Saturday, July 27, 2013

The Coconut Experiment

Is it possible to have too much coconut in soap?!

Nah!

The soap I’m dreaming of is chock full of coconut: coconut oil, coconut milk, coconut butter and coconut flour. Yes, I could just buy the coconut milk, coconut butter and coconut flour…but where is the challenge in that?!  For this soap, I’m going to try making the coconut milk, coconut flour and coconut butter…and it all starts with this:

 

In fact, besides water, this is the only ingredient you will need to make the coconut milk, coconut flour and coconut butter.

First, I measured 2 cups (1 package) of unsweetened coconut in 4 cups of water and let it sit overnight. This mixture will be the basis for my coconut milk and coconut flour:


After it soaked overnight, I put the mixture in a blender and blended it for a few minutes, until it was creamier. It won’t be smooth, but that’s okay:


I strained the blended coconut mixture through cheesecloth. I laid my cheesecloth in a strainer over the bowl:


See that pulp that’s getting caught in the cheesecloth? I’m going to use that to make my coconut flour.

Now, wrap up that cheesecloth and squeeze, squeeze, squeeze!


You want to squeeze out as much liquid as possible and set aside the pulp. Just to give you an idea, this is how much coconut milk came out of 2 cups of shredded coconut and 4 cups of water:


Next, I spread the pulp that was left in my cheesecloth onto a thin layer on a parchment-lined baking sheet, making sure to break up any lumps:


I baked the coconut pulp at 170 degrees F for 45 minutes, then checked it to see if the coconut felt dry. It was still damp, so I put it back in the oven for 15 minutes at a time, until it felt dry enough. Once it felt dry, I removed it from the oven to cool. Here it is out of the oven:


To make the coconut flour, I blended the dried coconut pulp with my stick blender, you could also use a food process or Vitamix for this step. Mine didn't get powdery, like AP flour, but it did get finer:


To Make Coconut Butter:
I started out by processing 2 cups of unsweetened coconut in my food processor:


 Here it is at 5 minutes, you can already see from the side that the coconut is starting to break down and release the oils:


And after 10 minutes of processing:


By this point, I’d had to stop the food processor too many times to scrape down the sides, and it didn’t seem to be doing a very good job of moving all of the coconut around. Perhaps I didn’t use enough coconut for my size of food processor; however, not to be deterred, I pulled out my trusty stick blender, hoping it would be quicker:


This is just a minute or two of stick blending:


And another minute or two, and it went very quick with the stick blender:


I kept blending until it was smooth and creamy, it took less than 5 minutes. It still looked lumpy, but when I spread it against the side of the container there were no lumps. It looked like this when it was finished:




Next time, I would skip the food processor and just use my stick blender. Of course, if you were going to eat the coconut butter, you should use your food processor or your food-dedicated stick blender!

I poured the coconut butter into ice cube molds to freeze it. That way, I can just unthaw an ice-cube sized piece (about 1 tbsp) of coconut butter to add at trace into my soap. I also froze the coconut milk in ice cube molds, that way I can measure out what I need as I need it. I’m storing the coconut flour in a glass jar.


Coconut Milk: Measure 2 cups (approximately a 200 g package) of unsweetened shredded coconut into 4 cups of water. Let mixture sit overnight, blend in a blender and then strain through cheesecloth to remove the coconut pulp.  

Coconut Flour: Spread the leftover pulp from the coconut milk in a thin layer on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Bake at 170 degrees F for at least 45 minutes or until the coconut feels dry. Cool and then blend in food processor, Vitamix or with a stick blender until powdery.

Coconut Butter: Measure out 2 cups (approximately a 200 g package) of unsweetened shredded coconut and process in food processor or blend with with stick blender until creamy and smooth.

Would I go through the trouble of making these again? I’m not sure, but I have enough coconut butter, coconut milk and coconut flour for a few test batches of soap, and it was a fun experiment. I may try making these again, but this time for use in baking :)

I found the instructions for making these on a few different sites, the main ones I followed were here, here and here.  

Next, I’m planning to make a soap with all of this coconutty goodness! Thanks for reading and I hope you enjoyed my little coconut experiment :)

Update: You can see the finished soap here: Coconut Facial Salt Bars

post signature

37 comments:

  1. What a fun post, Cee! I was captivated reading this the entire way through! I really want to try this, it would make my honey sooo happy. He is a huge fan of all things coconut. Also, coconut milk is kind of expensive! After all, your banana milk tutorial didn't fail me, so I kind of HAVE to try this one!

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    1. Thanks so much Laura, I'm glad the banana milk worked for you, it is one of my favorite soaps to make! I hope you get a chance to try this one too, I can't wait to try these in a soap! :)

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  2. What a great tutorial! It seems that so much effort is needed but which is worth of it. I hardly wait to see all new soaps with those coconut ingredients!

