At the farm, we grow our own coconuts so we are able to obtain organic VCO, which is important for me for what I want to use it for. If you are not able to obtain organic coconuts but only have access to coconut milk, be sure that it is pure coconut milk without any preservatives or conditioners added. So, it is best to get freshly grated coconut and process to produce your own coconut milk so you can be sure that is is pure without chemical additives or preservatives.
The method I use is called cold-pressed method. You can search for the method easily and there are variations to it. My first attempt to produce VCO wasn't too successful as I only managed to produce a small amount but I learnt a lot which lead me to a better second attempt.
There are so many uses for VCO which brings many benefits including:
- In preparing meals and drinks
- For cooking especially high heat cooking due to its high smoking point
- Replacement for non-stick cooking spray
- As a healthy replacement for creamer which lends a nice, creamy coconut taste to drinks life coffee.
- Making mayonnaise
- Making salad dressings
- In skincare,
- as a moisturiser
- to help reduce wrinkles and age spots
- natural make-up remover especially for eye make-up with the added benefit of moisturising the eye area
- In providing health benefits such as:
- increasing HDL and lowering LDL cholesterol
- strengthening the immunity system
- balances hormones
- balancing blood sugar
- improving digestion
- burns fats and boosts metabolism
- for use in haircare
- for use in skincare
- for massages
The shelf life for VCO is approximately 18 months though mine doesn't last that long. It solidifies at temperatures below 23 Celsius and is best stored away from direct sunlight, in a cool, dry, area so storing it in your cupboards will suffice.
Why does my VCO finishes fast? I use it for the following:
- in cooking so that I can have the health benefits as well as a great taste (I prefer the taste to coconut oil many times over than olive oil)
- infused with different herbs for different purposes such as for mosquito repellent, hair oil, massage oil, moisturiser and make-up remover. Always the herbs used are dried and I allow the infusion to occur for at least 1 week.
It is not difficult to make but requires attention to detail and is time-consuming. By not exercising care, you can end up with a sourish-smell oil which is opaque as opposed to an oil that is clear as water with a sweet coconut aroma. I am currently waiting for my pandan coconut to mature so that I can experiment making VCO with this coconut and I believe it will produce a spectacular oil. Is it worth the effort? To me, a definite yes