What is Palm Shortening?, you might ask.
Ok before I start my review, share recipes & DIY ideas I will share the Info right from Tropical Traditions website with you, make sure to read it because it answers lots of questions about Palm oil / Palm shortening being healthy & answers the question about the fear many have about palm oil harvesting causing destruction. Tropical Traditions as always has dealt with this issue & found a better way.
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Info from Tropical Traditions
Palm shortening is derived from palm oil (read about Virgin Palm Oil here). In its natural state, palm oil is a mixture of saturated and unsaturated fatty acids, with most of the unsaturated fat being monounsaturated fat. Palm shortening is palm oil that has some of its unsaturated fats removed, giving it a very firm texture, and high melting point. The melting point of our Organic Palm Shortening is 97 degrees F., making it very shelf stable. It is NOT hydrogenised, and contains NO trans fats! It is great for deep-fat frying and baking, and is not prone to rancidity. Since it has been separated from some of the unsaturated portion of the oil, it is colorless and odorless, and will not affect the taste of foods like Virgin Palm Oil does. If taste is needed in applications, then Virgin Coconut Oil, Extra Virgin Olive Oil, or Sesame Oil can be added for great baked or fried foods!
(Palm Shortening is made from Palm oil) Virgin Palm Oil is palm oil that is traditionally made and maintains the natural nutrients of carotenes (precursors to Vitamin A) and the antioxidant tocotrienols (Vitamin E). Typical RBD (Refined, Bleached, and Deodorized) palm oil has these nutrients stripped from them resulting in a clear oil. In its natural state, palm oil is red in color due to a high concentration of carotenes and tocols. Palm oil comes from a tropical palm tree (elaeis guineensis – NOT the same as coconut palm trees), which is native to the tropical areas of Africa, where it grows wild. It is a traditional oil used for more than 5000 years in African countries, where small-scale family farms flourish. The palm oil palm was introduced to South East Asia in the early 1900s, and Malaysia is now the world leader in exports of palm oil (Tropical Traditions does NOT source palm oil from there.) Being an introduced crop to Asia, they are mainly harvested from large plantations. Tropical Traditions Virgin Palm Oil comes from West Africa, NOT South East Asia. Our Virgin Palm Oil is produced by small-scale family producers in Africa. When you purchase Tropical Traditions Virgin Palm Oil, you are supporting small scale family producers in Africa, and NOT large corporate plantations in South East Asia.
More info on the Palm Shortening
Tropical Traditions Palm Shortening is not the kind of Palm Shortening that will turn you red or anything you touch red if you rub it on your skin, & just like it being amazing for cooking it is amazing for skin too.
Review: Tropical Traditions Palm Shortening – Oh so many uses – Cooking – DIY Body care.
So I Picked the Tropical Traditions Palm Shortening to
Giveaway & Review because I had read the amazing benefits & uses of Palm oil, I also like how Tropical Traditions sources their Palm oil & Palm Shortening. So yes I was very excited knowing I was getting a gallon & knowing all the things I could try it with, it is a good thing I like to cook & bake from scratch. But yes that means we have been making more sweets & doing more frying in just this short time than we probably would do all year so I could get this blog post ready. But we keep saying oh yea let’s try the palm shortening in that, & that, that too lol, we have also shared some of our goodies with others. And not to worry we used it cooking meals too. We also found awesome DIY uses.
OK so as you all know I have not met a Tropical Traditions Product that I do not like, Tropical Traditions is an amazing company that stands behind their products picking to only sell what they would use themselves (the very best) & it shows because so many love them & are loyal Tropical Traditions buyers. When you care it shows & people will come back. OK enough praise, on with the review.
My Review of the Palm Shortening.
So I told Tropical Traditions to send me the Palm Shortening, as always they mailed super fast. And the product arrived perfectly safe. My kids were circling the package like buzzards from the second it came though the door, yea I bet any mom knows what it is like when a package arrives, the kids are drawn to it like magnets to metal, so opening it right away is a must. Imagine the ooos & ahhs of 6 kids being excited by a bucket of Palm shortening arriving & then coming out of a cardboard box, yeap that was the scene at my house. & my Kids love all things natural that arrive & are even more thrilled that it is for the blog because that means we dig right into using it.
But first things first, right away I got the lid off & was pleasantly surprised that the color of the Palm Shortening is reminiscent of fresh made butter, you know that light yellow color. It also was still slightly solid. I immediately took some to rub between my fingers, & noticed it’s not as greasy or oily as I had imagined. It was more like a lightweight cream in feel with a slight oiliness to it. Next I got a spoon & tasted a bit & to my amazement it did not have that strong shortening texture & taste, again lightweight would be a great way to describe it with very little taste. Oh & by the way at this point I was noticing just how amazingly soft it left my fingers, so I knew right away I would love Palm Shortening in my DIY body care, oh yea!
