Monday, November 7, 2011

Tropical Traditions Organic Dried Shredded Coconut Review and Giveaway( Open to U.S. and Canada;some restrictions apply to Canadian Entrants see rules below please.)

For those of you that have been following my blog you know I reviewed and gave away a bottle of Tropical Traditions Gold Label Virgin Coconut oil. I loved this product so much I asked them if I could review something else and Tropical Traditions said yes. I really had a hard time deciding what I wanted to try next, I mean,I want to try it all. Still, I could only pick one so I chose their dried Organic Shredded Coconut. Tropical Traditions uses no chemicals in growing their coconuts and this is why this product is considered organic, it is totally natural.
 When it arrived my husband wanted to know what in the world I was thinking, what was I going to do with a whole gallon of shredded coconut. Truthfully at the time I had no clue. I opened it up and saw that the shredded coconut is really fine almost like a powder, I thought maybe I should have gotten the flaked instead. Oh well, it smelled WONDERFUL and I took a pinch and popped it in my mouth. How can this be described....If I had not known that it was dried and shredded I would have thought I had put a piece of fresh from the shell coconut in my mouth. This is not on the same level as store bought coconut it is far better.

I knew I wanted to do something out of the box and way different then I normally do for this review. So I went to Tropical Traditions and looked in their recipes. One of the truly great things about this company is the fact that so many of their customers submit recipes to Tropical Traditions who puts them in a special area. When I went there I found one for Thai Chicken Coconut Soup. It looked interesting to me and with the cold weather I thought soup would be perfect. And perfect it was, when I say perfect with this recipe I am not exaggerating.
As I gathered and prepared the ingredients, I could smell the coconut, ginger and garlic, the aroma's and spices made me excited and hungry. I learned how to make my own coconut milk that I needed for the soup out of the shredded coconut. How exciting is that and it tasted wonderful also. I learned that making it this way was fresher and better then buying a can of that expensive stuff they carry at the store, which who knows how long ago was packaged anyway. My husband and I were very anticipatory. When we finally got to sit down and eat it, Oh Wow, was this soup delicious! The flavors all melded together , it was savory and comforting. My husband thought that I should use half the lemon in it, but to me it was perfection.
I mentioned before that when I made the soup it called for coconut milk and that I was able to make it using the shredded coconut.
When I was done making the milk I had a pile of coconut still. I hate waste so what was I going to do with the left over coconut? I took a banana sliced it up and tossed it in chocolate sauce then rolled it in the coconut. YUMMM it tasted like candy. 
But I still had some left so I decided to use it in coconut macaroons. Tropical Traditions has directions including a video on how to make the milk and the cookies. However I had a recipe I wanted to try that I got off another site. When I mixed it up, I supplemented the coconut with enough to make the 2 cups that the recipe called for. When I was done I was skeptical because the dough was pretty runny ,macaroons are supposed to be dense. I cooked the first batch, they were good but not great, they looked like a average cookie and not as a macaroon should. So I went and got my trusty cookie cook book and mixed up a new batch which I added to the previous batch. Guys, I don't know if it was the combination of the two recipes or the freshness of the coconut. I suspect it was both but these were the best cookies I have ever made, if not ever eaten. I went ahead and made up another batch and have started my holiday baking. I went through half a gallon of the shredded coconut already and will have to buy more very soon.
I liked the coconut oil, but I am in love with the dried coconut flavor, freshness and versatility.
I had no idea that dried coconut could be used the way I did this week end. Tropical Traditions Organic Dried Coconut is not just the ho hum average stuff I know from the store. If you like freshness and quality in your food then this is the company you want to trust.

The Organic Dried Coconut comes in various sizes and grates, all of them affordable.
ShreddedFlakes and Chips

Tropical Traditions products used in these recipes:

My Recipe for the macaroons:
Kim's Coconut Macaroons
3 egg whites
1/3 c. sugar
1(14 oz) can Sweetened Condensed Milk
2 1/4 Tsp Vanilla Extract
1 3/4 Tsp Almond Extract
2 Tbsp all purpose flour (can use coconut flour)
dash salt (optional I didn't use this)
4 cups Tropical Traditions Organic Dried Shredded Coconut.
Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.
Grease and lightly flour cookie sheets (this is a must or they will stick).
In a medium bowl beat the egg whites until they are frothy. Add the sugar, flour, salt, almond extract and vanilla; blend well.
Stir in the coconut.
Drop by tablespoonfuls 2 inches apart onto the prepared cookie sheet.

Bake at 325 for 13 to 17 minutes or until set and light golden brown.
After you take them out of the oven remove them from the cookie sheet immediately to prevent
sticking. Place on wire racks to cool.

Disclaimer: 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.