Sunday, May 5, 2019

Try some infused water for a refreshing drink

Now that spring is here and summer is around the corner, time to make some delicious and refreshing infused water.  Isn’t it great when you walk into a hotel lobby and there is a large glass container of infused water, ice cold?  We stayed in a hotel one summer and every day they had a different infused water in the lobby.  Refreshing and without the calories.  You can skip the calories in sweetened ice tea and sodas and refresh yourself with water infused with fruits, veggies and some herbs.  The Food Network Kitchen and other websites have a wealth of infused waters to try out.  Here are some infused waters you may enjoy this spring and summer:

1. Strawberry-Cucumber Water – Stem and thinly slice about 8 ounces (about a 1/2 pint) of strawberries.  Cut ½ of a cucumber into thin slices.  Put these in a 2-quart pitcher and add 2 quarts of water.  Then refrigerate for 2-4 hours.  Stir and serve.  You can remove the infused strawberries and cucumber slices and add fresh slices to each serving along with ice.  You can keep the infused water in your refrigerator for up to 2 days.  
Strawberry + Cucumber Infused Water

2.  Tomato-Basil Water – Coming home from the Farmer’s market with a lot of tomatoes?  Use some for a refreshing infused water drink.  Slice 1 large beefsteak tomato.  Slightly crush 3 sprigs of basil.  Add both to a 2-quart pitcher.  Add 2 quarts of water.  Refrigerate 2-4 hours.  When serving add some fresh, diced tomato and basil sprigs and ice.

3. Tomato-Celery-Bell Pepper – when loading up on those tomatoes at the Farmer’s Market, also stock up on some celery and bell pepper.   Slice one beefsteak tomato, chop 2 stalks of celery, and dice 1 small red bell pepper.  Add to a 2-quart pitcher and add 2 quarts of water.  Refrigerate 2-4 hours to infuse.  Stir, remove the veggies, pour over ice.  Add some tomato, bell pepper and celery as garnish. 

4.  Pineapple-Mint-Ginger Water – ready for a tropical tasting infused water?  Put into a 2-quart pitcher:  4 cups of pineapple sliced thin, 5 sprigs of lightly crushed sprigs of mint, and 8 round slices of ginger, smashed.  Add 2 cups of water.  Refrigerate 2-4 hours, stir and drain.  Before serving add some fresh pineapple, mint and ginger and serve over ice. 
5.  Cantaloupe-Infused Water – it is fun to experiment with different fruits and infused water.  Add 4 cups of cantaloupe cut up into small chunks, add 2 quarts of water.  Infuse in the fridge for 2-4 hours.  Stir, strain and pour over ice.  Add some fresh cut up cantaloupe for garnish.  A Taste of Home suggests mixing cantaloupe, lemon slices and mint for a different blend of infused water. 
Cantaloupe + Lemon + Mint Infused Water
6. Watermelon-Mint Water – one of my favorite infused waters at the hotel in Maine, was watermelon.  They didn’t add mint but that would have made it even better.  Cut 4 cups of watermelon into cubes.  Lightly crush 6 sprigs of mint.  Add both to a 2-quart pitcher and add 2 quarts of water.  Refrigerate 2-4 hours to infuse.  Drain, pour over ice and add some fresh watermelon and mint sprigs to garnish.
Watermelon Infused Water

7.  Apple-Cinnamon Water – sounds so tasty and refreshing.  Thinly slice 2 apples.  Add the sliced apples and 4 cinnamon sticks to a 2-quart pitcher.  Add 2 quarts of water, refrigerate for 2-4 hours.  Stir, strain, pour over ice.  Garnish with some fresh apple slices and a cinnamon stick. 

What mixture of fruit or veggies have you tried for a refreshing infused water drink?  Taste of Home offers 23 different infused water recipes.  Don’t want to wait the 2-4 hours?  My daughter keeps some lemon or lime slices in her fridge.  Add a couple of slices to a glass, add water and ice and you have some instant infused water.  Infused water is so refreshing on hot days or to hydrate after a workout.  Skip the calories and enjoy some infused water as a refreshing drink. 

Sources:  Kitchen, Strawberry-Cucumber Water, Tomato-Basil Water, Tomato-Celery-Bell Pepper, Pineapple-Mint-Ginger Water, Cantaloupe-Infused Water, Watermelon-Mint Water, Apple-Cinnamon Water   Image sources:  Strawberry, Cantaloupe, Watermelon

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