On & on & On I love Palm Shortening
This is an actual copy & paste of a post I put on my personal Facebook page for my friends to see: So I love, love, LOVE raw coconut oil, anyone who knows me knows that I take it for amazing health benefits, I oil pull with it, cook with it, use it in DIY beauty, DIY toothpaste, DIY deodorant on & on. Well I now Love, Love the Palm Shortening & it has many health benefits & is great in DIY too. Yes raw coconut oil still reigns supreme but the palm shortening goes well with the coconut oil & is amazing too.
Since the Palm Shortening arrived what have I done, I have cooked, baked, boiled, fried, whipped, applied, Slathered on, rubbed in & used it every way I could find or think of, & you will benefit from me doing all of that because I will share the best of the best ideas & recipes.
Some of our favorite recipes with the Palm Shortening.
For all the below recipes that call for flour, my flour of choice is organic Einkorn by Tropical Traditions, see my review here
Soups in our home are a favorite in the spring, fall & winter, we make a giant pot, & reheat small pots for days, usually freezing small portions for easy reheating.
First we always like to slight pan fry caramelize any onions & some veges we may add to our soups, so use palm shortening for that step.
We always start with our large stock pot & add 4 cups of water to start with, to that we add 1/4 to 1/2 cup of our saved stock (or you could add several bouillon cubes) turn the heat on so that simmers a bit as we add seasonings of choice, now we add our pan cooked onions drippings & all (& veges) from there we decide what soup to make by adding fresh-cut up veges, meats etc & gradually adding more water as needed, & cook on more a medium heat until done, some soups we like to make creamy so we could then in a skillet add a tbs or 2 of Palm shortening with pepper, milk & four of choice & once thick can be added to the soup if desired, seems to be preferred in potato soups, chicken soups, chowders etc.
Comparing how we like it with Palm Shortening: The Palm shortening gives the onions (& veges) a nice flavor & the cream soups a great taste & texture. I think we preferred the palm shortening to using coconut oil.
We are all about making homemade gravies with dinner & breakfasts, so I guess you could say we are picky about our gravies, we like them tasty, creamy, healthy, not greasy or oily, not clumpy, they need to compliment what they are served with & be healthy to.
So our base gravy recipe that we build on is:
In a medium size sauce pan on medium heat add:
1/4 to 1/2 cup of saved stock or stock from meat you are serving with (or you could use 1 bouillon cube already dissolved in the water)
1 tbsp. of Palm shortening (or real butter, or raw coconut oil)
Seasonings of choice (such as parsley, turmeric, unrefined salt, course pepper, Spike)
Gradually add 1/2 cup of flour of choice at a time whisking it in, making sure to let this mixture thicken enough to cook flour. (you can also use a flour corn starch combo, flour potato starch combo, flour arrowroot combo)
Now add milk of choice to desired thickness. You might need to add more flour of choice.
Comparing how we like it with Palm Shortening: Gravy was one of the areas that I usually did not like raw coconut oil mixed in, but I still did it sometimes, I usually used real butter. But I really liked the palm shortening & the non greasy lighter gravy it made.
Rice dishes in our home is one of those must haves to make meals go further & to expand leftovers. So we use varying kinds & buy in bulk. Many now have an issue with rice but it is a must in our home & you can still buy some great organic brands of wild rice, long grain rice, brown rice, black rice etc. Of course as you may know the best yellow rice comes from using white rice, so if you prefer that go ahead, we used brown rice for this recipe.
Add the rice & water to your pot according to the package directions, now instead of oil, butter or margarine add Palm Shortening (add some extra since for yellow rice that works best)
For every cup of rice add 1/4 tsp. of organic Turmeric powder, a couple of pinches each of fresh or dried parsley flakes & chives, & a couple of tbsp. of saved stock (or a bouillon cube if you prefer) . Cook as normal.
Optional: While rice is cooking add some palm shortening to a pan & heat it up, add 1 small diced onion & 1 green or red bell pepper diced to shortening & cook until browned (caramelized) when rice is done either serve over the top or stir into yellow rice.
Comparing how we like it with Palm Shortening: We loved it, it was light, did not stick, & the rice cooked through better than normal & the turmeric came out brighter even with brown rice. My husband had no idea I used Palm Shortening instead of oil or real butter in this recipe & he was raving how good it tasted & how well the rice cooked up not sticky. Now he already loves Yellow rice the best of all rice so that’s a big deal.
