Don’t blame the coconut; it’s actually pretty nutritious (when it’s not deep fried). The “meat” of the fruit is rich in medium-chain fatty acids, which, unlike long-chain fatty acids, have no negative effect on cholesterol levels and may protect against heart disease. Plus, coconut is high in fiber and has a low glycemic index, so it doesn’t cause a spike in blood sugar.
Here’s the best news: I created a coconut-crusted shrimp recipe that slashes calories and fat. The crust is light and delicious, the shrimp are moist and sweet and the mildly spicy pineapple-mango salsa takes the dish over the top.
It may seem odd that I’m using cooked shrimp, but I find that they hold their shape better when baking. Also, the coconut doesn’t take very long to get golden brown in the oven so this ensures the shrimp are perfectly cooked through. To minimize clean-up, instead of 3=three shallow dishes for the flour, egg whites and coconut, use three freezer bags.
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Cover a large baking sheet with parchment paper or coat with cooking spray.
Place the flour in a shallow dish, add 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper and stir to combine. Place the egg whites in a separate shallow dish. Place the coconut in a third shallow dish.
Dip the shrimp into the flour mixture and turn to coat both sides.
Transfer the flour-coated shrimp to the egg whites and turn to coat both sides.
Transfer the shrimp to the coconut and turn to coat both sides.
Transfer the coconut-crusted shrimp to the prepared baking sheet.
Bake for 10 to 12 minutes, until the coconut is golden brown. Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, combine the pineapple, mango, onion, cilantro, hot sauce, and cumin. Mix to combine.
Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Serve the shrimp with the salsa on the side.
Nutrition Info Per Serving
Total Fat: 8 grams
Saturated Fat: 6 grams
Total Carbohydrate: 24 grams
Sugars: 17 grams
Protein: 18 grams
Sodium: 702 milligrams
Cholesterol: 143 milligrams
Fiber: 2 grams
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