Hydrate yourself with infused water

Published 6:01 pm Saturday, May 31, 2014

The first time I had infused water was a few years ago at a get together.

There were two options: one filled with all kinds of summer berries and another filled with cucumbers. Fruits and veggies in my water? Why, yes, please.This trend is becoming more and more popular and it can be a fun addition to the party table.

Water is hydrating for sure, helping to digest food, transport nutrients and oxygen to all cells of the body, cushion our joints and organs as well as carry waste products out of our body.  Staying hydrated is also important for great heart health, because it is easier for your heart to pump your blood through your body.  Infused water really just means adding different fruits, vegetables and/or herbs and spices to your water.  Not only do you get the benefits of getting hydrated, but you also gain flavor and color appeal.

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To infuse your water, start by adding a fruit or vegetable to the pitcher of water. Some fruits may work better than others; for example, cut berries can break down faster than whole berries.  Some ingredients, like mint, may need to be “muddled” to allow for flavors to escape.

To muddle, simply mash the ingredients and add them to the pitcher.  If you prefer stronger flavors, prepare your water a day ahead and let it sit overnight in the refrigerator.  Try some of these favorite pairings: cherries with lime and mint, strawberries with peaches or kiwis, cucumber with lemon and ginger root, lime with orange and rosemary, raspberries with mint and lime.  For even more fun, place cut produce in ice cube trays and fill remaining space with water and freeze.  And adding sparkling water can give it some fizz.

 Infused Water

Serves 4-6

All you need

•1 gallon filtered water

•1 cucumber, peeled and sliced

•1 lemon, sliced

•Fresh mint leaves, crushed

•Fresh gingerroot, peeled and sliced

All you do

1. Combine ingredients in a glass pitcher.  Chill overnight or for several hours. Serve over ice.

2. For other flavors, try: sliced citrus fruits or zest from lemon, lime, orange or grapefruit or other fresh produce like strawberries, melon and blueberries.