Can You Freeze Coconut Water?
Coconut water comes from young green coconuts and is known and appreciated for its hydrating and nutritious properties. Coconut water is a deliciously refreshing drink full of electrolytes. Not only that, but it is also rich in minerals, vitamins, and antioxidants. So, there are many reasons why one would reach for coconut water as a healthy drink. It’s a great drink to have ready in your fridge, but what if you can’t finish it in time, before it goes bad? Can you freeze coconut water? The short answer, is yes, you can freeze coconut water!
Freezing coconut water is easy. It’s a convenient way to store leftover coconut water for a future use. Just pour your coconut water into a freezer-safe container. I personally like to use mason jars. Whatever container you use, be sure to leave enough room at the top! When coconut water freezes, it expands and can therefore break your container if you didn’t leave any room for the expansion effect. If you do use a mason jar as I do, then you can also leave the lid off until it has frozen. If you are looking to have frozen coconut water in smaller portions, then try pouring your coconut water into an ice-cube tray. Coconut water ice cubes can be a great and simple way to infuse a different drink with some extra nutrients!
How Do You Store Coconut Water In The Freezer?
As mentioned above, there are different ways to easily freeze coconut water. For small portions, pour coconut water into an ice tray. (I personally prefer to use a silicone ice cube tray – removing the ice from silicone trays is just so much easier!) Once frozen, transfer to a freezer bag or ziplock bag. This will act as an airtight container for the coconut water ice cubes, which will make them last longer. Otherwise, you can use a freezer-safe airtight container of any size to freeze larger quantities of coconut water. Whatever container you use, though, be sure to leave room at the top. Freezing coconut water is just like freezing regular water: it expands when frozen! So, if you fill your container to the brim, the coconut water may very well shatter or break your container as it expands and lacks space to do so.
Some people use larger ziploc bags in order to freeze larger quantities of coconut water. This allows you to horizontally stack them, which conserves space. I personally find this method too messy and not environmentally friendly, which is why I opt for mason jars instead.
How Long Does Coconut Water Last In The Freezer?
Coconut water should be fine in the freezer for up to 3 months. However, as with all things, the quality and taste of coconut water can deteriorate the longer it is stored in the freezer. As mentioned above, store your coconut water in an airtight container and leave room in the top for expansion.
Shelf Life of Coconut Water
An unopened bottle of coconut water bought in store has a long shelf life. If you keep it in its airtight container and store it in a dark place, away from direct sunlight, in room temperature, it will last a very long time. A store bought container of coconut water not only lasts a long time, but it also has a best by date that you can refer to. For best results, try to consume your coconut water by the expiration date.
How To Thaw Frozen Coconut Water
Once you are ready to use your frozen coconut water, just pull your container out from the freezer and either let it thaw in room temperature, or in the refrigerator. The latter will naturally take longer and is best done overnight. If you are thawing it in room temperature, it is best to place a plate underneath your frozen container to catch any condensation that will form as the coconut water thaws.
Is Coconut Water Still Good After Thawing?
While I have read that thawed coconut water might have a slightly different texture and taste, this has never been true for me in my experience. At least not for store bought coconut water! However, if you do find that your thawed coconut water looks or tastes slightly different than it did before you froze it, then fear not! It still has all its nutrients and hydrating properties! While you can use thawed coconut water in any way you would use the fresh water, smoothies might be the ideal use. Using thawed coconut water in smoothies is a good way to hide the fact that it either looks or tastes a little differently. Plus, if you have coconut water ice cubes, you could use those in smoothies or other favorite drinks as ice. Ice cubes are a great way to use your frozen coconut water without even having to wait to thaw it!
How Long Does Coconut Water Last In The Fridge?
After opening your store bought coconut water, it will last about 5-7 days in the refrigerator if stored properly. (Though, honestly, I have kept mine far longer than that and have almost always been lucky with it! But you may not be as willing to take the risk!) The best way to store your opened coconut water is by keeping it in an airtight container and leaving it in the fridge, aside from moments when you pour it into a glass for drinking.
Fresh coconut water straight out of a coconut is said to be best consumed immediately, or definitely within 24 hours. I’ve never run into a situation where I didn’t immediately enjoy my fresh coconut water!
Unopened coconut water bought in grocery stores remains good much longer, both in room temperature and in the fridge. Just check the expiration date on your container and give it a smell test if you have concerns. But do try to store your unopened container in a cool, dry place.
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How Do You Know If Coconut Water Has Gone Bad?
Signs of spoilage are an off taste or odor, or visual chunky parts in what should be a clear drink. Personally, I have had spoiled coconut water smell sour and have seen chunks floating in it. This has always occurred after keeping an opened container in the refrigerator for weeks before attempting to finish it.
So, here are 4 signs of coconut water spoilage to look out for:
- Smell – Fresh coconut water should smell slightly sweet and nutty. If the smell is sour, then your coconut water has gone bad and should be thrown out.
- Taste – Here too, if the coconut water in question has a bitter or sour taste, then it has gone bad. Treat yourself to a new carton of coconut water instead!
- Appearance – If your coconut liquid looks more yellow or brown, then you should assume it has spoiled. It’s a good idea to throw this out instead of consuming it.
- Texture – As mentioned earlier, if your coconut water is cloudy or even has chunks floating in it, then it has definitely gone bad, and you need to discard it.
In conclusion, the slightly sweet flavor of coconut water makes for a refreshing alternative drink to plain water, especially on hot summer days! Given that it is full of electrolytes, I personally like to drink coconut water in place of sports drinks. I drank especially much coconut water during my pregnancies and labors! The best quality of coconut water is when freshly collected from the coconut. However, store bought coconut water is delicious too, with much less work on your end. We can’t always get to all of the coconut water in time. So, instead of having coconut water go bad, freeze it!