Choosing to filter your own tap water is a smart move that can save you lots of money and give you the best quality drinking water possible. Do you know how you can save even more money and drink more life-giving water? In addition to ceasing to buy expensive, earth-destroying bottled water, you can also stop buying juice drinks and sodas. Instead, use your filtered water to make your own all natural, flavored beverages. When you choose to drink fresh, filtered water infused with fruits, veggies and herbs instead of sugary beverages, you reduce your caloric intake and increase your hydration levels and your enjoyment.
In this article, we will discuss some smart strategies for flavoring your filtered water. Read on to learn more.
What Do You Need?
- Ingredients matter! It’s best to work with organic produce to avoid exposure to pesticides and chemicals. If you are not able to get organic, do the best you can. Whether your fruits and veggies are organic or not, be sure to wash them thoroughly before using them. Always soak fruits and veggies in a large bowl or washtub with a cup of white vinegar and rinse them thoroughly before using.
- Temperature is important! The temperature of the water you use makes a difference in the end result. It’s best to use freshly filtered water at room temperature or chilled. If you use hot water, your fruits and veggies will degrade quickly. Also, hot water can interfere with the nutrition level of your finished product.
- Reused glass containers are kind to the earth! The best containers to use are plain glass jars. You can purchase canning jars or simply save good quality glass jars to use.
Thrifty Tip: Be advised, pickle jars are often the perfect size for water infusion but may impart a “pickly” flavor to your water for quite a while. For veggie drinks, this may not be a problem! The flavor will eventually wear off.
If you want to remove the pickle flavor and smell quickly, wash the jars thoroughly and allow them to air dry, open overnight. If the pickle scent persists, put a teaspoonful of baking soda in the jar, fill it to the top with tap water, put on the (pickly-smelling) lid and allow it to sit for a few days. Shake it occasionally so that the water makes contact with the lid. Wash again and the smell should be gone.
How To Prepare Fruits, Veggies And Herbs To Make Infused Water
- Soft fruits, such as strawberries or citrus fruits, release their flavors quickly, so it’s best to cut them into thick slices or quarters.
- Hard fruits, such as apples, should be thinly sliced to provide more water contact with the surface area. Apples release their flavor slowly, so more surface area contact results in more flavor.
- Very hard, fibrous roots and herbs (e.g. lemongrass, rosemary or ginger root) should be crushed with a wooden spoon, a muddler or a mortar and pestle.
- Leafy herbs, such as cilantro, basil, mint or oregano should be crushed, pinched or torn to release their flavors.
- Use a tea infuser or a cheesecloth bag to contain loose herbs and flowers such as hibiscus, lavender or rose petals.
Here’s a video with some basic ideas!
“How to Make Healthy Flavoured Water”
Easy Tip: Make flavored ice cubes by freezing juice to add to your water. This is a great way to dilute sweet juice and flavor your fresh, filtered water simultaneously. Add juice cubes to the thermos you keep at your side throughout the day!
Soaking Time And Temperature Vary
For safety’s sake, it’s best to allow your concoctions to infuse in the refrigerator. If you are infusing water at room temperature, don’t let it sit out for longer than a couple of hours. If it sits out too long, bacteria will grow.
Fruits and veggies that do very well soaked overnight in the fridge include:
- Fresh ginger root
Softer fruits, such as sliced strawberries and melon should only be infused long enough to chill the water, if you plan to serve the water with the fruit still in. Lengthy soaking causes these fruits to break down and look shabby.
Alternately, you can soak chunks of melon or strawberry for a few hours, strain the fruit out (save it for a smoothie) and serve the water with frozen juice cubes and a sprig of mint or other attractive edible garnish.
If you plan to infuse citrus for more than a couple of hours, be sure to peel it first. Infusing the peel overnight can cause your water to taste bitter.
If you do not drink your infused water within a twenty-four hour period, you should strain the fruit out and put the water in a tightly closed container in the fridge. It will keep nicely for three days. Remember to use the fruit in a smoothie or at least compost it.
Double Duty Tip
To keep celery fresh in your fridge, cut it to the desired length as soon as you bring it home. Wash it thoroughly and store it in a sealed container of fresh, filtered water. Change the water daily to keep the celery crisp and fresh for about a week.
When you change the water, don’t throw that chilled celery water away! It’s delicious on its own as a crisp, refreshing drink. Add a teaspoonful of lemon juice per glass for a tart twist. If you don’t want to drink it, use it as the base for soup stock or let it sit until it reaches room temperature and water you plants with it! Just don’t waste it by pouring it down the drain!
Use Your Imagination!
These are just a few ideas you can draw on to create delicious flavored waters at home. Don’t be afraid to experiment. Try your favorite fruits, veggies and herbs in lots of different ways to invent your very own fresh, healthy beverages.
Here’s a video with some novel ideas!
“4 Waters So Tasty You’ll Want to Skip the Soda”