So what is the deal with infused water? Is it only for fancy people? I have seen infused water sitting in every spa I’ve ever been to, but it’s definitely not just for “fancy” people. This simple method is for everyone to enjoy and encourages a healthy consumption of water.
There are several different medical opinions on how to calculate the amount of water that one needs to drink per day to stay vibrant and healthy. But what they all agree on is that water is essential to life. For many though, it’s difficult to drink glass after glass of the bland tasting clear liquid. The trend has shifted now toward ways to flavor water to make it more enjoyable to drink. I’m against any kind of powdered mix because it’s no longer water at that point. It’s some sort of drink concoction. Infused water is the healthiest solution.
Adding fresh fruits, vegetables, even herbs to water does not change its chemical structure. The body still process it as simply...water. The taste though is something so much more interesting. Play and experiment with flavors. Never be bored with your water again!
CHOOSE A COMBINATION OF FRUITS, VEGETABLES, HERBS
First, choose a flavor by combining fruits, vegetables and herbs. Heartier fruits work nicely. Avoid melons of any kind. Due to their already high water content, they break down quickly in the water. Citrus slices work well, also cut berries or stone fruits sliced with the skin on. Sturdy vegetables with a pleasant flavor like cucumbers, radishes, carrots are very nice. Herbs are a tasty addition to create more complex flavors, plus they look awesome in the pitcher 😉 .
PREPARE THE PRODUCE
Now, thoroughly clean them. Herbs need to be cleaned carefully to ensure there is no dirt between leaves. Fruits, even ones with a rind, need to be cleaned, vegetables scrubbed. Herbs with large leaves (like basil or parsley), remove the leaves from the stem. For herbs with smaller leaves (like thyme or rosemary), keep them on the stem. Then, prepare the fruits or vegetables in a way that provides a lot of surface area. For example to prepare a lemon, make full round slices rather than wedges. Small berries should be cut in half. Most things would be sliced. Try not to use cuts that are too thin. If your vegetables or fruits are too thin, they start to break down in the water, which is not the idea with an infusion. Also a little goes a long way! Plan for about ½ cup of fruits, vegetables or herbs for 1 gallon of water.
THE INFUSION VESSEL
This is actually quite simple. Use ANY pitcher. Don’t get sold on fancy infusers. They are completely unnecessary. I would suggest a pitcher that has the ability to strain. I’ll link one that I love HERE. Also, I favor glass over plastic because you can clearly see the flavors in the water (I’m a sucker for aesthetics) and you don’t have to worry about other tastes seeping in. Plastic and metal can sometimes alter the taste slightly.
TIME TO INFUSE!
Place your clean and prepared produce into the pitcher, then fill with fresh water. Place the pitcher in the refrigerator. It CAN sit out on a counter, but the fruits and vegetables will stay fresh longer in the cold. Now, leave it alone for at least 12 hours. There is no need to stir, shake or otherwise bother your water.
Now, strain and drink. Drink it chilled, room temperature, over ice, etc. It’s best NOT to serve the infusion fruits and vegetables. To pretty up the servings, reserve some produce for garnish, adding it fresh upon serving. Infused water lasts for 2-3 days in the refrigerator. Herbs last well, but fruits tend to turn after a few days. You do NOT want spoiled produce in your water. Ew. So, keep it cold and keep it fresh. Change it daily if kept at room temperature.
To get started, here are a few ideas for infusion combinations. Please experiment and create your very own list of favorite flavors!