10 Ways to Make Flavored Water
H2O is far from the most exciting drink in the world, but it is the healthiest. Just a few of water's many benefits are helping flush toxins out of your body, helping to balance blood sugar, aiding in digestion and regulating body temperature. Now that we're facing summer's heat, getting plenty of water every day is crucial to keeping cool and staying hydrated. While drinking plain ol' H2O can certainly be a boring task, there are numerous ways to revamp what's inside your water bottle without turning to sugary, store-bought sodas or juices.
Here are 10 refreshing and exciting ways to make flavored water and ideas for coming up with your own custom flavors.
1. Add citrus: Slice up some of your favorite citrus fruits, including lemons, limes, grapefruits or blood oranges, and add them to a pitcher of water or a water bottle with a wide mouth. Squeeze some of the juice from the fruit into the water for an even bigger burst of flavor, or let the juice from the slices infuse your water throughout the day.
2. Add some veggies: We all know how refreshing a few cucumber slices can be on our eyes to help them de-puff, but consider adding them to your water for a refreshing burst of flavor and a way to reduce bloating.
3. Consider herbs: Adding fresh ginger, mint, tarragon or lemongrass to your water -- with some fruits and veggies or on their own -- can help switch things up while making your water taste a little like a chilled, summery cocktail.
4. Use seasonal produce: Take advantage of whatever fruit is in season, like strawberries, blackberries, watermelon, cantaloupe, pineapple or mango, and drop a few handfuls of each into a pitcher of water for a boost of flavor that'll also provide you with antioxidants and vitamins.
5. Brew some tea: Skip the store bought variety and make some fresh iced tea at home to quench your thirst. Place four to six tea bags in a two-quart container, fill it with water then move it into the sunlight to steep for three to five hours (depending on how strong you want your tea to be) and refrigerate when complete. Brew up a batch of your tried-and-true favorite flavor, or experiment with something new, like green or white teas.
6. Try some homemade lemonade: Mix the juice of six to eight lemons with three to four cups of water and one cup of simple syrup for tasty lemonade that's not too sweet. To make simple syrup, use one cup of water and one cup of sugar (or sugar substitute) and dissolve the sugar into the water in a saucepan over medium heat.
7. Revamp your ice cubes: Freeze berries and/or herbs in water and then drop them into your water for a slower release of flavor that'll also help preserve the berries a bit longer. You can also freeze cherries or slices of clementine and have something to nosh on after they defrost.
8. Add a mixer: Make that water taste even more like a little happy-hour treat with a splash of sparkling water, tonic of seltzer. Try traditional cocktail flavors (sans alcohol) or consider adding a fresh fruit flavor along with the carbonation, like lemon-lime or mango.
9. Try a sugar-free substitute: If you're a juice drinker, cut the sugar by combining half a cup of water with half a cup of sugar-free juice, like cranberry or pomegranate. You can also consider adding a sugar-free tea or juice mix to your bottle of water for a boost of flavor.
10. Put it all together: Try mixing and matching some of your favorite flavors, like a bit of fruit and some fresh herbs or making a batch of half-tea, half-lemonade. Experiment with a variety of fun and fresh flavors. The more exciting you make it, the more you'll be encouraged to drink delicious flavored water all summer long.
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