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How to make freshly grated coconut

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Knowing what to do with a coconut poses a challenge to the masses, but in fact the possibilities are endless. Most people never think about shredding the coconut meat but it is a tasty treat and a great addition to many recipes my favourite being coconut truffles. Anyone who has ever tried shop-bought shredded coconut will probably have found it to be dry and unappetising, but fresh coconut shreds are juicy and sweet.

Mature coconuts are best suited to grating, while small white immature coconuts do not lend themselves well to this purpose. Once your coconut has been opened there are several methods you can try to create the coveted coconut shreds.

Some, self-confessed coconut lovers, may find themselves in possession of hand or electric coconut graters, which are designed to make light work of coconut shredding. The traditional old Thai grater has a short blade with teeth to scrape out the coconut meat, while other graters shred the meat into long curls. Electric coconut graters are quick, easy-to-use and worth the investment if you find yourself shredding coconuts on a regular basis.

For those not yet in love with shredded coconut, but willing to try, there are methods that can be used to yield the desired results without the need for specialised equipment. Scoop out the coconut meat from the shell and use a standard grater or food processor to shred the meat.

Spread the coconut shreds on a baking tray and bake at the lowest setting for a few hours. Be careful that the coconut does not burn or toast. Alternatively, you can use a dehydrator. Onced cooled it is ready to be used. 

One coconut provides about three cups of shredded coconut. Freshly made shredded coconut can be kept in the fridge for up to a week, covered tightly. If freezing, it is best to pour coconut water over the coconut shreds and it will keep for up to six months. 

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