Want to know how to make coconut oil? Come along for the ride, it’s not a quick process.
This post begins with a disclaimer – This recipe came with a lot of trial and error. So depending on where you are, what your coconuts are like (ha ha), and what tools you have, it will also take some trial and error to produce a top grade oil. A warning – making coconut oil by hand takes a lot of work… a lot
1. First step. Get lots of mature coconuts ( the brown ones) the ones that have already fallen from the tree. A coconut oil maker once told me you need at least 7 to start to get oil. I was doing about 15-20 sometimes more per batch.
2. Crack da Coconut! This part was great depending on the day. Need to get a little repressed emotion out? Nothing like a machete and a coconut to make that happen.
4. Get the meat out of the coconut. To do this I used a curved knife blade and carefully drew lines in the coconut meat with the knife and then popped out the meat (this was the most time consuming process).
5. I then blended the coconut ( in a food processor/blender) with some of the water to get it to a grated wet consistency.
6. In Costa Rica they have these great drip cotton coffee socks, so I used on of those to drain out the coconut milky substance from the grated meat. This could then be used as coconut milk ( if you want to give up at this point then just make a really nice curry and forget the rest!) ** Cheese cloth does the trick if you don’t have a coffee sock**
7. I then put the milk into containers (jugs) and let them start their separation process. By a day and a half in tropic temperatures the coconut milk would begin to separate first into two layers, then eventually a third. You ended up with water on the bottom, oil in the middle and proteins on the top ( a creamy white consistency).
8. Then take these jugs and pop them in the fridge. The oil hardens under 23 C degrees. Once hardened, poke a small hole and drain the water out. I would then take the oil and proteins and slice the oil away with a knife – aiming to get the oil as clean as you can from the protein.
9. Now you have oil, but it will inevitably have some contamination so then the straining process begins. Using cheese cloth I would strain the oil multiple times until I got a really clean, clear and beautiful oil. During this stage you spill a lot of excess oil and it gets everywhere. My recommendation – don’t wear too many clothes (bikini’s or boardies preferably) mop up the oil with your hands and rub it all over your body!
10. Ta Da! Amazing clear, cold-hand pressed organic coconut oil. 25 coconuts made about a litre give or take, depending on how much I strained it, and how much I spilt!
Big process, but I loved the result. I cooked with it, coated myself in it, gave people massages with it. It was months of coconut bliss.
Oh how I miss it… but I dont miss the hours of hard labour. Next time you pay $30 for a litre of cold pressed organic coconut oil (which is the only type you should buy!) you will know why.
I wish we took more pics of the coconut oil making process… but it was either surf, hammock or work!