What Is Desiccated Coconut?
Desiccated Coconut is the dried flesh of the coconut meat that has been chopped or grated. Desiccated coconut comes in a wide variety of sizes ranging from snow-like powder to much larger chunks and a whole host of shapes and sizes in between.
It’s not just different sizes of flakes that you can purchase. Other options include sweetened or unsweetened and toasted. There are now several new and different flavors hitting the market place. It will be interesting to see how they do.
How Do You Store Desiccated Coconut?
Desiccated Coconut keeps surprisingly well when looked after properly. You should store it in an airtight container in a cool and dry and dark place. This should keep the coconut fresh for up to four months IF your container is airtight.
Alternatively, you can store desiccated in the freezer for up to a year, or even better vacuum pack it with a Food Saver Vacuum Sealer.
How Can You Use Desiccated Coconut?
Coconut flakes, shreds, chips or chunks are an absolute necessity for amateur bakers who not only use the coconut IN their baked goods, but also as a decoration.
Many cooks can expand their repertoire by using Desiccated Coconut in savory dishes such as Indian curries (try our Roasted Coconut Cauliflower recipe), coconut coated deep fried shrimp, or dozens of versions of coconut rice.
For those on Paleo or Ketogenic diets coconut flakes, shreds or chunks can be a godsend. I make Fat Bombs with Coconut Butter and roll them in fine coconut shreds. The extra bits of coconut make the bombs look and taste great.
My kids make their own “trail mix” using unsweetened coconut chunks. The chunks are nice and chewy with a wonderful mild flavor. We also experimented with toasting the chunks one time and though they were nice, we all decided we preferred the chunks straight out of the package.
Where Can You Buy Desiccated Coconut?
Everywhere! You can find Desiccated Coconut anywhere from convenience stores to your local grocery to some of the big box stores. Look in the baking supplies aisle or in the bulk bin area.
The challenge is finding packages or bulk bins with FRESH coconut, not dried up, gnarly and stale product that has been soaking up air odors for months. I’m not kidding you. I was in a bulk supplies store a few months back and the desiccated coconut was rock hard … the thought of what it would taste like almost made me gag!
Most groceries will have small eight to 12 ounce bags, which drives up the price if you need coconut in any quantity. Some of the big box stores such as Costco will carry three to five pound bags at a better price. Since Desiccated Coconut stores well, save some money by buying in bulk and experiment with your bounty. The challenge with Costco is that sometimes they have it, and sometimes they don’t. You can’t rely on it being in stock. If they have it at a good price, grab 3 or more bags and store in the freezer or with a Food Saver.
My preference is to order on line from my favorite online grocer – Amazon. Their turn over is fast enough that I have never opened a stale or outdated package of flakes, shreds or chunks.
Here’s my favorite brand … at a good price.
Suffice it to say that in my family, the 4 pack above wouldn’t last very long, so we save a huge amount by buying in BULK. Last time I made a purchase I figured I saved over 40% by buying bulk.
As soon as my order is delivered, I divide it up into one pound lots and then pack it with my Food Saver Vacuum Sealer. The last pack is as fresh as the first one!