Coconut water has seen its popularity explode in recent years. Packing a more flavorful punch than regular water, it’s a refreshing drink that also comes with a host of health benefits.
With it’s great flavor and positive properties, it’s easy to overdo it and buy a bit more than you need. If you have, you may be wonder if you can freeze coconut water. Good news – yes, you can!
Read on to learn everything you need to know about freezing coconut water.
How Long Does Coconut Water Last?
How long coconut water remains safe to consume depends on how it’s stored. Ideally, you should always keep it in a cool, dark place. So ideally your kitchen cupboards or pantry.
Coconut water is ‘shelf stable’. This means that unopened, it can last for a long time without going bad. How long exactly? The ‘best before’ date printed on the packaging should be your guide. However it is a guide and not a rule. In fact, unopened coconut water can last for up to a year after the printed best before date when properly stored. Just be prepared for the fact that if you leave it for too long, the quality can significantly deteriorate.
Once opened, though, things change drastically. You can no longer keep it in a cupboard – it must go in the fridge. Opened coconut water will last between 3 to 5 days in the refrigerator.
Does Coconut Water Freeze Well?
So we know that once you open coconut water it doesn’t keep for nearly as long. But what if you’re not planning to use it anytime soon – should you just throw it away? Can you freeze coconut water?
Fear not, for you can indeed prolong the life of opened coconut water in the freezer.
You can, of course, freeze unopened coconut water but because it already has such a long lifespan this is usually unnecessary.
It’s worth noting that the freezing point of coconut water is actually slightly lower than regular water due to the increased sugar content. However, as you’ll likely be keeping it in the freezer for at least a couple of days you’re unlikely to notice any difference.
Does Freezing Coconut Water Impact the Taste?
I’ll be honest here as there’s no getting around it. Freezing coconut water has a definite impact on the way it tastes.
Once frozen and defrosted, it loses quite a bit of its signature flavor. This isn’t necessarily bad if you’re going to mix the thawed coconut water with something else, or use it as ice cubes. However, if you’re planning to drink it you’ll notice that it doesn’t taste quite as good as its fresh counterpart.
Whilst it isn’t necessarily a deal breaker, it’s something you should keep in mind before making the decision to freeze leftover coconut water.
How to Freeze Coconut Water
Depending on how much leftover coconut water you have, and how you plan to use it, there are a couple of different freezing methods.
Ice Cube Method
Using an ice cube tray is the perfect way to freeze coconut water if you want to defrost small portions. Here’s how to do it:
Pour coconut water into an ice cube tray. Grab an ice cube tray and carefully pour the coconut water into each space.
Cover the tray. Whilst this isn’t essential, I like to cover the ice cube tray with aluminum foil before popping into the freezer. This helps to protect the coconut water from any food particles or odors that might be present in the freezer.
Freeze the cubes. Next, put the ice cube tray into the freezer. Leave it for at least 3 hours, though you may want to do this overnight.
Transfer coconut ice cubes to a new container. This step is optional, but recommended. Pop the cubes out of the container. Drop them into a freezer-safe container or bag. Seal it tightly and label with the freeze date and the contents (so you remember exactly what’s in there!)
What if you just have a lot of coconut water that you want to freeze in one go? Freezing it all in one container is likely the best method for you.
Now, I’d advise against freezing a huge amount in a single container as you’ll have to use it all at once when you thaw it. Instead I’d recommend you use several containers or bags so you can defrost individual portions as and when you need them.
Here’s how to freeze large amounts of coconut water with the container method:
Choose a container. First things first. The ideal way to store multiple portions of coconut water is by using freezer bags. Once frozen they have a slim profile and can be stacked on top of each other, saving you valuable freezer space. Of course, you can also use a regular freezer-safe airtight container should you prefer.
Fill the container. Pour the coconut water into your selected containers/bags. Be sure to leave a bit of room at the top to allow for the water to expand as it freezes.
Label the contents. Though it’s not essential, I always recommend labelling any bag or container that goes into the freezer. The important info to include is the date of freezing and what exactly you’ve frozen. This is a huge help later down the line, especially if you’re as forgetful as I am!
Pop in the Freezer. Last but by no means least, place the containers in the freezer and you’re done.
Fancy trying something a bit different? Freeze your leftover coconut water as popsicles!
I love this simple yet delicious recipe from Chocolate Covered Katie. It combines the taste of coconut water with an extra injection of healthy frozen fruit.
All you need is coconut water and some fresh berries plus some popsicle molds.
Just drop the berries into each popsicle mold before pouring in the fresh coconut water. Place the molds into the freezer until the water is semi-frozen, then add a popsicle stick to each before putting them back into the freezer until they’re solid.
Check out the full recipe here.
How to Thaw Coconut Water
Defrosting frozen coconut water couldn’t be more simple. All you need to do is take it out of the freezer and transfer it to fridge, bringing its temperature up to thaw.
I do advise that you pop it on a plate when you do this to catch any excess water as it defrosts.
What if you want to thaw your coconut water a bit faster? The simplest way to do this is by leaving it on the counter rather than moving it to the fridge.
If you’re really impatient and want to enjoy the coconut water as quickly as possible, place the container in a bowl of warm water.
Once thawed, use the coconut water as soon as possible. You can keep it in the fridge for up to 3 days, but ideally you shouldn’t defrost it until you need it.
What Can You Do With Frozen Coconut Water?
If you froze your coconut water using the ice cube tray method, the ice cubes make a perfect addition to soft drinks or cocktails. Just pop one (or two) in – it’ll cool your drink just look a normal ice cube but it’ll also add a nice hint of coconut flavor as it melts.
A coconut water ice cube or two is also the perfect addition to a smoothie. Use them in place of regular ice cubes along with frozen fruit of your choice to make a cool, refreshing smoothie with a hint of coconut flavor.
Once thawed, you can use coconut water in exactly the same way as you would use fresh coconut water. It’s a refreshing alternative to a glass of water on a hot summer’s day. It also has a lot of great applications for cooking that you can experiment with.
How to Tell if Coconut Water Has Gone Bad
Like anything else, if left for too long coconut water will go bad. As I’ve mentioned already, a rule of thumb is to wait no more than 3 days to consume defrosted coconut water. You should leave opened, unfrozen, coconut water no longer than this as well.
Here’s how you can tell if your coconut water is still good or if you should throw it out.
Carbonation. Unless you’ve run it through a soda stream to make it fizzy, coconut water should be flat. If you notice bubbles, throw it out.
Strong smell. Though it’s not odorless like regular water, if your coconut water has a strong aroma it’s likely to have gone off.
Thickening. Coconut water should have the consistency of, well, water! If you pour it out and it seems to be thicker than it should, this is a sign that it’s gone bad.
Sour taste. Finally, if you notice that your coconut water has gone sour, don’t drink anymore! It’s a clear sign that it’s gone off and you should immediately throw it out.