Desiccated Coconut Recipe

Make your coconut meat last longer with an easy, quick, and healthy Desiccated Coconut recipe!

What is desiccated coconut? It is basically coconut meat that you need to dry and grate until fine. Turning coconut meat into desiccated coconut is a good way of storing your coconuts and making them easier to use, too.

The desiccated coconut is one of my favorite one-ingredient recipes because it’s so simple to make at home. It will surely transform how you enjoy your coconuts. Even if it’s made from scratch, it still gives the best flavors!

homemade desiccated coconut recipe

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Aside from the flavor it gives, you can also expect lots of health benefits from it. Desiccated coconut is an all-natural dish that you can use for so many dishes. Take your diet to the next level with organic, yummy, and simple desiccated coconuts!

How to Make Desiccated Coconut

As long as you know how to open a coconut, you can make the desiccated coconut in no time. From there, all you have to do is grate and dry it until you get the right flavor and texture.

You will surely appreciate how simple it is to make desiccated coconut!


Let’s see what more there is to know about the coconut.


There is so much to love about the coconut.

It is known as the fruit of the coconut palm tree which is usually grown in tropical regions like India and Southeast Asia. The coconut is one of the most versatile fruits in the world because it comes with water, a shell, and its edible flesh.

As a fruit, it has a large and round shape with a tough and fibrous shell. It usually comes in a brown or green color with the coconut seed or “testa” inside. The flesh has a white color and it has a rich, nutty taste while the coconut water is clear and mildly sweet.

Health Benefits of Coconuts

  • Since they’re low in carbs and high in fiber, coconuts can help control your blood sugar.
  • According to Healthline, the high manganese content of this fruit makes it great for your bones.
  • Coconuts also have the potential to prevent cell damage.
  • Narayana Health shared that coconuts are good sources of energy.
  • You will also stay hydrated with the effects of the coconut water.

Whether it’s summer or not, we always have coconuts at home. I love using these fruits for Nigerian Egg Rolls, Coconut Chin Chin, Coconut Rice, and now, desiccated coconuts!

easy desiccated coconut recipe

From now on, these fruits will never go to waste. Turn them into tasty and healthy desiccated coconuts!


Check out how easy it is to make desiccated coconuts!

  1. Break the coconut open and slice it.
  2. Peel off the brown skin.
  3. Grate the coconut meat with a grater
  4. Line a tray with parchment paper.
  5. Then, spread the coconut evenly on the tray.
  6. Cover the tray with a food net cover.
  7. Then, let it air dry for several days.
  8. Once dried, transfer it into a jar or resealable bag to store.
easy dry shredded coconut recipe

Trust me, making desiccated coconut does not get easier than this. It’s a natural way of using coconut meat to improve your dishes and your health!


Buying Coconuts

  • Shake the coconuts to check for water sounds inside.
  • The more liquid they have inside, the fresher they are.
  • As suggested by Tasting Table, a fresh coconut should have a solid and heavy weight.
  • Additionally, the huk should not have cracks on it. 
  • One of the eyes of the coconuts should be thinner and softer.
  • The thin and soft eye should also not have molds.

Opening Coconuts

Here’s a quick guide on how you can easily open these fruits:

  1. Poke the soft eye with a knife.
  2. Push the knife inside until you reach the center of the fruit.
  3. Then, flip the coconut onto the glass to get the coconut water.
  4. Set the coconut water aside. 
  5. Use a hammer to break the coconut open.
  6. Turn the coconut as you break it open.
  7. Once you see a crack, it will be easier to break it apart. 

Storing Coconuts

  • Store whole coconuts at room temperature for a few months.
  • Once opened, put them in bags and store them in the fridge for up to five days. 
  • On the other hand, store peeled and sliced ones in the fridge for two days.
  • Otherwise, freeze them in freezer bags to extend their shelf life to four months. 

Grating Coconuts

If you don’t have a grater, then you can use a food processor or a miller. You can also finely chop it with a knife instead. 

best desiccated coconut

Desiccated Coconut Variations

There are many variations that desiccated coconut comes in.

One of the most common types of desiccated coconut is the fine powder, which has a soft and delicate texture. There’s also medium desiccated coconut, flaked desiccated coconut, sweetened desiccated coconut, or sweetened desiccated coconut.

