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A Low-Calorie Alternative to Soda
Refreshing Fruit Water
What is Infused Water?
Infused water is a tasty alternative to fizzy drinks, sodas and artificially-flavoured water. You make tasty water beverages at home using fresh and natural ingredients, so there are no preservatives, little sugar and very few calories. Make the swap and wean yourself off unhealthy soda drinks. You'll feel healthier, fully rehydrated and better about yourself. Used with a healthy-eating plan you will also lose weight.
Making Healthy Homemade Drinks
The main ingredient of infused water is - well - water! You can use the bottled kind, the sparking variety or plain old filtered tap water, it is up to you and your preferences. Pour your chosen water into a large container - personally I like a glass container like a Mason jar, a glass bottle with a stopper or a huge jug. Next place your chosen combination of fruit, vegetable and herbs in the water and leave to infuse. The water takes on the flavours to make a delicious beverage that has only a few calories or none at all.
As a rule, slice any fruit or veg with the skin on and drop into the water. A gentle squeeze or two of the fruit to help the infusion is ok, but it isn't a fruit juice drink, so don't squeeze all the juices out. When adding herbs such as mint, rosemary or thyme, bruise the leaves a little first to help release the oils. This can be done with a wooden spoon or spatula. Place the finished combination in the fridge to cool for at least 15 minutes, or longer if there is time. It is nice to make huge jug and keep topping up your class all through the day. Make it fresh each day for the best taste. If left too long the fruit will start to break down and lose it's goodness.
Flavoured Water Drinks
Infused Water Combinations
There are no real rules to making good infused water except that it is best to use fresh ingredients. Choose fruit that is in season to keep it cheap, and look to things like blackberries that you can pick for yourself, apples from a neighbour's tree (with permission of course) and left-overs from baking. Grow your own herbs to add to the taste - mint is easy to produce, as an example, as is basil which flourishes on a kitchen window ledge.
Flavoured Water Recipes
- Wake-me-up lemon and lime. Slice a lemon, a lime, a cucumber and add few mint leaves to the combination. This will get your system going and can be used as a detox drink. It is a favourite in spas served with some ice. Sip it all day to feel clean and refreshed.
- Watermelon and mint refresher. Cube some watermelon, rind and all, and add it to the water with ice-cubes and some bruised mint leaves. Another recipe which helps flush out toxins from the body - it is sweet but with only naturally-occuring sugars.
- Strawberry and jalapeño spice-up-your-life. Add a quarter to a half of a jalapeño to water with four or five strawberries for this interesting and warming combination. Spices cleanse the blood and help clear our mucus from the nose. Vary the heat to suit your taste buds.
- Settle-your-stomach ginger and orange. Ginger has been used throughout the centuries to settle nausea but it is also a good antioxidant and anti inflammatory food stuff. Peel and slice a small piece of fresh ginger and infuse with a large helping of orange slices for a yummy beverage.
- Pomegranate and lemon detoxify-me-now water. Slice lemons and add slight crushed pomegranate seeds - you need to puncture the seeds membrane to release the goodness - added to iced water is chock-a-block with vitamins.
- Kiwi and blackberry reminds-me-of-autumn. Slice half a kiwi and add whole blackberries which can be fresh or frozen. If you pick your own then freeze freshly-washed blackberries which have been individually laid out on a backing sheet. This way you can pick out just one or two berries as you need them.
- Apple and cinnamon wintertime pick-me-up. Slice some seasonal apples and add a cinnamon stick to the water. Takes you back to the holiday season every time.
The combinations go on and on - just try a few and find which ones suit your taste buds the best. Changing the flavours will help keep it interesting and you will find you enjoy drinking more water.
Make your Mason Jars Look Good
Looks Nice on the Dinner Table
If you purchase a pretty glass jug, plain or patterned, and fill it with brightly coloured fruit and ice cubes, it will make an attractive centre piece for a meal table. You will find people wanting to try it, and kids will really love it as well. Why not introduce more people to this healthier drinking habit this way.
Take Healthy Drinks on the Go
You can make this water up and take it to work, school, in the car or out on a walk. There are a number of specially produced containers to make this easy, or you can add it to normal wide-mouthed water bottles, just make sure you do not swallow the large pieces of fruit and choke. If you want to send some off to school with young children, sieve out the bits once the water has infused and give the youngster flavoured water without the choking risk.
Pitchers and Jugs for Infused Water
Drink More Water for Your Health
Try making infused water and use it as a way to drink more water. Make up a day's worth and make sure you get through it as part of a personal challenge. You will find it must easier with these tasty drink ideas. And if you want your children to make more healthy choices, then this is one way to do it - so much healthier than soda but just as much fun and visually pleasing as well. If you want to know more about soda and why you shouldn't drink it read this article by fellow hubber Flourishanyway