Robin's Healthy Take: Coconut Shrimp

Robin puts a healthy spin on coconut shrimp for less than 200 calories per serving.

A restaurant favorite, coconut shrimp is sweet, crunchy and almost always deep-fried—hence its deliciousness. Next time you’re tempted to order it, consider this: ONE coconut shrimp contains 126 calories and over 7 grams of fat. Mathematically speaking, that means more than 50% of the calories come from fat. And when was the last time you ate just one shrimp? Here’s the deal: ALL of the fat comes from the batter and frying process because shrimp is virtually fat-free by nature.

Since I realize people adore the dish, I developed a fabulous coconut shrimp recipe with only four ingredients (plus salt and pepper). You’ll be amazed at the amount of flavor you get from just four ingredients. Tangy buttermilk tenderizes succulent shrimp while acting as the “glue” for the coconut crust. I also add whole-wheat Saltine crackers for that “fried”, crispy exterior. As the little crustaceans bake in the oven, the coconut becomes golden brown and develops a subtle nuttiness, the perfect contrast for the buttermilk. The best part? You can enjoy eight of these gems for just 196 calories and 5 grams of fat.

Coconut Shrimp
Cooking spray

1 1/4 pounds raw extra-large shrimp, peeled and deveined (leave the tails on)

1/2 cup low-fat buttermilk
1/2 cup shredded sweetened coconut
1/3 cup crushed whole wheat saltine crackers (7 crackers)
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

Preheat oven to 375ºF. Coat a large baking sheet with cooking spray.

Place shrimp in a large bowl, add buttermilk and turn to coat.

In a shallow dish, combine coconut, crushed crackers, salt and pepper. Mix to combine.

Remove shrimp from buttermilk and shake off excess buttermilk. Transfer shrimp to coconut mixture and turn to coat both sides, pressing coconut mixture into shrimp if necessary to create a nice crust. Place shrimp on prepared pan and bake 10-12 minutes, until shrimp are opaque and cooked through and coconut coating is golden brown and crispy.

Serves 4
Nutrition Info Per Serving (serving size: 8 shrimp, 5.6 ounces)
Calories: 196
Total Fat: 5 grams
Saturated Fat: 3 grams
Total Carbohydrate: 11 grams
Sugars: 5 grams
Protein: 25 grams
Sodium: 427 milligrams
Cholesterol: 174 milligrams
Fiber: 1 gram
Keep Reading

Next Up

Robin's Healthy Take: Healthier Chips

Deep-fried chips are out; healthy, baked chips are in, like Robin Miller's kale chips, maple sweet potato chips and curried potato chips.

Robin's Healthy Take: Zucchini

Robin Miller's healthy recipes for zucchini and summer squash.

Robin's Healthy Take: Healthy Food Pairings

Sometimes your favorite foods taste better together. Robin Miller's salad recipes pair unusual foods together and the result is unforgettable (and delicious!).

Robin's Healthy Take: Egg Rolls

Take-out egg rolls aren't the healthiest fare, but Robin's lightened-up, baked-not-fried recipe is just the thing to soothe your cravings without busting your waistline.

Robin's Healthy Take: School Lunches

Robin Miller's ideas for healthy back-to-school lunches for kids.

Robin's Healthy Take: Savory Grapefruit

Use tangy grapefruit to make Robin Miller's spicy southwest shrimp and grapefruit-glazed chicken.

Robin's Healthy Take: Creamed Vegetables

You don't need loads of butter and cream to make creamy vegetables. Robin Miller's recipes for creamed corn and spinach are creamy but not heavy.

Robin's Healthy Take: The Sweet Life

Robin Miller's favorite desserts from her new cookbook, Robin Takes 5 -- all full of sweetness and flavor, but low in fat and calories.