Move over, coconut water! The next big plant-based, nutrient-rich water is here.
Endorsed by celebrities and yogis (and celebrity yogis), touted for containing antioxidants and electrolytes, coconut water has been the beverage of choice for the healthy crowd for some time now. But we’ve noticed a new breed of plant-based waters lining the grocery shelves. We first spotted the trend at the Natural Food Expo this spring, where we found aloe vera water and cactus water, asparagus water and artichoke water. Our top pick, though, is maple water.
This ever-so-slightly-sweet drink isn’t, as you might think, diluted or watered down maple syrup. (Rather, maple syrup is the result of boiling down maple water). Simply put, maple water is the pure sap tapped directly from maple trees. It has the same consistency of water but with a hint of woodsy sweetness—and Native Americans have been drinking it for centuries.
Add a squeeze of lemon juice and you’ve got lemonade!
Like other plant-based waters, including coconut water, the main benefit of maple water is its nutrients—46 to be exact. It’s particularly rich in manganese, which is key for thyroid and bone health, as well as vitamin absorption, plus calcium, malic acid (good for sore muscles!), and a slew of other minerals, polyphenols, electrolytes, and antioxidants. Unlike other health waters on the market, it’s extremely low in sugar—around 3 grams per 4 ounces (and only 15 calories), which is less sugar found in many coconut waters. Even better, it’s all natural, sustainable, vegan, and gluten-free.
You can drink it straight—it’s great chilled, right after a tough workout!—or doctor it up a bit. Add fresh lemon juice for instant lemonade or get a bit more sophisticated with grapefruit juice and a sprig of mint. If you like cold-brew coffee, maple water is a good way to water down your concentrated coffee while adding a very subtle caramel note. Use it to infuse your morning oats with a hint of maple flavor, or for brining. Get creative—and let us know what you come up with!
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GiadaWeekly is the digital food and lifestyle magazine from cookbook author and Food Network star Giada De Laurentiis. To get a new issue each Thursday, download the app or subscribe at www.giadaweekly.com. And follow GiadaWeekly on Instagram and Facebook.