DIY: How to make Coconut milk and Extra Virgin Coconut oil.

Bonjour everyone!!

Last weekend, my aspiring mixtress took over, and I made ATTEMPTED TO MAKE Coconut Oil for the first time. Everything was going well until I was almost done. I tweeted about my progress and a few people asked about my method. The title of this post really should be- “Tweeted too soon.” Insert lone tear. 😦

In this post, I’m setting out a method/recipe and I’ll also be showing you my progress, and telling you where I failed. If you try, I hope you do better than I did! If you have a few hints for us aspiring Coconut oil makers, please holler in the comments.

As a true champion, I refuse to accept defeat but time has become a little more precious. Can’t be blending coconuts just to prove a point. When I finally try again and succeed, I’ll be back! ^.^

Aaaaaaanyway, here’s how:

What You Need:

Coconuts (I used 3)

Knife or grater

Food processor, blender

Clean cloth

Clear containers

STEPS

COCONUT MILK

  1. Break your coconuts and extract the meat. You could read about how to do this here. I had someone break mine for me.

    Coconuts!

    Coconuts!

  2. Break it up. You could grate your coconut meat- or you could do what I did, chop it into pieces.

    Chop chop

    Chop chop

  3. If you’re grating, you can skip this step. Soak your chopped coconut in hot water for 15 minutes, to soften the membrane.

    Soak in hot water for 15 minutes

    Soak in hot water for 15 minutes

  4. Blend the coconut bits, with a little water of course. Don’t break your (mama’s) blender. [If you’ve got a Food Processor, put your coconut bits in it before transferring to the blender.]
    Blending time. Be easy.

    Blending time. Be easy.

    You’re left with coconut puree.

  5. Time to squeeze.
    The sieve wasn't enough. I had to squeeze the pulp with my hands- next time, I'll be using a clean cloth to strain.

    The sieve wasn’t a great idea. I had to squeeze the pulp with my hands- to get more milk out, and I got little bits in my milk. Next time, I’ll be using a clean cloth to strain.

    In the photo, you see that I began with a sieve. Bad idea (if the coconut milk is going anywhere near your hair that is) It’s better to get a clean cloth- maybe a new handkerchief or a pillowcase. Put the coconut puree in and squeeze. This is the best way to ensure you get the milk out, with no bits.

  6. Now, you have Coconut milk. If that’s all you want, you can stop here. If you’re interested in making coconut oil, proceed.

    L- Coconut milk R- the residue

    L- Coconut milk R- the residue

COCONUT MILK TO COCONUT OIL

  1. Pour your Coconut milk in a clear container and place in the fridge for like an hour
  2. After an hour or two, you’ll observe two layers.

    Layers of coconut milk: Top layer- Full coconut cream Bottom layer- Skim milk.

    Layers of coconut milk: Top layer- Full coconut cream Bottom layer- Skim milk.

  3. The bottom layer is the watery skim milk, but the top layer is thick and creamy. This is the full cream part of your coconut milk, the richest bit.
  4. Scoop the top layer (coconut cream) out, into another clear container.

    Coconut cream

    Coconut cream

  5. You can still use the bottom layer to cook or do anything you want. If you want some of the rich cream, now is the time to take that out.
  6. Set the coconut cream on a warm-ish surface. Not under direct heat, but somehow close to it, like beside your cooking top or on top of your fridge. Leave it there for 24-48 hours. Covered of course.
  7. Again, you have 2 layers. The top layer is the curd, the fermented cream. The bottom layer is what you want, the oil.

    On top of the fridge. Top Layer- fermented curd. Bottom layer- oil

    On top of the fridge. Top Layer- fermented curd. Bottom layer- oil

  8. Put the container in the fridge so that the layers can set.
  9. Scoop, or scrape off the now semi-solid layer of curd.

    As I didn’t succeed at this point, here’s this Image from WikiHow showing you what it should have been like.

  10. Voila. Your very own extra virgin coconut oil. At room temperature, it will be liquid again. 😀

Between Step 8 and Step 9, I got into trouble. After 24 hours, the layers looked pretty separated to me so I put it the bowl in the fridge to set and I guess I left it in for too long. When I brought it out, I didn’t have a semi-solid layer of curd. I had pretty solid matter in my bowl. I microwaved for 1 minute ( ._.) and was able to lift the thick layer of curd. However, I noticed the base of the bowl was like a bed of coconut bits. Because I didn’t scoop the curd in the most delicate manner, I had a bit left, mixed in with what should have been my coconut oil. I put it in the fridge again to see if it could re-separate again but after hoursss, I didn’t have solids again but I just had this mix of (Again, what I imagine was oil) and floating curd. It was NOT pretty so I spared you guys the hardship of a photo of my mess. 😦

There are other ways to make Coconut oil which require heat after step 4. For one of them, you could read how-to here.  Maybe another day I’ll try this too.

To the person wishing to try, here’s a final note from the good people of the interwebs: As an amateur, you might find that you still have traces of curd in your oil. This can cause the oil to go “bad”, smell funky or not last as long as it should. You might want to make coconut oil in small amounts until you perfect your moves.

And yes, you can also make Coconut oil from store-bought tinned Coconut milk but how cost effective is that?

