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Every time you enter a grocery store or supermarket, there are shelves of coconut water, of different brands, and even different flavors. Some Asian markets even sell the full, actual coconut, nicely packaged and presented.
Coconut water is not only delicious and refreshing but is packed with antioxidants and potassium and is a great source of hydration. Whether you are drinking coconut water because you like the taste of it or for health reasons, there are plenty of options out there to choose from.
Coconut water reminds me of beachy vacations, hot, summer days, and tropical paradise. Keep in mind that coconut water is different from coconut milk. Coconut milk is extracted from grinding up the white, fleshy fruit on the inside, while coconut water is the liquid you get when you break open a ripe coconut.
If you have coconut water in your fridge that has been lying around for some time and are not sure if it is still usable, read on to find out how long coconut water lasts, if it goes bad, and what is the best way to store it.
How Long Does Coconut Water Last?
- A number of factors determine just how long coconut water lasts, including the age and tenderness of the coconut, how it has been stored and how long it has been stored.
- Typically fresh, homemade coconut water will be good for about 2-3 days at best. It has to be kept in the fridge in an airtight container so as to not lose its flavor.
- An unopened bottle of coconut water that you purchase from the store will be good for anywhere between a few months to a year depending on storage.
- If you have kept the unopened bottle in the pantry, the coconut water will be good for a few months after the best-by date. The best-by date indicates when the product reaches peak quality. It does not indicate when the product goes bad. So, the coconut water, I left unopened will be good even after the best-by date.
- Unopened bottles of coconut water do not need to be refrigerated, but you can do it.
- Since store-bought coconut water has additives to it to extend its shelf life, your coconut water will be good for a long time if stored properly and left unopened.
- But once you open the bottle, the clock starts ticking on its shelf life.
- An opened bottle of coconut water will be good for about 4-5 days in the fridge as long as it is kept tightly closed.
- The coconut water will not necessarily spoil after that, but there is a definite drop in quality.
- You do also have the option of freezing your coconut water. This makes sense if you are looking at using it in the future, especially if coconut water is not easily available or accessible to you. Coconut water will last in the freezer for about 6 months. But be aware that there is a significant difference in taste and texture once you freeze and thaw the coconut water.
|Type of Coconut Water
|Fresh coconut water
|Unopened bottle of coconut water
|Opened bottle of coconut water
The above table is just an estimate. The actual numbers will change depending on how it has been stored, and the quality of the coconut used among many other factors.
What Is The Best Way To Store Coconut Water?
If you want to enjoy your delicious coconut water for a long time there are a few things to do to ensure that not only does your coconut water have a longer shelf life, but that there is no reduction in taste and quality.
- If you are making fresh, homemade coconut water then make sure to refrigerate it as soon as possible. When exposed to warm air, the coconut water starts losing its flavor and taste pretty rapidly. Refrigerate it in an airtight container and the coconut water will remain fresh and tasty for 1-2 days.
- The coconut water has to be kept in an airtight container with the lid tightly sealed. If kept open in the fridge, the coconut water loses its flavor and becomes quite bland or takes on the smell of other food in the fridge, making it unappetizing.
- For bottled coconut water from the store, you can keep it in the pantry till you decide to open it. Bottled coconut water is pretty shelf-stable and can last a long time. Just make sure you are storing it in a cool, dark place. Do not store it in direct heat or sunlight.
- As soon as you open it, it has to be kept in the fridge. Keep it in the same bottle, ensuring the lid is tightly closed. If for some reason you need to change the bottle, then transfer the coconut water into another airtight bottle or jar. It will be good for 3-4 days in the fridge.
- Some people do choose to freeze their coconut water. Make sure you freeze it in a freeze-safe container. And it is recommended to portion the coconut water out before freezing so you only take out and use what you need. The coconut water will be good for about 6 months.
How To Best Freeze Coconut Water?
- If you are planning to freeze fresh coconut water, first strain it through a cheesecloth to remove all the fiber or bits of flesh that will be there.
- The best way to freeze it is in an ice cube tray. Pour the coconut water into the tray and let freeze.
- Once frozen transfer the frozen coconut water cubes into a freezer-safe bag. You can take out only what you want to thaw and use.
- Once thawed do not refreeze. Coconut water has a pretty distinct and sweet taste. Frozen and thawed coconut water will be more diluted. So, if you further freeze it, it will end up losing all its flavor.
- Frozen coconut water will be much milder and less sweet than regular coconut water, if you are planning to use it for smoothies, desserts, and drinks, go for it, it will work just fine.
- You do not need to freeze unopened bottles of coconut water.
Can Coconut Water Go Bad? If So, How Can You Tell?
Yes, coconut water can go bad and it has a pretty significant tell once it has spoiled.
- Smell: The smell is a pretty obvious indicator of spoilage. The mild and sweet smell of coconut will be replaced by a rather sour and pungent smell. Do throw it out once this happens.
- Taste: Similarly, if the coconut water tastes tangy or sour or off in any way, then it has spoiled.
- Texture: If the coconut water is thick and clumpy instead of thin and watery then it has gone bad.
- If you notice your coconut water has turned pink, do not worry, that is normal, it is because of the antioxidants in it, reacting to the environment. It is still good to drink.
Coconut water is a natural drink that is loaded with electrolytes and antioxidants and is good for you. If you are looking to enjoy your favorite drink even when not in season, you can do so, by taking some extra care and caution.