Aside from the classic desiccated coconut version, you can try the sweet variety with some sugar. Sometimes, I like to add salt, cinnamon, ground ginger, nutmeg, vanilla extract, citrus zest, mint, basil, cilantro, or even chili powder.

Dehydrating Coconuts

Try these other methods to prepare this condiment. You can do it using these ways too.

  1. Spread the grated coconut meat on the tray.
  2. Cook it in the oven at 60°C for at least an hour.
  3. Then, shake the baking tray every 20 minutes.
  4. Take them out of the oven once dried.
  1. Arrange the coconut meat on the dehydrator tray.
  2. Then, set the machine to 40°C.
  3. Let it dry for about four to six hours.

More Coconut Recipes

  • Grater: Grate the coconuts using a grater. 
  • Knife: Open and peel the coconut with a knife. 
  • Tray: Dry the coconut meat on a tray. 
  • Parchment paper: Line the tray with this paper.
  • Food net cover: Cover the tray to protect it from insects.
  • Jar: Store the desiccated coconut in a jar.

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best homemade desiccated coconut

How to Use Desiccated Coconut

How do you plan on using your desiccated coconut?

One of the best ways to use it is to add it to your baked goods such as cakes, bread, and pies. Just add it to your batter and bake away. It also works as a seasoning for desserts like custards, ice cream, and puddings.

Sometimes, I add it to breakfast dishes like oatmeal, granola, pancakes, and even yogurt. Sprinkle it on top of your favorite morning meals to give your morning a tropical taste. Curries and stir fries also taste better with desiccated coconut.

Moreover, it works as a coating for meats, fish, and even vegetables. It gives the food a golden brown crust and a nutty flavor, too. You will also love it in snacks like popcorn, trail mix, and energy bars.

Some sauces and dips taste good with desiccated coconuts like fruit dips, curry sauces, and more. It can also be a good filling or studding for fruits and meats. Finally, don’t forget to use it as a spice for your dishes!

Moreover, I suggest using it for delicious dishes such as:

Storage Tips

At room temperature: Store the desiccated coconut in a jar or resealable bag. Keep it at room temperature to last up to several months. 

Make Ahead

In the fridge: Refrigeration is best for sweetened desiccated coconuts. You can also store the unsweetened version in the fridge for a month.

To freeze: Freeze it in freezer bags to store for up to a year.

how to make easy desiccated coconut

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the difference between shredded coconut and desiccated coconut?

Shredded coconut is moist coconut meat; you don’t need to dry it. It is grated and stored immediately. On the other hand, you need to grate and dry desiccated coconut before use and storage. 

What is a good substitute for desiccated coconut?

Aside from desiccated coconut, you can also use fresh coconut, coconut flour, coconut flakes, almond meal, almond flour, ground nuts or seeds, oats, milk powder, or even granola.

Is desiccated coconut the same as coconut powder?

While they are similar, desiccated coconut is not the same as coconut powder. The desiccated version has a coarse and shredded texture while the powder has a fine and flour-like texture. Desiccated coconut also has moisture whereas coconut powder has no moisture.

How healthy is desiccated coconut?

Desiccated coconut is healthy if you use it in moderation. You need to remember that it is dense in calories and saturated fats. But it can also be a good source of energy, good bloods sugar levels, and better digestion.

how to make desiccated coconut

Desiccated Coconut

5 from 1 vote
Escalate the quality of your dishes and drinks by making desiccated coconut at home!
Prep Time 15 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes
Servings 200 g
Course Condiment/spice
Cuisine American, British
Calories 0.03kcal


  • 1 coconut


  • Prepare the coconut meat.
    Break the coconut open and slice it.
    Peel off the brown skin and grate the coconut meat with a grater.
  • Dry the coconut meat.
    Line a tray with parchment paper and spread the coconut evenly.
    Cover the tray with a fine mesh. Allow the coconut meat to air dry. It can take a few days to dry.
  • Store the desiccated coconut
    Once fully dehydrated, transfer it into an airtight jar or resealable plastic bag to store!



  • Coconut meat can also be grated with a food processor, mill, or knife.
  • Air-dry it under the sun or an oven or dehydrator.


Calories: 0.03kcalCarbohydrates: 0.001gFat: 0.003gSaturated Fat: 0.003gSodium: 0.002mgPotassium: 0.03mgFiber: 0.001gCalcium: 0.001mg
Keyword crispy shredded desiccated coconut, easy desiccated coconut recipe, fresh desiccated coconut, homemade desiccated coconut

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