I've had the pleasure of working with Tropical Traditions for a number of reviews. Every single thing I've tried has tasted fabulous, from virgin coconut oil and coconut cream concentrate to coconut peanut butter and organic raw honey. So, when they invited me to test another one of their products, I couldn't resist.
Tropical Traditions Dried Coconut is 100% natural, made from organic coconuts in the Philippines that are grown with no fertilizers or pesticides. This premium dried coconut contains no additives, preservatives or sweeteners. Unlike most dried coconut on the market, Tropical Traditions does not treat their products with sulfites to keep them white. You're getting pure coconut and only pure coconut!
Tropical Traditions offers three varieties of dried coconut: shredded coconut, coconut flakes and coconut chips. The shredded coconut is cut very small, making it perfect for baking things like macaroons. The coconut flakes are cut a bit larger, making them perfect for garnishes or toppings. Coconut Chips are the largest cut and can be used as a snack food or mixed with nuts and other dried fruits for trail mix. I had been dying to make a homemade coconut cream pie so I decided to go for the coconut flakes.
Sure enough, I found a great Coconut Cream Pie recipe on their site. However, instead of baking the crust from scratch, I settled for a ready-made graham cracker one.
Coconut Cream Pie
1/2 cup whole sugar
1/4 cup cornstarch
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 cup shredded coconut or coconut flakes
1 tablespoon butter
2-1/2 cups heavy cream
3 tablespoons Coconut Cream Concentrate
Whipped cream (optional)
Toasted coconut flakes (optional)
Combine sugar, cornstarch, and shredded coconut together in a pot and slowly pour the heavy cream into the pot over medium heat. Add vanilla, butter and coconut cream concentrate while stirring with a wire whisk constantly. Bring mixture to a simmer and reduce heat to medium low. Continue stirring until mixture becomes very thick and turn the heat down to low. Cool the mixture in the pot with a cover for about 5 minutes. Pour mixture into cooled pie crust and place wax paper on the top of the pie to prevent skin formation on the filling. Wait until the filling is completely cool. Top pie with whipped cream and garnish with toasted coconut flakes (optional). Refrigerate until ready to serve.
Oh my goodness...this pie was simply heavenly! Plus, with my modification, it was no-bake so it was incredibly easy. It was so creamy and delicious. As a matter of fact, I think I preferred it to the store-bought ones!
To toast the coconut flakes, you can either spread them evenly on a baking sheet and bake at 300 degrees for 15-20 minutes until golden brown or you can use a skillet stove-top on medium low heat. I used the latter method (as it was faster) and they turned out perfectly.
The only thing I noticed is you'll want to let the pie set in the refrigerator overnight, or at least a few hours. I was too impatient and tried to cut through it after I thought it had cooled enough and it crumbled apart so much I had to use a spoon and scoop it out into a bowl. Oops! Still delicious even if the presentation was not so pretty.
These coconut flakes make a perfect summer topping to just about anything from muffins to salad to pasta. Next, I can't wait to try the Vanilla-Flecked Coconut Macaroons and the Strawberry Cream Pie. My mouth is watering at the very thought.
BUY IT: You can purchase the Organic Coconut Flakes (ARV $10.99/gallon) and other organic food products online exclusively at www.tropicaltraditions.com.
DELECTABLE DEAL: When you place your order, make sure you choose "referred by friend" from the "How did you hear about us?" drop-down box and reference my ID #5429861 to receive a complimentary copy of the book Virgin Coconut Oil: How it has changed people's lives, and how it can change yours! by Brian and Marianita Jader Shilhavy!
WIN IT: Tropical Traditions is giving one lucky reader their own gallon bucket of organic coconut flakes!
MAIN COURSE (MANDATORY ENTRY): Visit Tropical Traditions and tell me another product you'd love to try. Remember to please leave your email address in your comment if it isn't visible on your profile to prevent disqualification!
SUGAR ON TOP (BONUS ENTRIES): To maximize your chances of winning, you may do any or all of the following. Be sure to complete the above mandatory entry or your bonus entries will not count!
1.) Follow my blog and/or subscribe via reader or email. Comment telling me which method you chose. If you already follow or subscribe, that counts! (1 entry each)
2.) Follow me and Tropical Traditions on Twitter and tweet about this contest. You can do this daily! You may use the following tweet or come up with one of your own:
Win a gallon bucket of organic coconut flakes from @troptraditions and @kris10chumley! Ends 7/17 http://bit.ly/a38Pkq
Just leave me a comment with your tweet link. (1 entry per day max)
3.) Subscribe to the Tropical Traditions newsletter. (2 entries!)
4.) Become a fan of Tropical Traditions on Facebook. (1 entry)
5.) "Like" Goodie Goodie Gumdrops on Facebook. (1 entry)
6.) Add my Bloggy Birthday Blowout event button to your site and comment with a link where I can find it. (1 entry)
Don't forget if you add my event button by 7/5 and comment back on this post with the link, you can gain 10 extra giveaway entries! When you want to use one of these entries, simply leave a comment saying "Early Bird Button Entry #" or something similar.
7.) Add my button to your site and comment with a link where I can find it. (1 entry)
Giveaway will end on July 17, 2010 at 11:59pm EST. Open to U.S. and Canada. Winner will be chosen via Random.org and will have 48 hours to respond to congratulatory email or prize will be forfeited and another winner will be chosen.
Disclaimer: As mentioned above, I was sent a gallon of Organic Coconut Flakes from Tropical Traditions to facilitate my candid review. I was in no other way compensated for this post. I was under no obligation to write a positive review or sponsor a product giveaway in return for the free product. The thoughts and opinions expressed in this review and mine and mine alone. Your experience may differ.