I’m going (coco)nuts this week fam. I recently was graced to purchase about 16 coconuts in my neighborhood for half the price. I actually had to do the dance. If you are wondering what this is all about, first I want you to understand that coconuts are a luxury in my part of the world. They are extremely expensive and often not so good. So when I saw coconuts selling at such a low price and still fresh and sweet, I knew it had to be God. Praaaaaaaaaaaaaaisssse the Lord somebody!
You probably already know that coconut oil is healthy and great for weight loss. If you are on a low-carb, high-fat diet, that calls for heart-healthy oils like coconut oil, then you also know that this oil can be pretty expensive especially in some parts of Africa like Nigeria and Cameroon. Yet, nature has blessed us with an abundance of coconuts. So why not make your own right?
Ever since I discovered the health benefits of coconut oil, I’m so loco for coco – literally! Coconuts are great because they are an all-in-one food, you can get virgin coconut oil for your hair and skin, liquid coconut oil for cooking, coconut milk for breakfast muesli and coconut flour for baking or for pancake.
In this post, I share with you how to do it yourself. Making coconut oil can be exhausting and time-consuming but the outcome is always worth the energy and the wait. Before we start with the coconut making process, here are 4 health benefits of coconut oil just so you know what you’re getting:
Health benefits of coconut oil.
#1 Coconut oil is a fat burner
Studies have shown that consuming coconut oil can increase the number of calories you burn, thus helping you burn fat especially around the stomach area. This is as a result of the medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs) in coconut oil.
#2 Appetite suppressant
Coconut oil can reduce hunger, making you eat less. This is due to the metabolisis of fat into ketones for energy which has an appetit-reducing effect.
#3 Improve blood cholesterol levels
Because of the healthy saturated fats found in coconut oil, “good” HDL cholesterol in your body may be increased, and “bad” LDL cholesterol can be converted into a less harmful form.
#4 Great for hair and skin
Coconut oil has been shown to be a great skin moisturizer. It also prevents hair breakage and is great for your teeth.
With the numerous health benefits and uses of coconut oil, there is definitely the need to make your own at home. To get the most oil from coconut, you want to make sure you buy the freshest and most mature coconuts. Here are 3 SUPA tips on how to identify fresh and mature coconuts.
SUPA Tip #1: Always choose a coconut with more water than with less: less water generally means that the water might have drained out, which implies a crack in the coconut shell. If there is a crack in the shell, the probability that your coconut has mold is high.
SUPA Tip #2: Do not purchase coconuts with cracked shells: This is because in the majority of these cases these coconuts will have lost all their water, giving room for bacteria to grow and mold or fungus to form. You don’t want that.
SUPA Tip #3: Do not purchase moist coconut: Make your coconut is dry on the outside. Moist coconuts are a sign of fluid leakage which leads to mold as described above.
If you follow These tips, you will get a good coconut at least 80% of the time. For this recipe, I used 7 coconuts to get about 300ml of coconut oil.
3 SUPA Tips for optimal coconut oil extraction.
Making coconut oil can be a tedious and very time-consuming job to do. So if you put yourself through this process, you want to make sure you extract as much coconut oil as possible. Here are my 3 SUPA TIPS tips for optimal extractions.
SUPA Tip #1 Make sure your coconuts are fresh and mature. Fresh coconuts will yield the most coconut milk and consequently, the most oil.
SUPA Tip #2 Use a high sped blender to blend your coconuts. If you have one at home, great! If not, try blending in the market. If you reside in Cameroon, you can go to those guys who blend fresh cocoyams for Ekwang. That machine can blend really well. Alternatively, you can use a normal grater. The problem with the grater is, it takes too long and you can actually wound yourself since the broken coconut pieces are small.
SUPA Tip #3 Always blend your coconuts with moderately hot (not lukewarm) water. Say about 40 – 50 degrees. At this temperature, extraction of coconut milk is highest. DO NOT, I mean NEVER use cold water to blend your coconut. This will solidify the oil in the coconut. As a result, you will not extract much oil.
Essential tools for coconut oil extraction
To make coconut oil, you need some important tools.
#1 A heavy knife or hammer to break the coconut.
#2 A chopping board to cut the coconut meat
#3 A sieve or a cheese cloth to separate the milk from the chaff.
#4 A set of bowls. You need at least 3. One for the coconut milk, one for the chaff and another for the coconut mixture.
#5 A non-stick pot for cooking the coconut
#6 A blender if you have one.
Making coconut oil: 5 (or 7) simple steps
Step 1: Break the coconut
Step 2: Remove the shell and cut the meat into small bite sizes.
Step 3: Blend the meat in a blender with warm water.
Step 4: Pass the mixture through a sieve and extract the milk.
Step 5: Let the milk sit in the fridge for 24hours or more.
Step 6: Separate the curd from the water and cook it until only oil is left.
Step 7: Collect the oil and store in a jar.
Here is a video on how I made mine. There is a more detailed recipe below.
- 7 fresh mature coconuts
- Moderately hot water
- A knife or a hammer
- Chopping board
- Cheese cloth
- Kitchen bowls
- Non-stick pot
- Use the blunt side of a heavy knife or a hammer to crack open a fresh, mature (brown skin) coconut. Collect the coconut water if it is sweet and use it to make smoothies or chill and drink it. It's great for your health.
- Use a knife to remove any leftover coconut meat.
- On a chopping board, chop your coconut to bite sizes, wash and get ready to blend.
- Warm water to moderately hot. Say about 40 to 50 degrees. The water should be hot but should not burn you when you touch it. Hot water is extremely necessary to extract as much milk as possible. Also, make sure that your blender can tolerate the heat from the hot water when blending. Note that some blenders could explode if the water is too hot.
- Add coconut in batches into your blender, add water to cover the coconut and pulse until you get a smooth milky mixture.
- Now use your sieve or cheese cloth to separate the milk from the chaff. Once you've gotten all the chaff, add some more warm water to the chaff, pulse in your blender and repeat the process until a mixture of water and coconut chaff is no longer milky. Then you know that you have extracted all the coconut milk.
- Store the coconut milk in a bowl or in several bowls in the fridge for at least 24 hours. Storing for 48 hours will yield best results. After 24 or 48-hours, you will notice that the coconut milk and oil have separated and a layer of hardened curd (that whitish layer) will appear at the top of your bowl. This hardened curb is extra-virgin cold pressed coconut oil which you can use to make coconut butter for your hair or skin.
- Separate the curd from the liquid and add it into your non-stick pot. Do not throw away the water left. It could be used to cook coconut rice as it contains some coconut flavor. Cover and cook at medium heat, stirring from time to time. You will notice that the liquid will evaporate slower and only your oil will remain.
- Continue stirring to avoid any burns. If the pot begins to smoke, take it off the fire and reduce the heat.
- Towards the end of the cooking process, you may find some charred coconut bits under the pot. That's o.k. Once you notice that the water has completely evaporated, it is time to turn off the heat completely.
- Let the oil cool and then use your cheese cloth to separate any charred coconut bites from the oil.
- Use your coconut oil to cook.
How do you identify good coconuts? Any tips you would like to share! please go ahead and comment.
Let’s make some coconut oil.