Hydrating and healthy, the humble jug of water has never tasted so good than with it’s infused with fruit, vegetables and herbs.
Before sugar-laden fruit juices and cooldrinks, our caveman ancestors sipped fresh water straight out of lakes and streams. Sure, they probably had minimal options for hydration, but the notion that water is one of the best things you can put into your body still holds today.
Water’s health benefits are well documented, from protecting your body’s organs to clearing your complexion. So there’s no reason you shouldn’t be drinking a couple of litres a day, especially when infused with delicious flavours.
A fresh start
After over-indulging in puddings and cocktails during the festive season, your body needs a detox. Key to this process is flushing toxins out of your body by drinking plenty of water and eating food with a high water content, such as fruit and veggies. Combine the two and you have a refreshing drink that cleanses your system and tastes delicious. Plus, by loading water with lots of fruit, veggies and herbs, you’ll be upping the vitamin, mineral and antioxidant content of your diet.
Start by cutting fresh vegetables or fruit into thick slices or chunks, removing leaves or stems is optional. Herbs can be added whole or picked from their stalks, just be sure to give them a good rinse first. Place all the ingredients into a glass pitcher, jug or jar (so it can be easily stored in the fridge), and top with filtered water. Add ice before serving.
Some ingredients, such as lemon, release their flavours immediately, while others require anywhere from an hour to a day to fully infuse. Bear in mind: the more you add, the stronger the flavour will be.
Infusions are best served on the same day, but can last up to three days in the fridge, as long as you don’t use carbonated water.
Follow these tips for creating a delicious, fresh drink.
• Peeling fruit and veggies is optional, but after around eight hours, peels can give water a bitter taste.
• Use a muddler or spoon to bruise the ingredients. This will break down the natural structure, speeding up the release of flavours. If you’d prefer a more subtle taste and have the time to leave the water to infuse slowly, skip this step.
• Leave to infuse in the fridge to keep the ingredients fresh. Seal the opening with a lid or cling film to avoid fridge smells permeating the mixture.
Meet your match
Here are some of our favourite combinations and their added health benefits:
• Lemon and cucumber: This slimming concoction is great for cleansing the liver and assists with bloating.
• Mint and watermelon: Mint aids in the relief of allergies, colds and indigestion, while watermelon boasts plenty of vitamins, amino acids and antioxidants.
• Pineapple and grape: This tasty combination has anti-inflammatory benefits from the pineapple, and cleansing compounds from the grapes.
• Rosemary and orange: Rosemary releases some youth-boosting antioxidants and orange adds a dash of vitamin C.
• Sage and strawberry: Sage relaxes the body and studies suggest that the flavonoids found in strawberries promote heart health.