How to pick out the best coconut foods for your money

Coconuts are all the rage these days. Whether you’re eating coconut butter straight out of the jar (guilty) or chugging coconut water after a hike, there’s basically a coconut product for everyone.

But not all products are made equal. Most coconut products come from far away, and often something gets lost in translation along the way between the flavor of actual coconuts and the products we get at the grocery store.

coconut foods
Image: Natalie Cosgrove/Liz Smith/SheKnows

So we put together this handy guide on what to consider when you’re making your next coconut purchase. From fresh-tasting coconut water to the right kind of coconut milk to use while cooking, we’ve got you covered.

More: Homemade coconut creamer makes iced coffee even tastier

coconut water
Image: Natalie Cosgrove/SheKnows
  • Look for brands with no added sugars.
  • Skip brands that list “natural flavors” on the label — 100 percent coconut water will have the purest flavor.
  • In fact, skip any brands that have anything added at all.
  • Opt for bottled coconut water, then Tetra Pak and rarely (if ever) canned.
  • Choose organic when possible — it’s better for farmers and the environment.
  • Look for Fair Trade brands, like Zico and Naked Juice, which come from farms in the Philippines that pay workers fair wages and practice sustainable farming.
  • Harmless Harvest is my favorite — it tastes the most like coconut water fresh from the shell.