The short answer to the question ‘are dried coconuts good for you?’ is yes. The longer response is yes, but there is more to the story. It is not a good idea to eat RAW dried coconut. Really, it can be the cause of salmonella if it is not processed properly. Buying your dried coconut from a certified supplier can prevent you from that risk. You see, the coconut can be contaminated by the soil and their own shells if you do not heat it for about 10 minutes at about 176°F. That is like pasteurizing the raw coconut and is standard procedure for preparing it. The only people likely to be exposed to salmonella bacteria are those who insist on making their own dried coconut and do not understand its built-in risks.
Most of the dried coconut on the market today comes from the Philippines where they have been producing high quality dried coconut since at least the 1920′s. The USDA has standards to certify that the dried coconuts are from a certified organic source and properly treated. This is a case where processed is better for you than raw dried coconuts. So if you want to eat your coconut raw, do it while it is fresh, preferably within about 48 hours of being harvested.
In our family, we had a holiday tradition of opening a coconut, collecting the coconut milk, and then carving out all the luscious white fresh coconut from the inside of the shell. There were enough of us that the entire coconut was consumed before it had a chance to dry out or sit on the shelf. We handled the coconut milk like a special treat which we cherished once a year. So it is still quite possible to eat raw and fresh coconut. But do not try to dry it yourself so it lasts longer!
You can find coconuts in many forms: shredded, ground into a flour, cut into flakes, or canned as a concentrated coconut cream or coconut milk. Coconuts are actually quite healthy for you and have no cholesterol, though they have a rich creamy texture and are high in saturated fats and potassium. Some people like to cook with coconut oil, but my favorite is to nibble on long strips of dried coconut as if they are a candy treat. Dried coconuts are a good source of protein, too.