We all know that sugary drinks are not healthy, right? Infused waters have been on the market for years, but often the list of ingredients include “natural flavors.” I prefer the natural flavors that I select from my fruit bowl.
You may have seen a photo of the six-dollar jars of infused asparagus water from Whole Foods last week. There was social media outrage. I just laughed. Really. I laughed.
I mean, yes, Whole Foods can be pricey, but it's all about supply and demand. If someone will pay six dollars for a jar of water with three stalks of asparagus, why not sell it? But, again, you can just make your own.
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Somewhere in L.A., Whole Foods executives are laughing at all of us.
The way to infuse water is very, very simple: add your flavors to the water and let sit. I like to use a large glass bottle from Grosche. I've included an affiliate link at the bottom of this post, if you're interested.*
A couple of notes: use organic; you don't want pesticides leaching into your water. You can leave the fruits or veggies peel or unpeeled, but thin slices will infuse more quickly. The longer it sits, the more flavorful the water will be; I try for a minimum of 2 hours, but some fruits or herbs will infuse more quickly than others. For example, citrus is pretty instantaneous while herbs take a little longer. Berries take a couple of hours and will also release color into the water. So, you can make a pretty pink-hued water with strawberries or raspberries.
I also infuse - and drink - at room temperature. I read somewhere that that's the optimal temperature for hydration, but I can't find that article and don't remember where I read it. In any case, if you like ice water, freeze herbs inside your ice cubes for even more flavor.
Here are some suggestions to get your creative juices flowing. I usually use two flavors. Last night we made strawberry-basil and lemon-mint water for dinner. And the infused water in the photographs is a cantaloupe-chocolate mint water.
- Herbs: rosemary, thyme, mint, basil, cilantro, parsley
- Spices: cinnamon sticks, cardamom pods, fresh ginger, cloves, vanilla bean, juniper berries
- Flowers: rose petals, lavender, citrus blossoms, hibiscus, pansies, violets
- Fruit: berries, melon, citrus, apples, pears
- Vegetables: cucumber, celery, fennel, carrots
Also note: you can refill the water a few times and let it infuse again, but the flavors won’t be as strong during subsequent infusions.