by Kindra Pigott-Franzen
Recipes at the end of this post & a coupon for Sunnyside Bicycles.
We all know we need to drink more water, but with our taste buds overwhelmed by sugary sodas and juices, specialty coffees, and energy drinks, it can be hard to push yourself to enjoy water as-is. Bottled drinks that are packaged as healthy drinks are usually packed with loads of sweeteners and ingredients that make what was believed to be a good choice, into a bad one, more likely to worsen our health. The truth of the matter is, water is what our bodies need and finding a way to consume more is the key.
Infused waters are the new fad, but a fad we should all get behind, that costs mere pennies and takes very little time to throw together, whether it’s an individual drink, or in large containers for parties. Another reason to explore infused waters is that they use plain or sparkling waters, fruits and veggies, fresh herbs, and ice. And since you are making them yourself, you control the ingredients with no hidden surprises or additives you can’t pronounce, unlike the promises of so-called health drinks or diet sodas.
For the hot summer weather of the Central Valley in California, there’s nothing like an ice cold beverage to brighten your day. Imagine a cold Mason jar, filled with fresh valley fruits and herbs, and iced sparkling water. It’s the perfect combo and a beneficial way to add some health to your day.
Start with the base of your drink. Cold tap or filtered water is perfect, but if soda is the habit you are trying to kick, sparkling or mineral water may be just what you need to be able to enjoy more water. Any kind of carbonated water with no additives will do here, like La Croix, Perrier, Pellegrino, or Crystal Geyser. Try including a home soda maker to your kitchen like a Soda Stream to carbonate your water yourself, eliminating your use of cans or water bottles. You can use home soda makers to carbonate waters and skip the additives, using it as a home carbonator, verses soda maker.
WHAT TO ADD TO YOUR WATER:
We are lucky to live in such an agriculturally diverse area, with abundant local fresh fruits and veggies. A visit to your local farm stand or farmers market will yield lots of ideas, like strawberries, blackberries, figs, oranges, lemon, lime, cucumber, watermelon, cantaloupe, honeydew, jalapeños, etc. And herbs are a nice addition as well, mint and rosemary being favorites to add to water.
Prepped juice concentrates, that don’t contain sugar, work well, too, like ginger juice, beet, lemon or lime.
If you can find canned fruit packed in water, like pineapple and mandarins, then those work well here also. Freezing pineapple chunks works great as a sub for ice while also adding fruit flavor to your drink without watering it down as it thaws.
Tea bags work by adding mild flavor when added to iced water. You can increase the flavor by prepping your tea bag with boiling water, adding ice, making it iced tea, then infusing the tea with some of these additions.
Adding standard ice is ideal, but for added zing, try freezing your fruit, like berries, pineapple and melons.
Making ice cubes with fresh herbs or fruit in the ice cube is another great idea for infused water.
Here are 8 recipes for infused waters:
Orange Kiwi Twist
• Coconut La Croix water
• Squeeze of orange
• Orange slices
• Kiwi Slices
• Fancy straw always helps
Hibiscus Mint Fizz
• Dried Hibiscus leaves
• Fresh Mint leaves
• Coconut La Croix sparkling water
• Fresh Mint
• Ginger juice
• Frozen berries- strawberry blackberry blueberry mix
• Fresh mint leaves
Lemon Blueberry Fizz
• Sparkling water
• Frozen blueberries
• Sliced lemons
• Juice of one lemon
• 1/2 cucumber, sliced thinly
• 1-2 limes, quartered
• Sparkling water
• Soda Stream
Figment of the Imagination
• 2-3 figs, halved or quartered
• 1 handful fresh mint, chopped
• Sparkling water
• Sliced jalapeños
• Handful of cilantro
Watch for more recipes from Kindra the end of this month with a back to school theme! For more KRL food article check out our Food Section.