Serve with chicken, beef, pork or whatever meat you prefer, use as a side or as the main dish.
Pan fried cabbage
Pan fried cabbage is a favorite, we shred a head of garden fresh cabbage, wash it good then freeze it, so later we can make awesome pan fried cabbage, we usually add cut up onions but we have also added green peppers, yellow squash, fresh sweet corn, garlic cloves, diced tomatoes, zucchini etc whatever we have on hand that will go well & fits our mood. (check it out Tropical Traditions shared my recipe here)
Get your large skillet hot with about 3 to 4 tbsp. of palm shortening (or a palm shortening Virgin coconut oil combo).
Add 1 head of cabbage shredded,
1 onion thin sliced,
2 to 3 tbsp. of Apple cider vinegar like Bragg brand or Tropical Traditions Coconut water vinegar.
Several pinches of Course black pepper & Natural unrefined salt
Cook on med/High stirring gently to cook all sides until desired doneness
Options to add: Other fresh vegetables, bacon, sausage, scrambled meats, other spices, use your imagination.
Serve hot, but my husband also loves it cold, You can also serve it hot on hotdogs, brats & sausages.
Comparing how we like it with Palm Shortening: The Palm Shortening gave it a nice flavor that was less sweet than the virgin coconut oil, so some might want to add a pinch or 2 of sugar when cooking, but me I liked the slightly less sweet taste. it was also better cold at least to me when using the palm shortening. It cooked evenly & overall I preferred the palm shortening each time I cooked the cabbage, though my family preferred the batch that was both Palm Shortening & Virgin coconut oil the best, they liked it even better than just using coconut oil.
Fried potato cakes
I tend to make potato cakes from left over mashed potatoes several times a year & usually bake them not fry them, but they do taste better fried & of course cook much faster, but being cooked in oil can cause them to be greasy sometimes. So after my Palm Shortening arrived I noticed I had leftover mashed potatoes in the fridge, I knew that frying potato cakes in Palm shortening would be a great way to test out the palm shortening, so here we go!
Recipe for potato mixture:
2 cups leftover cold mashed potatoes
1 egg (if small eggs use 2)
1 tbsp. of raw coconut oil (or Palm Shortening)
1/8 cup of your choice of or mixture of: milk kefir, sour cream, ranch dressing, coconut milk, almond milk or milk.
1 to 2 tsp. of fresh or dried chopped/flakes parsley
1 to 2 tsp. of fresh or dried chopped chives
1 cup of flour
1/2 cup cornmeal
Combine all the ingredients making sure to mix well, you want almost the consistency of play dough, if still to sticky or wet mix in more flour 1/4 a cup at a time mixing in well using a spoon r your fingers. Once they are to the proper consistency start making the flour coating & milk bath. (You can use any flour of choice)
Flour coating #1: (step 1)
2 cups of flour
1 tsp. course black pepper
Mix & add to bowl or plate big enough to use.
Milk bath: (step 2)
1 & 1/2 cups of milk of choice
1 tbsp. of Tropical Traditions coconut water vinegar (or Apple cider vinegar)
Mix together making sure the egg is mixed in well & use a bowl large enough to dunk potato cakes in.
Flour coating #2: (step 3)
2 cups flour
1/2 cup of cornmeal
Optional 1/4 cup bread crumbs, 2 tsp. each of parsley & chives
Mix & add to bowl or plate big enough to use.
Now start heating the Palm shortening in a large skillet. Go back to your potato mixture and grab enough to form a small ball & then smash it out flat, like 1/4 to 1/2 inch thick making it about the size of a cut tomato slice around.
Now add to step 1 flour coating, and just lightly coat each side & dunk in milk mixture step 2 making sure to do this step fast but getting both sides wet, now add potato cake to step 3 flour coating & press both sides into mixture making sure to cover well. Add to hot Palm Shortening to cook (depending on your stove you might need to cook on med, med/hi or hi) Make sure oils not to hot that it burns, you want the first side golden brown in about 2 to 3 minutes. then flip & cook another minute to 3 minutes, potato cakes are done when they float, we simply add them to a cookie sheet sideways as pictured.
