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I went to Trader Joe's today to pick up some coconut oil and almond flour and they didn't have either one. Actually it was my first time in TJ's and I wasn't impressed. Although, I did pick up a bag of apricot kernals. I think that they taste great and it was worth the trip.
I would also like some good links for the coconut oil and almond flour if anyone has one.
TJ's overpriced and unimpressive? Unless they have changed a lot since I was last there in 04?, one of the least expensive outlets ever. I loaded up the old Jeep with $200 worth of stuff. I remember British Stilton cheese for about $7/lb when it was double that in CO.
No, they won't have everything a "health nut" would want, but then, that's not their market. I sure wish there was one around here.
Whole Foods's best value is their 365 brand, Virgin for $7 (here) for 14oz. There are some brands that are triple that! Coconut oil is cheap stuff on international trade and without much mystery or quality variation, but the health food industry makes like there is. I used soap making (filter, refined) coconut oil just fine, super cheap even after shipping. The oil industry is ancient and there is little difference between the grades.
Virgin is supposed to be squeezed from fresh coconut, "non virgin" (deflowered? oils can be that or from copra, the sun dried "meat." Virgin (there is no such grade as Extra Virgin, that's how BS laden this business is)oil has some particulate matter that settles out; shake before using. All other oils of any grade are filtered, yes, even olive oil. I have no idea what coconut oil "refining" is, for that matter if it even exists. As long as they don't use solvent extraction, I'm fine.
The "non-virgin" is allegedly more heat proof than virgin, but even the latter is much, much better than any other common oil. Well, other than the animal fats.
Agree on TJs. Most of their stuff is pretty affordable! Also, DEF agree on the "extra virgin" BS. Seriously?
Anyway, I get my coco oil at the health food store and asian markets. If you have an asian market anywhere near you, check it out. If they carry ANY indian or thai products I could *almost* guarantee you would find some coco oil too.
Life on Earth may be punishing, but it includes an annual free trip around the sun!
I love coconut oil and eat a lot of it. My take is don't waste your money on most of them. There is a huge difference in taste and quality between the best Virgin oil from fresh coconut and the cheap stuff. I wouldn't touch any refined coconut oil, it tastes terrible. I'd put it in the not fit for human consumption catagory. Spend the money on Tropical Traditions coconut oil, it's expensive but well worth it. Go to their website and read about the differences between oils. Check out their Gold Label oil, it's fantastic and made differently than all other coconut oils.
The best olive oils are unfiltered IMO. Here's a great one. http://www.barianioliveoil.com/ I love this stuff. I don't currently use a lot of olive oil because I like good coconut oil better for most of the things I use oil for.
Trader Joe's is great for things that Trader Joe's has. In many cases they will have what you want, but they are not Whole Foods or a supermarket. The things they do have end up being a fantastic deal most of the time. Their frozen strawberries are awesome for cooking with, and like $1.69 for a bag, for instance. Many good coffees, pretty good produce section. $7.99/lb wild caught Coho salmon (excellent on both DHA and lack of mercury). They have baking chocolate. They do have almond flour/meal, it's just with the almonds, not the flour. And of course any TJ's is going to turn over stock crazily fast and not necessarily have everything at any given time. They never have coconut oil, so don't even bother. Buy the Nutiva stuff from amazon or get the Tropical Traditions, or get it at Whole Foods if you can find a suitable brand.
I think you'll find it sometimes takes a couple trips through TJ's to even realize what all is there. Garlic paste, a reasonable $6 portion of saffron, and many other things.
Wildeness Family Naturals has a excellent tasting coconut oil, one of the best that I've tasted.
I LOVE Trader Joe's , I only wish they would get rid of the wine section and put in more food items like coconut oil. I go to Trader Joes first then Whole Foods. Whole Foods has a great selection but the prices are a bit high. We just got a Fresh Market here in town and I'm not impressed, I hardly ever go their and it's minutes from my house. Once a month I travel to Ann Arbor for my Trader Joes & Whole Food shopping....well worth it!
Bruce.B, as you can see, I'm 180 degrees from your philosophy. The cheapest crapola coconut oil I used was for making soap and it tasted JUST FINE. I have had four sources of CO in the last few years and not one tasted bad, and even the refined had the coconut scent, albeit less than the virgin. It is the grade one finds in food products, like microwave popcorn. It is the same as what you find in the ($$$)health food stores without the "Virgin" adjective. Ironically, at least at my local Hole Foods, the house brand Virgin is cheaper than the Spectrum De-Flowered.
The brands at Hole Foods that cost three times as much as the house 365 Organics comes from the same barrel, so to speak. At $7 for 14 ounces, it is already high profit, and I'm sure not going to spend $23 to see if there is a difference.
If one has experienced bad taste in coconut oil, my thinking leans to it being very old and rancid. It would take storage at 80 degrees to be liquid, and a long time, at least a few years. But that is certainly possible, especially if some middle man in the Philippines couldn't move stuff fast enough, for instance.
I'd be VERY surprised to find out that any coconut crop is grown specifically organically. After all, the trees have been doing great without fertilizers or pesticides for millions of years, so they are already organic! Those coconut farmers are poor, why would they add fertilizer for something they get just fine, thank you very much. "Organic" coconut products, another scam that probably has the importers laughing all the way to the bank.
As long as you stay away from refined coconut oil and like the taste. Refined is nasty and I would not eat the stuff. Any oil that needs to be bleached and deodorized to make it (un)fit for consumption should be avoided. It's a lot less expensive for a reason.
Bruce, please tell me what they do to it. I've tried to get a handle on the alleged process and I've not been able to find an authoritative source, just uninformed people taking it as gospel from other uninformed people.
It's certainly not bleached, CO hasn't any color to start with. The cheap oil I had had the coconut smell, perhaps a bit less than virgin, but I'm not sure. Deodorization of oils is primarily mechanical. When you filter through diatomaceous earth, it takes out everything particulate to a few microns and even less. It's an old process and is not of any health consequence, at all. DE is used for filtering swimming pools and thousands of industrial filtering needs and oil spill cleanup.
The main reason it's less expensive is that the other, virgin, is hyped more and people are willing to pony up if they are uniformed. "Virgin" sounds significantly "better", whatever that may mean. Virgin and Extra Virgin mean something in the olive oil industry and the CO people are capitalizing on this. Remember in my first comment about marketing BS in the coconut oil business.
As long as the other kind is not chemically extracted - and Spectrum says expeller pressed for both - I find nothing wrong with it.
Because the WF house brand virgin is cheaper than the other brands not-virgin, that's what I'm currently using. But someday I might just order a bucket of the other.