Desiccated Coconut Information
Desiccated coconut is coconut meat that is flaked and dried and is available in unsweetened and sweetened forms. It is an easy topping for a variety of dishes ranging from desserts and cereals to Asian curries for a flavorful addition that also contains a nutritional value.
Health Benefits of Desiccated Coconut
Desiccated coconut is an ideal source of healthy fat that contains no cholesterol and contains selenium, fiber, copper and manganese.
- One ounce of desiccated coconut contains 80% healthy, saturated fat.
- Selenium is a mineral that helps the body produce enzymes, which enhance the immune system and thyroid function. Selenium has been found to protect against heart disease, male infertility, reduce free radicals in the body and lower cancer risk. The recommended daily allowance is 55 micrograms and one ounce of desiccated coconut provides 9.4% of this requirement.
- Copper supports energy levels, metabolism, helps in the creation of red blood cells and collagen. It also has naturally occurring antioxidant properties and protects the body from osteoarthritis. A single ounce of the desiccated coconut provides 25% of the daily-recommended serving.
- The body requires fiber in order to maintain healthy blood pressure and heart function. Fiber reduces the risk of stroke, diabetes, and high blood pressure. An ounce of desiccated coconut provides 5 grams of fiber. Men should consume 38 grams and women should consume 25 grams daily.
By incorporating it into your daily diet, you can benefit from the nutritional properties while enjoying the sweet and savory flavor.
Frequently used in cooking and baking, the gentle sweetness of desiccated coconut compliments cookies and baked goods in both flavor and added texture. Macaroons are a popular product derived from this grated coconut and it is commonly added to smoothies or sprinkled on salads or sautéed vegetables.
How It is Made
The process in which desiccated coconut is made begins with removing the husk, shell and brown skin from the coconut fruit or meat of the coconut. The kernel is then blanched and air-dried which reduces the moisture of the fruit from nineteen percent to three percent. The dried coconut is then processed into grated or flaked form.
High-quality forms will have the sweet aroma of the coconut, white coloration and primarily dry in consistency.
Fun Facts About the Coconut
Name: Cocos nucifera, or fruit of the palms
Location: Originated in the Pacific and the Indian Ocean regions
Coconut Flesh: aka Copra
Coconut Liquid: Inside the fruit is coconut milk or in the younger fruits, it is more the consistency of water.
Other Uses: In addition to containing a variety of nutrients, other various parts of the coconut prove useful. Charcoal can be made from the coconut shell and the outer fibers can be woven into rope. The water of the coconut is refreshing and in emergencies has even been used as a substitute for blood plasma.