Coconut oil is one of the world’s healthiest cooking oils. It is resistant to oxidation at high heat and very suitable for cooking that requires high heat. The fats in coconut oil are good fats and are recommended in Ketogenic diets, for people with epilepsy, it is recommended in the control of obesity and there is a lot of resources online for why Coconut oil is good for you. Coconut oil is not only used in cooking, it is great for the skin and hair too. You can make coconut oil from the comfort of your home.
Homemade Coconut oil can be extracted in an of the following ways.
The quantity, colour, texture of your coconut oil is largely affected by the kind of coconut you use. The species, and the age of maturity and not necessarily the size will impact the volume of oil yield you will get from your coconuts. The colour of your coconut can range from clear to a dark yellow hint also depending on the coconuts (Colour can be impacted by heat extraction if the cooking is too prolonged and the sugars in the milk curd caramelize)
In the heat extraction process of making coconut oil, the cream of the coconut is cooked on high heat, for moisture to evaporate and the oil to separate from the cream. Leaving a split of curdled cream and oil. See procedure.
- The first step is to break the coconut and take out the flesh from the shell and rinse
- Grate / Blend / Grind your coconut flesh. If you grate it you might need to add some water. If you blend or grind it you’d use water to blend you may or may not need more water.
- Get a clothe sieve (or cheesecloth depending on your location) the type used to sieve Ogi.
- Using a cloth sieve strain the Milk from the chaff. Then allow it to sit covered for a few hours. You might put it in the fridge too. This would allow the water to settle to the bottom and the cream float to the top and scoop the cream out into a pot.
- The coconut chaff doesn’t have to go to waste you may spread it in a tray till it dries or oven-dry it and store it in an airtight container. Then it becomes your desiccated coconut, if you blend the desiccated coconut it becomes coconut flour which you can use in cakes, candies, biscuits etc. Recipe for coconut candy and coconut sugar candy can be checked for reference
- Scoop congealed cream into a pot. Now cook. I prefer to use a coal pot for this because of the boil time and fuel it consumes. This is because I make large quantities. You can however use your gas or electric stoves.
- The residue water left at the bottom of the bowl can be used to cook coconut rice or any of your favorite sauces.
- After heating the cream for a while the moisture escapes, the cream starts to curdle and the oil separates. Once most of the cream has curdled and the water has dried out -curdled milk may turn brown and start to fry- out turn off the heat and scoop out your oil.
- I recommend you place a sieve cloth over the bowl you will collect your oil into to prevent impurities from getting into your final product.
- There you got it! Your pure unadulterated, coconut oil.
See the pictorial below for the procedure in steps.
Cold Extraction (Cold Pressed)
The process of cold extraction does not include the use of heat to extract the coconut oil. It is a process of several hours (24hrs – 48 hrs) where the milk is left to naturally separate till the oil is released. During this period, some fermentation starts to occur, causing the milk to turn to cream, and the cream curdles up and releases its oil. See Procedure below
- The first step is to break the coconuts and take out the flesh from the shell and rinse
- Grind your coconut flesh. If you grate it you might need to add some water. If you blend or grind it you’d definitely use water to blend you may or may not need more water.
- Use a clothe sieve ( muslin/cheesecloth depending on your location) the type used to sieve ogi. Using a cloth sieve strain the Milk from the chaff.
- The coconut chaff doesn’t have to go to waste you may spread it in a tray till it dries or oven-dry it and store it in an airtight container. This becomes your desiccated coconut, if you blend the desiccated coconut it becomes coconut flour which you can use in cakes, candies, biscuits etc.
- Allow it to sit covered for a few hours. This would allow the water to settle to the bottom and the cream to float to the top.
- At this point, strain the water out of the milk, it is best to decant the water from the bottom and not by straining from the top. I’ve found that at this stage it is best not to upset the milk that has turned to cream, it would soon split to curdled milk and release the oil in the cream You may have to decant the water more than once.
*Note, whether or not you decant the water, the following will still happen, the water will separate from the milk, a cream float at the top and will later split into curd and oil.
- You will observe your cream will start to split after a few hours, and there will be curd and oil separate. Leave for a few more hours to allow more oil to be released from the cream
- Using a scoop spoon, scoop out oil from the top. Place your sieve cloth over a mesh sieve and scoop the oil in. Careful not to scoop out water with it.
Leave your oil to sit for 12-18 hrs, this is so that any impurities can settle to the bottom and you will have clearer oil. Impurities in the oil can make your oil go rancid.
Now scoop into an airtight container and your cold-pressed coconut oil is ready for use.
Cold Pressed coconut oil often doesn’t have the sweet nutty aroma that is synonymous with coconut oil, it also if not properly prepared can go rancid quick from the presence of impurities. With warm extraction, you warm up your oil for a short period to get rid of moisture from water and to kill microbes.
- Follow every step in Cold Extraction
- After collecting your oil, pour in a clean pot and one medium heat warm it for 5-10 minutes. Turn the heat off, allow it to cool completely before storing it in an airtight container.