How to get the sugar out of flaked coconut?
August 13, 2005 4:55 PM   Subscribe

How can one remove the sugar that is added to flaked coconut ? We can't find unsweetened flaked or dried coconut here.
posted by leafwoman to Food & Drink (9 answers total)
It might be possible to crack open a whole coconut, shred and dry in your oven. To crack it open, locate the "spines" or ridges that run the length of the coconut, then align them perpendicularly to the corner of a curb or cement porch step, then start slamming the nut into the corner while rotating from one spine to the other until it opens up.

Soaking the coconut will leach out what little flavor remains.
posted by mecran01 at 5:09 PM on August 13, 2005

Baker's Catalogue has unsweetened shredded coconut -- $2.95 for 8 oz. I've ordered from here many times (though not coconut) and been very happy with all their goods.
posted by vetiver at 7:15 PM on August 13, 2005

I don't know how to get the sugar out, but if you are anywhere near a store with an organic/natural foods section, check that section for unsweetened. I've overlooked that section in my own local store many a time when it had all kinds of products, especially the unsweetened/un-preservative-filled kind.
posted by GaelFC at 7:38 PM on August 13, 2005

Yep. Gael has it right-- you just need to find a health food/natural food store and they'll have plenty of the stuff. Sometimes it'll even come in bulk, making it all the cheaper.
posted by yellowcandy at 8:36 PM on August 13, 2005

The Indian cookbook that I have suggests the cracking open fresh coconut approach. The author says that you can do this in bulk and freeze the reserves.
posted by mmascolino at 9:37 PM on August 13, 2005

leafwoman, from my experience, unsweetened coconut is easiest to find in Asian food stores. Here in Portland, nearly all of them carry the stuff. If there's an Asian food store near you, check it out.
posted by jdroth at 11:34 PM on August 13, 2005

Recently I was faced with this exact situation -- I was at my in-laws and I needed unsweetened coconut, but their supermarket only had sweetened.

I bought a whole coconut, drained it, split it, baked the pieces, and shaved it with a box grater. Works great if you can't wait for mail order or don't have specialty stores immediately on hand. You can almost always find whole coconuts at conventional supermarkets.

But I will be ordering a supply from the link above for the next time.
posted by briank at 7:38 AM on August 14, 2005

not at all enlightening, but I'd just like to say that I've never seen or heard of sweetened coconut in my life. Why would you sell that stuff? Couldn't you just add it when you wanted to anyway?
posted by wilful at 10:04 PM on August 14, 2005

My local Whole Foods sells unsweetened organic coconut that's quite delicious.
posted by smich at 12:03 PM on August 15, 2005

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