So I've been getting my coconut oil from Nuts Online. It's the raw variety: http://www.nutsonline.com/nuts/coconut/oil.html . After months of denial I've finally admitted to myself that I can't stand it. It has a soapy aftertaste that's just... ugh.
What are good alternatives to raw oil? Far as I understand, there's the virgin oil that tastes and smells like coconuts - is it same as raw, or is it somehow different? Does refined oil have any taste or smell? Do any of them have a funny aftertaste? Which one should I get if I don't want my veggies to smell and taste like coconut? Which has the most health benefits?
Refined coconut oil has no taste or smell, at least in my experience with the Luanna brand. I'm trying out Nutiva now and that's definitely coconut-y. That flavor works with somethings, not others. I personally think the whole cold-pressed extra virgin idea is rather pointless and mostly hype.
I use virgin coconut oil when I want that coconut taste (eg in a Thai dish), but in most cases I'd prefer not to have the coconut taste. So for these cases I also have the refined stuff, which is flavorless. I use the refined coconut oil a lot more often, eg frying eggs in it each morning.
I use Spectrum for the refined coconut oil. Spectrum also has Virgin coconut oil but it's not as good as Nutiva. (Those are the only brands I've tried thus far)
So to sum up:
Spectrum refined coconut oil for when I don't want coconut flavor (which is most of the time)
Nutiva virgin coconut oil for when I do
As far as health benefits: Paul Jaminet of Perfect Health Diet (who is a big coconut oil proponent) said in his blog somewhere that refined coconut oil is made up of the same MCT's as virgin, and therefore should have all the same health benefits.
I've actually had better luck with TT's green label virgin CO, I tried the gold label but to me it had that "soapy" aftertaste while the green label tasted just coconutty. I also like Nutiva a lot. Those are the only 2 I can personally recommend. I like the coconut flavor and lots of it, can't deal with the soapy taste.
You can get refined coconut oil that hasn't been bleached or deodorized. That is best for most cooking when you don't want the coconut taste or smell. Still the same benefits.
Otherwise I would go with a fermented brand of coconut oil which is how coconut oil has traditionally been prepared. The centrifuged raw coconut oil is just a modern day fad and might possibly explain the health problems some people are having with consuming coconut oil.
Personally I prefer using coconut milk in dishes that call for it and then using another animal based oil for cooking, frying and generally eschewing straight coconut oil for cooking all together.
I haven't encountered the soapy taste before, but supposedly it's due to the lauric acid content. One possible solution mentioned was mixing in a bit of baking soda, but I haven't seen anyone saying it worked for them.
On the oil side, Basic idea for these things is straightforward. Raw/Virgin comes from fresh coconuts with little processing (maybe a little pressure on the coconut meat to get out the oils). Refined comes from older coconut that's been sitting around for a while. They use high heat/chemicals to wring as much oil out as possible, then bleach and deodorize it to be palatable.
I use refined oil for cooking.it has no smell and taste.Infect i feel very happy eat food which is cooked in refined oil.I think this the best oil for cook.I used coconut hair oil to nourish my hairs and i think it smells very bad.
I've been making an effort to eliminate any oil that was produced using a chemical extraction method. Unfortunately, coconut oil is often extracted using chemical solvents. Hexane (a component of gasoline) is commonly used as a solvent in coconut oil extraction.
To be honest, I don't know if this is a health risk or not, but my gut feeling is to avoid it.
Topical Traditions, I believe, does offer a pressed only (non-chemical extracted) oil, but I'm pretty sure most of their oils are the result of a chemical extraction process.