toasted coconut flakes

Homemade Unsweetened Coconut Flakes

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I’m not sure what that really means. I mean, I’ve heard of bringing teachers an apple. I’ve heard of some fresh tomatoes from the garden. I’ve even heard of students bringing their teachers Starbuck’s gift cards. Okay, the last one never happens on a regular basis, but a coffee lovin’ addict can dream, right?

So anyways, it’s the end of the day. The kids are going crazy. There’s incessant chatter. There’s chairs going up on desks (that’s supposed to happen, people). I’m trying to sign assignment notebooks left and right so my students can make the bus. It was looking a little bit hairy. I was helping a student get her things ready for the end of the day, when she told me to wait because she had forgotten to give me something. In she reached into her backpack, and out came… a coconut.

It was at that moment I became a proud teacher.

So I brought that coconut home. I put it on top of my fridge. I looked at it every day when I reached up for my daily banana, contemplating just what I would use it for. I had other co-workers ask me.. “what are you going to use that coconut for?” Good question folks.. good question.

I took the plunge yesterday — I cracked that sucker down on the concrete slab in my backyard and watched as all of the coconut water dripped down the rugged exterior and onto my grass. That might seem blasphemous to you coconut water loving fools, but unless it’s chocolate flavored Zico, I want nothing to do with it.

The next item on my agenda was somehow getting all of that coconut meat out of the shell. Let me just tell you, it was not an easy feat. It took a large sharp knife, a wrench (really.), and all the patience of a fifth grade teacher. Thankfully it was worth it because my hands are feeling quite soft and delicate from all that nut handling.

But it was worth it. Who knew that one coconut yielded about 3 cups of shredded coconut? I had no clue, and I’m not even sure how much one coconut costs. However, I feel like it’s more cost efficient. Not to mention that saying you made your own coconut flakes just sounds hardcore. And hardcore I am not, so I need all the help I can get in that department – thankyouverymuch.

Homemade Unsweetened Coconut Flakes Recipe

  • Yields: 3 cups coconut flakes
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Prep Time: 15-20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 4-6 hours


  • 1 coconut
  • dehydrator (or oven on lowest setting)


Begin by cracking your coconut down on a hard surface until it breaks open. Then, using a sharp knife, cut out the coconut meat by getting your knife as close to the shell as possible. Once you have loosened some coconut meat, break it off the shell or scoop it out with a spoon. After your coconut meat has been removed from the shell, cut off the brown meat. To make the coconut shreds, use the shredding tool on your food processor or use a grater. Once your coconut has been shredded, spread it across a dehydrator sheet and dehydrate in between 105-115 degrees for 4-6 hours. If you do not have a dehydrator, use your oven on the lowest setting possible.

I feel like I’ve done it all now. I have tackled a coconut. Seriously, how many people can truly say that? I am so hardcore.