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A New Twist to Water

Let’s replace Sodas & artificially flavored Juices with these easy recipes for making your own quick, healthy fruity and herbal infused waters in endless varieties. Intrigued? Then continue reading….
How many of us know for a fact that we should be drinking at least 1.5 Liters of Water every day and yet we tend to forget it? Well, I used to be one of those people until I came across an article that describes how to infuse so many healthy flavors into drinking water, to make it tastier and more thirst quenching.
Aside from my morning coffee, I honestly used to forget to drink fluids throughout the day. I got bored by the taste of simple water. That was the motivation to finally start applying what I read into reality by creating flavored waters.

Artificial Sweetner FREE Zone:
F.Y.I-These flavored waters are not sweetened, so they'll be disappointing if that's what you're expecting. This is water with subtle flavors infused into it. Water with a touch of flavor (not an explosion of flavor) with little or no sweetness. You've probably had pitchers of ice water with lemon served at restaurants. This is the same idea, but with more variety. Many spas serve fancy waters like these, and it turns out that they couldn't be simpler to make. And, they are oh-so-refreshing

Fresh or Frozen? 
When in season, it’s preferable to use fresh fruit. However, when fruit is out of season, the fresh version can be flavorless. Because fruit that is to be frozen is picked at the peak of ripeness, it is often the better option for the best flavor, sweetness, and nutrients. I find this to be the case with berries and peaches.
Fresh herbs-an endless variety: Use whatever herbs you like or happen to have on hand. It's surprising how well many herbs blend with most fruit flavors. Mint is the most obvious & fresh herb of choice. You should try as well basil, rosemary, sage, thyme and lavender. 
What you need:
Fruits: whatever kind you like or whatever is available (except no bananas); make sure it's good & ripe for perfect sweetness and flavor.  I like to use all kinds of citrus and berries. I also found pineapple and watermelon to work well for flavoring water. If you don't want to buy whole ones, a few grocery stores sell small containers of pre-cut fruit (Cozmo & Plaza).
Herbs: these are optional, but many herbs are a surprising complement to fruit flavors; almost any herb will work depending on your personal preference
Jars or Pitchers: I prefer jars primarily, but any pitcher will do. I use 2 Liter Jars/Pitchers.
Wooden spoon/Masher:  It’s for mashing fruit and herbs without squashing them.
Ice: You can get Ice cube trays in different shapes for the kids so that they can enjoy their water more ;)
Water: Plain bottled water or Filtered water 
How long will they keep? 
Put a lid on them, place them in fridge, and they are good for up to 3 days. It only takes a few minutes to make several varieties to keep on hand. No more boring water for the whole family!
Easy Fruit & Herb Flavored Water
Servings: 6-8 servings
Fruit: 2 cups berries, citrus, melons, pineapple...or any type..most fruits will work 
Herbs : a sprig of mint, basil, sage, rosemary, thyme or lavender
water (Bottled or Filtered)

Supplies needed: 2 Liter pitcher or jar with lid; masher or wooden spoon
General formula for whatever fruit/herb combo you desire:
1. If using herbs, add a sprig of fresh herbs to jar/pitcher; press and twist with masher or handle of wooden spoon to bruise leaves and release flavor; don't pulverize the herbs into bits.
2. Add approx. 2 cups of fruit to jar/pitcher; press and twist with masher or handle of wooden spoon, just enough to release some of the juices
3. Fill jar/pitcher with ice cubes.
4. Add water to top of jar/pitcher.
5. Cover and refrigerate for up to 3 days.
Suggested flavor combinations:
ALL CITRUS (no herbs):
- Slice 1 orange, 1 lime, 1 lemon into rounds, then cut the rounds in half. Add to jar and proceed with mashing, add ice & water.
RASPBERRY LIME (no herbs): 
-Quarter 2 limes; with your hands, squeeze the juice into the jar, then throw in the squeezed lime quarters. Add 2 cups raspberries. Mash, add ice & water.
-Add a sprig of mint to the jar (you can throw in the whole sprig; or remove the leaves from the sprig, if you prefer to have the mint swimming around and distributing in the jar. Mash the mint. Add 2 cups pineapple pieces, mash, add ice & water.
-Add sage sprig to jar and mash. Add 2 cups blackberries; mash, add ice & water.
- Add rosemary sprig to jar & mash. Add 2 cups watermelon cubes; mash, add ice and water.
Sweeten it up, if you must:
 If you have a sweet tooth and find these flavored waters undrinkable without some sweetener, go ahead and stir in some sugar, honey or whatever sweetener you prefer. 1 teaspoon of sugar only has 15 calories, so go ahead and add one to your glass. Given that a single can of soda or juice has the equivalent of 10 teaspoons of sugar, you are still way better off drinking slightly sweetened water.
 If you are hooked on sweet tasting drinks and want to reduce or eliminate sugar or artificial sweeteners, you may need to wean yourself gradually. Unsweetened beverages are an acquired taste. I prefer them now, but it took me awhile to get there.
On a Final Note-These Waters are great for entertaining:
 Flavored waters are very popular now, as more people are avoiding soda and juice. Make a variety of flavored waters to offer at your next party. Look how gorgeous they are! Refreshing, healthy, inexpensive, and beautiful. Plus you can make and refrigerate them well in advance of the party.
Keep in mind that you can have some Quality time with your kids together while creating this Healthy Flavoured water & letting your child be part of this lovely creation.
Cheers for a healthier and natural beverage for our kids and of course us 

By: Laurence der Hovsepian