Shredded coconut is a very popular fruit that is used in all kinds of foods. It is used worldwide in dishes like cakes, cookies, and curries, amongst others.
If you plan to cook with shredded coconut, it’s likely that you won’t use it all at once. In this case, you’re going to want to know how to store it for later.
What’s the best option? Can you simply store it in your pantry, or should you store it in your fridge? Is it better to keep it in your freezer?
Below, I cover exactly what shredded coconut is, whether it goes bad, how to tell if shredded coconut has gone bad, how long it lasts and how to best store shredded coconut.
What Is Shredded Coconut?
Coconuts are a type of fruit that comes from the coconut palm tree, or Cocos nucifera.
One of the reasons that coconuts are so popular is because they are thought to be the most common fruit tree on the planet that occurs naturally. You can naturally find these trees in southeast Asia as well as along the islands between the Indian and Pacific oceans.
Coconut can be used for many things including oil, water, milk, and even “meat”. It is a very common ingredient in beauty products and culinary recipes.
Shredded coconut is exactly what it sounds like: coconut that has shredded into fine pieces.
It is very common to cook with shredded coconut because it has a wide range of uses. You can sprinkle it on top of baked goods for garnish, or sprinkle it into your baked goods for extra flavor. It can also be added to spicy dishes, like curry, to give it a sweeter flavor.
Sweetened VS Unsweetened
When you’re shopping for coconut, there are two different varieties that you can choose from.
For example, if you’re cooking a curry, you will likely want unsweetened coconut as sweetened coconut just isn’t going to taste right. However, if you’re baking cookies or cake, you’re probably going to need the sweetened version.
Does Shredded Coconut Go Bad?
Just like with any food, it is possible for shredded coconut to go bad. Generally, if you purchase shredded coconut from the store, it will last longer than fresh coconut because it has been treated with preservatives. However, this won’t allow it to last forever.
If you can’t use all of your coconut right away, I recommend refrigerating it. Keeping it inside a cool fridge will help keep it good for longer.
Fortunately, it’s quite easy to tell if your shredded coconut has gone bad, or if it’s still good to use.
How To Tell If Shredded Coconut Is Bad
Fortunately, it is very easy to tell if shredded coconut has gone bad. You really just need to look at it, but if you still aren’t convinced, you can give it a smell or even a small taste.
Examine Its Appearance
It is very obvious when shredded coconut has gone bad because it simply won’t look good anymore. As the shredded coconut gets older, it loses its moisture.
Your shredded coconut will no longer be good when it has lost all of its moisture. It will look dried out, and it will feel brittle to the touch. It will also turn from white to yellow in color.
Alternatively, it’s possible that your coconut will not become brittle, but will become overly squishy, instead. This isn’t desirable either and is an indication that your coconut has gone bad. If your coconut becomes too old and squishy, it can even start growing mold. In this case, you should throw it out immediately!
Smell The Coconut
The smell of fresh coconut is very familiar to most people as coconut is a staple in many foods. When it is good, your shredded coconut will have a nice nutty and milky scent mixed with hints of vanilla.
When your coconut goes bad, its smell will be off, or rancid.
Do A Small Taste Test
I don’t necessarily recommend this as a way to tell if your shredded coconut is still good or bad. You’re only taking a small bite, so rancid coconut is not likely to make you sick, but it will taste terrible.
You’ll know that your coconut is no longer good once it’s developed a bitter taste.
How Long Does Shredded Coconut Last?
What is the shelf life of shredded coconut? How long your shredded coconut lasts really depends on how fresh it was in the first place, and how you choose to store it.
Although refrigerating is better, it is possible to store your shredded coconut in the pantry and still have good results. Generally, shredded coconut stored at room temperature will last for 4-6 months, as long as it hasn’t been opened.
Once you’ve opened your shredded coconut, it will go bad much more quickly if stored in your pantry. Some people prefer to keep it in the pantry or on the counter where they can see it. This allows them to see the product so that they remember to use it.
Storing opened shredded coconut on the counter is fine, but you need to make sure that you use it before it goes bad. Once opened, shredded coconut will only last for about 2-3 weeks when stored at room temperature.
|The Shredded Coconut Is…||It Is Stored In The…||It Will Last For…|
|Unopened||Pantry or Counter||4-6 Months|
|Opened||Pantry or Counter||2-3 Weeks|
How Long Does Shredded Coconut Last In The Fridge?
Once you’ve opened your shredded coconut, you’re going to want to store it in the refrigerator to preserve its shelf life. Opening the package will significantly reduce the amount of time your shredded coconut will stay fresh if you don’t store it properly.
Fortunately, shredded coconut shelf life is extended by storing it in the fridge. Simply store your opened coconut in the refrigerator in a sealed and airtight container. If you do this, your shredded coconut should last for about 6-8 months.
How Long Does Shredded Coconut Last In The Freezer?
Unfortunately, freezing shredded coconut doesn’t seem to do anything to extend its shelf life. In fact, it just seems to be more of a hassle because you need to defrost it before you can use it. Also, you have to be careful about storing it in the freezer because it can develop freezer burn if not stored properly.
Overall, shredded coconut stored in the freezer will last about the same as shredded coconut in the fridge: about 6-8 months.
How To Store Shredded Coconut
The first thing you can do to prevent your shredded coconut from going bad too quickly is simply purchasing fresh coconut. This doesn’t mean that you have to buy a whole fresh coconut and shred it yourself. It simply means that you should check what date it was packaged to see how much longer it is likely to last.
Once you get it home, the next most important thing about storing your coconut is making sure that the temperature remains consistent. Fluctuating temperatures will cause your coconut to go bad more quickly.
This means that you shouldn’t be frequently moving your coconut back and forth between your pantry and your fridge. Also, if your house doesn’t stay at a consistent temperature, it may be better to store your coconut in the fridge.
It’s also important to store your coconut somewhere dark and dry. You don’t want your shredded coconut to be exposed to moisture or light because that will also make it go bad more quickly. Too much light can cause it to dry out faster while too much moisture could cause it to grow mold.
Storing in The Pantry
I only recommend storing your shredded coconut in your pantry if it hasn’t yet been opened, or if you plan to use it quickly. If the container is unopened, then it’s perfectly fine to store your coconut in the pantry as long as the location is dry and dark. In this case, your shredded coconut will last for several months.
However, it’s not a good idea to store opened shredded coconut in your pantry unless you plan on using it within a couple weeks.
A few things you can do to extend the shelf life is storing the coconut in an airtight container as well as storing it amongst other baking products which will help keep the moisture out.
Storing In The Fridge
Storing your shredded coconut in the fridge is not much different than storing it in the pantry. The main difference is that it will keep your coconut fresh for longer if the package is opened.
Similarly to storing it in the pantry, the most important thing you can do is make sure that it’s stored in an airtight container.
Can You Freeze Shredded Coconut?
Technically, yes, you can store your shredded coconut in the freezer, although it doesn’t have any advantages. Shredded coconut stored in the freezer will last about 6-8 months, the same as it would in a fridge.
The difference is that you’ll have to worry about your coconut becoming prematurely dried out or developing freezer burn.
Shredded coconut is an excellent dish to cook with, and it’s very easy to keep fresh. Even after it’s open, it can stay fresh for months as long as you store it properly.
Keeping your shredded coconut in the fridge is always the best option. Unopened coconut can last for a long time in the pantry, but it won’t last for more than a few weeks after you’ve opened it. Freezing provides similar results, except that you have to worry about freezer burn. For best results, simply keep your coconut in an airtight container in the fridge.