Say goodbye to those sugary sodas and juices with these refreshing, healthy flavored waters instead! Preparing these tasty “spa waters” in the fridge can be a motivating way to drink the recommended 8 cups of water a day.
I gave up the regular sodas years ago because of the high sugar content and switched to the “healthier” alternative of diet sodas. But now we’re warned to avoid the chemicals in diet sodas too; and more recently studies have indicated that diet sodas actually causes rather than prevents weight gain (source). A lot of us started drinking bottled water, but that has landfill and environmental consequences and be less healthy than regular tap water (source). Then there’s juice. Full of vitamin-C and healthy right? Well turns out that even though juice has more nutritional value than a can of soda, it is comparable in sugar, carbs, and calorie content (source). Wow, so what are we supposed to drink?
At the end of the day, regular tap water or at least a filtered version of it, seems to be the best way to go. I used to use the Brita Water Filter Pitchers for years but more recently switched to the Zero Filters for better tastes. But, I still don’t drink enough water.
Aside from my morning coffee, I honestly forget to drink enough fluids throughout the day. I know it’s important for my health but I kind of get bored with it. That’s was the motivation for preparing all these flavored fruit-infused waters.
Subtle flavor without sweetness
These aren’t sweet waters, so you’ll be disappointed if that’s what you’re looking for. This water has subtle flavors infused into it. It’s similar to the ice water with lemon slice you’ve probably been served at restaurants but with more variety. Many spas actually server fancy waters like these, and it turns out that they couldn’t be simpler to make. And did I mention, ooh-so-refreshing too!
The KISS (Keep It Simple Stupid) Method to Flavored Waters
I tend to go overboard and over-complicate things, so I had to keep that in mind when developing these recipes. I made my recipes easy to follow by only using fruits, herbs, water, ice and a jar or pitcher to keep it in. These are recipes I can make in a minute or two so I can always have flavored water sitting in my fridge.
How to Make Naturally Flavored Waters
- Fruit – Whatever kind you like (except no bananas); make sure it’s good and ripe for maximum sweetness and flavor. I like to use all kinds of citrus and berries. I also found pineapple and watermelon to work well for flavoring water. If you don’t want to buy whole fruits, many grocery stores actually sell small containers of pre-cut fruits.
- Herbs – These are optional, but many herbs are a surprising complement to fruit flavors; almost any herb will work depending on your personal preference
- Water – I use filtered water, but regular tap water is fine if yours tastes good to you
- Muddler or Wooden Spoon for mashing fruit and herbs
- Containers – I use 2 quart mason jars primarily, but any 2 quart pitcher would do. Some stores also sell fruit infusion pitchers. Its great if you regularly make infused waters and is an easy way to strain fruit from water. Fruit infusion water bottles are also a great on-the-go option that many use.
Fresh vs. frozen fruit. When in season, I prefer to use fresh fruit. However, when fruit is out of season, the fresh version can be tart or flavorless. Because fruit that is to be frozen is picked at the peak of ripeness, it is often the better option for the best flavor, sweetness, and nutrients. I find this to especially to be the case with berries and peaches.
A variety of fresh herbs. Use whatever herbs you like or happen to have on hand. I picked all of these from my herb garden and have tried them in flavored waters. It’s surprising how well they blend with most fruit flavors, and they amp up the refreshing factor of the water. Mint is the most obvious herb choice. I also have tried basil, rosemary, sage, thyme, lavender, and tarragon. All of them are great choices.
I’ll share some of the fruit and herb combos that I’ve recently tried for flavoring water. But, honestly, you can combine most fruits and herbs according to your favorite flavors and what you have on hand in your fridge. I’ll show you how to make 5 flavor combos. You can take it from there, creating endless flavor combos of your own.
Quantities: The quantities in my flavored water recipes are all for 2 quart jars or pitchers. However, I ran out of the 2 quart jars and used a few 1 quart jars, halving the recipe ingredients. So, don’t be confused by the different jar sizes. It’s easy to make a full or half batch depending on your jar or pitcher size.
The first 2 waters are
Flavored with fruit only (no herbs)
WASH FRUIT THOROUGHLY! The citrus and berries need to be really, really clean to keep contaminants and bacteria out of your flavored water. I recommend organic fruit, if it isn’t going to be peeled.
1. All Citrus Flavored Water (adds refreshing tartness to water) — slice 1 orange, 1 lime, 1 lemon into rounds, then cut the rounds in half. Add to jar, press and twist with a muddler or the handle of a wooden spoon. Press enough to release some of the juices, but don’t pulverize the fruit into pieces. Fill the jar with ice. Pour in water to the top. Stir it with the handle of a wooden spoon or a chopstick. Put a lid on it, put it in the fridge, and chill.
- These are long-lasting and easier to screw on and off than the metal rings and lids that come with the jars; they fit all wide-mouth mason jars
You can drink it right away, but the flavor intensifies if it’s made an hour or two ahead. It’s even better the next day. 24 hours later straight from the fridge, the ice still hasn’t melted completely in mine. The ice at the top serves as a sieve so that you can pour the flavored water without getting fruit bits in your glass.
2. Raspberry Lime Flavored Water (beautiful color and mildly tart) — Quarter 2 limes; with your hands, squeeze the juice into the jar, then throw in the squeezed lime quarters. Add raspberries. Press and twist with a muddler to release some of the juices (don’t pulverize the fruit). Fill the jar with ice, then add water to the top. Stir, cover, and refrigerate.
The next 3 waters are
Flavored with fruit and herb combos
3. Pineapple Mint Flavored Water (a hint of minty sweetness). Add a sprig of mint to the jar–you can throw in the whole sprig; or, remove the leaves from the sprig, if you prefer to have the mint swimming around and distributing in the jar. Muddle the mint–the goal is to bruise the leaves and release their flavor–don’t pulverize them into bits. Add pineapple pieces, press and twist with the muddler to release juices. Add ice to the top and then water. Stir, cover, and refrigerate.
4. Blackberry Sage Flavored Water (subtle, refreshing flavor). Add sage leaves to jar and bruise with a muddler. Add blackberries; press and twist with muddler to release their juices. Fill jar with ice cubes, add water to the top, stir, cover and refrigerate.
5. Watermelon Rosemary Flavored Water (lovely flavor combo). Add a sprig of rosemary to jar and muddle gently (rosemary releases a strong flavor without much muddling). Add watermelon cubes; twist and press gently to release juices. Fill jar with ice cubes, add water to the top, stir, cover and refrigerate.
Hope you enjoy these recipes. Let me know if you have other flavored water combos you’d recommend trying. Leave comments below