How To Make Flavored Water At Home?
Summer is a great time to find treasures in your garden for all kinds of unique foods and beverages. If you don’t have a garden, raiding your spice rack may reveal some interesting combinations for revving up food or drink too. Water is vital to health and well-being and a welcome quencher especially when it is hot. It also makes a clean palette for adding some culinary art.
Flavored waters have become highly popular, but also highly expensive. Making your own flavored water not only saves on the pocketbook, but also on the planet by reducing the number of plastic bottles being discarded. In addition, crafting your own flavors is a great activity that can be shared with family and friends or a creative outlet for anyone.
Here are a few tips to get started. With all of these recipes, be sure to rinse your fresh herbs or any added fruit thoroughly. As with most flowers or herbs, crushing the flowers or leaves slightly can release more flavor. Some varieties of plants are more culinary friendly you may want to research the plants you are considering using to get the best flavor.
When adding fruit, be sure to remove any rind or skin as these can add bitterness to the water. When trying to determine how much dried vs. fresh herbs to use try this formula: 1 tsp. dried herbs = 1 tbsp. fresh herbs.
Top 10 Easy Water Combinations
Excellent for soothing anything from a headache to a case of insomnia, lavender can be steeped and then cooled for a refreshing drink that is said to help calm nerves or induce sleep. Try boiling 2 cups of water with 1 heaping tablespoon of fresh lavender, cool, strain, and drink.
If these amounts are too strong, try adding more water and some ice. Good combinations with lavender include lemon. To make a lavender lemonade, add 1.5 cups of lemon juice and ¾-1 cup of sugar along with more water to adjust the taste to your liking.
Start with 2 sprigs of fresh rosemary added to 6 cups of water, try adding lemon slices (4), cucumber slices (a dozen) and let it chill between 2-8 hours to infuse the water. A few sprigs of mint can also be combined with this mix.
#3. Mint Varieties
Speaking of mint, there are many varieties of mint leaves and they can be especially tasty in water. Try the following varieties: chocolate mint, mojito mint, julep, ginger, peppermint, spearmint, orange, pineapple, or apple – and these are just a few. Usually a small handful, slightly bruised (or crushed), added to 6 cups of water is enough. Try different combinations of mint and fruit or vegetables such as cucumber, lemon, strawberries etc.
Basil is another great herb that has lots of varieties to try. For a twist on your water flavor try both lemon basil and lime basil. To kick it up more add a few slices of each lemon and lime and sugar or stevia for sweetness. There are over 40 varieties of basil including a cinnamon and Christmas.
#5. Flower Power
Edible flowers like borage, rose leaves, or dandelion, can call be added to water or tea. All parts of dandelions in general can be used – and there can be many health benefits to this plant which typically include detoxification. Many people roast the roots of dandelions or dry the leaves for their beverages. Try using the process above for lavender to make tea and then cool and chill the result for a refreshing beverage.
To use rose leaves, dry them and then put two teaspoons of the dried leaves in a jug and pour on 1/2 pint boiling water and infuse for 10 minutes. Strain into a cup and drink hot or warm or iced with a sprig of mint or a slice of lemon. Adding the flowers of the borage or the dandelion can add a pretty accent to your pitcher.
For a little sweetness, add naturally sweet stevia to any combination. The leaves are sweet when bruised. Stevia can also be dried and used later. Crush the dried leaves and add to water a pinch at a time until you achieve the desired sweetness.
Thyme packs a lot of benefit and flavor into a tiny package. Just 2 tsp of dried or the equivalent 10oz. of fresh leaves can provide a portion of the suggested daily value of vitamin K, iron, manganese and even calcium, along with antioxidants and more. Not only can thyme be added to water or tea, but it also makes a great simple syrup and can be used as an antibacterial wash or a refreshing bath.
There is nothing cooler than a cucumber. Add cucumber along with any number of other herbs or fruit for a truly fresh taste. Peel and cut a cucumber. Add 6 cups of water and some ice, then start experimenting by adding watermelon, strawberries, basil, rosemary, thyme or any of the other ingredients in this list. The results will surely be delicious.
Strawberry and other berries are great for flavoring water alone or combined with other herbs or fruits. Try adding crushed strawberries and lemon slices along with lemon basil or lavender for something truly unique.
#10. Anise Hyssop
Not to be confused with the star anise which can be dangerous depending on the variety. Hyssop not only produces edible leaves, but the flowers can be delightful as well. Take 1 teaspoon of dried leaves and flowers or 3 teaspoons of fresh leaves and flowers. Add this to 1 cup of boiling water. Strain and sweeten with honey or stevia to taste for tea or pour over ice for a cold version. For a decorative touch, place some leaves or flowers in the pitcher or glasses.
Experimenting with water flavors like these can be fun and rewarding. Many of the herbs suggested here have health benefits on their own, but when combined with the cleansing power of fresh water they provide the body a boost and give hydration a twist.