How to Make Shredded Coconut and Coconut Flakes

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If you love coconut, you’ll love how easy it is to make shredded coconut and coconut flakes in your kitchen in just minutes. 

Three stacks of coconut shreds and chips

Dried (dessicated) coconut is great to have in your pantry for so many uses, especially if you’re eating a low-carb diet.

We eat a lot of coconut in our home including coconut butter, shredded coconut, and coconut flakes. We love coconut in all of these forms, but when you can make it fresh, it’s even better.

Before I get to that, why do we eat so much coconut? Several reasons.

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Why We Love Coconut

1. Food Allergies.

We started drinking alternative dairy-free milks soon after my oldest son was born.  Early on he was diagnosed with a life-threatening allergy to dairy so milk was quickly out of the picture.  

We didn’t have enough money to purchase ready-made dairy-free milks, so I started making oat milk, Homemade Rice Milk, Homemade Almond Milk, and our current favorite, Homemade Coconut Milk.  

Literally, I think that we make coconut milk about 3-4 times per week.  We love the frothiness when it’s first made, and it adds a lovely richness to hot drinks. It also works great as the base for shakes and smoothies.

2.  Coconut for Dairy-free Cooking , and Gluten-Free and Grain-Free Baking.

Though we aren’t strictly grain-free, when I look back at our diet over the past few months, we basically are grain-free with few exceptions.  Whereas rice used to be a staple in our diet, more and more it’s not on our dining table at all.  We’ve all been on various special diets over the years, from paleo to AIP (autoimmune paleo) to GAPS, to gluten-free, to candida diet….and coconut has been a staple in all of them.

Coconut flour is a great flour to bake with. It’s a bit rough if you can’t have eggs, but these Coconut Chocolate Chunk Macadamia Cookies and these Breakfast Cookies are proof that it can be done.

And coconut milk is perfect for all kinds of dairy-free ice cream like Chocolate Almond Chip, Mint Chocolate Chip, Lemon Poppyseed, and Mocha Chip ice creams.

Coconut shreds and flakes are great in so many recipes.  I list some of our favorites for you below.

3. Coconut is Low Carb.

I don’t personally espouse a very low-carb diet exclusively (see this post for why I think carbs have been an important part of my healing), but I think that our culture consumes way too many carbohydrates and that it is a contributor to so many of our health problems including candida, diabetes, and more.  Coconut is a great way to ditch some of the carbs.

Why I Started Shredding Coconut

Anyhow, typically I just buy my coconut already dried, but recently something funny happened.  I have hired out my photography to one of my former guest writers, Naomi Huzovicova.  She lives in Slovakia and has a lovely blog called Almost Bananas where you can see her chronicle some of her life in that beautiful country.

Well, I asked if she could take some photos of some new recipes that I am working on for flavored coconut chips, and she mentioned that they didn’t have coconut flakes in Slovakia.

What’s a girl to do?

Well, Naomi and I found a way to make this work and just had to pass this fabulous information on to you all.

It’s so easy that even if you have access to coconut flakes and shredded coconut / coconut shreds, you might just want to do this for a fun project.   Plus, my boys LOVE fresh coconut so much — I know they would be happy for any excuse to buy some. As in 2, or 4, or a dozen….

How to Use Homemade Coconut Shreds and Flakes

You can use these Homemade Coconut Shreds and Flakes anywhere you would use coconut. Here are some of our favorite recipes:

Homemade Coconut Butter
No-Bake Coconut Delights
Coconut Truffles
Chocolate Mint Bars
Chocolate Nests
Caramelized Toasted Coconut Chips
Honey Bunches of Oats Coconut Chips

There are simply loads of great recipes to choose from!

Coconut shreds, flakes and chips

For those on the Trim Healthy Mama plan, this recipe fits in as an “S.”

three coconut shreds in a row

Homemade Coconut Shreds and Chips

Easily make Homemade Shredded Coconut or Coconut Chips using simple kitchen tools and either your oven, convection oven, or dehydrator.
5 from 1 vote
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Course: Dressings, Seasonings, etc., Snack
Cuisine: AIP, Dairy-Free, Gluten-Free, Grain-Free, Keto, Low-Carb, Paleo, THM:S, Vegan, whole30
Keyword: DIY shredded coconut, homemade coconut flakes, homemade shredded coconut


  • Fresh Coconut


  • Break open coconut with hammer. Remove the hard outer shell. Peel the soft outer shell with a vegetable peeler.
  • Grate the fresh coconut meal according to desired result. Use small holes for fine shreds, normal big holes for typical shredded coconut, and use the grater slicer for chips. Alternatively, for the chips, peeling with vegetable peeler makes a cleaner and more attractive chip — but it is a bit thicker.
  • Dry in oven, convection oven, or dehydrator. How long they take to dry will depend on the size of the coconut pieces and the temperature of your oven (note some temperatures are inaccurate) or dehydrator.
  • Spread the coconut chips or shreds in a single layer for drying. Here are some ideas of how long it will take each size to dry.
    Small and medium shreds will take about 2 hours for small and 3 hours for medium in a 100 – 125 °F (40 – 50 °C) convection oven. The chips will take a little longer and will dry in a dehydrator in about 6 hours at 125°F.
  • The chips will dehydrate in about an hour in a regular oven at 60ºC/140ºF. It may take longer, depending on your oven.

