Desiccated coconut is used commonly in various industries like confectionery and bakery products, frozen foods, food service and consumer products. Desiccated coconut is a coconut product that is prepared and preserved by removing the natural moisture in the coconut fruit. It usually contains about 3% of moisture.
This is produced from the white part of fresh, mature coconut kernel. The white part is disintegrated or shredded into desired sizes such as flakes, granules, chips or shreds. Then it is dried in hot air at 50-55 degree centigrade. It is available in toasted, sweetened or sweetened toasted forms. It also comes in two variations such as low fat (maximum 50% fat) and high fat (minimum 60% fat). Desiccated coconut is available in a number of stores and grocery shops in the market. However, you can make it at home on your own. Follow these instructions to make desiccated coconut.
If you have a bag of shredded coconut, then you can directly start making desiccated coconut. If you have a fresh coconut, then you will have to prepare the coconut before drying it. Break a fresh coconut into half. Remove its husk and pour out the coconut water. Using the fine grater, grate or shred the coconut to get small flakes.
Place the shredded coconut onto a baking sheet. You should spread a thin layer of loosely stacked coconut on the sheet. Avoid clumping together, as it will prevent coconut from drying.
Heat the oven to 250°F (120 C). Place the baking sheet with coconut inside the oven. Bake over low heat for about 5-10 minutes. The duration required for dehydration depends on moisture content of the coconut and the size of grated coconut shreds. During dehydration process, you need to pay attention and check the status of the coconut frequently. Once the coconut is dried completely, it is brittle to touch instead of creamy. Then remove it from the oven.
Transfer the coconut to a bowl. If you require a fine coconut powder for some particular recipes, then crush the coconut shreds using a spoon against the side of the bowl. Or you can grind the dried coconut in a food processor to obtain a coarse or fine powder.
Desiccated coconut is the best way to get all the nutritional benefits of coconut all year round. So make various delightful recipes using desiccated coconut and enjoy the goodness of coconut!
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