Coconut water is a very popular refreshment in Asia, especially in Southeast Asian countries. Under the tropical climate – high humidity and wind, the coconut can be easily grown.
With the slight sweetness, comforting smell, and juicy texture, coconut water is one of the best ingredients in cooking.
If you can’t find coconut water, don’t worry! We have come up with a list of coconut water substitutes
What Is Coconut Water?
In short, coconut water is the juice coming from the coconut after being chopped out. The juice is not extracted; it appears naturally inside the coconut throughout the mature process.
Coconut water contains a low number of calories – only 5,45 for an ounce of juice. There is 1 gram of sugar, 61 milligram potassium, and more than 5 gram of sodium.
Many people may mistake coconut water for coconut milk. However, these two, despite the same origin, have nothing in common. Coconut milk is a creamy, fatty, white drink. Meanwhile, coconut water is the natural juice coming from coconut. That being said, coconut water provides the signature light, nutty taste that anyone can enjoy.
Top 10 Coconut Water Substitutes
Coconut water is a sweet, nutty drink that can be used in any recipe to increase the juicy and sugary of the food without much worry that it will change the overall smell and taste of the dish. Thus, coconut water is so versatile and easy to use.
Now, let’s dive deep into the top 10 coconut replacements that we point out and see how matching they are with the coconut extract!
1. Watermelon Juice
The first and also the most popular one is watermelon juice. This healthy drink is made by extracting the juice from raw watermelon. From the first sip, you can quickly feel its sugariness and juiciness. That is the completely natural flavor of the watermelon.
Therefore, compared to coconut water, watermelon juice seems overshadowed by the sweetness. What about the wateriness? Well, the watermelon is delicate and super juicy – just a slight squeeze can extract a portion of watermelon juice! Don’t worry!
Given these facts, watermelon juice seems to be a perfect substitute for coconut water. Yes, it is! However, the sugariness of watermelon is much higher than coconut, so we suggest you use watermelon juice half as what you used for coconut.
2. Pineapple Juice
Pineapple juice is another juicy alternative on the list. Extracted from the pineapple fruit, this juice also provides a tasty, juicy taste that you must have whenever summer comes.
Pineapple is more citrusy and acidic than a coconut, but less sugary than watermelon. So, if you’re looking for an extract that is sweeter than a coconut but not too sugary and citrusy enough to feel a bit tangy, then pineapple is the way to go.
Pineapple contains a high amount of vitamin C, which is good for your health. Thus, pineapple juice seems to be a great choice for substituting coconut water.
3. Apple Juice
Now that we have mentioned citrusy juice, let’s discuss whether apple juice is a great option to replace coconut.
Apple juice, similar to the above choices, is an extraction from apple fruit. Usually, people use ripe red apples to squeeze and make the juice. This drink contains the highest vitamin, especially vitamin C, among the choices on this list.
What about the taste of the juice? Well, Apple is a citrus fruit, so the taste of its extraction is indeed super citrusy and acidic. The apple juice provokes the signature comforting smell of apples when ripe. You will never forget its comforting aroma when you experience it.
The taste of apple juice is sour but acceptable. It is juicy and healthy with lots of nutrition. It smells comforting and can blend well with other food. So, is it a good substitute? Yes, it is!
4. Coconut Milk
We mentioned above that coconut milk and coconut water are not the same drink, and their taste is different. However, if there is no coconut water available, coconut milk can substitute for that drink.
Coconut milk is produced by grounding coconut copra into juice and mixing it with water and other chemical substances. Thus, coconut milk is manufactured, not a natural product.
Coconut milk is more nutty and bland; meanwhile, the water seems to be less nutty and frugal. The texture of milk is much denser than coconut drink, making it harder to blend in.
Therefore, if you want to use coconut milk to replace the coconut drink, we advise you to use a 1:2 ratio of coconut milk to water.
5. Orange Juice
If we choose apple juice as a substitute for coconut water, then it is impossible to ignore orange juice as an option in the list. This orange extract provides a citrusy but sweet flavor with a high amount of healthful vitamins.