Sweetened Version

  • If you'd like to make sweetened shredded coconut, for every cup of coconut that you want to sweeten, combine 4 teaspoons of sugar or a low carb sweetener like xylitol with 1/4 cups of water.
  • Combine the sugar and water in a small saucepan and heat over low heat until the sugar dissolves and makes a simple syrup.
  • Add the coconut to the pan.
  • Remove from the heat and stir occasionally until the liquid absorbs.
  • Spread the coconut on a baking sheet let it dry in the oven, in a dehydrator, or at room temperature.

Toasted Version

  • For toasted sweetened coconut, leave the coconut in the oven until lightly browned.
  • No matter which temperature you dry your coconut at in an oven, it's a good idea to check on it after 15 minutes or so, toss or stir well, then return to the oven and check every 10 minutes to shake and toss to prevent burning.

Nutritional information is provided as a courtesy and is merely an approximation. Optional ingredients are not included and when there is an alternative, the primary ingredient is typically used. We cannot guarantee the accuracy of the nutritional information given for any recipe on this site. Erythritol carbs are not included in carb counts since they have been shown not to impact blood sugar. Net carbs are the total carbs minus fiber.

You could, of course, use the oven at a higher temperature to dry out the coconut chips / shredded coconut, but you won’t have a raw final product with the enzymes intact.

Isn’t this great?  Now if you live in Slovakia (or some other place) that doesn’t have coconut chips, you can make them yourself.

Or, if the only coconut available to you is coconut treated with icky sodium metabisulfate preservative, here’s your answer.

Will you try it :)?

Do you love coconut?
What is your favorite way to eat it?

Photo credits: Naomi Huzovicova

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Recipe Rating



  1. I would like to make coconut smallish size chips for coconut custard pie. Just as the person in Slovakia wrote, there are none in Czech Republic, either. I don’t want them toasted, just dried. I have no dehydrator. Nor is my oven a convection one. Is it possible to do this in my regular oven? If so, what temperature and how long?

    1. Hi there, Elaine! I just updated the recipe card for you – does that help? Let me know and thanks! Hope it works out well for you!

  2. Hello!

    So, I’m from Kenya.. We have desiccated coconut and plenty of fresh ones.. But no flakes (Sweetened or unsweetened)

    I’ve had to to use dedicated coconut for Macaroons.

    Now, I’m a baker and want to try a German Chocolate Cake and other desserts along those lines (like German Chocolate French Macarons) and also try Macaroons the right way..

    I’m just wondering.. Will the flakes remain white? I’ve tried sun drying some in the past but they browned ????? will the methods you’ve mentioned keep that from happening?


  3. 5 stars
    We love coconuts too! We live in Florida where coconuts are aplenty! I’ve been toasting coconut flakes as long as I can remember. I simply throw a bunch of chunks in a blender and end up with mostly flakes, and a few chunks. Toss them through a colander to separate the smaller pieces from the larger chunks. The chunks I will “blend” again with another batch. My problem was, whenever I tried to dry the flakes they ended up toasted. Toasted coconut is great, but I don’t always want it toasted for recipes. I simply could not just dry them out. I’ve learned to, not only lower the temperature of the oven, but place a pan on the shelf above the coconut so it isn’t being toasted from above. It’s quick and easy!

    1. That liquid is coconut water–not coconut milk. You could add it for sure, but it will just water down the coconut milk. Many people drink it as it is.

    1. Hi there. You can use an oven or pan. I added two links in the post to a few great recipes for toasted chips – you can do it in a pan or oven.

    1. I have bought from Azure mostly but I see that Country Life Natural Foods has them now. I bet does and others.

  4. Am I the only one who is left with brown shreds? And they are not burnt but just not white anymore? I used an oven by the way, any hints on what to do to keep them whiter?

    I live in a coconut land haha but shreds are sooo hard to find, so really hoping I can make my own.

  5. I don’t understand how your supposed to peel the soft putter shell. My coconut I just bought is hard like a baseball. Or am I’m not readying this correct?

    1. After you break the outer shell, there is a soft inner one that you need to peel. I’ll try to make it more clear. Thanks and hope it works well!

  6. Thanks for sharing. My sister was vaccine injured and is unable to have eggs. A lot of good recipes here!

  7. What would be the expiration date for the homemade coconut shreds/flakes and where can should I store them to keep them fresh?

    1. Hi Shinelle. I can’t make claims about that since of course everyone’s preparation could be different but my dried coconut lasts a long time at room temp. If you have room in the fridge, freezer, or could do vacuum sealed bags that would be best. Hope it works well for you!

  8. More than that, coconut shreds are a great base for so many recipes. For making Coconut Butter, these No-Bake Coconut Delights, Coconut Truffles, this

    oops…leaving sentences unfinished again! ;-{

    1. Yikes, Carol. Good catch! I’ve been multi-tasking too much for sure. Fixed now with more great recipes added :).