Food Network Test Kitchen Taste Test: Plant-Based Waters

We taste-tested a few of the new beverages in our test kitchen so you can pick your favorites.

The hydration bar has been raised. With a whole host of new plant-based drinks (even ones from trees!) flooding the marketplace, it’s never been more exciting to quench your thirst. We taste-tested a few of the new beverages in our test kitchen so you can pick your favorites.

Harmless Harvest: 100% Raw Coconut Water

What they say: This coconut drink is organically grown in Thailand, where the brand employs locals to do the harvesting and processing. Pressure-treated and never heated, each bottle has its own unique flavor.

Stats: 56 calories and a hefty 514 milligrams of potassium per single 8-ounce serving

What we thought: This water is what we’ve always wanted in a fruit-spiked product. With both floral and pleasant vegetal notes (someone mentioned toasted pumpkin seeds), the super-refreshing drink was a hit with staffers.

ARTY™: Artichoke Water

What they say: ARTY Water is the world's first plant-based beverage made from fresh California artichokes, using the head, stem, leaf and flower of the plant. It’s packed with phytonutrients, vitamins and nutrients.

Stats: 40 calories and a modest 55 milligrams of potassium and 2 grams of fiber per single 8-ounce serving

What we thought: Tasting more like minty iced tea (there’s spearmint added) than artichokes, this drink was a bit too sweet for some, perhaps from the inclusion of monk fruit concentrate. But it was overall a pleasant sip that could be great on a really hot summer day.

Happy Tree: Organic Raw Maple Water*

What they say: This raw and organic drink is made from maple trees in the United States, and the manufacturers note that Native Americans have been harvesting and benefiting from maple trees for centuries. It’s never heated and contains B vitamins and minerals.

Stats: 30 calories and 40 milligrams of potassium per single 10-ounce serving

What we thought: We sampled two different bottles, one with the consistency just slightly heavier and thicker than regular water and the other as thick as egg white (which was off-putting to our tasters). Though there was a subtle and pleasant maple flavor, our staffers struggled with the thick, silken texture.

*Note: Though not featured in this roundup, there are other maple waters that staffers really enjoy, including Vertical Water: 100% Pure Maple Water and the simply named Maple: Pure Maple Water.

WTRMLN WTR: Cold-Pressed Juiced Watermelon

What they say: There’s no water added to this fruity beverage, just the whole fruit (including the rind) and some lemon.

Stats: 60 calories and a whopping 740 milligrams of potassium per single 8-ounce serving

What we thought: Funnily enough, some staffers actually tasted cucumber at first. The rest tasted lemon up front. Everyone felt that one sip was reminiscent of summer (as promised). One staffer asked, “Couldn’t I just make this myself?” Probably.

Caliwater All Natural: Cactus Water

What they say: This water is enhanced by prickly pear cactus juice concentrate (a superfruit from the desert) and features naturally occurring electrolytes.

Stats: 32 calories and a meager 10 milligrams of potassium per single 11-ounce serving

What we thought: Some staffers were overpowered by the flavor of stevia, while others said it tasted like weak fruit juice from a powdered mix. Sadly, our least favorite, unless you’re looking for a barely-there sweet tea.

Keep Reading

Next Up

Star in Training

The Next Food Network Star winner Aarti Sequeira takes us through the making of her new show, Aarti Party.

Taste Test: Fast Food Oatmeal

Oatmeal is the latest healthy food to hit fast food joints around the nation. We tested the most popular offerings see how your favorite stacked up. Is choosing oatmeal as a quick and easy breakfast really your best bet?

Taste Test: Salsa

Which brand of salsa is the best tasting and has the best nutrition? Get an RD's picks before your next fiesta.

Taste Test: Mayonnaise

We taste tested 5 different kinds of mayonnaise and analyze taste, texture, nutritional info and price.

Taste Test: Hummus

Hummus can be the perfect party food, a quick afterschool snack or a preamble to dinner with friends. With so many options at the grocery store, which brands stack up?

Testing the Waters (the Maple Waters Trend, That Is)

If you're thirsty for yet another beverage option, you're in luck. The latest to show up at the grocery store is maple water.

Taste Test: Heirloom Tomatoes

Juicy tomatoes are at their peak, and that means farmers' markets are exploding with heirloom varieties. Heirloom tomatoes are special, because cultivators have saved the seeds and passed them down through the generations. They come in a range of sizes, colors and of course, flavors. We tested several varieties for taste and texture. Plus, a quick recipe for heirloom tomato sauce.

Taste Test: Frozen Pops

Now that the temperatures have climbed, it is time to stock your freezer with ice-cold treats. Not sure which ice pops are tops? Find out which ones made the grade.

Taste Test: Cranberry Sauce

A taste test of store-bought cranberry sauces.

Taste Test: Frozen Burritos

As more burritos have hit the frozen food aisle, we were curious to see which fit the “healthy” bill. Although at Healthy Eats we love to make our own, some nights you’re just in the mood for a grab-and-heat single serving meal.

Food Network Apps

In the Kitchen

Get over 70,000 FN recipes on all your mobile devices.

Facebook Messenger

Ask our bot for recipes, meal ideas and daily food trivia.

Amazon Echo

Just say "Alexa, enable Food Network skill" to get started.