Kick Your Water Up a Notch with Fruit & Herb Infusions

Water is calorie-free with a long list of health benefits from glowing skin to a natural energy boost. You know you should be drinking it. You want to drink it. You’ve even got a water cooler full of refreshing, cold spring water at your disposal. But sometimes you want a little more pizazz in your cup. What if we told you that you could have both? Infusing fruits, herbs, and spices can add a little spunk to your spring water. Ready to take your taste buds on an adventure?

First, let’s get a few basic infusion rules out of the way:

• Use cold or room-temperature spring water. This isn’t tea we’re making.
• Wash your produce well. It’s going to be sitting in the water you plan to drink, so take the time to wash off any residue.
• A glass pitcher is ideal, but any large vessel you can pour from will work.
• Hard fruits like apples should be peeled very thin. Softer foods, like berries and citrus, can be sliced thicker or just quartered.
• Crush or tear your leafy and fibrous herbs. Use a tea cloth or strainer to keep the smaller bits under control in your pitcher.
• Give yourself time. While some add-ins will start punching up the flavor from the get-go, others may need to linger in the pitcher overnight before the flavor is just right. Experiment with it.
• If you’re not going to finish the infused water in a day, remove the add-ins before you turn in for the night and store the rest of the water in the fridge for up to 3 days.

Now give these recipes a try:

Lemon and Lavender – We’ve all ordered a glass of water at restaurant and gotten a glass full with a wedge of lemon. In fact, we bet when you heard “fruit-infused water” that lemon wedge was the first thing that popped into your mind, and for good reason. It’s delicious! Take it a step further though. A few springs of lavender will take your lemon water to a whole new level. Although it’s a bit more than a simple infusion, the “Eat Yourself Skinny” blog has a fun and yummy twist on this combo.

Strawberry and Mint – Add slices of several ripe, luscious strawberries (6-8 for a pitcher of water) and a cup of torn mint leaves (remember, whole leaves don’t release as much flavor as cut or torn) into a pitcher of spring water. For a little extra kick, drop in slices of lime, too.

Watermelon and friends – With a name like “watermelon,” this fruit clearly was destined for your cup. Place cubes of the fruit into your pitcher and fill it with spring water. Try pairing the watermelon with honeydew or go bolder with crushed basil leaves to balance out the sweet. Or do both!

Blackberries and Herbs – Drop a handful of ripe blackberries and your choice of herbs into your water pitcher. The berries pair nicely with mint, thyme, or lemon balm. For a ‘still healthy but more than infused treat,’ try this Blackberry-mint-lemon Switchel from “Healthy Slow Cooking.”
Mojito Water – From the blog “Sugar and Soul.” This is a flavor combo you may be familiar with but without the alcohol of its namesake. Drop in slices of lime (the more the merrier!) and crushed mint leaves into your pitcher. Fill it with water. Seriously good.

Cucumber-Strawberry with a kick – Let’s say it’s Taco Tuesday and you want to sip on a drink fit for the occasion. This is your drink. Drop slices of cucumber, strawberries and jalapeno into your water pitcher before you fill it up spring water.

Lemonberry – The combo of lemon and raspberry infused into your water seems quintessential, right? Now raise it up one more notch with a few springs of rosemary. Trust us. Give it a try.

Apple Cinnamon – So you like apple cider but not the calories that come with it? We’ve got you covered. Thinly slice an apple or two. Add the slices and a whole cinnamon stick to a pitcher of spring water. Try different apple varieties for subtle changes to the taste of this recipe.

You Pick Two or Three – Here’s the great thing about infused waters: The possibilities are endless. Grab your water pitcher, fill it with spring water and have fun experimenting with different fruit, herb, and spice combos. When you find a winner, tell us about it! Drop by our social media pages and let us know what combo you discovered! You’ll find us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

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