This year, I’ve made it a goal to drink more water. That sluggish, headachy, a little “off” feeling seemed to hit me when I wasn’t properly hydrated. To make the resolution stick, I’ve had to go beyond ‘trying to remember’ to drink more and take specific actions to make it a habit.
First, I bought my own special water bottle and started carrying it with me wherever I go. Then I found a way to make water a bit less boring and more like a treat. Making your own infused water is practically calorie free and gives you a refreshing way to stay hydrated. So if you hate water because it’s boring, this is for you!
We know sugary drinks aren’t good for us because they are high in calories, and they don’t really hydrate us all that well. Caffeinated beverages like soda and coffee can actually leave us more dehydrated. Infused waters have been on the market for years, and quite often what you find on store shelves contain additives and “natural flavors.” Well, I don’t know what natural flavors they put in there, but I prefer the natural ones I can select from my fruit bowl.
Believe it or not, you really can infuse water easily with fruit, vegetables, herbs and spices. This goes beyond the classic ubiquitous lemon slice in water. It’s one of those things where you can get super creative and think outside the bottle. The possibilities are endless!
How to Make Infused Water
You can infuse water with any number of herbs, spices, edible flowers, fruit and even vegetables! Here are some ideas:
- Herbs: Rosemary, thyme, mint, basil, cilantro, parsley
- Spices: Cinnamon sticks, cardamom pods, fresh ginger, cloves, vanilla bean
- Edible flowers: Rose, lavender, citrus blossoms, hibiscus, pansies, violets (or any that are 100% pesticide free)
- Fruit: Berries (fresh or frozen), melon, tropical fruits, citrus, apples, pears
- Vegetables: Cucumber, celery, fennel, carrots
- Water: Filtered water is great, but if you don’t have a filtration system, tap water is fine too.
I like to use large glass bottles or jars with lids. Give the add-ins a good wash or rinse. You can leave the fruits or veggies peeled or unpeeled. That’s up to you. Try to use organic if you can. Avoid any fruit that’s bruised or overly ripe, or herbs that don’t look fresh. Add the fruit, herbs, spices or whatever you want to use into a bottle of cool water. Or you could add it to the bottle and then fill it up with water. Use thin slices or small cubes because the flavor will infuse more quickly.
Let the water sit for a few hours to allow the flavors to infuse. The longer it sits, the more flavorful the water will be. Some fruits or herbs will infuse more quickly than others. Citrus is pretty instant. Herbs take a little longer. Berries take a few hours and will also release color into the water. I put the infused water in the fridge immediately after I make it, but it doesn’t hurt to let it sit at room temperature for a little while. However, you should keep it in the fridge or put ice in it if you aren’t planning on using it right away.
Drink + refill
Pour a glass and enjoy! You can refill the water a few times and let it infuse again, but the flavors won’t be as pronounced.
Here are 5 of my favorite flavor combinations.
1. Blueberry Lemon Mint
If you don’t have cilantro, then use mint or basil instead.
- Orange Chai Spice: sliced oranges, cardamom, cinnamon, clove, allspice
- Vanilla Basil Strawberry: vanilla bean (remove seeds first), handful fresh basil, 1 cup sliced strawberries
- Fennel Pear: thinly sliced fennel bulb plus a few green fronds, thin slices ripe, but firm pear
- Basil Melon: sliced or cubed melon, handful basil leaves
- Ginger Lime: sliced fresh ginger, sliced limes
- Blueberry Cucumber Basil: handful fresh blueberries, sliced cucumber, handful basil
- Lemon Lavender: slices of lemon, a few teaspoons lavender (tie in cheesecloth)
- Raspberry Rose: handful of raspberries, organic fresh rose petals
- Mango Pineapple Mint: sliced of firm-ripe mango, slices of pineapple, handful fresh mint
- Apple Cinnamon: slices green or red apple, a few cinnamon sticks
What are your tips for upping your water intake?
P.S. More infused water ideas perfect for summer right here!