Yes, You Can Definitely Toast Shredded Coconut In An Air Fryer

toasted coconut flakes in a bowl
toasted coconut flakes in a bowl - Bwfolsom/Getty Images

From coconut macaroon cookies to crunchy crusted shrimp, coconut is an almost endlessly useful ingredient that can provide inspiration or be the impetus for a new dish. Though you can work with coconut in a myriad of ways, there are plenty of reasons to toast coconut in an air fryer. Thanks to the Maillard reaction when cooking food, browning is always a surefire way to add flavor, and when it comes to this tropical fruit, you'll get a beautiful nuttiness as well as a deep and caramelly taste that complements sweet and savory dishes. Toasting coconut shreds will also add a nice pop of texture to whatever you add them to.

The problem is, it's tricky to get your coconut toasted properly and evenly, without accidentally incinerating it. While there are multiple ways you can go about heating your shredded flakes, including using the stovetop, microwave, or oven, an air fryer will yield beautiful results and help prevent any potential burning in the toasting process.

Read more: French Cooking Tricks You Need In Your Life

Toasting Techniques For Air-Fried Coconut Shreds

opening an air fryer basket
opening an air fryer basket - Hazal Ak/Shutterstock

The unique way an air fryer heats up food makes for a great option when toasting delicate coconut flakes. Given that shredded coconut flakes are small, they're liable to burn quickly. Air fryers rapidly circulate hot air, and rather than setting your flakes in a frying pan or on a baking sheet where they're in direct contact with the heat source, they'll sit comfortably in the basket where heat can reach them on all sides. This helps protect the flakes against severe, aggressive direct heat, and ensures a reliable, even toast.

All you have to do is spread your shredded coconut evenly over the surface of your basket. (In order to get the most consistent toast throughout, be sure not to overcrowd, and instead opt for multiple batches. The air fryer is so speedy that it shouldn't require too much patience.) No oil is necessary for cooking these flakes. Set your timer for about 8 minutes at 350 degrees Fahrenheit, stopping around four minutes to toss and re-spread the shreds. If you're concerned about burning, you can keep shaking the air fryer basket every couple of minutes to make sure the flakes come out evenly cooked.

When selecting your coconut to toast, keep in mind that the shredded fruit comes in both sweetened and unsweetened varieties. Not only will this make a difference to the flavors of your finished dish, but it's important to note that the sweetened kind will also be quicker to toast (thanks to caramelizing sugars), so it's a good idea to keep an eye on things while toasting. If you're using the unsweetened variety, feel free to add a little sugar or salt to taste, if you're looking for more flavor.

Ideas For Using Your Air-Fried Coconut Flakes

toasted coconut flakes in a bowl
toasted coconut flakes in a bowl - Arina P Habich/Shutterstock

Once you have your air-fried shredded coconut, you can keep it in an air-tight container for up to a week. Having extra toasted coconut is handy, as you may find quickly that you're using the stuff constantly, and for any meal of the day. In the morning, you can sprinkle some toasted coconut over an acai bowl or make it the star of your granola. For an easy but impressive spin on a comfort meal, try coconut-crusted French toast. For lunch or dinner, easy coconut shrimp is hard to beat, served with a dipping sauce, tossed into a salad, or paired with rice and vegetables as a main dish.

For dessert, sprinkle these toasted flakes over your favorite ice cream to bring flavor and texture to a perfectly delicious scoop. You can even give toasted coconut hot chocolate a whirl for a drinkable way to satisfy both chocolate and coconut cravings. Once you have your air-fried toasted coconut technique down, you'll be awash in options to put this tasty stuff to use.

Read the original article on Daily Meal.