Shredded coconut is the dried coconut meat from coconuts. It’s used in thousands of recipes and is a staple ingredient in many vegan and paleo dishes. In this article, I explain the difference between shredded coconut and other coconut products, how to use it, and my favorite shredded coconut recipes!
Shredded coconut is a common ingredient in many households and comes in various forms, like sweetened, toasted, and unsweetened. Similar coconut products are sometimes confused with shredded coconut but differ from the product. Below I explain the difference between shredded coconut, grated coconut, desiccated coconut, and coconut flakes and also share my favorite brands of shredded coconut.
What is Shredded Coconut?
Shredded coconut is made of raw mature coconut meat that is shredded and dried. It’s usually thinly sliced and dried or baked. You can watch my video tutorial on how to make shredded coconut here.
Different Types of Shredded Coconut
You’ll find various forms of shredded coconut that may be labeled with different names, like desiccated coconut or coconut flakes. Below is a simple breakdown of the differences between these products.
- Unsweetened Shredded Coconut: These are dried coconut strands that are made with only coconut and are unsweetened.
- Sweetened Shredded Coconut: This type of shredded coconut is sweetened with sugar and is used in a lot of dessert recipes. Avoid using this product if you avoid added sugar, and go for the unsweetened coconut instead.
- Coconut Flakes: These are grated thicker and are used for different desserts and toppings. Learn more about coconut flakes here.
- Desiccated Coconut: Desiccated coconut is similar to shredded coconut, except it is usually chopped into smaller pieces instead of shreds.
- Grated Coconut: Grated coconut usually comes in two forms, dried and raw coconut shreds. If it’s dried, it is similar to shredded coconut but may be larger in size. Raw grated coconut is often found frozen and is great for adding to smoothies. It has a lovely fresh coconut flavor and is often packaged with coconut water.
Recipes with Shredded Coconut
Shredded coconut is the main ingredient in many dishes and desserts. You can even use it to make homemade coconut milk! Below is a list of some of my favorite recipes with shredded coconut as the main ingredient:
- Coconut Macaroons
- Coconut Shrimp
- Chocolate Coconut Balls
- Birds Nest Cookies
- Three Ingredient Coconut Cookies
Shredded Coconut Nutritional Data
Nutrition per serving (3 tablespoons):
- Calories: 100
- Carbohydrates: 4g
- Sugar: 1g
- Net Carbs: 2g
- Dietary Fiber: 2g
- Fat: 10g
- Protein: 1g
How to Store Shredded Coconut
Generally you want to store coconut flakes or shredded coconut in a sealed container at room temperature. (Moisture is the enemy here – you want to preserve that springiness that really characterizes shredded coconut.) If you really want to extend coconut’s shelf life, I’d recommend freezing them instead of refrigeration.
Top 5 Shredded Coconut Brands
Below are my favorite brands you can buy from the grocery store, natural foods store, or online!
#1 Bob’s Red Mill
Use in baking, salads, granola, and in all your coconut cooking. This product uses unsweetened coconut and is sulfur free.
Find it at your local health food store or online from amazon. This brand is Coconut Mama’s #1 pick!
#2 Let’s Do Organic
This organic shredded coconut is unsweetened and is affordable.
Find it at your local health food store or online. Coconut Mama’s #2 pick!
#3 Anthonys Organic
I really like Anthonys brand of products. They come in large 2lb bags and are often discounted.
Find them at your local health food store or online. Coconut Mama’s #3 pick!
#4 Now Foods
This is an awesome brand that’s affordable and is available at many grocery stores.
Available at most grocery stores and online. Coconut Mama’s #4 pick!
#5 365 Whole Foods
If you shop at whole foods you can grab this affordable organic coconut at a good price.
Find them at your local Whole Foods store or online. Coconut Mama’s #5 pick!
You can toast coconut on a baking sheet in the oven or on the stovetop. See my tutorial on how to toast coconut here.
I store my organic shredded coconut in a ziplock bag or in an airtight container.
Yes, it can go bad. It’s always best to use the coconut before the expiration date. If you don’t think you’ll use it in time, you can store it in the freezer to extend its shelf life.
Shredded coconut is a must-have ingredient to keep in your pantry. It’s convent to have on hand for making coconut milk, coconut butter and other delicious coconut recipes. It can also add fiber and healthy fats to desserts and smoothies.