Do you get bored trying to get in your 64 ounces of water in every day? Liven things up by using infused water! Infused water is created by adding various fruits, vegetables, and herbs to your water, and then letting these ingredients flavor the water.
Not only do infused waters provide a variety of wonderful flavor options to your water, you’ll also gain the nutritional benefits from the product and herbs. It’s pretty easy to make infused water, but you should keep a few things in mind before you make your first batch of infused water.
What Type of Water To Use
When making infused water, it’s best to use filtered water. Filtered water is cleaner and will help to boost the overall quality and flavor of your infused water. If you don’t have access to enough water to fill your water pitcher, go ahead and use tap when necessary but if possible, try to get filtered water when you can.
When choosing your water, you should only use room temperature or cold water. Avoid warm or hot water, since it can cause the produce to deteriorate quickly, which reduces the nutritional benefit of your infused water
Choose Organic Produce Whenever Possible
Use organic fruits and vegetables as much as possible. They’re becoming easier to find in the product section of your supermarket, but see if your community has a farmer’s market or produce cooperative in order to source local ingredients. Locally grown produce is best for optimal nutrition and will provide a better flavor for infused water. If you’re unable to source organics, don’t sweat it and use what’s available to you.
How to Prep Produce for Infused Water
After you select the ingredients you want to use for your infused water, you will then need to prep them before putting them into the water pitcher. You should always carefully rinse the fruits and vegetables to make sure no chemicals are left on them. Even if you bought them organic or prewashed, it’s still a good idea to rinse them and make sure they are clean. If you are using herbs, you want to crush them with a muddler http://amzn.to/2sAFs4Q since this will help to release the oils. The exception to this practice is when the herb is leafy, such as with mint or basil.
Most fruits and vegetables need to be cut at least into chunks before being put in the pitcher so that they can release their flavors. Hard fruits and vegetables like cucumber and apples need to be cut into thin slices because they can take longer to release flavor to the water. Berries and citrus fruit are softer, so just cutting them in half or quarters should be fine.
What to Make Your Infused Water In
By this point, you are ready to start putting your infused water together. Before you add in the water, make sure you have the right container. While you can technically use anything, a glass pitcher is usually recommended. However, regardless of which way you go, make sure it is BPA-free and food-safe. Many plastic pitchers are not ideal and won’t keep the water fresh, but in the end it is really up to you. Here’s one pitcher to check out.
How Long to Soak the Produce
When making infused water, you will add the produce and herbs first, then add your room temperature or cold water on top. You then want to let the water infuse so that you can get the best flavor and nutrients from the fruits and vegetables being used. If you are leaving it out on the counter, this usually takes about 2-4 hours. Otherwise, wait 4-6 hours if keeping it in the refrigerator for the infusing process. If you leave it overnight, the flavors will really intensify.
How Soon Should the Water Be Consumed?
The ideal time to drink infused water is within 24-48 hours after the infusing process is complete. It’s usually best to drink it the same day, and finish it up within a couple of days. Waiting 3 days is okay, but don’t leave it for longer than that. Don’t leave the fruits and vegetables in the pitcher, though. They should be removed after the infusing process and only the water should remain in the pitcher for this long. Citrus fruits remain freshest the longest.
Keep in mind that if you drink the infused water the same day, you can usually refill it 2-3 times with the produce in the pitcher or cup and still get good flavor from it.
I like to use citrus essential oils to flavor my water but this is a controversial subject. Read this article to learn more about consuming essential oils safely.
5 Simple Infused Water Combinations
Lemon + Mint + Cucumber
Watermelon + Kiwi + Strawberries
Berries + Lemon
Orange + Blueberries
Cinnamon + Green Tea + Strawberry
Use your creativity and see what you come up with! Do you have any favorites?