Not everyone is a fan of water. The biggest proof of that in the stores is how many water flavoring enhancers there are. Most of them use fake sugars (which are not good for you) or a lot of real sugar. Then look at all the added in ingredients and who knows what you are actually putting in your body.
The sad thing is that most of them have health claims on them. At least they claim they are healthy because of how we think: no sugar, no calories, no carbohydrates. But that isn’t the only thing that matters when we are consuming them.
I am one of the rare few who do not mind drinking straight water. Put some ice in a cup, put some water in it and drink. But that isn’t everyone. If you are someone who is trying to improve their health and trying to increase their water intake without adding a bunch of unnecessary chemicals here are some great options for you!
Fruits, Berries, Veggies and Herbs are your new best friend! I am not kidding, it will blow your mind when you try this. Here are a few of my favorite ways that I utilize these 3 simple ingredients:
- Create Ice Cubes with Mint: I went to the dollar store and purchased a couple ice cube trays (our fridge has a built in ice maker). In the summer on our TG (urban garden) I grow spearmint and chocolate mint. I just pick a few leaves and then put water in and freeze. After they are frozen I put them in ziplock bags and keep them for putting into my water (and even in my complete shakes; chocolate and mint are to die for in this household). In the winter if I do not have any on TG, our local store now has “Living Gardens”. They are organic little herb plants that come in 1, 2, and 3 root packs. You can do the same thing with those as I do with the ones I have on my TG.
- Create Ice Cubes with Berries: Now what you do here will depend on how intense you want your flavor. I do this two different ways. The first way is really easy. Pick out the berry you want. You can make them all with the same berry or you can put a couple different into one spot. Just put 2-3 depending upon the room, fill with water and freeze. Store in the ziplock bags until you want to use them. Then the intense flavor way. Blend your berry (or berries) up in a blender or immersion blender. Fill each ice cube spot 1/4-1/2 way with your berry mix and then the rest of the way with water. Freeze them and store in a zip lock bag until ready to use. I have even forgotten at times to fill it the rest of the way with water. It still froze and it still tasted amazing. And just like with the full berry you can mix and match any berries you want.
- Infusion Cups/Bottles and Pitchers: These are really easy to use. Pitchers will allow for a more intense flavor because you mix it up the night before and let it soak overnight. It truly infuses with your water and gives you a great flavor. You can also do the same thing with the infusion cups but you are not going to have as much water ready to go in the morning. You can get them at local stores and also from Amazon. Prices vary from $10.00 on up.
- Infusion Pods: This is the same concept as the cups and pitchers but they are not as big. They will fit in a glass or your existing water bottle with a wide mouth.
- Put The Cut Up Fruit, Veggie, Berry or Herb Right In Your Glass: If you are going to be home all day, just cut up what you would like your flavor to be and put it into your glass. Nothing gets easier than this! Your flavor will infuse as you sit there and sip all day long. You can even put it into a bottle you have at home to infuse it if you do not want to buy an infusion pitcher. We have done this with quart mason jars and also a half gallon one. Just put a few of them together with the ring/lid and keep it in the fridge and as I finished one, mix up a new flavor and put the empty jar in the fridge.
Now that we have talked about how you can add flavor without using the store bought enhancers lets talk about great combinations:
- Apple + Cinnamon (use a whole cinnamon stick; this is one for an infusion not in a cup and that sits overnight)
- Orange + Vanilla Bean (Slice an orange, with rind. Slice half a vanilla bean down one side, open it and scrape out the “beans”. Place sliced orange, vanilla bean scraps and the shell in your jar of water. Let infuse)
- Watermelon + Mint
- Watermelon + Basil
- Cucumber + Mint
- Orange + Blueberry
- Raspberry + Blackberry
- Strawberry + Lemon
- Cucumber + Lemon + Mint + Rosemary
- Beetroot + Lemon + Mint
- Cucumber + Blueberry + Mint
I do recommend using glass pitchers or stainless steel over plastic. I also do recommend that to get the best flavor you let each infusion sit for at least 4 hours if not overnight. Which is why when we are not drinking straight water, we infuse overnight.
Do you have a favorite infusion combo for your water? Or did one stick out to you that you want to try?
Just wanted to make a really quick update! Tonight for dinner we had mashed sweet potatoes with real maple syrup and cinnamon. We emptied the bottle of syrup and so it gave us a new water infusion jar! So Jack David helped make it happen! You can see our photo below!