Virgin coconut oil is considered to be best among all coconut oil available. The reason is obvious, it is the purest of all and thus preserves all the great health benefits of coconut.
If you are thinking that how can you make virgin coconut oil let me tell you our ancestors have been making virgin coconut oil for hundreds and thousands of years. It is just that in today's world the word "virgin oil" seems very sophisticated - but if you go deep, it just means pure.
There are several methods available to make virgin coconut oil at home. Fermentation method is one of the most common and easy of all.
What all is required for making virgin coconut oil - fresh coconut milk (see its recipe here), pan / vessel to keep milk / oil.
Process to make virgin coconut oil at home
I have already mentioned the recipe of making fresh coconut milk at home. It is best to use homemade coconut milk as if we use packed coconut milk the very purpose of purity will be defeated. Thus, prepare coconut milk first using fresh mature coconuts make sure that coconuts do not have mould in them.
- Next step is to keep the fresh coconut milk to ferment. You need to keep the coconut milk for 24-48 hrs. It is best to keep the temperature between 30-40 C for best results for fermentation. In case you are doing this in cold weather, make sure you heat the milk a little bit in oven
- What next happens is as fermentation proceeds, water settles at the bottom while curd starts forming at the top. A thin layer of coconut oil is formed in between the two.
- The next few steps is to separate the oil from the water and curd. This is the hard part. There are several methods for this, some sophisticated and some simple but long. I prefer the simple ne as I do not have apparatus to do a sophisticated ones.
- It involves freezing the complete mixture for say 3-4 hours till the oil and curd freeze. When this happens we can separate water from the mixture. This is because while curd and oil harden easily water takes much longer to do that.
- Now when we are done with water we are left with curd and oil. SO next step is to remove the curd. Now we need to heat the remaining mixture in a pan slightly (40-70 C) for 10-15 min. This has two purposes - removal or remaining moisture from the pan and also separating the curd from oil.
- When the pan is cooled, oil and some solids will be left. One can use a cheesecloth to separate the oil in a jar. In case you need more refined oil, use multiple cheeseclothes. The way to use cheesecloth is to put it over a jar and put mixture over it and then let it drain a bit and then squeeze to get all the oil.
- In case you are doing this in winters, do not cool the pan completely and start the above process when the mixture is still hot else oil will solidify
Congratulations, you have made your own virgin coconut oil! From a standard size coconut you can make 3-5 tbs of such oil. You can start small and then use multiple coconuts to repeat the process.
I have used this process only a few times, because in India there are several ways to get almost pure coconut oil. But I must tell you, it is amazing feeling to smell the aroma and taste the oil you have yourself made!
In case you have made virgin coconut oil yourself, share your experience here with us!