Who doesn’t love coconut oil? It’s versatile, nourishing, and can replace a ton of cooking, baking and body care ingredients. There’s a lot of information available about how to use coconut oil in your day-to-day routine, but the number one question we hear is this:
What is the difference between Virgin and Refined Coconut Oil?
Let’s go over the basics:
Does Virgin Coconut Oil Taste the Same as Refined Coconut Oil?
One of the most immediate differences between Virgin and Refined Coconut Oil is the taste and aroma. While Virgin (unrefined) Coconut Oil boasts a delicious, tropical coconut scent and flavor, Refined Coconut Oil has a neutral scent and flavor.
How is Coconut Oil Made?
To make Nutiva Organic Virgin Coconut Oil, fresh coconut meat is scooped out of the shell by hand, then cold pressed, leaving just the oil which has a pure coconut flavor.
Nutiva Organic Refined Coconut Oil is made from dried coconut meat, or copra. Unlike other companies that use harsh chemicals to produce refined coconut oil, we gently steam refine our oil to achieve a neutral-flavor. Because of our commitment to producing the highest quality products, this process is certified organic and uses absolutely no chemicals.
How Do I Use Refined Coconut Oil?
Coconut Oil can be used for baking, cooking and body & hair care. Luckily, Virgin and Refined Coconut Oil can be used interchangeably in recipes so you won’t have a problem switching between the two.
Because of the way Refined Coconut Oil is made, it has a higher smoke point (400 degrees) than Virgin Coconut Oil, making it great for sautéing, stir-frying and baking. Plus, the neutral flavor makes it ideal for recipes where a coconut flavor isn’t desired. Virgin Coconut Oil is best for medium heat cooking up to 350 degrees.
Are you ready to try Refined Coconut Oil? Try this recipe: Stir Fry Bok Choy with Cashews.
Which Coconut Oil is Better for You?
Great news! Both Refined and Virgin Coconut Oil have the same nutritional profile. No matter which coconut oil you prefer, both will contain 63% medium chain triglycerides, including 50% lauric acid.
What Should I Look For When Buying Coconut Oil?
An easy way to check if you’re buying quality coconut oil is to make sure it’s certified organic and verified Non-GMO. The next step is to confirm that Virgin Coconut Oil is cold-pressed, made without hexane, and never deodorized or bleached. Refined Coconut Oil should never be refined using harsh chemicals, so be sure to check if it’s steam-refined.
At Nutiva, we take our commitment to excellence a step further and dedicate 1% of sales to support sustainable agriculture. Specifically, we support the small farming communities in Southeast Asia where we source our coconut oil. We sponsored the planting of 100,000 coconut seedlings in 2015, and in five years these seedlings will grow into producing coconut trees and provide farmers with increased income and improved livelihood. We also partnered with Fair Trade USA to implement a school lunch program for children in our farming communities. You can read about that HERE.