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    1. Thanks Gordana! It is a lot of work, but I think I would like to try these again to use in cooking and baking, I think it would be worth the effort!

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  3. Love the tutorial Cee! Can't wait to see your finished soap!

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    1. I'm glad you enjoyed it Gloria, thanks so much!

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  4. WOW, you are so ambitious and creative and fun!! I cant wait to see what you create next!!

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    1. Thanks LC, I think it must be the mad scientist in me...always wanting to experiment! =)

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  5. Love your tutorial Cee! Can't wait to see your next upcoming soap with these ingredients :)

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    1. Thanks so much Roxana, I'm glad you enjoyed it!

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  6. This was very interesting. I´ve made butters of coconut and other nuts. And milk from almonds, but never have I thought of putting them in my soaps.

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    1. Do you make your butters with the same method? I'm interested in trying more too, what's your favorite butter to make?

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    2. Yes, I just mix them either with a food processor or a stick blender. l like to mix different kind of nuts. Like cashew and almond or almond and coconut. Peanut butter is also super easy to make.

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    3. That's such a good idea...I really like your idea of combining the different nuts or with coconut, I must try this...thanks so much!

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    4. In Finland we don´t use nut butters like in the US and you can only buy 3 different kinds of peanut butters here. Other butters are really hard to find. I´ve read about nut butters in several US "frugal blogs", so I just had to try to make my own.

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    5. I didn't realize nut butters weren't as popular there, but it's definitely much healthier if you can make them for yourself. I've seen cashew butter, pumpkin seed butter and almond butter here, but they are $$$

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  7. Me encantaría probar los jabones una vez hechos,
    tienen que ser maravillosos.
    Bonito tutorial.
    ♥♥♥

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    1. Estoy muy agradecido por tu comentario Paulina, me alegro que te guste el tutorial!

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  8. Great idea! Now I really want to try to add some form of coconut to my soap.

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    1. Thanks Barbora, I hope you get a chance to try it! I like using coconut milk, but the coconut butter and coconut flour are new ones for me!

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  9. Great,Cee,i had no idea that blending coconut flakes could ever result with butter. I must try this! What are you going to use flour for? Thanks for sharing this tutorial!

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    1. Hi Maja, I thought it was interesting too that the coconut would break down like that and get creamy. I'm excited about the possibilities of being able to make different butters now!

      I'm going to add the coconut flour to some soap, but I also would like to try making it again to use in baking. Apparently you can turn the coconut milk into coconut yogurt too, I'd love to try that!

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    2. Really? I'm not sure how fermentation goes without lactic acid,which is necessary for fermentation of diary products. Keep us up to date,if you come up with a good one!

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  10. Wow, what a fun idea, Cee Gee! I admire your willingness to take on the challenge of making your own coconut milk, butter, and flour. I can't wait to see what you do with them!

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    1. Thank you Jenny, that's very sweet of you! I hope to share the results of the coconut soap soon! :)

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  11. Wow, is there anything you can't do Cee? Thanks for the tutorial, I was going to ask if you could use these in baking as well, but I see Gordana has asked and been answered about that. Now to head off to the supermarket to pick up some coconut. :)

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    1. Well, there's definitely nothing I won't try ;)

      I think you'll really like this Monica, I'd be curious about your results if you use it in baking. I'm especially curious to try subbing the coconut flour in my baked goods, and I'd love to slather some of that coconut butter on a muffin...lol!

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    2. Okay now you got me thinking about what I need to make this long weekend. :)

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  12. I am so impressed! This was such a fun blog post and loved all the creaminess of it all!

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    1. Thanks so much Holly, it was a really fun project! :)

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  13. Wow! That was so interesting! I could see myself making the coconut milk for soap. That would be fun. After that...I might get lazy! I made a soap a few years ago with toasted coconut in it. I just took coconut and toasted it lightly in the oven and then put a tablespoon or two in my batch (eyeballed it) and then used a coconut lime fragrance. It turned out really well and the coconut was not scrubby. Can't wait to see what you make!

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    1. Hi Milla, thanks so much for sharing that! I was wondering if coconut would be scrubby in soap, I'll have to try that...yours sounds like it was a lovely soap!

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    2. I didn't use very much coconut and I think my goal was to just dry it out, not really toast it. I think I just used it for looks/theme.

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  14. I enjoyed this post so much, thanks for sharing...I would like to try making my own coconut milk now! Can't wait to see what you come up with using them! :)

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    1. Thanks Kalla, it was fun to make these for soap, but I think I'll try making them again to eat. I'm thinking the coconut milk would be so yummy in my morning oatmeal!

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  15. Wow, Cee, you are gorgeous!And we have more in common than making soaps :)
    I also use to make home cacao butter but I have never tried using it in soap. Can't wait to see your 100% coconut soap!

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    1. Ohhh, cocoa butter...it never would occur to me that you could make that at home! You have me curious now Nat! :)

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