Flavoring Up Your Water

by in Healthy Tips, July 8, 2009

Why waste money on bottled water that’s infused with artificial flavor or vitamins when you can easily do it yourself and for cheaper?

What’s Already In Your Water
Water is calorie-free, but the liquid that comes out of your faucet could contain various minerals, depending on where it comes from (typically lakes and rivers). Many local governments around the country fortify tap water with fluoride (for healthy teeth) because it’s not available in many foods. Other essential minerals such as selenium and chromium are leached from underground rocks into water sources, but levels are regulated by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and tested regularly so you’ll get them in safe amounts.

Other Water Add-Ins
Jazzing up your water doesn’t take much time or effort. In the summer, I always serve a large pitcher of ice water with sliced-up lemon and fresh mint at my family’s Friday night dinner. Any citrus fruit — lemons, limes, grapefruit or oranges — will give your water a fresh vitamin C boost. And there you’ve got a homemade batch of vitamin water!

Other fun fruits to add are berries or chunks of watermelon. For an outdoor barbecue, I sometimes toss in sliced cucumbers or chunks of pineapple. Mixing the fruit and water in a glass pitcher creates a beautiful yet simple presentation.

Don’t be afraid to experiment with savory flavors, too. Try infusing your water with fresh herbs such as rosemary, lemongrass, parsley, mint or even some ginger. Alton Brown has an interesting recipe for Barley Water, which uses hulled barley, lemons and honey. I’ve tried a similar drink that used quinoa and a bit of melon juice instead — delicious.

Even More Variations
There are other calorie- and chemical-free water options, too. For a bit of fizz, dress up sparkling water, seltzer or club soda — you get the flavor but still no calories. My grandpa used to mix 2 ounces of orange juice or 1 to 2 ounces of a sweet red wine with seltzer (a.k.a. a spritzer) — yum! You can make a berry spritzer with mashed blueberries and raspberries in seltzer. Really, any fruit or splash of 100% fruit juice can enhance sparkling waters.

TELL US: What’s your favorite way to dress up your water?

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Comments (17)

  1. Jessica M says:

    One of my favorites is fresh ginger slices with mint or lemon slices and I sometimes make cucumber water.

  2. Stacie says:

    Always loved saving mint, basil, or other delicate herbs by freezing them in ice cubes! Much less invasive or intense than rosemary and cucumbers. Also, these herbed cubes can save a bad wine.

  3. Sarah says:

    A family friend made cucumber, lemon, and thyme infused water for my bridal shower. I was hooked!

  4. mickey says:

    lemon always gives water a fresh taste

  5. CLW says:

    I'm not near a store which sells FRESH herbs, can I substitute dry?

  6. shirley says:

    Look for more nutrients and less additives read back labels the less the ingredients the more nutrients.

  7. William says:

    Try a few raspberries with rosemary in your iced tea and water. Yummy!

  8. Linda Calderon says:

    I have some essentail peppermint oil that can be used in a diffuser or adding to drinking water. I put just one drop in a 25 oz. stainless steel water bottle. Two drops is fine too, but not more or too strong. It is really refreshing.

  9. When I first saw this title Flavoring Up Your Water | Healthy Eats – Food Network Healthy Living Blog on google I just whent and bookmark it. Today, while I was at work, my cousin stole my iphone and tested to see if it can survive a twenty five foot drop, just so she can be a youtube sensation. My iPad is now destroyed and she has 83 views. I know this is totally off topic but I had to share it with someone!

  10. Me sorprende que más personas no han comentado aquí porque este es un excelente trabajo

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