A number of world cuisines, including Jamaican, Filipino, Indonesian and Indian, incorporate coconut into savory dishes as well as sweet desserts. In Thailand, which has the lowest cancer rate of all 50 countries surveyed by the National Cancer Institute, some form of coconut appears in almost every dish. More commonly known as dried or desiccated, dehydrated coconut is unsweetened and typically available in shredded or flaked form. Use it in savory and sweet recipes. Sweetened, dried coconut is a standard baking ingredient in the United States. Commercially produced sweetened coconut often contains propylene glycol -- a chemical used in antifreeze -- as an odorless, colorless preservative.
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Blend dried coconut and powdered sugar with a whisk in a medium-sized bowl until the mixture is uniform.
Combine the canola oil and water in a small bowl, stirring until the ingredients are well blended.
Pour the liquid ingredients over the sugared coconut. Stir them to thoroughly coat the coconut.
Let the mixture sit for 10 minutes, or until the coconut absorbs all the liquid. Stir the mixture once or twice to turn it over.
Use the moistened, sweetened coconut immediately for best results. Alternatively, place it in a plastic freezer bag for short-term storage in the refrigerator or long-term storage in the freezer. While sealing the bag, press out as much air as possible.