Comparing how we like it with Palm Shortening: I love how not one of them were greasy or oily, the palm shortening also drained off well as we pulled the potato cakes out of the hot oil, there was next to no oil in the pan where we stacked the potato cakes. And they tasted awesome, so awesome in fact I reheated a couple the next morning to eat with my fried eggs (you guessed it I made the eggs with palm shortening too). My kids of course knew I made the potato cakes in palm shortening & they raved about how they never wanted me to make them in anything else again 🙂
Country fried steaks
Oh yes I had to, growing up country fried steaks were my favorite & I make them fried several times a year for my family, but I have gotten where I baked them more than I fried them (so country baked steaks) Baked country fried steaks were ok but for sure not all that.
OK buy or cut thin steaks from beef, pork, chicken etc, take the meat & use a mallet to thin meat out more.
Then just follow the steps for making the Flour coating #1: (step 1), Milk bath: (step 2) & Flour coating #2: (step 3) from above in the potato cakes. & follow the directions for all 3
The only difference is after you get the Palm shortening hot is your skillet, cook on a medium or medium hi heat, cook longer making sure to flip several times & making sure they are done.
Serve with gravy (from above recipe)
Comparing how we like it with Palm Shortening: I hate using the amount of my coconut oil it takes to make these taste right, so the palm shortening is a total must & does not use up all my coconut oil, & they tasted amazing. I always make extra to freeze, but my family ate them all, so they were a hit.
Oh yea homemade French fries are a guilty pleasure & we love them every year as we get fresh potatoes rom the garden, that is the only way to eat French fries isn’t it? Yup it is, forget fast food fries, these are the bomb!
Start heating your Palm Shortening in a large skillet (cast iron with a lid is great), French fries cook best on a med/hi setting depending on your stove
Ok so wash your potatoes well making sure they are all similar size (all small, all medium or all large). Leave the skins on & cut each potato in 4ths long ways, then each forth cut long ways into thin or chunky fries.
Add to heated oil & cook until golden brown, for crisper fries cut thinner & cook with lid on. Remove from oil allowing excess to drain off, add to a metal colander with a paper towel under it. Sprinkle on some natural unrefined Pink Himalayan salt & even some Turmeric powder if desired.
Comparing how we like it with Palm Shortening: Again we using avoid fried foods to often because we just do not like foods greasy or oily & they can be at times & also because we just can not use that much raw coconut oil at one time. And again they tuned out amazing, not at all greasy & oily, so recommend your next batch of French fries be cooked this way, yum. Oh & of course the kids love them.
As mentioned above in the potato cake recipe I enjoyed me some potato cakes with my fried eggs. We have fresh eggs we gather from our free range chickens & they beat all other eggs hands down & I love fried eggs made from them.
Using the Palm softening you cook your fried eggs just the way you always do, it is that simple, you can use the palm shortening straight or combine with real butter or combine with raw coconut oil. Whatever way you decide they are amazing.
Comparing how we like it with Palm Shortening: I normally use a raw coconut oil & real butter combo for my eggs & love them that way, so I tried the fried eggs mixed with raw coconut oil, real butter & palm shortening & just Palm shortening & loved the eggs both ways, as a matter of fact I used both combos for scrambled eggs & omelets to & the palm shortening gives the eggs nice flavor.
For cake from scratch use flour of choice. Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease and flour 2 9-inch cake pans or one larger cake pan, we also like to make thinner cakes with a large cookie sheet.
2 cups flour or cake flour
2 tsp baking powder (make your own or buy aluminum free)
1/2 tsp natural unrefined salt
1/2 cup Palm Shortening
1 tbsp. Raw coconut oil (room temp)
1 cup sugar of choice (I use less but the original recipe called for 1 cup, I prefer to add less & add some apple sauce & or raw honey)
3 large eggs do not use cold eggs so let them sit out long enough to be room temp.
optional: 2 tsp. real vanilla extract (or extract of choice)
3/4 cup of milk of choice or milk kefir
Use a hand mixer or other mixer & mix until well blended, Cooking time for 2 smaller pans or larger cookie sheet is 20 to 25 minutes, for larger cake pan 25 to 35 minutes. Frost once cooled
Comparing how we like it with Palm Shortening: We used palm shortening to replace any oil, shortening, Crisco or butter in both from scratch cake recipes & prepackaged box cake mixes we got just to try the Palm shortening. & have to admit these cakes were way to good, the palm shortening (along with a bit of raw coconut oil) made nice moist cakes that held together & tempted us to much rather from scratch or boxed. So beware & don’t eat the whole cake at once 🙂
OK you have cake so you might as well go all the way & make yourself some great frosting with your palm shortening too.
