Are you looking for ways to use unsweetened shredded coconut? This is a classic ingredient that’s often added to coconut cake, coconut cream pie, and macrons. In recent years, coconut products have also been trending on low-carb diets like Keto and Atkins. These products like oil, milk, and cream have been spiking in popularity and boosted demand. However, shredded coconut is another popular product from the tropical fruit. The unsweetened version provides more flexibility in terms of taste since it will be easier to tweak the ingredients to get the exact flavor you want. You can go with any taste including sweet by adding sugar or other sweeteners.   

It can be tough sometimes to sort through the different products available for a certain ingredient. That’s also true with coconut. For example, two similar products you might see on supermarket shelves are shredded coconut and coconut flakes. These products sound similar but there’s actually a difference between the two. Knowing the difference can help you to choose wisely when shopping for ingredients for your next coconut recipe. It’s like knowing the difference between coconut milk and coconut cream. When following recipes sometimes substitutes are practical and other times they involve completely different items.

What Exactly Is Shredded Coconut?

When adding coconut products to recipes, it’s important to know the differences between similar products. For example, two similar yet different products are “shredded coconut” and “flaked coconut.”

When picking coconut products one of the main differences is whether or not it’s sweetened. For example, let’s say you’re making a savory dish like chicken tenders. In that case, you should consider unsweetened coconut versus the sweetened variety.

Meanwhile, if you’re making a sweet recipe then you can use either sweetened or unsweetened. This is based on the sweetness of the other ingredients.

However, another factor to consider is the texture. Some of the main types you’ll see in stores are shredded and flaked. They might sound like the same kind of product but there’s some difference.

First, there’s shredded coconut. This is made of thin strands that look somewhat like shredded cheese. You can find this product available in a sweetened and unsweetened version.

A similar product on the market is flaked coconut. This includes bigger and thicker pieces of coconut versus shredded variety. So it’s somewhat similar to shredded coconut but there’s a difference in the texture.

Here’s what you get from 1 cup of shredded coconut:

  • Calories: 283
  • Carbs: 10g
  • Protein: 3g
  • Fat: 27g
  • Fiber: 7g
  • Sugars: 4g 
  • Manganese: 60% daily value DV
  • Copper: 44% DV
  • Selenium: 15% DV
  • Phosphorous: 14% DV

There are some key takeaways from these figures. The calorie count is quite high but that’s due to fat having 2x more calories versus carbs/protein. However, these are good calories due to the nutrients they provide.

The fat content of shredded coconut is quite high at 27g. This might seem dangerous/unhealthy. However, keep in mind that this is mostly “healthy” fat.

Another factor is that 10g of carbs aren’t really Keto-friendly. However, when you subtract the fiber you get 3g of net carbs, which is definitely Keto-friendly.

Unsweetened Shredded Coconut: Recipe Ideas


This is a popular coconut recipe that can include other popular ingredients. In some cases, the coconut is added to both the cake and frosting to add even more coconut goodness to the baked good.


This is a popular Thai dish that pairs the high-omega-3 shellfish with the tropical fruit. It might seem odd at first but this is a tasty dish with lots of tastes and textures.


This is a pairing that might seem odd at first. However, the chocolate’s sweetness pairs well with the coconut’s texture. If you’re a fan of muffins then this is a must-try option.


Besides coconut cakes, you can also make frosting using the superfood. This can take your cakes to the next level. The frosting’s healthy fat pairs well with different cakes.


This can include baked and no-bake. Besides the main ingredient, you can also add others like chocolate chips, nuts, and seeds. Bars are also a good idea if you want baked goods with a crunchier texture.


This might seem like an odd one at first. However, you can add coconut flakes to your ice cream.

This offers a healthier option versus sugary ingredients.


If you’re a fan of coconut cookies then this is a good option. This is a classic coconut baked good that features a popular cookie.


This dessert has been trending in recent years and is easily one of the most popular chia desserts. You can boost the taste and nutrition with some shredded coconut.


This is an excellent food to get you started in the morning. You get lots of nutrients from the coconut, which makes it a good option.


This is a classic recipe that features shredded coconut. While the coconut pie’s filling is heavy you can balance it with options like ginger crusts. This option is super-healthy.

Top Health Benefits of Coconut


This is due to the omega-3 fatty acid known as MCT. This helps with stomach fullness, fat-burning, and calorie shedding. These are all factors that could help to achieve weight loss. Another possible benefit is coconut meat’s high fiber content. This can also help to boost fullness and prevent people from binge eating.


There are some studies that show coconut meat can help to control blood sugar. This is critical for people with diabetes or insulin resistance.


Today many anti-aging products on the market are designed to treat skin aging in particular. It’s possible shredded coconut could be related to anti-aging due to factors like healthy fat content. More research is needed. However, it seems that healthy fats could be somehow linked to living a longer life.


Studies show that coconut might help to improve digestion due to the high fiber content. That can help the digestive system to be healthier. The fruit’s high-fat content might help the digestive system to absorb different nutrients like Vitamin A/D/E.

Another benefit is the omega-3 fatty acid known as MCTs seems to make gut bacteria stronger. That can help with protecting the body from inflammation. It can also help to avoid various health issues like ones related to metabolism.


There’s some evidence that the MCT oils in coconut oil might help to provide fuel for blood sugar. That could help people with brain conditions like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s.


Shredded coconut and other kinds of coconut meat might improve heart health. That’s due to the coconut oil that could lower bad cholesterol and boost good cholesterol. These benefits might help to reduce the risk of heart disease. Various studies show that these heart-friendly benefits might be connected to unsweetened shredded coconut.

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