Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Trading Soda for Water

I drink too much soda.  I know this.  I should drink more water.  I know this, too.  And yet, it's awfully convenient to grab a can of soda when I'm walking out the door instead of pouring water into a jug or other portable vessel.  Also, I find that I don't really care for the taste of the filtered water in the fridge, or most bottled water either.  There are a few brands I like, but I don't like actually buying bottled water just to have it easily accessible.

When I started looking for ways to make drinking water more palatable, I came across some yummy sounding recipes and methods for making homemade vitamin water, or flavored water.  So, I made up a few batches following the directions (essentially, you put your fruits and herbs in a mason jar, muddle it a bit, add ice and fill with water, then refridgerate until you drink it).  And the combinations I made turned out good.  But, I realized it was still a bit of a pain to find something to pour it into to take with me, not to mention you really ought to strain it first, and most of the preparations ended up sitting in the fridge and lost their initial appeal.

I still loved the idea of having fruity/herb-y water, though.  And I got to thinking, I have a couple of those reuseable insulated cups with lids and straws - you know the ones I mean?  And, I have fruit and herbs in the fridge.  And ice in the freezer.  You see where I'm going with this?  I decided to try just making enough for one cup at a time, so it doesn't get wasted and stays good.  And I still get the healthy benefits and fresh flavor.

So here's the method: Get just a little bit of the fresh fruits and/or herbs you want to use.  Squeeze any juice into your cup, then drop the fruit pieces in, add herbs, and mash a little with the end of the straw.  Fill cup with ice, and then water.  Put the lid on, stir the water around with the straw, and let sit 10-15 minutes while you do something else (usually for me, it's while I'm serving dinner or cleaning up in the evening before bed).  The fruits and herbs are usually good for at least one refill, sometimes two.  Enjoy!

( I also read that frozen fruits can be used, thawed first, but I haven't tried that yet.)

A few of my favorite combinations are:
Lime with Mint
Watermelon with Rosemary
Strawberries with Basil
Strawberries with Mint
Lemon and Strawberries
Blackberries with Basil
Blackberries with Mint
Citrus- mix any combo of Lemon, Lime or Orange (I used blood oranges, they're good and make the water a pretty ruby color)

Some combos I want to try are:
Lime with Rosemary
Strawberries with Rosemary
Cucumber with Mint
Cucumber with Rosemary

After I get some basics that I really love, and more fruits come into season (think raspberries!) I'm going to expand my options, and maybe combine more than just two items together.  Hopefully I'll get to where it's my go-to drink and it'll make more sense to make up a bigger batch.