Simple buttercream frosting
3/4 cup palm shortening room temp
1/2 stick real butter room temp
2 cups powdered sugar of choice (you can make your own powdered sugar, I also start out adding way less & checking the taste, sometimes I only need a cup or less)
1 to 2 tbsp. of cold milk of choice or cold water
1/8 tsp. of natural unrefined salt
Optional 1 tsp. of pure vanilla extract or extract of choice
Optional: 1 tbsp. of cocoa powder
Optional: Natural food coloring
First cream together Palm Shortening & butter with powdered sugar with hand mixer. Slowly add in the milk & vanilla & beat with your hand mixer until totally smooth & fluffy.
Simple Shortening frosting
3/4 to 1 cup palm shortening
2 cups of powdered sugar of choice
1/8 tsp. of natural unrefined salt
Optional 1 tsp. of pure vanilla extract or extract of choice
Optional: 1 tbsp. of cocoa powder
Optional: Natural food coloring
First cream together Palm Shortening with powdered sugar with hand mixer & add in the vanilla & beat with your hand mixer until totally smooth & fluffy.
For both the recipes adjust accordingly to your likes & needs, & of course do not lick the bowl clean, these are sweet.
Comparing how we like it with Palm Shortening compared to how we normally make it: This is now the only way to go, so easily done & the taste is great, not to overpowering. I also have some natural ice cream flavorings I bought awhile back so I added butter pecan to this frosting for a yummy favor.
Chocolate chip cookies
Ok so my husband looks at me like I am insane as I try new ways to make things to make them healthier or because of my blog. His sideways glances are to let me know he thinks things are just fine the way they are, no need to mess with anything. But from the first mention of using the Palm Shortening to make chocolate chip cookies not only was he on board he drove me to buy the ingredients 🙂 This could be because they are his favorite, & I hardly make sweets.
3/4 cup of milk, canned milk or condensed milk of choice
1 fresh egg (raw, so make sure to only use fresh eggs you trust or an egg substitute)
1 tbsp. of raw coconut oil & 1 tbsp. of Palm Shortening or one or the other.
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract (or flavor of choice)
Mix with a hand mixer or food processor till mixed well.
Refrigerate, last about a week, it does get thicker in the fridge, add amount to coffee desired, it can also be used as whipped cream.
Comparing how we like it with Palm Shortening: I tend to make the recipe with raw coconut oil, but I really liked it with both coconut oil & palm shortening in it, I think I will rotate how I make my batches from now on.
On corn on the cob & baked potatoes
Ok I love real olive oil on my veges including Corn on the cob & baked potatoes instead of butter or margarine & I sometimes add raw coconut oil depending on my mood, I still prefer the olive oil but the palm shortening was a nice addition & not greasy, I recommend trying this.
Using Palm shortening or Raw coconut oil?
I really liked the palm Shortening in so many of my recipes, I will be buying more. But there are a few areas where Raw coconut oil will not be replaces, I will still add raw coconut oil & not Palm shortening to my morning warm beverage, my hot cereal, in just cooked pasta to keep it from sticking, in cold salads, in protein shakes & smoothies & for sure in oil pulling (though I did read some interesting pros & cons of Palm shortening for oil pulling)
Other great ways we cooked with Palm Shortening: While cooking pasta, to make fried rice, stir frying, fried chicken, in oatmeal, in making homemade pancakes & biscuits, in baked beans, in mashed potatoes, to make stove top pop corn, A favorite use was cooking garden fresh vegetables in the skillet, on & on.
Go here for a great recipe for making mayo with the palm shortening
My DIY life:
What ways did I use the Palm shortening for DIY beauty?
I used it on my face, arms, feet ok all over & loved it alone & mixed with raw coconut oil.
In my hair, after washing my hair I rubbed a small amount of palm shortening between my palms & fingers & simply raked it through my hair & ends, I love this with raw coconut oil but I might for my hair type like the palm shortening better.
I made an awesome body butter with raw coconut oil & Palm shortening (go here for mixing directions) You just mix equal parts palm shortening & raw coconut oil & it is amazing.
On my husbands blistered feet, this seems to be constant with him because of the work boos he must wear, staying on his feet & the constant moving in a hot factory, I used the body butter above with colloidal silver & he said it worked very well to sooth.
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More products I love by Tropical Traditions: Gold Label Virgin Coconut oil – Green label Virgin coconut oil – Palm Oil – Palm shortening – Extra Virgin Olive oil – Black Cumin Seed oil – Organic Sesame oil – Coconut water Vinegar – Organic Apple cider vinegar – Balsamic vinegar – Pink Himalayan salt – Organic spices – Organic Whole Unbleached Sugar – Grass-Fed butter & more.
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