Coconut water is a beautifying beverage worth sipping all year long, but the slightly sweet taste is particularly refreshing come summer. And with the drink at its peak popularity—you can even get it for under a dollar—it’s as easy to find as, well, good ol’ regular bottled water.
In addition to guzzling coconut water post-hot yoga flow (it’s a clutch alternative to sports drinks, since added sugar is nixed but it’s still high in electrolytes) or mixing it in to your go-to a.m. smoothie, there are many other ways to enjoy the refreshing ingredient. And they might surprise you: Think on a popsicle stick, in a soup, or even in a wine glass (hello, sangria).
Ready to go nuts for coconut water? Scroll down for 12 delicious recipes that feature the refreshing, good-for-you drink.
If ice pops were a staple of your childhood, these frozen desserts make for a sophisticated upgrade. The quintessential summer flavors (“basil infused coconut water” really says it all) are as fresh as they are healthy. The recipe is crazy simple and only requires four ingredients. All you’ll need is the patience to let each layer freeze.
Swapping coconut milk for coconut water lightens up hearty curries for the summer months—without taking anything away, flavor-wise. “The combination of ginger, lemongrass, garlic, and cilantro is a wonderful base for the fish and greens,” writes Scaling Back blogger Tina Jeffers. And the coconut water makes for a super sippable broth, too.
Get a summer buzz the healthy way, with this refreshing tropical sangria. The natural sweetness of coconut water means you can say goodbye to cocktails drowning in sugar. An added benefit? The coconut water lessens the blow of a hangover. How’s that for planning ahead?
The combination of coconut water and coconut milk makes this healthy dessert uber creamy. Layer in your favorite straight-from-the-farmers’-market fruit for a treat that is as Instagrammable as it is delicious. And, rest assured, even if you don’t have tons of time to spare in the kitchen, you can still enjoy this chia pudding. The Healthy Foodie blogger Sonia Lacasse promises that this recipe is “one that you can make on any given day—even the craziest and busiest.”
It’s easy to forget that your blender can do more than make delicious smoothies—so this chilled summer soup serves as an excellent reminder. The recipe takes advantage of in-season melons, turning them into spoonfuls of raw, naturally sweet soup. You can save the chicken noodle for colder weather.
Long gone are the days of adding Splenda to your morning cup of joe, but that doesn’t mean you have to say goodbye to all sweetened coffees. Mixing coconut water with your favorite cold brew ensures a slightly sweet energy boost with all the added, ultra-hydrating benefits of coconut water.
Coconut water in your salad dressing? Genius. This recipe in particular is packed with good-for-you ingredients, which shouldn’t come as a surprise considering it was crafted by dietitian-nutritionist and Nutrition Stripped blogger McKel Hill.
These healthy sweet treats put lengthy ingredient lists to shame. All you need is coconut water and your favorite frozen fruit. While some fruits are sweet enough on their own, if you’re making a slushy with something a bit more tart (like blueberries), adding a touch of agave or honey will do just the trick.
Yep, coconut water can even make for a flavorful marinade for all your summer grilling. This recipe combines all sorts of delicious summer flavors—think coconut, pineapple, lime, and ginger.
This infused water will leave you feeling refreshed—even if you’re out in 100-degree heat. It’s inspired by mojitos, but sans alcohol or added sugar it will still make you feel like you’re on vacation.
Soaking your oats overnight in coconut water adds a subtle sweetness, and when you top it off with seasonal fruits and a squeeze of lemon, it’s almost like eating dessert for breakfast. It’s perfect for those lazy summer mornings when you have nothing to do but savor the moment—which really, isn’t that what the season is for?
Although mojito is in the name of this smoothie, you’ll want to blend it up well before happy hour. Coconut water’s superpowers are combined with mango, mint, cucumber, and avocado in this ultra-refreshing recipe.
Originally published June 30, 2016. Updated August 12, 2019.
Coconuts aren’t just made for sipping on—when it comes to beauty, coconut oil is an all-around superstar. And if you’re looking for another way to stay hydrated this summer, try this skin-saving watermelon smoothie.
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