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Infused Water
Eat Well Apr. 29. 2013
Beverages

How to Make Simply Infused Water

Apr. 29. 2013
Beverages
McKel Hill, MS, RDN, LDN

McKel Hill, MS, RDN, LDN

Dietitian, Founder

Keep it simple with these all natural, subtle flavored water.

In Nutrition Stripped style, we’re taking water to another level of healthy today with simply infused water aka water infused with fresh fruit, fragrant herbs, raw veggies, and spices. In this guide and how-to post, you’ll learn how to make your own healthy, nutritious flavored water with nothing artificial—just the goodness of real foods, herbs, and spices. I also share some of my favorite flavor combinations. A note: These infused waters don’t contain an entire day’s worth of vitamins or anything extreme like most store-bought “vitamin waters,” which contain added vitamins. Instead, this is all about natural and subtle flavors and natural nutrients. Keep it simple.

The Famous Infused Water

While especially important in warmer months, hydration is of utmost importance year round. Mother nature has a strong presence and voice in the spring and summer time. When it gets warmer and sunny out, we typically head outside to play, be more active, and enjoy all the amazing outdoor activities that come with warmer weather. Engaging in these activities and moving more requires more fluids to keep our active bodies well hydrated. This is where the most important beverage of all comes into play—water!

I hear too often many of my clients tell me “McKel, I hate water,” “I don’t like the way it tastes,” “I forget to drink enough water,” etc. Water doesn’t have a taste and maybe therein lies the whole challenge of drinking enough or more water. The fact that it lacks flavor can keep people from drinking it. Now, of course, simple and plain water is a perfect choice, but if that’s not going to do it for you, let’s infuse it!

Following the above comment, I all too often hear clients drinking “natural” waters, infused with “fruit” and “vitamins,” or even flavor droppers. Have you ever read the nutrition labels or ingredient lists on any of these so-called natural waters? Most of them include a variety of preservatives, artificial sweeteners, added vitamins/minerals, artificial colorings (Red 40, Blue 1), sodium, sucralose, sucrose, dextrose, high fructose corn syrup, and refined sugar (gasp!). Leave the vitamin waters, sports drinks, and other “fruit” and “natural” flavored “vitamin” waters on the grocery store shelves…it’s time to make our own!

How to Make Infused Water

Take a look at some ingredient ideas and my favorite combinations for you all to try for yourself. A general rule of thumb is to experiment and have fun with infusing your water! Choose ingredients you enjoy and try new things you haven’t tried before. To get you started, here are several “menu” options and how to mix and match these ingredients.

Fruit

  • Citrus: grapefruit, lemon, Meyer lemon, key lime, lime, blood orange, orange, tangerines
  • Berries: strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, blackberries, cherries
  • Tropical: pear, pomegranate, mango, pineapple, banana, kiwi, starfruit
  • Melons: honeydew, cantaloupe, watermelon
  • Other: apples, grapes, plums, peaches, nectarines

Vegetables

  • cucumber, carrots, celery, peppers (hot or sweet)

Herbs

  • mint, sage, rosemary, basil, cilantro, thyme, stevia, lavender

Spices

  • ginger, cinnamon stick (ground cinnamon will float), black pepper

Water

 

Simply Infused Water Recipes

*/ indicates a different option to try

  • grapefruit + sage/rosemary/mint/basil
  • lemon + mint/cilantro/basil
  • lemon + lime + cilantro
  • lemon + ginger
  • Meyer lemon + tangerine + pear + hot green pepper + cilantro
  • lemon + orange + ginger
  • blood orange + ginger + basil
  • cucumber + lemon + lime + mint/basil
  • cucumber + grapefruit + sage/rosemary
  • cucumber + watermelon + mint
  • carrots + apple + lemon + ginger
  • carrots + pomegranate + sage
  • honeydew + cantaloupe + watermelon + sage/mint
  • watermelon + mint/rosemary/basil
  • cantaloupe + blood orange + lemon
  • pear + rosemary/sage
  • banana + nectarine + basil
  • blackberries + raspberries + strawberries + mint
  • strawberries + grapefruit + sage
  • apple + plum + blueberries + mint/sage
  • cherries + lime + mint

How to Actually Infuse Water

  1. First, simply add the fruit/vegetables in the glass, take a muddler (or just use a wooden spoon or regular spoon) to slightly mash and break down the fruit/vegetables. Tip: peel the citrus fruits from their skin to avoid a bitter taste.
  2. Next, simply take the herb/spice of choice and gently bruise the leaf (i.e. gently mashing). This helps release the natural extracts and oils from the herb/spice.
  3. Lastly, add either sparkling water or good ole’ filtered water and drink!

Storage for Infusions

Infused water can be stored in airtight glasses as shown above or simply in a mason jar, glass pitcher, water bottle, gallon jug, etc. Use whatever works for you. They’re best kept in the refrigerator for up to a week or until the flavor is no longer present, in which case you may add more infusions.

Why You Should Make Infused Water at Home

Since you’re not consuming the questionable ingredients above in most commercially bought vitamin waters, you’re receiving natural occurring vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. Note, this is an INFUSION, not a juice. Therefore, with these infused water recipes, the amount of sugar and calories is negligible; it’s called an infusion for a reason. You’re simply infusing the water with flavors and all natural nutrients from the fruits, vegetables, and herbs.

Let’s Chat!

How do you like to drink water? Do you find it helpful to have a little flavor in your water? Comment below and share your ideas below! Hydrate yourself! I hope you all enjoy this recipe as much as I do and feel free to share this recipe by tagging @nutritionstripped  on Instagram and using #nutritionstripped.

Love simply infused water? Want even more healthy recipes and tips to live whole and eat well? Get the Nutrition Stripped Cookbook with almost 100 delicious whole food recipes not on the blog! Get your copy here.

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