Coconut oil used to be an integral part of Indian diet and beauty products. Many south Indians cooked using coconut oil till giant oil companies came promoting other cooking oils. They made coconut oil look like a devil and we began to shun it. We reduced consumption of peanut oil and palm oil that were made from peanuts and palm trees that grew easily in India. Nowadays these indigenous oils are rarely sold in shops. But when another giant company suddenly “discovered” that coconut oil is good for us, we are rushing to buy the same coconut oil. They do come in fancier bottle now. 🙂
I still remember the wonderful flavor that food cooked in coconut oil used to have. I grew up eating coconut chutney every morning. My mom used to add shredded coconut to every vegetable side dish and even sambar. As long as I was eating coconut (raw or in cooked form), my hair was dark, strong, shiny, long and growing fast too. After my wedding, I reduced my coconut and coconut oil consumption since my husband was not used to its taste. After this my skin needed moisturizers and my hair required conditioners to look remotely decent. Recently I have been making small practical and sustainable changes in my lifestyle to bring back practices that were common in India when I was a little kid and I am seeing positive results. So this is one such attempt.
Making coconut oil at home might sound like a difficult process. But it is quite easy. The process used is wet milling where we shred coconut meat, grind it and extract the oil with heat. This is how small scale industries and moms in India were extracting coconut oil for hundreds if not thousands of years till we saw bottled coconut oil lining our grocery store shelves.
This method does not involve the use of any chemicals or complicated refining processes. Fair warning – Once you smell this oil and use it on your skin and hair, it will be very difficult to go back to store bought ones.
I made this demo using just one coconut (huge coconut) so the oil produced in this demo will be less. But this will help you guess how many coconuts you will require to make the amount that you want.
Shredding is not mandatory because all we want is coconut milk.
Ideally this coconut is squeezed and milk is extracted.
This milk is an excellent skin and hair moisturizer.
But I am going to grind the coconut. So you can use coconut pieces if you cannot shred it.
Add as little water as possible because we will be evaporating all of it. I had a little help(?) from little missy who emptied the entire cup of water I had kept beside the blender. She thought making tornadoes in blender is cooler than making oil. 🙂
Use a tea filter or a cloth.
Filter the coconut milk.
Yes missy. Do the crime, do the time. 😉
We competed to see who could squeeze out more milk.
This pulp can be used as a body scrub while bathing or added to hair masks. This has a very short shelf life so use it immediately.
Milk is ready.
Pour it in a heavy bottomed vessel and heat it in medium heat. You can also allow the milk to ferment overnight. The cream will rise to the top. Skim it and heat it.
Oil will begin to separate.
Filter and use flavorful homemade organic coconut oil made without any chemicals.