After being in the 90’s for the last couple of weeks here in central Florida, I officially declared it was summer back on the 4th of June. Today I’m writing this post about infused waters to sip on hot days. We all know we should drink plenty of water. It’s like gas for our cars. Our bodies need it to function, and if we don’t drink enough we can suffer from the symptoms of dehydration. Dehydration can be a major contributing factor to illnesses, causing headaches, digestive problems, obesity and joint pains. By drinking water, you can support your body in improving your complexion, helping your kidneys to function properly, aiding weight loss and maintaining high energy levels. I know that being dehydrated can make me tired. I can be in the middle of a busy day, and I suddenly my energy drops. Since I have learned that drinking water can keep your energy level up, I now ask myself, “how much water have I had today?” Quite often I realize I haven’t had any water since breakfast. Time to take a break and have a large glass of water.
Drinking plain water can be boring. There I’ve said it. I have bought quite a few fruit flavored waters. I always check to see that it’s just a natural flavor and prefer purified or spring water. Unfortunately most of the bottles on the market contain things I don’t want. No artificial flavors or colors for me. I don’t want a big sugar jolt with the sweetened variety. In the above photo I added blackberries and orange to my glass of water and let it sit for 3 hours. Wonderful flavor and no sugar!
Basic Recipe for Infused Water
I’ve been adding lemon to water for years. I just didn’t let it sit for hours to infuse. Flavorful water makes it easier to keep hydrated, and adding the fruit or vegetables adds vitamins. Definitely a win-win. All that is required for infused water, is a pitcher (jug, Mason jar) of water, herbs, chopped or sliced veggies and/or fruit . Cover and let it sit in the refrigerator for 3 to eight hours depending on the elements used and the strength you want. Lemon infused water is the easiest one to make. Lemons release their flavor easily.
The basic recipe for infused water:
Fill a pitcher or jar with water, mix in some chopped up fruits, veggies, and/or herbs and let it sit in the fridge for 3 to eight hours (depending on how strong you want the flavor to be). I often make it and let it sit overnight. Add additional fruit or herbs to garnish, if desired. Remove any fruit, vegetables, or herbs after 24 hours. The infused water can be refrigerated for up to 3 more days (4 days total). Depending on the size of your pitcher, you should have about four 10 oz servings in a 40 oz pitcher, six servings in a 60 oz pitcher, etc.
I read many recipes. Above Culinary Hill has a great post on infusing water and included 8 recipes to inspire your creativity. They suggest making ice cubes with infused water or juice. Then when serving infused water, add the infused ice cubes that do not dilute the flavor. Great idea!
Taste of Home has a good article on infused waters with 23 recipes. All types of combinations including one with apples, carrots, and lemon. If you prefer fruit combinations, I love their mix of apricot and berries with mint.
Use organic when available. Serves 6 ten oz glasses if pitcher holds 60 oz.
My “Citrus Melody” recipe is similar to many others. My pitcher is pretty standard holding 60 oz. Many pitchers hold 80 or 90 oz. Add more or less fruit/vegetables depending on the amount of water. I always used filtered water but if you normally use tap water, fill free to use it. Next I make sure to wash all the ingredients thoroughly, to remove any dirt or wax or anything that can be on the skin of the lemon, lime or cucumber. Now also taste the cucumber before adding it to the water. Some skins might be bitter so if you feel like yours is, just remove it.
- a sliced lemon
- a sliced lime
- 4 slices of fresh ginger
- half of a cucumber sliced
- 10 to 12 fresh mint or basil leaves
Mix all together in jug or pitcher, cover and let it sit 3 to 8 hours. I’ve read that cucumbers and lemons are supposed to help with bloating, but I just love the flavor. It can stay in the refrigerator for up to 3 more days after infusion and removal of fruit.
This summer when fresh fruit is easy to obtain, get creative. If you don’t like the idea of vegetables or herbs, take the fruit of your choice and make a water infusion of your fruit, like strawberry or blueberry water. You don’t have to slice berries but I might use a spoon to “muddle” them a little. Keep hydrated and have fun with your infusions. Offer a bowl of fruit and veggies one evening to your family and let them make new combinations. Let them infuse over night and enjoy all the new mixed infusions.
I encourage you to give it a try. If you’re not a “cook”, slice whatever you like and drop it in water. Leave it overnight and drink the next day. No matter what you fruit you like, it’s good for you.
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