Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Infused Waters

As a child growing up, my family wasn't very traditional - in any area!  Even our meals were nothing like 'normal' families.  My mother had a way of doing things all her own and if it worked for her, it worked for all of us!  She loved to drink her soda.  Fresca in the can - all day long!  I'm going with the line of thinking that back then, the dangers of soda were not realized, especially since that was what we were raised on - soda all day long. 

After I got married and had a home and family of my own, I quickly gained the understanding that soda was not a feasible  daily drink - cost wise or nutrition wise. My husband and children loved sweet tea, but I'm just not a tea drinker. Lemonade worked for years, then the benefits of drinking water led me to try to begin that healthy habit.  

But I found that water is just bland!  No taste, no excitement, no fizz, nothing.  Back then the only option of spicing up the taste of water was by adding lemons.  Forcing myself to begin drinking water with meals, then adding a glass during the day eventually led to one of my greatest victories in healthy living.  Drinking only water (and a cup of coffee in the morning!). 

Now there is an abundance of creative ways to drink water.  Fruit infused water is one way to add a variety of flavor and the possibilities are endless!  Here are a few easy ideas to try to give your water some pep!

1. Cucumber Mint
Thinly slice one cucumber. Peel if it isn’t organic! Add the sliced cucumbers to a 1/2 gallon glass jar. Add 8 fresh mint leaves, muddled (squeezed to get  the most flavor), and fill with filtered water. Stir gently and place in refrigerator for at least 4 hours or overnight.

2. Citrus Blueberry
Slice two organic oranges into thin slices (leave the rind on for better flavor). Add sliced oranges and 1 cup of blueberries to a gallon-size glass jar. Add filtered water to fill the jar and stir gently. Refrigerate for at least 4 hours and store in refrigerator.

3. Pineapple Mint
Peel and thinly slice about 1/4 of a pineapple. The more thinly sliced the pineapple, the more flavor it will infuse. Add to a 1/2 gallon-size glass jar with 10-12 leaves of fresh mint, muddled. Add filtered water to fill and stir until well mixed. Store in refrigerator.

4. Watermelon Basil
Add about 2 cups of finely chopped fresh watermelon (without rind) to a gallon-size glass jar. Add 15 leaves of muddled basil and filtered water to fill. Store in fridge and allow at least 4 hours to infuse.

5. Strawberry Lemon
Like strawberry lemonade, but better! Add 15 fresh strawberries, washed and finely sliced to a 1/2 gallon glass jar. Add one sliced lemon with rind on. Fill with water. Let sit 4 hours (to overnight) in fridge and enjoy.

6. Cherry Lime
Reminiscent of Cherry Limeade, minus the sugar coma. Add two cups of fresh cherries, cut in half, and one fresh lime, sliced into thin slices, to a gallon-size glass jar. Add water to fill. Mix gently and store in fridge until ready to drink.

7. Grapefruit Raspberry
Add one grapefruit, thinly sliced with rind on, to a gallon-size glass jar. Then add 1/2 cup fresh raspberries, muddled slightly. Add water and mix well. Store in fridge for at least 4 hours before drinking.

8. Mango Pineapple
Peel and thinly slice one fresh mango. Add to 1/2 gallon glass jar. Add 1 cup of finely chopped pineapple and filtered water. Allow to infuse in the refrigerator for 4-6 hours before drinking.

9. Grape Orange
Place 2 cups of organic grapes, sliced in half, into a gallon-size glass jar. Add one orange, thinly sliced with rind on. Refrigerate overnight for best flavor.

Go ahead and make up a pitcher of flavored water.  Make it your goal to drink it through the day.  Those are some steps to a better and more healthy hydrated you!

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