How to Make Healthy Infused Water ~ we all know it’s important to drink lots of water, but it’s not always easy! I’ll show you how to make your own flavor-infused water that will keep you deliciously hydrated!
Today’s post is all about the wonderful world of water – when you think about it, water is the common denominator of everything I do here at TVFGI, so it’s about time I gave it some attention. But first, I should admit that I’m not exactly the poster child for healthy hydration. (I drank so much Diet Coke in college that I developed a kidney stone!) I get most of my daily ration of water from my morning coffee and my evening cocktail. Yes it runs through the veins of all the fresh fruits and veggies I eat every day, but rarely do I enjoy water for water’s sake. I’ve never found it pleasurable to drink, and I’ve tried everything from fancy water filters, to leaving a giant glass out on the counter to remind me. A few weeks ago, though, two things happened that have totally changed all that.
First, I purchased a new water bottle. I was drawn in by the pretty colors and the feel of the silicone sleeve hugging the curvy glass. I brought it home, washed it, filled it, and fell head over heels in love. I drank more water in the following days than ever before in my life! I don’t know if it’s the glass, the flip up straw, the way it cradles in the grip of my hand, or what, but this bottle makes plain water a pleasure to drink. There’s no plastic ‘taste’ or worry about chemicals leaching into it, and it goes right in the dishwasher. This is the one I bought, the 16 oz size with the straw top, in lavender, and I think it’s just perfect. I carry it with me everywhere, we’re inseparable :)
The next thing that happened? I made the huge discovery that water doesn’t have to taste like…water. Water can still be water, but so much better, and I’m not talking about adding sugar, or juice, or additives…I’m talking pure flavor. Flavor that comes from infusing the water with various combinations of fruits, herbs, and other natural ingredients. Keep in mind these aren’t sweet like we’re conditioned to expect from flavored beverages, but they do have pleasant subtle flavor that helps make plain water so much more interesting.
To make infused water all you need to do is fill a large jar or pitcher with fresh water, and then add your flavor enhancers. Fruits, veggies, fresh herbs and spices are all possibilities. It’s important to cut or slightly crush the ingredients in order to allow the flavors to mingle with the water. I mix them up, let them sit in the fridge for as long as I want, and then strain them into my glass or water bottle.
Glass is key here. Glass doesn’t interact with the water or leach anything into it to spoil the taste. It’s healthier for the planet, too. I used 1 litre glass juice bottles from Weck. They’re elegant enough to serve from, and there’s nothing prettier than a lineup of jars filled with different flavored waters. Every time I pour myself a drink, I top off the jar and I can keep the infusion going for a few days in the fridge.
There are endless flavor combinations you can experiment with. You’ve probably had plain lemon or cucumber water before, but I like to push the envelope just a little bit. One of my favorite discoveries is Strawberry Jalapeno Water. You can customize the amount of heat by how much of the pepper you add, but oh my word it’s a delicious experience! To make it, slice up a few ripe strawberries, you can leave the stem end intact, and slice up a jalapeno pepper. Leave out the seeds if you’re timid. Add it to your water and let it infuse for a couple of hours either in the fridge or at room temperature. Serve it over ice for a fascinating sensation of cooling heat.
You can get double duty out of your water if you freeze flavor right into your ice cubes! I like to use flexible silicone ice cube trays for this, the cubes come out perfect every time. My jumbo King Cube Tray is big enough for whole strawberries.
Another unusual flavor combo — rose and cardamom, a classic Middle Eastern duo. Use the petals from un-sprayed roses (they can be right from your garden) and whole cardamom pods. Roll over the pods with a rolling pin to crack them open and release the seeds. There are no set recipes for infused water, add as little or as much of the flavoring ingredients as you like. Allow at least a couple of hours in the fridge for the flavors to develop. The longer it sits, the more flavorful it will be, but be aware that the ‘pretty factor’ will diminish over time. Fresh fruit and herbs, etc. will look their best in the first few hours.
Lifefactory’s Wine Glasses make it possible to serve your water outdoors, around pools and patios, without resorting to plastic. The perforated silicone sleeves make the glasses safe and secure, and gives them such a great feel in your hands.
I made a Cinnamon Pear and a Persimmon Clove water to prove you don’t have to give up on infusing once fall rolls around. You’ll find lots of ways to keep it going year round, think apples, cranberries, and warm spices.