Brewing Coconut Oil

The spring I turned nine-years-old, my Grandmother let me brew coconut oil all by myself. I remember how grown up I felt. I mean, my siblings and I had been helping in the kitchen for several years already. But to be given the responsibility (without supervision!) of starting a fire, peeling coconuts (with a machete), grating the pieces, squeezing out the milk, and then boiling the liquid until only oil and zurrapa (dregs) were left, well… I was practically an adult woman.

After having lived twenty-eight years as a coconut-oil-brewing-nine-year-old adult woman, I suspect that my Grandmother was probably behind a tree, smoking her pipe and watching me.

Today, I brewed some coconut oil. And I thought about my Grandma. Good times…
I rarely share recipes; mostly, because I’m terrible at measuring, recording times, or doing anything that might help someone else replicate the recipe. If it isn’t a home remedy, you can be sure that I will use the eyeballing approach to cooking. Keeping that in mind, here are the steps I use when brewing coconut oil:

Remove the shell by hacking at it with a steady knife. I’ve seen people crack the coconut with a hammer or against a hard surface.

I prefer the chip the shell bit-by-bit method, because if the coconut is fresh—like two of the three I used were—then the water is delicious. Pour the water in a colorful mug (and sip it if it’s yummy).

Cut the coconut into manageable wedges.

Then comes the grating, which works best while listening to a book… I use a very small grater because the range of motion of my right shoulder is limited. Some people cut the coconut in small pieces and invite a blender to the party. I prefer the grater.

Pour thirteen cups of warm water over the grated coconut. Separate solids from liquid—I use a thin cotton cloth—and deposit the milk into a pot.

Let it boil wildly, okay on high-medium, until most of the water evaporates—it took a bit less than three hours. Lower the heat, and continue cooking until the oil is clearly separated from the zurrapa. The latter has the consistency of ricotta cheese, and I love to eat it with boiled green bananas or white rice.

The three coconuts rendered nearly two cups of delicious oil. The wineglass on the left contains oil just from the cauldron, and the one on the right is at room temperature. 

I brew coconut oil to use as lip balm and for oil pulling, mostly. But I’ve used it for cooking, hair conditioning, rubbing on my feet after a long run, treating scars…

Do you use coconut oil, my Wicked Luvs?   

27 comments:

  1. Wow! I really want to try this. I do use shop bought coconut oil on my hair at times, when the ends begin to frizz. But have never made my own.

    I hope you're having a lovely weekend :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I use it to tame my mane, too. And it works so well.

      Let me know if you try it!

      Delete
  2. I've read where it is used as part of a sunblock mixture & as a hair conditioner.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Never used it as sunblock, but will try it this summer!

      Delete
  3. I am going to try this! Thank you so much, I love coconut oil on my skin, thank you!

    ReplyDelete
  4. What a lovely tutorial. I'm sure I have two brave hearts who would love to learn how to do this. We'll let you know how we do. I just love adventures in natural.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yay! Yes, I would love to see/know when (and if) you guys do. I bet is will be super fun.

      Delete
  5. Beautiful! I use coconut oil for my hair. I live in a super dry climate and the coconut oil helps my hair stay soft! I am going to have to try this. Thank you!!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. How often do you the oil in your hair? I only use it every few months, for conditioning. I wonder if I should use it often.

      Delete
    2. More often, I meant.

      Delete
  6. Thank you so much or sharing this with us Magaly!! I love using coconut oil, I use it for making lip balms, salves, and other homemade goodies; now I get to try my hand at making my own oil.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Would you share your lip balm recipe, one of these days? I would love to steal it, I mean, try it! *cough*

      Delete
    2. sure in fact I have done a post on it in the past - http://witchcamefirst.blogspot.com/2013/02/kitchen-witch-beauty-lip-balm.html, enjoy

      Delete
  7. I'll take my Coconuts this way . . .

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aA9OqUuA6a0

    Sorry Kestril :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hahaha! I don't know what I love most, if the link or the fact that you appologized to Kestril for doing something musical.

      Delete
  8. How long do you let the grated coconut sit in the warm water before separating?

    Absolutely awesome, and my Mom and I are now itching to try this. :D

    -your Artful White Fox ;)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I only leave it in the water for a minute or two. Sometimes a few minutes, if I'm doing something like washing dishes.

      Delete
  9. This is great. No, really, this kind of stuff always gives me a huge smile. Like looking into a magic trick and finding pixie dust instead of the strings and wires you expected. Plus, it requires a dangerous looking silver knife! I assume a few cooking recipes are forthcoming? Did I miss them?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I've always thought of chemistry, cooking and making people smile as wonderful kinds of magic. And it gets sparkly when we add a "dangerous looking silver knife" to it. ;-)

      After a few requests (and death threats), I've promised to share my coconut right and coconut fish recipes. So yes, forthcoming they are... ;-D

      Delete
  10. That is such a delicious post Magaly!
    I never kne wabout coconut oil properties and its usage until I cam to India. It is used for everything: cooking, cosmetics, remedies. I use it often too, now for rubbing my belly and also for my heels and body. My D uses for hair. I never tried to brew it myself, thanks for showcasing how it is actually done. Here you get coconut oil in bottles in each and every store. It becomes solid in winter but now it is a liquid delight - I love its smell. I also like coconut water, in our city you get yet green coconuts which they cut at the top, give you a straw and you can sip it - yumm too!
    Have a delicious week ahead Magaly! Hugs!

    ReplyDelete
  11. I remember helping my best friend rub it on her belly and thighs, while she was pregnant, to avoid stretch marks. Such a versatile oil, isn't it? And such a delicious taste!

    ReplyDelete
  12. This is a lot of work girl! Thank you for sharing all the steps to make this liquid gold ;o) I have never used coconut oil, but I have drank coconut water and I love it! I will for sure now be using coconut oil! I may even try to make some ;o) Big Hugs and thanks again ;o) Great post ;o)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Work and then some. Your arm muscles will make sure to remind you, too!

      I love fresh coconut water. I miss it. *sigh*

      Delete
  13. I need to try this!!! Sorry I'm late responding too all of this. It's been insane around here.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Life happens! Let me know how you like it, when you try it. ;-)

      Delete