Whilst on the Island of Mantanani we had a lesson on how to make the ever so useful coconut oil. Here is the step by step guide of how to if you fancy doing it at home.
Step One – Remove the coconut from its hard shell
We used a machete but if you’re not a maniac and don’t have one of these handy then a screwdriver/chisle and hammer should do the trick (unless you have another way then please share!)
Step Two – Grate the coconut
Using the piece of coconut you have just freed from its shell, grate the coconut. I’m sure a cheese grater will do the trick.
Save all the shavings on a plate under the grater
Step Three – Put the grated coconut in a bowl and cover with an equal amount of water
Step Four – Squeeze the water soaked grated coconut as much as you can to remove as much liquid as possible, let the liquid fall back into the bowl with the un-squeezed, wet grated coconut and put the squeezed shavings aside.
Repeat this until you have squeezed the majority of the shavings. You should be left with a milky looking liquid.
(You won’t need the squeezed shavings again unless you have chickens I hear it makes good feed for them.)
Step Five – Sieve the liquid that you have into a saucepan.
The sieve will catch any grated coconut you have left. Repeat step four and five twice with these leftovers.
Step Six – Boil the coconut liquid
Boil the liquid over a high heat, the aim of this is to separate the oil. This may take about 45 minutes – 1 hour.
Stir the mixture whilst it is boiling, this is particularly important towards the end so the mixture doesn’t stick to the pan.
You will know the mixture has boiled enough when it looks like this:
When it does look like that it is time to remove the pan from the heat.
Step Seven / Final Step
Once the mixture is cool enough to go through a sieve you can separate your oil from the rocky pieces of coconut which are left.
The rocky pieces are caramelized coconut which are quite nice, you could eat them on thier own, put them in a cake or grind and mix them with chilli’s for a spicy food topping.
This guide is to make ‘Boiled Coconut Oil’ which is predominantly used for cooking.
The other well used version is ‘Virgin Coconut Oil’, to make this you stop the process at step 5 and leave the mixture somewhere cool (not fridge cold) over night. The mixture will separate and the next day you’ll be able to scrape what you need off the top.
Virgn Coconut Oil is the one more commonly used for your hair and skin, although I have been putting the boiled one in my hair and have been happy with the results.