Global health discussion platforms are buzzing about the magical qualities of infused waters. They have really taken off in the food and beverage market, presenting bottled refreshment that is healthier than soda and more refreshing than regular water.
What is even more exciting is how easy (and satisfying) it is to make infused water at home.
What is infused water?
Water is ‘infused’ with natural flavors, colors, and aromas using garden-grown items, for example.
This is usually fruit, vegetables, and herbs, which are soaked in cold water.
The blend takes about 2 to 4 hours to bind successfully and the infused water may be stored in the refrigerator for about three days.
Is infused water healthy?
The concept of infusion is equally appealing to dieting gurus, environmentalists, and health nuts.
Infused water is an especially healthy alternative to carbonated drinks and sugar-rich alcoholic choices, which can still impress the crowds at social functions.
Homemade infused waters present a wonderful opportunity to choose a healthier beverage alternative, it’s true. They are easy to make and full of nutrients.
Claims of ‘healthy, flavored water’ can be ignored on bottled waters because there are no hidden ingredients in the homemade versions.
It encourages us to drink more water, which is great for both detoxing and staying properly hydrated.
Is infused water sustainable?
Absolutely. Infused water made at home reduces our carbon footprint:
- We have another excuse not to purchase plastic bottles in the name of ‘health’.
- Glass jars with tight lids are great water infusing tools, which encourages us to reuse jars from other products we purchase in stores.
- The dregs of fruit, veg, and herbs are thrown straight onto the compost heap, too, so nothing is wasted.
Growing our own infusion ingredients also means healthier soil in our garden and happier garden birds and insects.
What a fantastic contribution to clean air and healthy ecosystems in our area!
Is it bad to drink infused water?
No home remedy is without risks, but infused water is almost free of worry.
The one possible (though improbable) downside is the interaction of herbs with medication (ask your GP if you notice side-effects with your chronic medication).
Consuming excessive amounts of infused water made with more potent ingredients, like ginger or acidic citrus may, in extreme cases, generate laxative effects, gas, or acid mouth burn.
Again, this is unlikely for regular use. As with anything, balance is required.
6 Easy Steps to Making Infused Water
The only secret is knowing how to put it all together. It is not even a secret, really. There are six easy steps:
- Chop fruit or veg or tear the leafy bits of herbs to release the oils.
- Fill no more than a third of the jar with fruit, veg or herbs. Top up with cold water and seal. Soak (called steeping) for 2 – 4 hours at room temperature. Or soak overnight in the refrigerator.
- After steeping, squash ingredients against the side of the jar with a spoon to release the last of the flavor.
- Shake it up.
- Decant the water and filter out the fruit. Less filtering leaves bits of tasty deliciousness in the water. A finer one, like a coffee filter paper, will leave only the clear liquid, still with a hint of color and flavor.
Voila! That’s all there is to it. Store it in the fridge for up to three days. Infused water lasts longer when stored without the fruit, which ferments quicker when left in warm, moist settings.
20 Delicious Combos
It isn’t possible to cover all the amazing recipes but there are several delicious combos you have to try! These twenty flavor combinations are a perfect place to begin:
- Cucumber and Mint (add Honeydew for a twist)
- Parsley and Celery
- Lemon, Orange or Lime Rinds
- Frozen Berries like strawberries, cranberries, blackberries, and raspberries. (HINT: too-sour-to-eat berries make for perfect infused water ingredients!)
- Ginger and Lemon or Honey
- Raspberry and Mint
- Celery (with pieces and torn celery leaves)
- Watermelon and Basil
- Watermelon, Kiwi, and Lime
- Blueberry and Orange
- Lime, Ginger, and Basil
- Lemon, Raspberry, and Rosemary (or blueberries in season)
- Grapefruit, Pomegranate, and Mint
- Lime, Coconut, and Pineapple
- Mango and Ginger
- Strawberry and Kiwi
- Blackcurrant and Lemon
- Pear and Fennel (slice the pears thinly to squeeze out more flavor)
- Lemon and Thyme
- Orange, Guava, and Mint
A good tip to remember is to lead with one dominant flavor and enhance it with herbs, lemon, lime or sweeteners. Watermelon, rosemary, pineapple, and berries are strong flavors, for example. These are beautifully enhanced with touches of mint, lemon, ginger or basil. A pinch of dried herbs adds a twist on flavor, too.
There are no rules. Go wild with your own flavor combinations. Share recipes with your friends. It’s easy, it’s healthy, it’s sustainable, and it’s delicious!