Coconut oil offers a variety of health benefits and can be used for cooking as well as skin and hair care. You can make your own virgin coconut oil at home using a coconut and a few simple tools.
- How is virgin coconut oil made?
- How do you take virgin coconut oil?
- How do you make virgin coconut oil without cooking?
- How do I make coconut oil?
Using the Wet Mill Method
- Split a coconut with a sharp cleaver. Use a mature, brown coconut, rather than a young green one.
- Scrape the meat of the coconut from the shell. Use a coconut scraper, sharp paring knife, or a sturdy metal spoon. Removing the meat is tricky. A butter knife is much better than a sharp paring knife. You can slide it in between the meat and the shell and ‘pop’ pieces off, rather than slip, and cut your hand.
- Cut the coconut meat into small pieces or shred the coconut flesh with the scraper.
- Place the pieces into a food processor.
- Turn on the food processor to a medium speed and blend until well shredded. Add a little water to help it blend if necessary.
- Filter the coconut milk. Put a coffee filter or cheesecloth over a wide-mouth jar. Pour or spoon a small amount of the coconut mixture onto the cloth. Wrap the cloth around the coconut mixture and squeeze the milk into the jar.
- Squeeze hard, to make sure you get every last drop.
- Repeat this process until all of the coconut mixture has been used.
- Leave the jar unattended for at least 24 hours. As it sets, the coconut milk and oil will separate and a layer of curd will appear at the top of the jar.
- Refrigerate the jar so the curd hardens more quickly if you’d like.
- If you’d prefer not to refrigerate it, leave the jar in a cool room.
- Scoop out the curd with a spoon and discard it. The pure virgin coconut oil is left in the jar.
Using the Cold Process Method
- Start with dried or dehydrated coconut. You can buy dried unsweetened coconut flakes from the grocery store. Be sure the only ingredient the bag contains is coconut. If you want to start with fresh coconut meat, cut the meat into pieces and use a dehydrator to dry it out over the course of 24 hours.
- You can use the oven at its lowest temperature to dry coconut meat. Cut it into small chunks, place it on a baking sheet, and cook it at a low temperature for 8 hours, or until its completely dry.
- If you’re using store-bought coconut, go for the coconut flakes, rather than shredded coconut, which tends to clog the juicer.
- Put the coconut in your juicer. Juice the dried coconut in small batches, since placing a lot of coconut in the juicer will cause it to clog. The juicer will remove the oil and cream from the fiber. Continue processing the coconut until all of the flakes have been run through the juicer.
- Process the coconut again. The juicer won’t be able to extract all of the oil the first time around, so run the coconut flakes through it once more to make sure you get every last drop.
- Place the coconut oil in a jar and store in a warm place. Wait 24 hours for the coconut cream to settle at the bottom of the jar. The pure coconut oil will rise to the top.
- Spoon the oil into a new container. Once the oil has separated from the cream and solidified, use a spoon to remove it from the first container and place it in a new container. It is now ready to use.
Boiling the Coconut
- Heat 4 cups of water. Place the water in a saucepan and put it on a burner. Turn the burner to medium high and heat the water until it starts steaming.
- Grate the meat of 2 coconuts. Use a fully developed brown coconut instead of a young green one. Open the coconut, scoop out the meat and grate it into a bowl.
- Blend the coconut and water. Put the grated coconut in a blender. Pour the hot water over the coconut and close the lid of the blender. Hold the lid of the blender in place and puree the coconut and water into a smooth mixture.
- Don’t fill the blender more than halfway full with hot water. If your blender is on the smaller side, blend the coconut and water in two batches. Filling the blender too high may cause the lid to fly off.
- Hold the lid in place while you’re blending the mixture; otherwise it could come off while you’re blending.
- Strain the coconut liquid. Place cheesecloth or a fine-mesh strainer over a bowl. Pour the pureed coconut over the cloth or strainer so that the coconut milk drips into the bowl. Use a spatula to push the pulp and squeeze out as much liquid as possible.
- If it’s easier for you, you could pick up the cheesecloth and squeeze it over the bowl with your hands.
- To extract even more liquid, pour more hot water over the pulp and squeeze it again.
- Boil the coconut liquid. Place it in a saucepan on a burner and turn the heat to medium high. Bring it to a boil and cook, stirring constantly, until the water has evaporated and the cream has separated from the oil and turned brown.
- The process of boiling the liquid until it reaches the right state could take over an hour. Be patient, and stir constantly.
- If you’d rather not boil the mixture, you can allow it to separate on its own. Place the liquid in a bowl and cover it with plastic wrap. Leave it at room temperature for 24 hours, then place it in the refrigerator so the oil solidifies and floats to the top. Strain the oil from the liquid.
- Virgin coconut oil can be used in cooking for wonderfully light, flaky pastries such as scones and pie crusts. It adds a delicate vanilla flavor and is much healthier than traditional fats like lard or butter.
- A mature coconut can be recognized by its hard, dark brown husk. Coconuts that have not fully matured will be a lighter brown color. Young coconuts are small and green. A mature coconut will yield more oil than a young one.
- Cold-processed virgin coconut oil is made with no heat. This allows the oil to retain more of its naturally healthy benefits, anti-oxidants and vitamins.
- Freezing and then thawing the coconut pieces prior to putting them in the food processor will soften the meat and may allow for more milk extraction.
- Virgin coconut oil is believed to have over 200 amazing health benefits. Sipping a spoonful each day is said to increase immunity, lower blood pressure, relieve joint pain and even aid in the treatment of cancer. It can also be applied to the hair and skin to enhance moisture levels and repair damaged cells and follicles. Examples of this are diaper rash and dry skin relief as well as insect bites. Other benefits include improved circulation, normalized thyroid function, boosted metabolism and weight loss.
- Coconut oil has been considered taboo in the past, mostly due to the alarming fact that it is nearly 90 percent saturated fat. However, it has recently been redeemed in a health conscious world because, unlike hydrogenated oils, it is not processed or chemically treated and therefore retains all of its healthy plant-based nutrients. Used in moderation, coconut oil could be more actively beneficial than olive oil.
Things You’ll Need
Wet Mill Method
- 1 fresh, mature coconut
- Sharp paring knife
- Food processor
- Coffee filter or cheesecloth
- Wide-mouth glass jar
Cold Process Method
- Food dehydrator
- Fine mesh strainer