Like everyone and their mother and probably their dog, I'm trying to eat a bit better in 2015. An exorbitant amount of my calories go to drinks, sadly (hello, wine!), so I've been trying to find a way to enjoy some liquid intake that's flavorful but doesn't resort to icky sugar substitutes like Crystal Lite.
My youngest sister got really hooked on infused water this summer, and she seemed to really enjoy it, so I thought I'd give it a whirl. I also hoped I'd be more successful than she was — she once mistook zucchini I had purchased for her cucumber, and unfortunately zucchini-flavored water doesn't do much for you.
Most infused water recipes include a combination of an herb and some sort of fruit or vegetable. Let them sit long enough (it varies by food), and the water absorbs the awesome flavors and make your water that much more refreshing. They're either no-calorie or super low in calories, and it's way better than drinking diet soda or those water flavor packets. It's no substitute for wine, but it'll keep you preoccupied until it's a socially acceptable time of day to have a glass of red.
TRY THESE COMBINATIONS:
- Ginger and lime — Peel 5-6 strips of fresh ginger and slice up two limes. I like to squeeze the lime juice into the water, let it sit for about 5 minutes, and then take the limes out. This was my favorite combination.
- Cucumber and basil — Super refreshing. Slice up half a cucumber and then add 5 leaves of basil. Let the cucumber and basil infuse for 20 minutes, then drink up.
- Pineapple and mint — I used about 1/4 of a chopped pineapple and then a handful of mint leaves. Muddle the mint into the bottom of the pitcher before pouring the water in to ensure the mint oils would be released and their flavor will be added. Should be flavor-ready in 5 minutes.
- Melon and basil — I chopped up about 1/4 of a canteloupe scooped into balls (and ate the rest!) and 5 leaves of basil. Let sit 15 minutes and enjoy!
Tips: Different fruits and vegetables absorb quickly. Citrus fruits are the fastest to absorb, within about 5 minutes, but if you leave the fruit in with the rind, it will make the water bitter. Either peel the rind before you add the fruit, or just squeeze some juice into the water, let the fruit sit for 5 minutes, and then remove it.
Photos and text © Katie Currid, 2015