Coconut oil which is also known as copra oil is fast becoming one of the most used oils. Through history, we found out that it has been in existence for centuries but people were at first sceptical about it because of a bad review about its saturated fat, but after various researches it was found out that the unique structural makeup of the saturated fats found in coconut oil makes digestion easier and increases the absorption of essential nutrients.
Coconut oil is good vegetable fatty oil, which is derived from copra (dry coconut meat or kernels). The oil contains countless acids, lipids, saturated fats and different significant elements. Contrary to popular belief which I mentioned above, coconut oil is not in any way dangerous to the health but it must be consumed frugally.
This oil can be used almost everywhere; from your kitchen to your bedroom then even to your bathroom. More about the uses and benefits will be discussed later in this article.
There are two basic ways of extracting the oil from the coconut: the hot pressed method and expeller pressed method or cold pressed method. Both methods are good but it depends on what you want to use it for.
The major difference between the hot pressed coconut oil and cold pressed coconut oil is that hot pressed coconut oil is requires heat which is at high temperatures.
Cold pressed coconut oil is processed at lower temperatures that do not exceed 120 degrees Fahrenheit, while the hot pressed coconut oil is processed at temperatures that are close to 210 degrees Fahrenheit. Because the hot pressed coconut oil is processed with heat, the nutritional value content is lower.
The cold pressed coconut oil is healthier than the hot pressed oil; though, hot pressed coconut oil is still better than most refined oil and it still has a lot of beneficial properties and it is still very good healthy oil. I will advise that you use the cold pressed method because it helps to maintain the nutrient and properties of the oil and it has the properties of a virgin coconut oil.
Coconut oil contains antioxidant, antifungal, antibacterial, and antimicrobial properties, it also have fatty acids such as Caprylic acid, Capric acid and Lauric acid. It also contains considerable amounts of vitamin E, vitamin K, and iron.
Health benefits of coconut oil
- Helps reduce High Blood Pressure and stop heart disease: Because coconut oil is high in saturated fats, this helps boost a good cholesterol eliminate heart disease and lowering high triglycerides. Moreover, coconut oil also performs other remarkable healthy deed my turning bad cholesterol into good cholesterol.
- Improves the liver condition: Coconut oil also prevent any damage to the liver, and also aids in healing urinary tract infections.
- It is good for blood sugar and diabetes patient: Coconut oil can help in dropping obesity levels in the body and also fights insulin resistance – this which is likely to lead to type 2 diabetes.
- It helps fight back against Alzheimer’s disease: The major component in coconut oil – particularly its generation of ketones by the liver – helps in darning brain function in Alzheimer patients.
- It can be taken as a daily health supplement, it is recommended that 2-4 tablespoon daily and it should be taken orally every day; it can be taken with or without food or drinks.
Aside from the health benefits, coconut oil can be used in many and different ways.
Uses of coconut oil
- It is can be used for healthy cooking and baking
- It can be used as an excellent skin cream and deep hair conditioner
- It is very good for healing and soothing skin problems like dermatitis, eczema and psoriasis.
- It can be used in treating diaper rash and cradle cap on babies.
- It can be used in brushing the teeth because it improves the dental health.
- It can be used for shaving.
Things needed for the process
- 3 mature, brown coconuts
- Blender or Food processor
- fine mesh strainer
- Make or a drill hole into the 3 eyes of the coconut, (let the hole be a wide circle) and drain out the water.
- Crack and open the coconuts and obtain all the meat or kernel. You achieve this by either jamming something blunt in between the shell and meat or carefully wriggling it out or by directly scraping it out.
- Blend the coconut kernel with clean water in batches (you can use the 1:1 ratio). You have to finely thrash the coconut kernel until it becomes creamy and almost a cohesive consistency.
- Pour the blended kernel into a large bowl and use your hands to squeeze the soft kernel for 20-30 minutes. This process is as important as the process of using a strainer or cheese cloth. To achieve better results you can leave the blended mixture to rest for some hours.
- Put the soft tissue (blended kernels) in batches with cheesecloth or strainer and squeeze the liquid out of it (make sure you use all your strength to do it). The goal is to extract all the liquid in the soft kernels and get dry flakes after squeezing. You can squeeze the cheese cloth twice if the need arises. The most important thing is the coconut milk.
- Cover the bowl with the coconut milk and allow it to rest, untouched in a dark place for 1-2 days (don’t keep it in a hot environment it will make the milk become sour).
- Then, you can chill it in your fridge to make layers solidify. The bottom will be cloudy water; the coconut oil will be at the middle layer followed by the top layer which is cream or curd.
- Skim off the top layer of the cream/curd (the curd can be used for coconut cheese)
- Scoop the floating oil with a spoon; filter your oil through a strainer. To allow any moisture left in the oil to evaporate, you can pour the oil in a container with an opening or hole in the cover so that air can escape through it.
HOW TO MAKE COCONUT OIL VIDEO
Chowhub.com.ng has previously written an article on the Health Benefits of Groundnut.