*Thanks to Renegade Kitchen and Wiki-how for showing me how!

Till next time,

AB

x

P.S. Don’t just throw away all your Coconut residue. Google for great food ideas. I saved my residue, and maybe in later posts, I’ll show you how I put mine to good use.

LAST WEEKEND: OPERATION GET MY HAIR BACK!!!

Hey guys!

Ekene here. Shenehneh’s gone. I took my weave out last Friday because I could not take it anymore. Weaves are my least favourite hair thing to do because I feel separated from my scalp, like I can’t do much and it itches like hell.

After three weeks away from the sun and hair food, my hair was so dry and brittle. It was stretched out, not tangled but I did not comb. Combing natural hair when it’s dry is not a good idea. Don’t do it! In this state, it is so prone to breakage- and I was definitely not going to try that because the hair looked as dry as it felt. I was especially troubled by the fact that I had broken hair in my hand and I had not even combed! I felt like I had to get my hair back asap!

THE PLAN: Conditioning, Protein, Conditioning. Oh, did I already say Conditioning?

Healthy hair is all about having that moisture-protein balance. 90% of each strand on your hair is protein. In addition to keeping your hair moisturised, you have to make sure it’s getting enough protein. When your hair is weak, breaking a lot, that’s a sign that you need protein. But not too much though- too much could also leave your hair looking dull or very hard O_o, so I’ve heard. I’v got silk amino acids in my daily moisturiser so I won’t be doing any extra special treatment like I did in this post with the egg and mayo until I’m having wahala again.

Generally, your hair needs protein but your hair’s extra special needs should be considered before choosing a particular protein treatment just so you don’t spend money on a product you don’t really need. If your hair is really damaged, breaking more than usual, you might need a product like ApHogee 2 Minute Keratin Reconstructor. Keratin they say, is strengthening. I’m trying to make the lengths of my posts more manageable, and today’s post isn’t really about protein so here’s a link to this post on Curly Nikki about choosing the right protein treatment for your hair.

I feel like my posts are too wordy sometimes and I really want to be very very clear, so I’m going to be numbering my points as I tell you what I did.

FRIDAY: DEEP CONDITIONING BAGGIE METHOD

1. I settled down and divided my hair into sections. It’s good to deal with your hair in sections.

This way you can trust that you’re not wasting your time. You won’t be overlooking any part of your hair, you’d be focused in your application of product.

2.  Section by section, I put coconut oil on my scalp and hair and then quite a lot of Aubrey Organics Honeysuckle Moisturising Conditioner. Probably more than I needed but I was just so frantic!

I did this because my hair was in serious need of some deep conditioning and I was going to wash the next day, so I also wanted to pre-poo. So this was like a combo. Next time, I might put the conditioner first and then the coconut oil after, to seal. Now that I think about it, it seems like the better way to do this.

      3. Having conditioner in my hair, I combed gently and lost even more hair. 😦

4. Then I covered my hair with a shower cap for the rest of the night and went to bed like that.

This is all there is to the Baggie method. Moisturise, put in your conditioner/oils/whatever- then put a plastic bag over your head- to keep your product locked in to work on your head overnight, assisted by your body heat. It could be a polythene bag, shower cap, my friend says she uses cling film- sha a bag that’s made from plastic that’s big enough to cover your head.

SATURDAY: PROTEIN AND LEAVE-IN

I woke up with a big circle on my pillow case. The shower cap wasn’t slacked or anything, it just happened that some of the stuff had found its way down the back of my neck. So don’t be surprised about this when you decide to do the baggie.

My hair was not as dry as it was the night before, but it was still not how I wanted it to be.

  1. I co-washed to get Friday’s baggie mix out of my hair.
  2. I mixed a simple protein treatment in a bowl- an egg, some mayo and a little olive oil- put it on my hair and sat under a hooded dryer for about forty minutes (first time in a long time!)
egg and mayo

Easy peasy, quick and cheap too!

        3. Washed out the egg and mayo with shampoo (still using my Aloe + Coconut Clay Bar).

        4. Conditioned and combed out

I felt better at this point, but I still wasn’t there yet.

So I pulled out my Cantu Shea butter Leave-In Conditioner and Repair Cream from the corner I’d left it in since I got the Creamy hair lotion. It can be used for daily styling as well as a leave-in. I’d love to try a silicone free leave-in sha.

  1. I worked a generous amount of it into my damp hair
  2. Covered it with a shower cap
  3. Yuuuup. Baggie again.

The instructions on the cream said to do it overnight. I wore the shower cap from 1pm till I couldn’t take it anymore, at about 7pm (true true, your body heat works when your scalp is covered with plastic. The heat cannot escape), this is the same as 6 hours of sleep at night, no? Yes.

Was everything okay now? Yes. Not 100 but yes my hair felt like mine again. I did no more but cover it with my satin bonnet when I was ready to sleep and on Sunday, I went about my normal simple routine as usual.

I felt like a champion! Got my hair back! It has been so good to have my fro back. Fairy knots are back too. Sigh. Is it even possible to not have any? I’m still trying to figure these guys out.

Be good guys.

The next post won’t be too far behind.

xx