Rehydrate with exciting infused water drinks!
We all know how important it is for us to keep our bodies hydrated, but sometimes ordinary water can loose its appeal over time. MOLLY MAID, the professional house cleaners, recommend giving the below a whirl to put the zing back into your water! You may even find them a refreshing alternative to non-alcoholic ‘mocktails’.
Take a leaf out of the Spanish cuisine with their aguas frescas, water infused with fruit juices or juices from veggies like cucumber. They have a very light, refreshing flavour that’s definitely not just water, but they’re much lighter than a smoothie.
Tip 1: Take any recipe for agua fresca that calls for sugar and replace the sugar with Splenda or a tiny amount of intensely sweet agave syrup (which is chemically not much better for you than sugar, but you need very little of it to get a similar level of sweetness, so you’ll get a sweet drink with considerably fewer calories). Honey is another great alternative, which comes with more nutritional benefits than most sweetening options. Evaporated cane juice and turbinado sugar are also better for health than refined white sugar. These less refined sugars are still calorific, but they’re a considerable step up in terms of nutrition from refined sugar, so they also make good alternatives. Use them just like ordinary sugar.
Tip 2: Choose recipes that don’t call for (much) sugar. If you’re watching calories or carbs (fruit calories are mostly carbs, so it’s the same battle either way), be aware which fruits are more or less sugar dense than others. Oranges are loaded with sugar, as are most berries and grapes. Melons tend to be lightly sweet. You can make a wonderful infused water beverage with nothing but cucumbers and lime, for example. No sugar required!
Tip 3: Pick recipes that are already loaded with natural sugar, so no sugar needs to be added. Try berries and orange juice, for example – you’ll be surprised how sweet it is without adding any kind of sweetener. Recipes featuring berries or grapes will be very sweet, and should only require light sweetening if the berries you use are a little too tart.
- The simplest way to infuse water with fruit or veggie juices is Sangria-style: chop up the fruit or veggies, put them in a pitcher of water, put the pitcher in the fridge for two hours, and you get water infused with delicious light flavour. These are practically zero calories and carbs, but may be too low on flavour for some palates.
- Or, puree the fruit, water and other ingredients together, then strain it through a fine sieve to extract all the pulp, leaving you with a translucent drink. If you don’t strain, you’ll end up with a little texture to the drink. Of course, if you like pulp, go for it!
- Some of the more flavourful recipes include a peach agua fresca, which offers an alternative involving strawberries, various melons and a cucumber/lime combination. Also try with a watermelon lime combination as the lime will ‘bring out’ the other flavour.
- Try inventing your own recipes for fruit-infused water if you understand the basics of how it’s done. Why not try infusing with herbs and even flowers? Herbs like mint and rosemary can add intense flavour just by steeping in a pitcher in the fridge for two hours. Mint is delicious alone or with juices like pineapple or in cucumber or cucumber-citrus combinations. Lavender, rose and other edible flower petals can stand alone or contrast with herbs and fruits.
Have fun experimenting!