is ADC why is it ok to have agave nectar and yacon syrup or veg. Glycerin ?


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