We keep hearing about the benefits of coconut oil for the hair, the skin and the overall body health. The markets are also flooded with it. But we wonder, do we always have to purchase these expensive ones that would probably not be as nutrient dense as the home made ones? How do we make coconut oil at home?Extraction of oils from plants is an art that goes way back to the time mothers used them to cook or treat their sick children. As the age has kept revolving, we’ve embraced a world that is so fast-paced we prefer to purchase refined stuff for want of time and convenience. Unfortunately, these refined oils are filled with awful additives, emulsifiers and hydrogenated fats. Making the oil ourselves is a much safer option and is guaranteed to work better.Everyone should have a jar of coconut oil, even when you’re lost in the forest. In a forest, you’ll have plants to eat, sticks and stones for fire, water and probably even fish from a river, but what about your skin and hair? What would you apply to them? What about when you get butter from insects, get a burn, have your skin inflamed or you want to cook something? Obviously you would need the wonder – working coconut oil. It’s the easiest thing to use considering there would most likely be lots of coconut trees around you.The only thing standing between you and your coconut oil would be your inability to extract the oil from the coconut.But first, what’s so special about the coconut oil anyway?
Benefits of Coconut Oil
• It is ideal for moisturizing the skin• It could contribute to the reduction of LDL cholesterol levels• Good for gastric health and helps boost digestion. It is also good for the Ayurveda oil pulling practice which could help improve digestion.• It is a wonderful solution to mouth ulcers. Simply use a cotton wool or pad and dab some of the oil onto the ulcers, then leave overnight. By morning, you would notice a significant improvement.• It improves the delicateness, glow and smoothness of the skin, making you look a lot more beautiful.• It is a great remedy for problems like acne, dandruff etc.
How to make your very own Coconut oil
Since we’re showing you these simple steps from the scratch, the first reasonable step would be to find coconuts. You could buy a few from the store or pick some up if you’re fortunate to find a few. You’ll also be needing a few rocks or maybe a machete to husk the coconut with. If you’re buying coconuts at the store, then those ones might already be husked.
This step is added assuming the coconuts you have aren’t husked. If yours are, then you can move to the next step. To husk the coconuts, start by removing the coconut’s cap. That’s the top part of the coconut. With your machete or your rock, tap the top lightly till it goes off. After taking the cap of, you would have to hit the coconut hard a few times. If you’re using the rocks, place the coconut on one rock and with the other rock, hit hard (this is why the rocks would have to be quite big) . You would have to hit a couple of times before it gives way. It breaks easily if you have the uncapped part of the coconut faced down. After hitting a few times, the husk gives way and you can easily loosen with your hands.
Next is breaking the coconut open. This part is simple. Lightly hit the pointed part of the coconut on the floor. Do this softly a few times till the coconut cracks open. You can drink the water from the coconut or refrigerate for later.
Next would be to take the coconut meat out. This could be done with a small knife or a fork. To make it easier, you might have to scrape them off. If you can though, stick to taking out chunks instead. To take out the chunks, insert the sharp part of your utensil into the space between the meat and the hard part of the coconut. Then twist the metal, taking care not to get yourself hurt. Keep twisting gently till large chunks come off.
Grate the meat of the coconut. You could also pound it instead. Whichever works for you is fine as long as the meat of the coconut is completely grated.
From the crushed meat, extract the coconut milk. To do this, put the grated coconut meat in a bowl and add some water to it. Mix it thoroughly and then begin to squeeze the milk from the mix. You could choose to do this with your hands or use a clean cloth to separate the milk from the mix. When you’re done, repeat again, with not as much water, you don’t want your milk to be all water and no milk.
Next would be to make a fire. You might need to because boiling the milk could take more than an hour, if you’re using a gas cooker, that could be pretty inconvenient. An electric cooker would be fine though.
Pour the milk from the bowl into a saucepan and place over the fire. When the milk begins to boil, stir often. Leave the milk boiling for a while. The goal is for all the water to get evaporated from the milk. This process may take a really long while as all the water should be completely evaporated.
When you’re sure the water has completely evaporated, take the pan of milk from the fire and let it cool down. Leave it for a whole day so that it sets while cooling.You will notice the oil separating from the milk. You’ll also notice that a curd forms at the top of the pan.You could even refrigerate the liquid to get the curd to harden faster. If you would rather not refrigerate, then you could leave in a cool room.You still could decide not to boil the milk. Simply cover the saucepan with a plastic wrap and allow it stay for twenty four hours. Also refrigerate so the oil hardens and floats all the way to the top
When the mixture is all cool and it has stood for quite a long time, then you can separate the oil. A clean cloth as small as a handkerchief will do, assuming you’re only making a little amount. Place the cloth over the mixture and press over it with your fingers – this is so that the cloth absorbs the oil from the mixture. Squeeze the oil out of the cloth into an empty contained. You can repeat this process twice or more, but make sure you do not at a any point get the milk mixed up with the oil. It is assumed that you have discarded the curd
After getting out the oil, you should let the jar of oil stay still for the oil to get settled. Then after a while, you will notice that the oil floating up is purer. You could drain this into another jar. This is the one that is used for the skin, to cook, for the hair and to protect against infections.