To be more specific, the orange juice is sweeter than the coconut milk and apple juice but less tangy than the pineapple. About the texture, it seems juicier and easier to blend in than coconut milk. The juice originated from the orange fruit, so, after squeezing, you can smell a slight, citrusy, signature aroma of orange arising from the juice.
In our opinion, orange juice is sweeter than coconut water, so if you want to substitute the coconut water with the orange extract, you should use the ratio of 1:2 with the orange juice on the minor.
6. Birch Water
Many people may be confused when hearing the word “birch water“. What is birch water, then? In short, birch water is the sap extracted from the Betula trees, which blooms in early spring. The birch water is colorless with no smell and subtly sweet.
Unlike most mentioned options above, the birch water tastes super mild. Based on our experience, it is sweet but so mild that sometimes we think that it is “weaker” than coconut water, though. So, if you love the taste of coconut water and want to find a drink that completely imitates its mildness, then birch water is what you should choose.
You can use birch water as a coconut drink substitute. The ratio is 1:1, or even 2: 1 with more birch water. You can also drink it alone when thirsty because it is not much different from the water.
7. DIY Coconut Water
We have listed six options for you to select above, but what if you still don’t like anyone? Then, you should try making coconut water by yourself. It is the best way to resolve the case.
It is not challenging and time-consuming to make coconut water by yourself. You need boiled water, a coconut, and a bowl.
Here is how to make DIY coconut water: first, crack open the coconut. Pour all coconut water into a separate container. Then, peel away the coconut casing. After cutting off the casing, the remaining coconut meat is what you have to process.
Using a clean, hygienic, sharp knife, slice the meat into two-inches pieces. Repeat the process until peeling off all meat.
Place the meat into a blender or mixer, pour filtered water and coconut juice, seasoning if you like, and then blend them. The result is what we call “DIY coconut water”.
8. Almond Water
You may see the “almond” in coffee recipes many times but never encounter it in the coconut-related menu, right? We understand your confusion. Coconut and almonds seem to have nothing in common; how can you alternate the coconut with the almond?
In fact, they can. After blending the almond and mixing the extraction with water under a specific ratio, you receive a nutty drink that can replace the coconut in many recipes.
Here is what you do to make that mixture. First, prepare a cup of nut water and a cup of almonds. Chop out the nuts into smaller pieces.
On the stovetop, put on a frying pan over medium heat, pouring nuts into that pan, and toast until slightly brown. Next, remove the toasted nuts and let them sit out in a large bowl.
Bring water to a boil. Next, pour over the toasted nuts and wait for about 10-20 minutes to cool down the nuts. Consequently, pour the mixture through a sieve, dry it and save the nuts for future use. Take the remaining nut water as a coconut water substitute.
9. Maple Water
Maple juice is the liquid sap that provides a similar taste to birch water. That being said, it is sweet but not overly sugary that makes you unpalatable. The maple provides a super slight sweet that you cannot recognize if mixing it with other ingredients. The maple seems so bland that we sometimes think it can be used interchangeably with water!
Additionally, maple water is good for health for its nutrition elements with vitamins and minerals. The texture is dilute, too, so it is easy to blend it with other recipes.
Light sweetness, watery, healthful – is it a perfect substitute for coconut water?
10. Sugarcane Water
Finally, sugarcane water is a good coconut water replacement. Typically, people extract the sugarcane into juices and use it for drinking as a single refreshment. However, do you know that it can work well in cooking too?
The sugarcane contains a high amount of natural sucrose sugar that none other fruit can have. Thus, when drinking the sugarcane juice, you can feel a unique sugariness that you have never experienced in other juices!
Besides, the sugarcane contains no fat, low calories, only vitamins and sucrose. That being said, sugarcane water is a great choice to use in cooking to replace coconut water.
We have gone through the list of 10 coconut water substitutes. Most of them are easy to find and buy.
In our opinion, watermelon juice is the best choice, since we love its frugalness. Even though the watermelon water is sweet, it is not an unpalatable type, but a comforting one. Good luck with your cooking!