I won a 500g jar of Viridian Organic Raw Virgin Coconut Oil recently and being a fan of coconut oil both for external and internal health I was quite happy to receive it but then I’m a fan of coconut in general be it the juice/water, milk, cream/fat, oil, vinegar or flesh (and my parrots enjoy the husks for play housing). The first thing I noticed was the quality of the packaging which made the product a lot heavier than other coconut oils I’ve bought. It’s a dark blue, thick glass base which stays cold with a metal screw on lid – I appreciate the dark colour because it keeps the sunshine from apparently deteriorating the quality of the oil over time. There’s also a sticker on top which says ‘Soil Association Organic Food Awards 2012 – Winner’ which was nice to know and a quick search told me that it was one of Viridian’s new products.
I looked up the price and found that it was quite expensive at £14 for 500g, a fair bit more than I usually pay online or in store but I know that the Viridian brand stands for high quality/purity products that are carefully produced and from what I’ve seen of the coconut oil it is indeed a cut above the rest I’ve tried. For starters it has a stronger smell and slightly richer taste. The texture looks crystallized, something I rarely see in other coconut oils. Usually I don’t notice a visible texture as the solidified oil is quite smooth but I can clearly see the lines/shapes in this one. Also, it’s quicker to liquefy at body temperature and absorbs into the skin the fastest without leaving greasy marks on things I touch yet stays very solid in the container. Speaking of the container, something about its construction keeps the coconut cooler and solid. Additionally, most coconut oils I’ve used (when used alone) soften the skin but don’t necessarily make it look smoother/softer especially on the hands and feet but this one does make my skin look a bit more youthful.
As a body scrub (see end notes) it works nicely making my skin feel a bit more toned and moisturising it enough to reduce the amount of after bath/shower emollient needed. I haven’t tried it on my hair yet because it’s Winter and in cold weather coconut oil tends to go stiff, even after it’s been absorbed, and makes my hair look like straw until I’m indoors in the warmth when it suddenly goes soft and shiny. This one may be different but I’m not quite willing to try it and end up looking like Worzel Gummidge outside lol.
In regards to food use I’ve tried it on both cold and toasted yeast free breads with fruit spread and peanut butter, and in my homemade chocolate spreads (see end of review) and it spreads very nicely both cold and warm. The taste is nicer than the others I’ve used, it’s hard to describe but even though the taste is fuller bodied it’s more subtle and less ‘coconutty’ meaning that it blends better with the other flavours and doesn’t leave an aftertaste that is often not very appealing and a little gloopy on the tongue. I haven’t tried it in cooking yet so I don’t know how it holds up in higher temperatures and for longer periods (though remember that coconut is an oil best left for the end of the cooking process rather than from start to finish).
I can’t say that I feel any healthier eating this brand of oil but I don’t feel any worse either but I know that it passes the muster because it passes my cat test. Yep that’s right – my feline ‘lil sis loves coconut oil, ever since she saw my mother using it on her skin some time ago. Now she always goes for my mother’s jar even though she has her own portion, she not only eats it (which she didn’t learn from us) but uses it to groom her fur and yes her fur is even softer for it lol. That’s not surprising given that coconut oil is high in ‘good fatty acids’ e.g. Omega 6 & 9 and Lauric acid and is very nutritionally dense in health benefits such as easing digestion and weight loss/maintenance.
So far I’d give this a 4/5 simply because I haven’t tried it on my hair or for cooking yet but suffice to say its prospects look good.
For more information you can find the product here: Viridian Coconut Oil and it shows that the price for the smaller jar is £10 for 180g therefore making the 500g version a better buy for those who regularly use coconut oil.
For those interested in ethically minded companies here’s a quick quote from one of their many ‘about us’ and ‘philosophy’ pages to give you an idea of what they’re about;
‘At the heart of Viridian Nutrition is a philosophy that cares for the natural products movement supporting organic growing, the essential nature of health and whole food stores, the respectful preservation of ancient health traditions and the sensitive introduction of innovative complementary health foods, supplements and concepts.’
For those interested in using coconut oil for chocolate spread here’s how I make it, roughly:
Base – 3-4 tablespoons raw cacao powder, 2 tsps coconut oil and 1-2 squeezes/dollops argave nectar or date paste (usually more date paste is needed than argave).
Toppings (if any) – fruits, fruit juice or fruit spreads e.g. berries, a bit of grape juice or a bit of pure fruit spread; and/or nuts e.g. uncooked/unsalted/unsweetened peanuts, walnuts or hazelnuts.
Mix whatever variation you have together in a jar and enjoy, whilst leaving any left in the refrigerator.
As a body scrub:
Simply mix equal amounts of coconut oil, shea butter and molasses (dark Brown) sugar or 1 part coconut oil, 1 part shea butter and 2 parts sugar. Then rub the end product over your skin whilst in the bath/shower (though of course make sure you’re not under the water whilst using it or you won’t get much on your skin).
A little goes a long way so you don’t need to make much unless you plan to store it for more than one use – you can also modify the amounts depending on what you prefer and add other ingredients such as ginger, oatmeal or essential oils.