Very few products can be at home in the kitchen cupboard as well as the bathroom cabinet and coconut oil is one of them.
This is one of the few natural products that can be used internally as well as externally on the body to great effect. This fragrant oil is extracted from the unprepossessing fruit of the coconut palm which is widely dispersed amongst tropical and sub-tropical areas.
While this oil has long been used for various purposes by people living in areas that the coconut palm is native to, it is now used all over the world; thanks to an increasing awareness about its many health promoting and healing properties.
Interestingly, the flesh and fiber of the coconut can also be put to many uses. Further, the oil is also used for making soaps and a large number of cosmetic products.
Coconut oil gets many of its useful properties from its unique blend of short and medium chain fatty acids.
It mostly comprises Lauric Acid, Myristic Acid and Capric Acid. In its pure form, i.e. when it is not hydrogenated, this oil contains an amazing 92% saturated fat. In addition, it contains many plant compounds that are beneficial for health. However, it does not contain any minerals or vitamins whatsoever.
The many benefits of coconut oil include:
As a result of the increasing demand for coconut oil for various purposes this product is now relatively easily available. As a matter of fact, one can easily come across many different brands to choose from.
However, one has to be very careful when making a selection or else one will not get the desired effect. Virgin coconut oil, which is extracted from the fresh meat of coconuts without the use of any chemical processes or being subjected to high temperatures, contains the maximum health giving and curative properties.
Regular refined coconut oil, on the other hand, is extracted from dried coconut flesh called copra and it loses many of its properties during the manufacturing process.
As hard as it is to believe, coconut oil can actually be made at home without too much of trouble or buying specialized equipment.
In fact, lots of people prefer doing this because they want to be absolutely certain that they get all the benefits of the oil.
After all, certain manufacturers might be less reliable than others and the oil that they produce would have lost many of its healing qualities. Besides, the oil might also have to undergo hydrogenation or refining in order to increase its shelf life. Virgin coconut oil is recommended for all sorts of cosmetic, medicinal and cooking purposes.
This is how to make coconut oil at home.
The next day, you’ll find a layer of pale golden oil floating in between coconut water and white coconut protein. Skim away the protein with a spoon and decant the oil carefully. If required, you could also filter it to remove impurities. If there is still some water present in the oil then you could leave it out in the sun to evaporate the water.
You’ll need dry or desiccated coconut flesh in order to make oil using this method. Use store bought dry coconut flakes as long as they do not contain sugar and come from a good source.
Else, you could toast the shredded coconut flesh on your stove top or oven until the flesh turns golden brown in color. You could also use a dehydrator to achieve the same results.
The dried flesh should then be passed through a heavy duty juicer in small batches so as to avoid straining the machine. The dried fiber that is left behind can be passed through the juicer once more. The oil that is created should be filtered after 24 hours to make sure it is ready for use.
Virgin coconut oil extracted at home should ideally be used within three to four months of being extracted. One does not have to refrigerate it since it keeps very well at room temperature. It is best to use these methods instead of others that utilize heat to extract oil since exposure to heat will be detrimental to the quality of the oil. Since it is made from fresh coconuts, the oil retains a wonder flavor and aroma that adds to the positive experience of using it. Over time one will have a good idea of how many coconuts will be required to make the desired quantity of oil so that one’s efforts do not go to waste. In any case, it is definitely worth one’s while to use this wonderful oil, whether one buys it from a reliable source or makes it at home from time to time.