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Shredded coconut consists of thin pieces of coconut, usually sold in dried form. It is also possible to shred coconut with freshly grated coconut in a blender, but not everyone has access to fresh coconuts. Typically packages or bulk shredded coconut are differentiated from flakes of coconut which tend to be wider by a few centimeters or so.
Cooks use shredded coconut in a vast number of recipes. It can easily be a topping of simple sandwiches like peanut butter and honey, it can add to the taste of baked goods, or it can lend extra flavor to savory foods like curries. Certain cookies and candies could not be made without this ingredient, and coconut cake usually contains the shredded form in the cake and the frosting.
In stores, shoppers may find two varieties of shredded coconut. These may be sweetened or unsweetened. Which one is appropriate really depends on recipe. Most savory recipes wouldn't benefit from sweetened forms of coconut pieces, and a sweet recipe may be too sweet if it calls for unsweetened coconut. It’s really a matter of choice when using coconut for toppings and people should try both to see which one they prefer.
Along with sweetened or unsweetened, shoppers at natural foods stores may additionally have a choice between organic and non-organic coconut. Organic varieties tend to be more expensive because organic growing methods may produce lower yield crops. Yet, some people believe they are superior for nutritional reasons and may be of slightly higher quality.
Shredded coconut from stores may be treated with chemicals in order to keep it moist. Other brands eschew chemical treatment and will produce much drier forms of coconut. When this is the case and cooks have purchased untreated versions, they may need to soak the coconut briefly to bring back some its moisture content. When making fresh shredded coconut at home, it isn’t necessary to soak the coconut.
Yield of the typical size coconut is about three to four cups of shredded or grated coconut. In stores, packaging size for dried forms ranges. Both packaged and freshly prepared shredded or grated coconut should be refrigerated. Some people freeze fresh shredded forms and it may be possible to find frozen versions, especially in Asian grocery stores. Since this version is not dried, many feel it is superior to packaged store-bought forms that aren’t frozen.