Coconut water is delicious, but it’s also a very signature flavor. If you’ve opened a large coconut or bottle of water, you may find that you don’t have the time or space in your stomach to finish it all in one sitting.
You can store it in your fridge for a few days if you think you’ll drink it soon, but you may also be wondering if you can freeze coconut water. After all, there’s something to be said for the convenience of a specialty ice cube, don’t you think?
So can you freeze coconut water? Yes, but first, a word of warning: freezing your coconut water will compromise the taste. If you love the sweet flavor of fresh coconut water, you will likely be disappointed after freezing it. However, if you plan to use your coconut water in smoothies, juices or even cooking, you likely won’t notice the change in flavor, and you’ll still get the benefits of the nutrition.
There are a few things you should know before you give it a try though, so we’ve written a complete guide to freezing coconut water.
Best Practices for Freezing Coconut Water
Coconut water is more than just water, and therefore it doesn’t freeze quite as easily as water out of your tap.
Mainly due to the small sugar content, the freezing point of coconut water is closer to 27.5F than the expected 32F of regular water. That being said, the average temperature of a home freezer is 0F, so it may take a few extra minutes to freeze thoroughly, but you’re unlikely to notice.
If you’ve purchased a flat of bottled or canned coconut water from your local bulk supply supermarket, you don’t necessarily have to worry about freezing your product to keep it fresh.
The way it is packaged will keep it fresh nearly indefinitely, though you will want to keep it in a cool, dry location. It will begin to lose its flavor, so it’s always best to adhere to the manufacturer’s “best before” date.
Once you’ve opened a bottle, however, you will need to consume it in relatively short order or freeze it for freshness. The water from a fresh coconut should be treated similarly to an opened bottle of coconut water. Use it or lose it.
Coconut Water Ice Cubes
One of the most convenient ways to freeze coconut water is in a standard ice cube tray. Simply pour your coconut water into the tray and freeze as you would any other water.
When it is completely frozen, you can protect the ice cubes from collecting any odors of flavors from the other items in your freezer by cracking them out of the tray and placing them all in a freezer-safe Ziploc bag for longer-term storage.
There are some really clever ice cube trays on the market these days, so you can get creative with your ice cube style if you want.
If you like larger portions of coconut water, you can get a silicone ice cube tray in extra-large squares or spheres. These are great for cooling cocktails if you’re so inclined.
You can also get trays that will freeze long, thin sticks instead of cubes, which is handy for adding to water bottles on the go.
Freezing Large Quantities of Coconut Water
If you prefer to have a larger quantity of coconut water than you can get from individual ice cubes, you may want to simply pour your coconut water into a freezer-safe Ziploc bag and lay it flat on your freezer until frozen solid.
You can use bags of any size, but try to aim for a thickness of no more than 2”. You can stack them, even before they’re frozen, so long as they’re properly sealed.
You’ll usually want to avoid freezing large solid blocks of coconut water because they take a great deal longer to freeze and have less consistent results. If you do go this route, however, make sure you leave some space between the water and the lid of your freezer-safe container, especially if you’re using glass.
Coconut water will expand as it freezes, so you need to allow for some room for growth.
How To Thaw Frozen Coconut Water
Coconut water is as easy to thaw as you’d expect any water to be. Simply take it out of your freezer and let it defrost.
Making sure that your water is carefully sealed, you can thaw your coconut water for use in 3 common ways:
- For best results, defrost your coconut water in your fridge, letting it come to temperature slowly and steadily
- You can also let it thaw on your counter at room temperature, though it’s a good idea to make sure the sealed package is sitting in a bowl or on a plate to catch any condensation that might drip off the frozen container
- If you need it quickly, you can place the sealed Ziploc bag or Tupperware container in a sink of lukewarm (never hot!) water and let the water warm-up that way
Using Frozen Coconut Water
If you’ve made ice cubes, you can simply place them in your drink of choice like a normal ice cube. As it melts, you’ll infuse your drink with a lovely, cool and fresh hint of coconut.
Some of our favorite ways to use coconut ice cubes are:
- In plain water, fresh coconut water that needs cooling on a hot day, or even carbonated water with a splash of lemon and honey or a few sprigs of mint along with your coconut ice cubes
- In any glass of fresh-made juice
- In sodas, preferably if it’s a home-made Italian style soda using carbonated water and natural flavorings
- In a hot chocolate or tea, to cool it down a bit and add a hint of coconut surprise
- In a hot bowl of morning porridge, again to cool it down so you can eat it quickly and enhance it with just a touch of coconut sweetness
If your blender is up to the task, you can also use coconut water ice cubes in your smoothies.
Alternative Ways to Preserve Coconut Water
If you’ve bought pre-packaged coconut water, it should be shelf-stable for many months if kept in a cool, dry location. Once you open it, however, it will need to be refrigerated if you don’t drink it all at once.
The same is true for coconut water fresh from the coconut itself. For best storage practices, carefully pour your coconut water into a jar that has a tight, screw-top seal.
An open pitcher or even a juice jug with a lid that has a pour spout is going to decrease the lifespan of your coconut water and potentially allow it to pick up flavors and odors from your fridge, so a tightly sealed jar is best.
If you don’t like your coconut water to be cold when you drink it, you can pour a glass and leave it sitting on your counter for 30 minutes or so, allowing it to come to room temperature.
Does Coconut Water Go Bad?
Yes, coconut water will go bad 3 – 5 days after being opened and exposed to the air and bacteria, and it’s flavor and nutritional value will begin to deteriorate within the first 24 hours. You’ll want to either drink or carefully store your coconut water quickly to maintain its quality.
If you have a fresh coconut, there are a few signs to look for to make sure your coconut is still good.
Any small crack or hole in the shell can expose the water and flesh inside to contaminants, so if you’re at all suspicious, look for these signs:
- Odor: coconut water should have a light, almost fruity coconut smell, so avoid any strong or sharp smelling water
- Consistency: The water should be only slightly thicker than still water, so if it seems milky to you, it may have gone off
- Any signs of carbonation (bubbles)
Can you freeze a coconut?
Coconuts are very impressive in their ability to stay fresh in their shells for months, but if there’s any crack or hole, you do run the risk of them going bad if you don’t use them right away.
Ideally, if you need to freeze a coconut, it’s best to freeze the meat and water separately. Either drink the delicious water immediately or freeze according to the article above and then carefully store the rest of the coconut pieces in an airtight Ziploc bag or Tupperware container in your freezer.
Even better would be to separate the meat from the shell and shred it or break it into smaller, more manageable chunks before freezing. This will save you time and effort in the long run.
What is the benefit of coconut water?
Coconut water is full of incredible nutrition, including (but not limited to) vitamin D, calcium, iron, antioxidants and plenty of electrolyte balancing compounds.
It’s also, surprisingly, a great source of fiber. Fresh coconut water tastes delicious too, so if you’re simply not getting enough water into your day, coconuts might be your missing link.
Speaking of links, if you’d like to read more about coconut water, we’ve dedicated an entire article to it here: Coconut Water Powder – Everything You Need to Know
How to freeze dry coconut water?
There are commercial manufacturing facilities that used specialized processes to dehydrate and freeze dry the water from coconuts, so it must be possible.
That being said, freeze-drying it yourself at home would be an expensive process, involving much specialize machinery and potential hazards, so if you’re interested in coconut water powder, it’s probably in your best interests to buy from those who’ve already perfected the process.
We share a few of our favorites in our article dedicated to coconut water powder.